Left-wing politics

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A depicition of the political compass

Left-wing politics support social equality and egalitarian, often in opposition of social hierarchy. Left-wing politics typically involve a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others as well as a belief that there are social injustices that need to be reduced or abolished. The terms Left and Right were coined during the French Revolution, the Left generally supported the French Revolution, while the Right were supportive of the traditional institutions of the Old Regime.




  • War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.
    • George Orwell, review of The Men I Killed by Brigadier-General F. P. Crozier, CB, CMG, DSO, in New Statesman and Nation (28 August 1937)

In Critque

  • This is the criminal left that belongs not in a dormitory, but in a penitentiary. The criminal left is not a problem to be solved by the Department of Philosophy or the Department of English—it is a problem for the Department of Justice…. Black or white, the criminal left is interested in power. It is not interested in promoting the renewal and reforms that make democracy work; it is interested in promoting those collisions and conflict that tear democracy apart.
    • Spiro Agnew, speech at a Floridian Republican dinner, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (28 April 1970); reported in Collected Speeches of Spiro Agnew (1971), p. 135.
  • From the animal standpoint, leftists have been regressive and reactionary forces. In the Communist Manifesto, for instance, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels dismissed animal protectionists as mere petit-bourgeois reformers. They failed to see that the animal welfare movement in countries like the United States was vital to women whose opposition to animal cruelty was inseparable from their struggle against male violence and the exploitation of children. Similarly, in his work, On the History of Early Christianity, Engels belittled vegetarians and anti-vivisectionists, with no understanding of the importance of these issues for reducing human cruelty to both human and nonhuman animals, and for moral progress generally.
  • It is time for the left to revive its ethical foreign policy and carve out a new long-term narrative that puts human rights and the protection of civilians centre stage once again.
  • I believe the left is now in a fundamental fight about our future approach to international affairs: one where we decide whether to channel UK resources, diplomatic influence and military capability in defence of human rights and the protection of civilians; or one where we stand on the sidelines frozen by our recent failures. I believe it’s time for the left to revive its ethical foreign policy and in particular, rebuild the case for a progressive approach to humanitarian intervention.
  • Look, I don’t see the world as something divided between right and left. And I don’t at all care who’s on the right or left or in the center. Even though we use them, even though I use them myself, these expressions have lost all meaning. I’m not interested in one label or the other—I’m only interested in solving certain problems, in getting where I want to go. I have certain objectives.
    • Indira Gandhi, quoted by Oriana Fallaci. (2011). Interview with Indira Gandhi, in : Interviews with history and conversations with power. New York: Rizzoli.
  • There are only two possibilities in Germany; do not imagine that the people will forever go with the middle party, the party of compromises; one day it will turn to those who have most consistently foretold the coming ruin and have sought to dissociate themselves from it. And that party is either the Left: and then God help us! for it will lead us to complete destruction - to Bolshevism, or else it is a party of the Right which at the last, when the people is in utter despair, when it has lost all its spirit and has no longer any faith in anything, is determined for its part ruthlessly to seize the reins of power - that is the beginning of resistance of which I spoke a few minutes ago. Here, too, there can be no compromise - there are only two possibilities: either victory of the Aryan, or annihilation of the Aryan and the victory of the Jew.
  • We chose the red color of our posters after careful and thorough reflection, in order to provoke the Left, to drive them to indignation and lead them to attend our meetings if only to break them up, in order to have some chance to speak to the people.
  • The left once dismissed the market as exploitative; it now honors the market as rational and humane. The left once disdained mass culture as exploitative; now it celebrates it as rebellious. The left once honored independent intellectuals as courageous; now it sneers at them as elitist.
  • The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call feelings of inferiority and oversocialization. Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential
    • Ted Kaczynski, "Industrial Society and its Future", item 9 "The Psychology of Modern Leftism"
  • Having never understood the role that existing communist powers played in tempering the worst impulses of Western capitalism and imperialism, and having perceived communism as nothing but an unmitigated evil, the left anticommunists did not anticipate the losses that were to come. Some of them still don't get it.
  • The division between left and right in history is both evident and real. For example, the few detailed histories of specific anti-fascism that exist describe a conflict unrecognisable beside the subtle arguments of these liberal historians. The struggles between fascists and anti-fascists have been violent, lethal and real. The study of them makes it clear that the liberal historians have ignored the decisive importance of anti-socialism to the fascists. They have also overlooked the facists that in every country, socialists and communists have proven to be fascism's staunchest enemies, and that the political left has always been the first victim of fascist rule.
  • What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people—like themselves—need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.
  • We must face the fact that, though the free intelligence and the spirit of community are at once the goal and an essential means, they may be not only ineffectual but actually harmful, unless they are combined with a full measure of that hot indignation against tyranny, that devoted service in the struggle for the new order, which is characteristic of the best minds of the political Left. On the other hand, the political Left, if it is to capture the imagination and allegiance of the people of this country and sweep them forward to victory, must, I believe, learn a more liberal spirit. I mean, of course, liberal not in the political but in the cultural sense, namely, loyalty to the free critical intelligence and respect for the human individual.

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