Talk:Left-wing politics

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Parties[edit]

It would be nice if there could be added on the page a list of historically most important and current left-wing parties, possibly grouped under different left-wing ideologies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.103.74.8 (talkcontribs) 10:00, 20 January 2013

"Wing" parsed as "extremist"[edit]

Looking through the talk archives, it seems clear that a lot of people take issue with the "left-wing" label because they see it as signifying more than just "left." Perhaps the semantic nullification of "wing" isn't as broad as the article implies. 38.124.22.170 (talk) 13:51, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't know. I guess it might depend on what sort of wing people think of. If you think of a large building with a left wing and a right wing then each wing is approximately half the building, not a pair of brick outhouses bolted on the sides of a main building. On the other hand, if you think of the wings of a bird then you clearly have the main body of the bird in the middle and the wings can be referred to the extremities, although I doubt many people regard a bird's wings as being extreme (if we exclude those served in very hot sauce). I think the onus is on us to use language as precisely and correctly as we can. We should try to avoid situations in which we can be widely misconstrued but we can't be responsible for the quirks of people's internal mental imagery and the associations they may make from certain words that are not supported by their normal usage. So, if, for example, I were to say that we should avoid using the word "article" because it makes me think of dead pandas and start sneezing then the correct response is to shrug your shoulders and ignore the suggestion. --DanielRigal (talk) 21:46, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
I think the problem is that left has both a relative and an absolute meaning. The absolute definition began in the early 20th century when socialist deputies sat on the left side of the National Assembly and came to be called the Left, while their opponents were called the Right. But there was also a continuum within and among ideologies, so that Stalin could speak of the Left Opposition and the Right Opposition within the Communist Party and Americans today talk about Left and Right within their political mainstream although there is no socialist party. To add to the confusion, Americans paint their opponents in extreme terms, so that Obama was called a socialist, while Trump was called a fascist. TFD (talk) 22:04, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

Left-wing terrorism[edit]

An IP restored a section on left wing terrorism saying, "Restoring segment, given we have a right-wing counterpart, despite it's small size on the political right for reasons given on that page which I would argue are valid here. Take concerns to Talk Page?"[1] That is not a valid reason, and violates the guideline, "Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point." The IP thinks that Right-wing politics should not have a terrorism section, so adds one to this article. It does not belong in this article because it is not a signficant part of left-wing politics, particularly as the Left is defined in this article. Terrorism for example was not one of the tactics used by the Democratic Party in the recent elections. Furthermore, the assumption that there is symmetry between Left and Right is false. They are not mirror images of each other. TFD (talk) 18:22, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

I was one of the people who supported the inclusion of a small section in both articles and I still do but I agree that the two are not mirror images. In particular, left wing terrorism is less of a current thing than right wing terrorism. The section removed here was definitely highly problematic and not at all what I was hoping for. For a start it was too early in the article (i.e. before the Varieties section). Also I feel it was too long.
The main problem is that it was fixated on ludicrously overdetailed coverage of a few American terrorist groups rather than explaining the subject as a whole, in which the USA was never a major part. It was bad enough that I fully support its removal. I don't see it as something that could be fixed up.
Maybe it is my European viewpoint but I disagree that the subject is not significant enough for inclusion here at all. I remember this stuff being all over the news when I was a child. It was a fairly major thing, along with several other sorts of terrorism, of course. We should cover it, in a appropriately weighted manner. It can't be allowed to dominate the article or appear to cast taint on the left as a whole. That is pretty much the same concern that was worrying people on the right wing politics article.
What I would like to see is a very short part (I'm thinking 2 or 3 sentences.) within the Varieties section that mentions that there have been some left wing terrorist groups, without necessarily needing to name any particular groups (and certainly not mentioning the Weathermen!), with a link to the Left-wing terrorism article for those who want to know more.
Do we feel this is reasonable? --DanielRigal (talk) 21:26, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
An older version of the left-wing terrorism section was less American focused and just provided a general definition. Not to mention that left-wing terrorism used to be very common - the Red Army Faction in Germany for example. Right-wing terrorism, in modern democracies anyway, isn't a major part of the political right so you could equally argue that it's over-emphasizing a small segment and trying to say "terrorism is a key component of modern right-wing politics". The reasons given for it existing was that it is part of right-wing politics even if it is minor (though you could just create a generic "right-wing violence" section since that's more justifiable) and the same could be said of left-wing politics. If the reasoning is that terrorism is not a large enough part of the left-wing to justify keeping it around, then it seems odd for the right-wing politics page to have it too, which has not been removed. The two aren't mirror images but they are close enough - I mean both pages talk about the subjects of economics, nationalism and social issues despite not being mirror images of each other. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 31.205.75.38 (talk) 22:17, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Currently the article has two sentences on Trotskyism and one on Maoism, and no mention of Lassalle, Bernstein or Fabianism. It is undue to have an entire section devoted to groups made up of a few dozen people in the 1960s. It could be part of a wider coverage of different tactics and goals of different groups within the Left. So I would agree with DanielRigal. TFD (talk) 23:01, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
And editor has restored the section.[2] I do not see consensus for this and ask that we continue discussion. TFD (talk) 22:05, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes. That section is terrible. We need something but not that. I'm sure we can do better.--DanielRigal (talk) 23:12, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
What about my old edit that was just a tiny paragraph that mentioned it in the varieties section: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Left-wing_politics&oldid=759705204. It's small and gives only slight mention while still keeping it in the article, rather than creating a dedicated segment on the article for what is really a tiny part of left-wing politics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 31.205.75.38 (talk) 12:36, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
That seems close to what we want. I'd be happy for us to start with that and see where it goes. --DanielRigal (talk) 19:16, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
An alternative proposal, which I discussed with Rick Norwood on the right-wing politics talk page, would be either to ignore it or just have a link in the "See Also" section due to this entire subject becoming a tumor on the edits page - it risks tainting the wider ideology and is a small segment (my reasoning on for the right-wing politics page could apply here easily IMO). Thus it may be better to just not include it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 31.205.75.38 (talk) 01:59, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm not keen on leaving it out entirely (on either article) but just putting it in See Also sounds like a reasonable default position if we can't get a consensus for anything else. --DanielRigal (talk) 21:42, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

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Populism, avant-garde art. etc.[edit]

This passage does not make much sense, I think:

"Since the Right was populist, both in the Western and the Eastern Bloc, anything viewed as avant-garde art was called leftist in all Europe. Thus, the identification of Picasso's Guernica as "leftist" in Europe[25][page needed] and the condemnation of the Russian composer Shostakovich's opera, The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District, in Pravda, as "Here we have 'leftist' confusion instead of natural, human music...".[26][page needed]"

Since when "the Right was populist"? There are both populists and elitists in the Right - if anything, I think "elitism" is a position more naturally associated with the Right than "populism". And what is the Right in Eastern Bloc? The dissidents? Or some socially conservative hard-line Communists (who, I suppose, were the people in Eastern Bloc more opposed to "avant-garde art")? And what is exactly the relation between being "populist" and being against "avant-garde art" (I could imagine many elistists being against avant-garde art - the kind of people who think that only classic music from some centuries ago is true art, for example)?

The identification of Guernica with the left has no mystery - it is a painting about the destruction of a Basque city by the Nationalist/Fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War; about the Shostakovich's opera, there seems to be a great confusion here - the Pravda was the newspaper of the Communist Party! It it accused the opera of being "leftist", surelly it is not in the sense used in this article; probably it is with the meaning that "leftist" has in the internal jargon of the Communist parties - something like "irrealist extremism".--MiguelMadeira (talk) 10:19, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

Then do something about it. TFD (talk) 20:51, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
But perhaps ask to @Rick Norwood: what he intended to say with that passage?--MiguelMadeira (talk) 12:02, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

Contemporary 21st opposition to left-wing politics section needed[edit]

The article currently focuses on the time period from the French Revolution to the end of the 20th century.

As far as the 21st century, the article doesn't given enough explanation of the contemporary conflicts between the left/right.

For example, issues such as Brexit, the rise of European right-wing politics[3], the emergence of the alt-right and the election of Donald Trump are all significant matters.

Politics is similar to Newtonian physics. For all actions, there are reactions. In other words, left-wing politics doesn't exist in a vacuum.

The article should have additional information on the various challenges that left-wing politics currently faces in the developed world. For example, there are the issues of right-wing opposition to Muslim immigration; aging populations putting additional stress on government retirement/health programs; public schools vs. privatization of school systems (Betty Devos), high levels of national government debt in many developed countries that are growing, etc.

In Asia, you have fundamentalist, Protestant Christianity quickly expanding in Communist China[4] (fundamentalist, Protestant Christians often have socially conservative views on various issues). And China is poised to increase its status/influence as a major power in the 21st century. And this same brand of Protestant Christianity is rapidly growing in Latin America/Africa which will affect right/left wing politics in these places too. Knox490 (talk) 19:11, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

I am having difficulty following you. You begin by mentioning "issues such as Brexit." The Left and the extreme Right supported Brexit (although not entirely). The center-left and the Right opposed it (although not entirely). How do you think the article should be re-written to explain that? TFD (talk) 23:11, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification about Brexit. Brexit can be mentioned with the caveat that the left was split concerning this matter.
The remainder of the material was straightforward and easy to follow in terms of its relevance/implications.
Finally, I added a footnote in my above talk page post as far as the rise of right-wing European politics. The footnote cites a 2017 New Statesman article. Knox490 (talk) 03:04, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
I do not believe such possibly essayish content has to be included. This is an encyclopedic article about the term "left-wing". This article should not portray or evaluate conflicts etc. That is what scientific literature, blogs, opinion mags etc. are there for. It does not seem to has a place here.--Joobo (talk) 10:49, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Joobo, facts such as right-wing politics ascending in Europe and other facts indicating left-wing politics is losing ground in the world are not "essay-ish". They are relevant data which should be incorporated in the article. These are seminal events which are shaping the political contours and political disourse in the world.Knox490 (talk) 18:31, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't know how the New Statesman article fits in. It says Golden Dawn won 7% of the vote in Greece in 2015. Syriza won. Who is the Left: Syriza, the Socialist Party, or the Socialists and Syriza? TFD (talk) 23:34, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
TFD, I don't know why you are having difficulty with the New Statesman article used as a footnote on this talk page. The title of the article, for example, is plain enough. Here is the article in question: Rise of the nationalists: a guide to Europe’s far-right parties by ANOOSH CHAKELIAN, New Statesman, 2017
The lead of the New Statesman article is straightforward as well. It declares: "We are seeing a rise of far-right parties in mainstream European politics. Playing on scepticism about the European Union following the eurozone’s travails, and using racist rhetoric to exploit a migration crisis that has become difficult to contain, these parties are gaining voters in countries across the continent." [5]
Factors such as high youth unemployment in some areas of Europe and backlash against Muslim immigrants is fueling the rise of right-wing political parties in Europe.Knox490 (talk) 18:13, 15 July 2017 (UTC)