Amazingly, most people have no idea what political “Right” and “Left” are, even professionals writing in the field.
To understand this division, we should go back to the origins of the terms. This is a technique sometimes used to trace the meaning of a word over time, and to figure out why it was originally used, because that generally indicates what was so different from the norm that it required a new term.
In the case of “Right” and “Left,” these terms arose after the French Revolution when parties in the national assembly sat on one side of the aisle or the other. Those who liked the new order sat on the left; those who favored the old way and wanted to resist the new as much as possible sat on the right.
From that we get these simple terms which correspond to our cultural conception of handedness: the right hand is the one where action and signaled intent are the same, where the left is the hand that does the opposite of what signaled intent suggests. Historically, this is because the right hand can be used to shake while the left hand draws a blade.
And so we must ask what the “new order” actually stood for, which requires looking at what it wanted. This one is easy; it wanted to overthrow the kings, and in order to do so, it proclaimed equality (as an opposite of hierarchy) so that all people were equal. This meant that none had the right to rule over the rest, and the mob would choose its own path via voting.
Take a moment to get over your laughter. Yes, once upon a time, people were so gullible that they thought that mass voting was a way to make decisions! It is comedic in retrospect that people somehow convinced themselves that groups, most known for panics and stampedes and ignoring crimes, would be better leaders than someone specialized. But humans are prone to denial, projection and fantasy…
The Left stands for one thing and one thing only: egalitarianism, or the idea of equality. This allows them to escape social consequences for being less accurate in their thinking than others. From this, all of Leftism flows naturally. It is not a very complex philosophy, which is why it is disguised in endless play-acting “theory” by its adherents.
On the other hand, the Right stands for what came before egalitarianism: time-honored ways of being, which means they are based in consequentialism or results instead of appearance, and in order to have direction, are also “transcendental” or geared toward qualitative improvement on the former. The Right is complex, nuanced, and has many layers.
The division is this simple: the Left believes egalitarianism will solve our problems and give us direction, where the Right thinks that egalitarianism is a distraction from the real task, which is to discover how our world works and what are the best results we can achieve through known working methods of adaptation to it.
Now where this gets interesting is that the Left has incentive to hide their actual meaning. Like the left hand move, their goal is to separate their public intent from their private actions. Altruism is a great cover story, like politicians kissing babies. It lets you give a few percent of your wealth or time for public image, then do whatever you want with the rest.
The Right, on the other hand, have no way of summarizing their intent. Rightism is inherently complex because it is based not on a human theory, but on many and dissimilar methods for making human civilization improve in quality. As a result, it is a philosophy that requires an esoteric or unequal and cumulative approach to understand.
Humans naturally prefer the Left because we are self-deluding creatures. We know what we want more than what we are. As a result, our desires reflect illusions based on what we want to be, and reflect very little who we are, or in other words, our actual needs. As a result, the Left is perpetually popular, just like circuses, bread, television and pretense.
Whenever the Left appears, it uses egalitarianism as its method of forcing acceptance and shaming those who resist it. Who can, socially speaking, oppose the idea that everyone is accepted? Using this passive-aggressive method, Leftism bullies its way in, and sets up an alternate power structure which then rules with tyranny.
We know this and can speak out against it without having to swing to symbolic opposite extremes like “freedom”, “liberty,” and “meritocracy,” which are Leftist proxies for the idea of reducing everyone to a minimum and then selecting those with the (politically) correct ideas to rise. We can instead point again to history.
When the French Revolution was won, the new government set about doing things differently than the old leadership. After a period of murdering whole families on nothing more than the word of someone on the street, the new regime set up its People Power and promptly drove the nation into worse famine and poverty than ever seen before.
As that settled in to the public consciousness, the regime distracted by declaring what was essentially the first world war and attempting to conquer Europe, an attempt that first brought victory and then great defeat. The result was that the war in the name of the people ended up making life worse for them.
After that, things settled down to the Right versus Left view we have now. Naturally, the Rightists who gave in and adopted the Leftist idea of equality found themselves more popular, and so the mainstream Right gradually eroded until it became a variety of Leftism as today. But that does not change the idea itself.
If we are to make sense of this political question, it first makes sense to go back to our roots and see what Right and Left mean. The Left means egalitarianism; the Right means time-honored solutions producing the best results. Obviously, these are incompatible, which is why the West is currently fragmenting along these lines.