Talk:Centrism

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How close the centrism actually is liberalism? compared e.g with conservatism or socialism. I would say that centrism is in middle of all those. So, please relate cebtrism also with other ideologies, not only liberalism.

Please understand that liberalism itself has no overwhelming reliance on majority power. Liberalism recognizes the danger of majorities, and argues for limited government, & desires to restrict the majority by constitution, where fundamental rights and equality of also minorities are guaranteed.

Liberal democrat is a concept for democracy-centered liberals.

And, actually, the article should say "democrats" when talking about reliance on majority power. 213.243.157.114 19:57, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Centrism and liberalism[edit]

The word liberalism was used here not in the American sense of the word. One can see that most liberal parties push centrist policy. I will try to formulate something about that Gangulf 21:57, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Also I am not using liberalism in the American sense here. (In the American sense, it would include social-democrats, but not in my view.)

It is relatively true that many liberal parties from time to time push centrist policies. For example in cases where liberalism (which is form of anti-statism) has no clear answers to the political question. However, MOST liberal parties push rather consistently policies based on liberalism. Thus, is it really relevant here to emphasize those situations where some liberal parties resort to centrist compromises? 213.243.157.114 11:15, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Centrism and other isms than liberalism[edit]

Dear Wilfried Derksen,

I would think that centrism is very close to and sharing many ideas with the moderated version of socialism, social-democrats. This should also be mentioned, if connections with Liberal Parties are mentioned in this article.

I would think that centrism is very close to ans sharing many ideas with the moderated versions of conservatism, such as social-reformism, and many other moderate conservatives. This should also be mentioned, if connections with Liberal Parties are mentioned in this article. 213.243.157.114 11:07, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

For social-reformism, check e.g the National Coalition Party (Finland).

Hi all, this is always tricky, since different countries are using the same emotionally-charged political word in different ways. I've tried to normalize things a bit, as well as add some structure. Hope this helps,Drernie 17:15, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Is it really an ideology?[edit]

while other ideas that were considered centrist 200 years ago (such as slavery and racism) are considered extremist today. After readding the above sentence I felt "centrism" is just an averaged view of dominant society norms at any point of time. It sounds like the ideology of the so-called 'silent majority' accepting conservative views. Probably, the definition of centrist should be the 'silent majority', silently and subtely endorsing conservative positions of social norms but prefering to feign ignorance of any such views lest they give a bad name. --Manjunatha (17 Oct 2005)

Centrism is definitely not an ideology. It differs between countries and periods of history. It's also very hard to define. In the US voting rates are very low. If there was proportional representation would there be a new 'centre' in the USA? There would probably be Green Party and Socialist Party representation on the left, so in all likelihood The Democrats would become the 'centre' party. It is the electoral system which has denied the US a political left and skewed the system to the right. Also in Israel the conflict has encouraged nationalism and militarism in all parties. Thus 'centrism' in Israel is fairly right-wing compared to most other countries i.e. the supposed 'centre' supports expanding the national boundaries beyond internationally recognisd limits, national service, and the seperation barrier and air strikes which frequently kill civilians. (Winston1984)

So radical middle is not an ideology too? Psychomel@di(s)cussion 13:17, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Centrism is not an ideology in that the extremes of "right" and "left" are variable, in accordance with time and national context, and "centrism" is likewise relative and contextual. (This is pertinent to issues involved in the "right" and "left" haggling that's been going on as regards the introductory paragraph, by the way.) John Russell Herbert (talk) 18:41, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Request for an American (US) context[edit]

This page is referenced on the main page for Democratic Leadership Council, a PAC in US politics. When the term "centrism" is used in modern US political discourse it refers to something that would not have been termed a center-of-the-road ideology 20 years ago. It is, in fact, the right wing fringe of the Democratic Party that calls itself "centrist". These people profit from "Globaloney", the policies that are destroying the US economy for the sake of corporate greed while claiming high ideals.

The name "centrism" is traceable to the same political liars who coined the terms "compassionate conservative", "healthy forests initiative", "no child left behind", etc. Centrists are nothing but right wing Republicans masquerading as Democrats. Their mission is to be certain that the Democratic Party never fields a presidential candidate who represents middle class Americans.

Centrist economists in the US claim that people who oppose globalization as practiced by the US simply do not understand David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage. This is an amazing claim by Ph.D.s who know very well that what is being practiced has nothing to do with David Ricardo's theory. (See my expose at http://demspeak.com/?q=2005/jul/06/u-s-trade-policy-was-david-ricardo-wrong) It's about making corporations freebooters on the world stage with nations and their labor pools as victims.

So I would ask that a distinction be made between definitions of centrism used in the US and those used elsewhere.

Jerry Lobdill 11-06-05

      Um, no. Centrist was first used by your boy Billy Jeff Clinton.  Strodgers--65.24.61.74 03:37, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Jerry Lobdill on this point, but I go much further. Centrist -- along with all the other monikers I will collectively call "middleist" such as moderate, populist (in most cases I think), etc. -- is a word invented out of fine thin air, probably by the same folks who invented unicorns, alchemy, and werewolves. There is no way to be a stand for two contradictory positions. The article suggests centrism as a sort of "balance" of social equality and social inequality. So there are people who will join a party that denies equality to some but not all? Sounds Orwellian at very least. If someone desires inequality, why not just join a party that promotes inequality and be done with the whole thing? I don't understand the notion of someone pretending to support social equality for some group on one hand while cracking the back of someone else's head open with the other hand.

I'd like to see an actual policy that is centrist, whatever the hell that means. To me, the concept is repugnant and offensive. I would not bar such a crazy group from participating in government, of course, and I might even encourage it just so they can demonstrate to the public how untenable their positions are. I am skeptical that I will ever be convinced that such a thing as centrism exists, any more than a well-written Wikipedia page on unicorns or bigfoot would sway me into becoming a believer.

68.190.23.42 (talk) 22:01, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Problematic interwiki[edit]

The interwiki link in this article points to the Swedish wikipedia article "Centrism". This is partly correct, as the swedish word "centrism" is the same as the marxist expression centrism. The centrism of liberal parties however, is "centerpolitik", or sometimes, "mittenpolitik" in Swedish. Because of this, it would be good if this could be made into a fork, so that the correct centrism can be linked to its corresponding swedish article. Muneyama 13:01, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

No self-admitted centrists?[edit]

I'd guess a lot of european politicians describe themselves as centrist, for example, members of the Labour Party (UK). Robertbyrne 15:11, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

not a REAL centrist[edit]

Im a centrist and I dont like the the radical centrist movement they do not represent a common sense policy of an centrist,centrist do not apply to extreme politics of any kind. David Denver.

Dubious paragraph[edit]

I have removed the following paragraph due to an excessive number of dubious claims. I personally do not believe it has any value (being little more than a personal rant), but perhaps someone may be able to salvage something from it. -- Nikodemos 21:02, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

It could certainly be argued that centrist politics do not infact exist, as there is no distinct definition of what it actually stands for. Traditionally, politics was based on ideology - whereby a democratic government is formed between two or more conflicting ideologies - eg. Communism, socialism, fascism or capitalism. Once these ideologies come together, they automatically created a "centre ground" - the basic principle of democracy. In recent years however there has been a distinctive shift away from ideologies, embracing "capitalism" over all else[dubious ]. This is viewed as a mature step forward by so-called centrists[who?] who would argue that bitter squabbles over economic systems and tax structures have diverted politics away from far more important issues. Others would argue that economics and tax structures are absolutely key with regard to social stability. The main argument against centrism though, is the effect it has on the electorate - since the British Labour Party reinvented itself in 1994 as "New Labour", abandoning its key socialist beliefs and embracing the centre ground, it has won 3 successive general elections - but voter turnout has dropped from 71.29% to just 61.36% in 2005.

Uh, no, actually not dubious at all[edit]

I don't agree with your removal of this paragraph. True, it may be slanted, Nikodemos, but it does point out a self-evident truth about the notion of centrism. The first paragraph of the article says that centrism

involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy or social inequality

On which planet can someone agree with social equality AND social inequality at the same time? That reeks of nonsense, and I think the original paragraph you removed points that out. I think the problem is that centrism is a fantastic and impossible yet grammatical construct, mainly advanced by those who favor hoo-hah in its various forms. 75.76.145.74 (talk) 04:42, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Definitions[edit]

Does this article need the section headed "Definitions"? It seems a bit redundant to me. Surely reference to political spectrum is enough? BobFromBrockley 11:15, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Centrism and Religion[edit]

I don't see the point of this portion of the article. For one, it only regards Islam and second it seems likely that this is just one person's view or opinion and does not belong here. I would suggest that this portion be removed or modified with more objectiveness in mind. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abe468 (talkcontribs) 07:20, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Centrism and Populism[edit]

I think that this connection (if there is any) isn't enough discussed, so that by the time the subsection on Ireland and Populism in See also arive it looks like a surprise and irrational. Lususromulus —Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.136.21.65 (talk) 10:55, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Lipset placed populism in the center. However other writers do not assign it a specific place in the political spectrum.

"The basic ideology of the middle class is populism.... Their ideal was an independent small property owning class consisting of merchants, mechanics, and farmers. This element...now designated as middle class, sponsored a system of private property, profit, and competition on an entirely different basis from that conceived by capitalism....From its very inception it opposed "big business" or what has now become known as capitalism." David Saposs quoted in Lipset's book "Political Man".

The Four Deuces (talk) 12:17, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

I have found the following sources which I would like to use for the article:

center: "a grouping of political figures holding moderate views esp. between those of conservatives and liberals". Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (1993)
"The centrism in politics has normally referred to the politics of the middle classes." Robert M. MacIver, The Web of Government ( New York: Macmillan, 1947), pp. 216, 315
"The center position among the democratic tendencies is usually called liberalism. In Europe where it is represented by various parties like the French Radicals, the Dutch and Belgian Liberals, and others, the liberal position means: in economics, -- a commitment to laissez-faire ideology, a belief in the vitality of small business, and opposition to strong trade-unions; in politics -- a demand for minimal government intervention and regulation; in social ideology -- support of equal opportunity for achievement, opposition to aristocracy, and opposition to enforced equality of income; in culture -- anticlericalism and antitraditionalism." The Social Bases of Politics. Seymour Martin Lipset (1960), p. 133

The Four Deuces (talk) 11:44, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Slomp, Hans (2000). European Politics Into the Twenty-First Century: Integration and Division. Westport: Praeger. ISBN 0275968146. (p.35): "Conservative liberals occupy a place at the right end, social liberals in the middle."
Adams, Ian (2001), Political Ideology Today (Politics Today), Manchester: Manchester University Press, ISBN 0719060206 (p.32): "Liberal parties in Europe now find their niche at the centre of the political spectrum".

These sources provide differing meanings, but I think the term center is not used consistently.

The Four Deuces (talk) 11:44, 15 March 2009 (UTC)


Edward Heath[edit]

What is the source of the idea that Edward Heath intended to quit the Tory party? This claim appeared on 9 December 2010‎ @14:30. It was posted by 81.144.235.66, a shared IPA. At least 5 unconstructive edits have been made from this IPA. During the poll tax controversy, Mr Heath was fiercely loyal to the Tory party, so considering defection from it is extremely unlikely. I think that the claim is a lie probably made up as a joke. If there is still no citation for it by the end of January, ime erasing it. Froggo Zijgeb (talk) 13:23, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

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Wording of the lead[edit]

I am interested in this article's maintaining succinctness without resorting to over-simplification. The words "right" and "left" have themselves been used quite variably, and the concept of "centrism" must therefore take this into account. A "rightest", for instance, in one context, may indeed be a promoter of social hierarchy. A rightest in another context will espouse a doctrine that small government is the greatest vehicle of social equality. These usages, and others, are well-established, and they are not nearly identical. Interests in hierarchy vs. interests in equality are quite simply not the end all and be all of this discussion, even in the lead, insofar as the lead tilts the manner in which the rest of the article is read.

Lead as of 24 September 2012:

In politics, centrism is the ideal or the practice of promoting policies that are neutral middle ground between the left and right on the left-right political spectrum. Thusly, with some variability in the definitions of right and left, the centre could be defined as a position that balances a degree of egalitarianism with the acceptance of a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society towards either extreme.[1] Centre left and centre right politics both involve a general association with centrism combined with leaning slightly to one side of the spectrum.

R-41's change:

In politics, centrism or the centre describes a political outlook or specific position that involves a general acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality with a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society towards either the left or the right.

My phraseology, regarding "variablility in the definitions of "right" and "left"", has to do with the fact that these terms have been used variably, over generations, between various nations, and in accordance with other differences in context, within political discussion. Without opening these tangents, within this lead, I feel that a basic definition of "centrism" should allow for this relativity. R-41's change brings over-simplification, a false clarity, in that it ignores even some fairly classical and -or prevalent usages of the terms in question. — Preceding unsigned comment added by John Russell Herbert (talkcontribs) 17:33, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Centrist Marxism[edit]

The following section was removed in June by anonymous editor with no discussion. I am proposing to start a new article, Centrist Marxism, for this:

"Centrism" has a specific meaning within the socialist political movement. It usually reflects an ideologically held position between a revolutionary and reformist position. For instance, the Independent Labour Party (ILP) was seen as centrist because they oscillated between advocating reaching a socialist economy through reforms and advocating revolution. The members of the so-called Two-and-a-half and Three-and-a-half Internationals, who could not choose between the reformism of the social democrat Second International and the revolutionary politics of the Communist Third International, are exemplary of centrism in this sense; examples are the Spanish Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), ILP and Poale Zion. Marxists often describe centrism in this sense as opportunistic, since it argues for a revolution at some point in the future but urges reformist practices in the mean time; Libertarian socialists and anarchists view any reformism as political opportunism because they view reformism as incapable of effecting structural changes to social organization.[2]

The term "Centrism" also denotes positions held by some of the Bolsheviks during the 1920s. In this context, "Centrism" refers to a position between the Right Opposition (which supported the New Economic Policy and friendly relations with capitalist countries) and the Left Opposition (which supported an immediate transition to a socialist economy and world revolution). By the end of the 1920s, the two opposing factions had been defeated by Joseph Stalin who eventually gained enough support from members of the factions through the application of various ideas formed by the factions' various leaders. (i.e. Leon Trotsky, Nikolai Bukharin, etc.)

See: Two Articles on Centrism by Leon Trotsky

Any objections, comments? BobFromBrockley (talk) 12:37, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Marxist terminology[edit]

Marxist terminology "social equality and a degree of social hierarchy or social inequality" is used when this is suppose to be neutral. Will this be changed? The right from the right perspective is not about social inequality... it is about equal liberty. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.95.129.245 (talk) 06:18, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
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