Left Wing & Right Wing
Given the proximity of the Faversham Town Council Elections (May 2008), the issue of the difference between Right and Left in contemporary politics seems somewhat timelu. Perhaps if we find an answer to this question we might be on our way to answering next month's problem: how to achieve Utopia?!
Rather than take up polarized positions on what we personally feel to be the correct political stance I suggesy we look at how we identify the differences between right and left.
Does the traditional political spectrum make any sense nowadays? Are political beliefs genuinely clustered in this way? And what do we make of the Third Way of Tony Blair et el.
Here is a table contrasting some of the key values of left and right. It is a bit crude in its polarisation but it provides a good starting point. How accurate is it?
|Left Value||Right Value|
|Equality Of Outcome||Equality of Opportunity|
|Reform, Rehabilitation and Restorative Justice||Deserts, Retribution, Law and Order|
|Tough on the causes of crime||Tough on the criminal|
|Progressive||Status Quo and Tradition|
|The collective is more important than the individual||The individual is more important than the collective|
|Welfare State||Personal responsibility|
|Planned economy||Free market economic policies|
|Public spending and High Tax||Low tax and Private Profit|
|Workers' Self-Management||Employer's right to manage|
|Nationalisation of industry||Private ownership|
|Preference for Larger Government||Prereference for Smaller Government|
|Secular Government||Religious Government|
|Law Dictates Culture||Culture Dictates Law|
|Human Nature and Society are Malleable||Human Nature and Society are Fixed|