Talk:Left-wing politics/Archive 5

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"Perceived" crimes of Communist states?

This is from the 'Leftism and the Soviet Union' section of the article: "...some parts of the radical left extol all or some aspects of Soviet-style communism or that of Maoist China, while others loathe the perceived crimes of those regimes and denounce them at every turn."

Isn't it generally regarded that enormous crimes were committed by the Soviet Union and Red China? Whose is the perception that this is not a concrete fact? I think that the word "perceive" should be removed from that sentence. Trau

Although I have no problem considering such atrocities as "crimes" the word "perceived" is completely necessary. The murders did occur, weather or not they were actually criminal is subject to a debate, thus it would violate a neutral point of view to simply call these acts crimes since there are possible arguments that the killings have some justification. I could not conjure such an argument, though the fact these arguments exist is enough to warrant their "perceived" condition.-- 03:15, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

So since we've decided that murders have occurred, can we just say "murders committed by these regimes"? --Chenenko 04:30, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I think "murder" carries the connotation of private rather than public killing. "Percieved crimes" sounds judicious and works for me. Rick Norwood 15:23, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

So did the Nazis also commit "percieved crimes"? This is a ridiculous attempt to try to soften the history of the Soviet Union. The whole article needs to be re-written, too many random entires and no objective description of the Soviet Union.

Very confusing Edit comments by an anon

(not me, but looked into it.) The group should be apparently

but the link is indeed presently at American Constitutional Society for Law and Policy. Will create the relevant redirect etc. later. Schissel : bowl listen 17:30, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

Why is this link even here? Even among American lawyers and law students, ACS is a pretty centrist organization. If there's only going to be one link to any left-wing organization anywhere in the world, ACS is hardly representative.


Africa is noticably missing from the discussion, which seems to cover the rest of the world. I'm not qualified, but can anyone expand here?--Dvyost 5 July 2005 12:59 (UTC)

As is practically anywere that isn't (north) America or England.This is a big issule that needs to be sorted, unfortunatly most of are contributers are from one of those two places. One of the interesting things about africa and other underdeveloped countries is that their National liberation movments generally painted themselves as Marxist.--JK the unwise 15:17, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
The African liberation movements can generally be placed in two categories: those which advocated African socialism and those based on more "official" Soviet-influenced Marxism, some of which later developed links with China. There were also - and still are - important trade union movements in many countries. While I couldn't contribute much on left-wing opposition to war in Africa, I might be able to work on some of the other sections. Warofdreams 13:19, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Left Wing Principles

I just edited the main page for this article and foolishly wasn't logged in at the time. So here is a good place to initiate further discussion.

The original article stated the "As this original reference became obsolete, the meaning of the terms has changed as appropriate to the spectrum of ideas and stances being compared." I felt that this is incorrect, and empirically so.

Left wing parties, regardless of their particular implementation of democracy, tend to support republican governments over monarchies, secular laws over state religions and religious legals codes, and natural or universal rights over national rights.

I don't think should be is a matter of any historical or contemporary dispute, but would be interested in hearing any contrary evidence. (User:Lev lafayette 12 July 2005)

  • Certainly true on those points. Trickier on matters of political economy: the original Left with was laissez faire; within about two generations, Left had come to usually imply at least some element of socialism. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:32, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

You have got to be kidding me

The middle of this article reads like a republican campaign blog, it's a nice mix of France bashing, liberal bashing, and one section even equates all pacifists with terrorists, it's been re-written so many times it actually contradicts itself from paragraph to paragraph, can we either get a re-write, a deletion, or a POV tag for this thing -- 14:46, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

  • Could you please be more concrete about what passages you have a problem with? No one is liable to be able to fix anything based on remarks this vague ("the middle of this article", "France bashing", "one section") -- Jmabel | Talk 04:14, July 28, 2005 (UTC)


This page needs a majour overhaul. I have made a first bash at doing that. Firstly I have factored out the long list of left-wing parties and moved it to Political parties on the left, secondly I have added a some historical detail on the section about the left and oppositon to war, its still sketchy and will need improving but its a start.

Lots more needs to be done, here are some of the issules I beleive need to be sorted out:

  • Removal of terms like "leftism" and "leftist", they are pajoritive slang much like "Commie" or "Blairite".
As a former career leftist (labor organizer) I don't think I agree with this. "Leftism" and "Leftist" have a place in an article about the term "Left-wing". The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 27 Aug 2005.
  • Needs a discution of the "left and Cuba", which could possibly go with "left and Soviet Union" and "Left and China", under heading "Left and Left-wing states" or soming like that.
  • "The Post 9/11 anti-war movement" section needs majour reworking, as annon user pointed out, it reads like a republican campaign blog. The majour issule is that it tries to deal with the critism of the anti-war movment as a whole as appose to spesifically the lefts relationship to the anti-war movement. The page Post-September 11 anti-war movement which it is a distilation of is similarly flawed and stands better as a general page on the anti-war movemnt then as a page about the lefts relation to it.
I have made a first bash at this removing ref's to Post-September 11 anti-war movement page and generaly reworked.--JK the unwise 15:01, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

--JK the unwise 14:21, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

  1. I don't consider "leftist" at all an insult. It can be, when it is used on the right to describe someone 10 degrees left of center (i.e. nonsense like calling Bill Clinton a "leftist"), but certainly there are plenty of us who wear the label proudly.
  2. I have said before that I'd be glad to have all of the stuff on the post-9/11 thing out of this article. It started out as an ill-informed anti-left diatribe; I worked at length to get it factual and well-cited, moved much material to Post-September 11 anti-war movement, but User:MathKnight insisted it belonged here. I think that, at most, this article should have a short summary, referring to that as the main article on the topic. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:34, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
Maby the 'leftist' thing is a UK/US diff (our in US arn't you?), in U.K it is very rarely used and when it is generally only by those on the right as a quasi-instulting term. This whole article is a bit of a miss match. But I think the left and opposition to war/leftism and opposition to war is v. interesting maby it could have its own article eventually?--JK the unwise 11:24, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
In the U.S. left-winger is an insult, but leftist is generally not. I could make the obvious football joke, but I'll pass. FWIW, I am from US, but have spent well over 2 years of my life in London at one time or another, so I'm more bicultural in this respect than most.
The post-Sept 11 stuff has its own article. Is there anything on that here that isn't at Post-September 11 anti-war movement? -- Jmabel | Talk 19:43, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
In my opion the Post-September 11 anti-war movement should be deleted with its information factored into the Anti-war article or Popular opposition to war on Iraq and a new article specifically on the left and opposition to war/leftism and anti-war. This article should then just contain a summery and link to the left + anti war page. --JK the unwise 09:44, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
A great deal of Post-September 11 anti-war movement deals with the reaction on the left to the September 11 attacks and with opposition to the invasion of Afghanistan almost a year before the Bush administration publicly threatened war with Iraq. Given that, while some refactoring may be in order, Popular opposition to war on Iraq seems an unlikely choice. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:12, July 31, 2005 (UTC)
The words 'leftist' and 'leftism' smacks too much of slang for an encylopedia in my opinion. This article should at least be consistent in its usage of the terms. 15:02, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

"Left-muslim alliance"

Considering that this whole article is based in a strong US point of view of left-wing politics, I'm not too surprised that it contains a section on "leftists are really islamists". While the article is rife with extrapolation and generalisation from individuals and small groups to all "leftists" without much justification or logic, this section is particularily bad. If this section is to be kept, I suggest that those who want to keep it should be more specific in their claims (as to which "leftists" they're talking about) and supply better sources while they're at it. Links to Geocities and to Wikipedia discussion pages doesn't really cut it in my opinion. 15:29, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

It's funny that you should say that, because the person who initially wrote most of that stuff (User:MathKnight) is not an American (nor even a native English speaker, as far as I can tell) and I (who am an American) toned it down from a very broad "the left and the Muslims are in a league with one another" during a lengthy POV/accuracy dispute. I also agree that, even toned down, it contributes little to the article, but Mathknight objected to it being removed, and I was attempting to reach consensus with him in our dispute over the material.
So please don't presume that this is a matter of nationality. -- Jmabel | Talk 02:25, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
Taheri's "three themes" are preposterous and deserve no mention in a serious encyclopedia. 14:09, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Its bizarre that there is a chapter called "Left-Muslim Alliance" and still there is no mention of the Left inside the Muslim world. I'd suggest the whole chapter be removed. --Soman 14:12, 7 October 2005 (UTC)


I have made the referenaces so that the link to a list of ref's at the bottom (as per Wikipedia:Footnote2ish), I have done this because; 1:It means we can include non-webbaced referenaces 2:It makes it easier to scan the list of ref's to assess it for bias 3:If links break can still know what they orriginally pointed to.
There are some referances which i think are of low/dubious quality:

Replaced with that link.--JK the unwise 10:46, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Number10:Ramsey Clarke list, who is this demostrating that ANSWER and (to a lesser degree) NION have been targets of much criticism from within the left for their respective associations with the Workers World Party?
    • I don't understand your question, but FWIW NION never had associations with Workers World Party, the had associations with the RCP. If you clarify the question I can probably follow up on this. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:11, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
'Who' should read 'How' (sorry me dyslexia kicking in). The article contains the line about Answer and Nion being targets from with in the left for their assionation with WWP and provides that link (along with some other seemingly more relavant ones) to show this is the case, which it doesn't seem to do.--JK the unwise 10:46, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it looks irrelevant: it's our own article on Clark plus some rather arbitrary links. Might have had something more relevant at some past date, but since there was no date attached to the reference, damned if I'm searching the Internet Archive to try to find the possible relevance. I say drop it, unless someone wants to do the legwork. There is plenty of relevant material in the articles on ANSWER and NION. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:07, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Number11: Tracking Down A Fifth Column Front Right-wing giberish, surely some one more sane mush have made acusations of this sort which we can cite.
    • I agree it's crap, but I believe it is cited (or at least was, originally) as an example of the Right's use of Workers World, via ANSWER, as a means to red-bait the entire anti-War movement, while ignoring criticism of Workers World from within the Left. And it is an eminently good example of that. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:14, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
Replaced, by the way what is the Internet Archive? Surely not an archive of everything that has ever been on the internet?! If yes then wow thats a load of info saved.--JK the unwise 10:46, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
See Internet Archive. Naturally, they fall short of having everything that's ever been on the Internet (some sites ask not to be spidered, for example), but they are pretty darn close. This is always the prime source for recovering dead links, nothing else is within an order of magnitude. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:11, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
Just found the orriginal here [2]
  • Note18: In Hebrew Could the translation of this me moved to wikisorce?
    • Probably not in its entirety: it is copyrighted material. I believe, though, that MathKnight at one point had translated the relevant passages on this page, they are probably archived. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:56, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
Isn't a translation classified as a new peice of work? If not could we put a parcial translation on wikisource or mabey a subpage of this page, it just doesnt seem right to have it on an archived talk page (at mo it is here Talk:Left-wing politics/Archive3.
No, translation is considered derivative work. But I'm pretty sure this translation of an ephemeral source would be considered fair use. I don't know Wikisource's policy on fair use—if acceptable, we could put it there. Failing that yes, I imagine that this is one of the rare cases when a subpage would be in order, probably Left-wing politics/Translated sources. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:16, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Note19: In Hebrew I have no idea what this says as doesn't appear to be a translation.
    • Ditto. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:56, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
If there are any Hebrew speakers reading this could you please translate this article, even if only parcially.

Generally, if we could search for more academic type refs that would be good.--JK the unwise 12:50, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Terms like "Postmodernism" do not belong in politics

The term "Postmodernism" is a philosophical term that is never used by political analysts or political scientists and really has no meaning in the world of politics. It's really just one of those silly buzz words that people use more to feel better about themselves rather than to actually explain something. Having a section on the left and postmodernism makes as much sense as having a section on the left and existentialism. (Annon User:

Actually, a discussion of the left and existentialism would make a lot of sense. In 19th century France, Spain and Algeria they were quite closely related; just read Camus. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jberkus (talk • contribs) 37 Aug 2005.
One of the problems with so called 'postmodernism' is that it revels in ambiguity, so it laps up criticism as to its ambiguity. Anywayz, I think post-modernism has been hugely infulencal to large sections of people who consider themselves part of 'the left' esspecialy amoungst those who have sort to break from tradtions they see as tarnished by Stalinism. It seems to me that post-modernism has mainly found a foothold in the academic left rather then wider organised left movments (prehaps because hardcore postmodernism has a certain distain for organising). However certain left-wing anti-globalisation trends such as 'automomism' seem to have postmodernist influences. On a finnal note, in France existentialism did have a large influence of the left and I would welcome a section on the left and extencialism, for one thing it would help this article to become less anglo/american-centric.--JK the unwise 09:50, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
You're missing the point. You will not find the term "postmodern" in any political science text or used by any political analyst, and thus does not belong in an encyclopedic entry. Academic liberals have also been influenced by Hollywood movies, that does not mean there should be an entry.
Why did you move my complaint to the bottom? That doesn't make any sense. The old ones should be on the bottom so you don't have to scroll. You also shouldn't have changed my title.
I moved the comment to the bottom because it is general convention for older comments to go at the top. Examine the different dates on the comments thoughout this page and you will find it is so. Prehaps it is not the best convention but to start messing around with it now (without concensous) would be confusing. I didn't change the title of your section (see [3]), I did add a signiture, this is just so people can see which comments are by which people.
I may be missing your point as I don't quite see what it is. I have seen the term 'Postmodernism' used by plenty of politcal commentaters and read it in books on politics. Your analogy with Hollywood movies is wroungheaded as few American lefties have been infulenced in their political practice by 'Hollywood Movies' however they have be influenced (in their policial practice) my postmodernism. I am currently editing the section to improve it, see what you think of new version.--JK the unwise 10:41, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
As far as I know postmodernism is also used in a political context. See also Richard Rorty. Electionworld 10:46, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
Your understanding of politics is about as good as your spelling. I've taken many political science courses, read many political books, watched countless political discussions and I've never heard the word 'postmodern' used by anyone outside of obscure urbanites that like to overcomplicate the world by using terms that have no real meaning. The whole idea of something being postmodern is philosophical, and thus I could argue that the word is completely useless and you couldn't say otherwise. More so, the lack of its use in reputable publications would further support my argument.
Also, if you think that American leftists have not been influenced by Hollywood Movies than you must not have heard of Michael Moore.
Please don't attack my spelling (which is crap) to prove a point (which it doesn't). Participate in Wikipedia with the spirt of freindlyness. I hope that you do not feel that you are being treated unfairly by having your contributions reverted, wikipedia generally opperates by consensous so if you can convince others on this talk page that your position is correct it will be used.
I did not say that no Hollywood movies have influnced American Left-wingers rather that, American Movies as a group have not had a large influence on their pollitical practice. Of course individual (left-wing) films can have an important impact as can individual left-wing publications, without this meaning we should have a section 'the left and Movies' or 'the left and books'. However the relationship with Postmodernism is generally accepted as an important one. Of course I can not ask you to prove a negative, you claim that Postmodernism is not generally referanced in Political publications please cheack out the referances in the new version of the article for proff that you are incorrect.
Some times differences in oppions about what is and what is not generally talked about can be down to the country of origin of the contributer. I am writting from the U.K. were I maintian that Post-modernism and the left are oftern linked. Where are you writting from?--JK the unwise 11:38, 15 August 2005 (UTC), JK happens to be rather dyslexic, but do you somehow feel that disqualifies him from being a competent scholar? If so, you're a bigot. If not, skip the ad hominems and stick to the substance of the matter. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:59, August 16, 2005 (UTC)
It depends what you're idea of politics is. I've heard it used multiple times while discussing political theory and philosophy. (Annon User:

I'm not sure that the postmodern section really adds anything worthwhile. It is poorly written and is mainly a confused critique rather than a wiki entry. I think something probably should be mentioned about the important relationship between some academic leftism and postmodernist philosophy. Most the famous postmodernists/poststructuralists (particularly Lyotard and Foucault for example) saw their theories as profoundly politically radical. Postmodernism (as well as versions of pragmatism) claim that all understandings of truth and reality are historically and socially constructed, rather than being a mirror of 'the way things really are'. Leftists have often use these notions to undermine the taken-for-granted nature of the status quo, and to argue that much of what we take for granted has been generated by power relationships resulting in the oppression of subordinate social groups. As an alternative, they ground politics in localised struggles to transform culture in the interests of groups they perceive as oppressed.

Many in US political science are not too keen on ideas of postmodernism, but there is a lot more to the world of politics than US political science journals. (For a start, the United States is not representative of the entirety of academia, and there are more disciplines of relevance to politics than merely political science - eg. political philosophy.)

Someone mentioned Rorty. While Rorty is both a leftist and a pragmatist (which has similarities to postmodernism), he, unlike most postmodernists, is quite skeptical about whether postmodernist theory has anything to offer politics. In his own words, he "wavers" on this point. He thinks that practical programs of policy reform are of far more political importance than any abstract theory of truth, culture and reality.

And Fukayama a postmodernist? How so? Sure he believes that there should be no more great conflicts between metanarratives, but this is not because he believes metanarratives are dead, rather precisely the opposite. He believes neo-liberalism to be the ultimate utopian narrative to which all history has been working. This is about as un-postmodern as one can get. He also believes that politics and ethics should be based in a universal conception of human nature. This is partly what postmodernism set out to critique.

Perhaps I will just adapt what I wrote about postmodernism here to go in the article, when I get the chance. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 18 Sept 2005.

  • I generally agree with the above. Is Fukuyama still saying that history has ended? That was certainly his view right after the Cold War; is it still? -- Jmabel | Talk 00:04, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Don't know if he is still using that phrase... but he certainly still believes neo-liberalism to be what most postmodernists consider a grand narrative. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 20 Sept 2005.
  • I agree the section could benifit from some more on how those on the left (who take post-modernism to be important for left-wing philosophy/praxis) see post-modernism as fitting with left-wing philosophy/praxis. I would encorage you to be bold and edit the section, however wikipedia is not a place for original research so if you could referance any of the claims you make that would be good, also barring in mind that post-modernism is controvercial please don't present any interpretation as the right one.--JK the unwise 18:58, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Explain your reasoning

[Explain your reasoning] behind using "postmodernism" as a way of describing to the average person what a left-wing position is. Explain how this gives a person unfamiliar with the subject a useful understanding of what it means to be left-wing. (Annon User:

Postmodernism is not used to describe what left-wing is. The article is not saying that leftwing=postmodernism (which would be incorrect). The article is not just about defining it also aims to give background on related issules. Hence The left and china Section and The left and opposition to war section. The left and postmodernism section aims to give a person unfamiliar with issules surrounding 'the left' an understanding of how left-wing ideas have interacted with postmodernists ones.--JK the unwise 13:37, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Current NPOV dispute (25 Aug 2005)

Searching this talk page I can not find anything that gives a specific NPOV problem thus unless someone can clearly state one here I will remove the tag (it has most recently been added by annon user: I few things that could be whats at issule but need expanding.

  • Africa is noticably missing from the discussion (User:Dvyost, 5 July)
This is true and a huge defect of the article but isn't a neutrality problem.
  • The middle of this article reads like a republican campaign blog (Annon User:, 27 July)
The article has had a majour overhall since this was written.
  • the article is rife with extrapolation and generalisation from individuals and small groups to all "leftists" and the the left and opposition to war section is writtern from an 'leftists are really islamists' POV. (Annon User:, 3 August)
As well as untrue, this is to general what lines exactly contain this POV and how do they do so?
  • Terms like "Postmodernism" do not belong in politics (Annon User:, 15 August)
The complaint is against the Left and postmodernism section but the complaint seems to be that it is factually incorrect that their have been any relationship between the left and postmodernism (which is itself incorrect). This is a factual dispute rather then a neutrality dispute. So I have replaced the NPOV tage with a {{dubious}} tag.
Since has not advanced any further argument that this is the case and since Electionworld and Annon User: think that is not the case, I am removing the dubious tag.--JK the unwise 18:33, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

--JK the unwise 14:19, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Not a sentence

"Few left-wingers who supported one side in conflicts such as the Boer War." Does anyone know what this means to say? -- Jmabel | Talk 19:59, August 17, 2005 (UTC)

  • Oops - I've fixed it, but really it could do with some more specific examples of left-wing opposition to wars prior to WWI. The Boer War is the only example I know any details of, but it would be interesting to discuss attitudes to (for example) the Crimean War or the U.S. Civil War. Warofdreams 10:36, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks for fixing.
    • U.S. Civil War: Left/right doesn't really apply very well to the U.S. at the time of the Civil War. The strongest opposition to the war in the North was from working-class Irish immigrants, but their populist/ethnically-based politics don't easily fit a left/right spectrum, and their opposition seems to have been more to the draft than to the war. The abolitionist movement, the strongest group in favor of Nothern prosecution of the war, of course, were largely tied to what in England would have been called "dissenting Protestantism": again not a group easy to classify in left/right terms, though I suppose more left than right, when it comes to that. I don't know much at all about the lines of support and opposition in the South; perhaps someone else could weigh in, but again I suspect it won't be easy to talk about in left/right terms; not a lot in the U.S. before the 1880s or so is. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:34, August 19, 2005 (UTC)
This discussion proves that it doesn't really make sense to use left/right terms. Electionworld 06:59, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
No, it shows that it doesn't really make sense to use left/right terms to talk about the U.S. at the time of the Civil War. One might as well say that it doesn't make sense to talk about Guelphs and Ghibellines because they lack relevance to 21st century China. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:33, August 20, 2005 (UTC)
In terms of the U.S. Civil War, while American politics are hard to define in left-right terms at that point, one can look at, say, British and other European politics. The traditional conservative states (Russia and Austria) were generally sympathetic to the Union, because they saw the southerners as rebels, like the Hungarians or Poles who troubled those empires. In England, I know that the working classes, even in Lancashire cotton mills, tended to be sympathetic to the north. The elites were a mixed bag - it was expected that those more on the left, like Gladstone and Russell, would be more sympathetic to the north, while more conservative politicians like Palmerston would be sympathetic to the south, but Gladstone and Russell were probably the most sympathetic to the south of major British politicians. A weird mix. I do know that radicals like Bright and Cobden opposed the Crimean War. In France, it was mostly more conservative monarchist types who opposed Napoleon III's wars. Similarly, in the Franco-Prussian War, it was the left who wanted to fight on against the Boche, while the monarchist (and otherwise) right demanded peace. It's hard to make any categorical statements, though. john k 07:27, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes, absolutely, on the American Civil War I was only thinking in domestic terms. The UK was up against the weird situation that its generally anti-slavery principles ran smack up against its cotton-buying low-tarriffs-in-the-Americas interests. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:29, August 21, 2005 (UTC)

Too many brackets in first sentence.

Reads really poorly.


I'm not an expert on those issues, but I reckon that the order of seating in traditional depictions of the Last Supper, in the British House of Commons and in the French assemblies have the same origin. Traditionally, in the West, the right hand side of the host at a table was the place of honour (from the point of view of the host). Thus, in medieval depictions of the Last Summer, the "Chief Apostle" Peter is always to the right of the host. In the revolutionary National Assembly formed from the Estates-General, the Church and the nobility went to the more honourific side (the right) while the "third estates" (commoners) went to the left. Similarly, in the British House of Commons, the government goes to the right-hand side (place of honour) while the opposition goes to the left.

Can some expert confirm this to me? David.Monniaux 21:42, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Major deletions without edit summaries

Without, for the moment, debating the merits, these edits by Revolución include major deletions of longstanding material, and were made with no edit summaries beyond the names of the section headers. As I understand it, major removal of longstanding material should usually be accompanied by an explanation of why the material is being removed, and should generally be accompanied by pasting the cut material (or at least a summary) to the talk page.

I have too many irons in the fire to do more than note this right now, but someone may want to look carefully at the cut material. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:07, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

I've restored the material. While far from being the finest parts of the article, they should be improved rather than deleted - or, if there are serious innaccuracies in them, they should be raised here on the talk page. Warofdreams talk 10:42, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
This article needs a major rewrite. for one, there is terrible POV problems. The layout was horrible to begin with. And this doesn't even touch upon the various left-wing ideologies (communism, socialism, anarchism, liberalism/progressivism). I will leave the article as is for now but I will be working on a rewrite in one of my subpages. And then we will judge the two versions to see which is 'better'. --Revolución (talk) 00:57, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Revolución, you're not necessarily wrong, but you seem to be avoiding all approaches that involve collaboration. First you do a bunch of big edits with no summaries, not even explaining your rationale, then you propose that you will write a different article from scratch. Thank you, though, for finally at least giving us a paragraph explaining your rationale. I think it would be much more productive, and much more likely to lead to consensus, to give a rough list of what you think should be dropped from the article and a rough outline of what you would like to add, so that people have some chance to react on that level rather than to an entire substitute article. -- Jmabel | Talk 17:48, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

On the terms conservative and liberal

A copy from Talk talk:Left-wing politics (on article namespace, deleted) Nabla 00:22, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

I have taken an adversarial position with respect to the terms conservative and liberal.

Liberal is short for libertarian. Left is synonymous with liberal. But liberal is associated with anti-libertarian and this causes great confusion. Leave it to the French to throw things out of semblence.

My position is to redefine conservative as anti-libertarian and name it as government management or conservation of government management. Conservative is thereby pitted against libertarianism as contrary philosophical principles.

The current concept of conservative is a moral and subjective position whereby consensus determines policies rather than philosophical principle. The conservative position is to preserve the value of the policies while the policies themselves are both social conservative and economic libertarianism. Conservative projects the value position of social mores as right even righteous. And further generalizes the position of economic libertarianism as right and righteous eventhough it is arguably a social libertarian institution.

The following reiterates the supposition. In gross generality two types of policies exist, social and economic. Further distinctions can be made between economic conservatism or libertarianism and social conservatism or libertarianism.

In social conservatism government management is summoned against libertarian principles of individual freedom. In economic conservatism government management is economic anti-libertarianism seeking to preserve government economic management which are policies of socialism, statism, communism, and fascism as authoritarian government.

In both social and economic libertarianism the government management is expunged from individual freedom and involvement.

Thus philosophical definition of conservatism and libertarianism become consistent along with the terms, libertarian and liberal.

Liberal and libertarian are used interchangeably in criticism typically of Democratic positions. Yet liberal philosophy does not represent the relative position of consensus value as the term conservative. The term conservative is entirely relative as modifications or migration from accepted or present standards. As so, it is a consensus and not philosophy to be applied.

Current definiton of conservative makes the generalization and allegation of liberal in contradiction of their economic libertarian endorsement.

Democrats typically project social libertarianism. They also project economic conservatism by endorsing government economic management which is economic anti-libertarianism. Additional nuances are that Democrats express their social conservatism via economic anti-libertarianism.

Republicans typically project social conservatism. They also project economic libertarianism. Additional nuances are that Republicans express a contradiction of social conservatism via economic libertarianism.

Thus they endorse conservatism as a term evading the issue of an inconsistent application of the libertarian concept. Psychologically they conceive social conservatism as liberating yet refer to themselves as libertarians.

Finally, the terms left-wing and right-wing may only represent economic policy positions. Social positions within the contexts appear to be more complex.

I am interested in reasonable response and concerted efforts to resolve the seeming disparity of inconsistent definition eventhough the terms proposed are not current manner. Please respond to

(by 2005-10-13 23:41:43)
Without attempting to respond to the preceding in detail:
  • Liberal is not short for libertarian. It is a far older term.
  • Left is not synonymous with liberal. The liberals were the original left, but socialism of all stripes was recognized, pretty much from the outset, of being a farther left position.
  • I have no idea what to make of your statement "liberal is associated with anti-libertarian": before getting that far, you have made such a bollocks of these terms that I have no idea in what sense you are using them. Your later use of "Democrats" and "Republicans" suggests that you are talking US politics. Yes, these terms have taken on different connotations in the US. So what?
  • "My position is to redefine conservative as anti-libertarian..." This is sheer humpty-dumptyism. Conservatism is a political tradition going back at least to Edmund Burke and cannot be defined as the obverse of another school of thought.
These are enough fallacious premises to make it entirely uninteresting to see where the argument might lead. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:38, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

The terms "Liberal" and "Conservative" are generally useless in any serious political context today. Liberals were a left-wing movement, back when democratic Capitalism itself was a left-wing goal. This is the origin of the term, Conservatives sought to slow down the transition to Capitalism, and supported maintaining the monarchies and general social order. Sometimes they outright opposed the shift to Capitalism, and any parliamentary reform. This is when Liberals were left-wing.

Today, the term "Liberal" does not denote any sort of left-wing politics, in fact it often denotes the opposite, as exemplified by the Liberal party of Canada, or the Liberal economic policies of Clinton.

Time to move on and pick up some better terminology, and a more serious political analysis. The only place where "Liberal" and "Conservative" could be useful is in describing the differences between center-right and far-right parties in certain countries, such as the US, though the Democrats can only be considered "center"-right on certain issues.-- Revolutionary Left | Che y Marijuana 21:45, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

That doesn't mean that the terms are useless (even today, and certainly in a historical context): it simply means that they are not interchangeable, or even nearly interchangeable, with "left" and "right".
Liberalism in its original sense is now so widely accepted in Europe that the few non-liberals (the stray fascist, and a small portion of the European left, although the European left is liberal in many of its views) stand out like sore thumbs. As do the few governments upon which liberal thought has little influence: Myanmar, North Korea, a few of the CIS countries, the occasional African dictatorship. Even Venezuela is probably more liberal than not, though the U.S. government would be loath to admit it, and Iran is probably more liberal than the average European state in 1750.
Conservatism is a little trickier, because it covers two very different things: a right or center-right ideology (which exists in one measure or another in most democratic countries, and is variously in and out of power) and a precautionary principle against sudden change that can often (viz. Edmund Burke) coincide with liberalism. Or even Communism, as Pete Seeger has been known to point out with reference to himself. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:41, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Of course, I'm just incredibly pissed at the American-centered political terminology, so much so that I have dropped those two words entirely from my political vocabulary pretty much unless discussing them historically or naming a specific party. I still use "conservative" from time to time, in the sense of social conservatism or an aversion to change, but "liberal" particularly I find means nothing unless I use it as a derogatory term amongst a far-left audience (when dissing reformists or something). I'm just pissy, don't mind me. Liberal is of course still useful, just so muddled it should be used carefully, and properly.-- Revolutionary Left | Che y Marijuana 07:39, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Jmabel. The terms "liberal" and "conservative" have switched so many times that it is hard to use them with any historical significance. If anyone would like proof, remember that Adam Smith, essentially the first free-market economic scholar, was considered a crazed liberal. In 2005, however, Smith would be extremely conservative. The problem is that there really aren't any other good terms to use! In America we can use Democrat and Republican, but we clearly can't state every party from every country every time we want to say "liberal". If we stick with "left" and "right" I think this should clear up most misunderstandings. I also think avoiding "leftist" is good, we could say "leftward-leaning". --Chenenko 04:26, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

The television soundbite has ruined better words than "liberal" and "conservative". The trouble with "leftist" is that, at least in the US, it is often used as a synonym for "communist". Maybe it is best to avoid generalities and concentrate on specifics.
As for liberal and conservative switching places, that happens as often as power changes hands. The people who are out are liberal in the sense of wanting change, the people who are in are conservative in the sense of liking the status quo. Rick Norwood 15:30, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Inconsistencies between this article and the "right-wing politics" article

There were some inconsistencies in the format and emphasis of this article in contrast to the article on right-wing politics, which seems strange since these two concepts are roughly symmetrically opposing and meant to be defined against the other. I've tried to incorporate the informal aspects of each article in a rather symmetric introduction. I think this also minimizes potential POV issues.

Update: I've substantially changed other parts of the article, however I did not delete almost any informative material. I mostly re-organized, reworded, and added certain things. For example on "Left-wing issues" I embellished that section as it was little more than a list of ambiguous words previously. I have added a section on the war in Iraq to the anti-war movement section and moved the September 11 discussion to its own discussion. I think these edits substantially reduce the POV problems in this article, though that wasn't my complaint so I can't say if they satisfy the complainant. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 23 Oct 2005.

Current NPOV dispute (26th Oct 2005)

The POV tag has re-appeared on the article, to the best of my knowldge it was put there by User:Revolución on the 5th of October.[4] I have given it a while but no spesific explaination of the lack of nutrality has been given.

From what I can gather Revolución merly states that there are POV problems without pointing out what they are. One of the things Revolución mentions that is a true problem is that "the article doesn't even touch appon various left-wing ideologies (communism, socialism, anarchism, liberalism/progressivism).". There is some truth in this and needs to be improved but doesn't not mean there is a NPOV problem. I am thus removing the tag until someone provides a clearer explantion of the POV problems.--JK the unwise 10:01, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Further reading of the The Left and Opposition to War section has lead me to bleive there are some POV problems however because of my moving most of the content of that section to its own page (see next comment section) and leveing only a summery, I beleive this page is now NPOV. The new page could do with some help to sort out its POV problems though.--JK the unwise 12:09, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

The Left and Opposition to War

The The Left and Opposition to War section was getting far to big and swamping the rest of the article. I have therefor sent it off to its own article at The Left and Opposition to War and tryed to just have a summery here. I have done my best however the article is very hard to summerise. Any comments?--JK the unwise 11:10, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

The The Left and Opposition to War page has now been nominated for delition. See its desicusion page here: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/The Left and Opposition to War--JK the unwise 12:33, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

The page has servived delition and has now been moved to The Left and war. I have edited the section of this page to reflect that change.--JK the unwise 12:46, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

External links

Do we really need all these external links? The discussion sites links seem just to be adverts, are they even particulary notable examples of such sites? The Blogs etc. section seems to be the same; pointless and unencycopedic.--JK the unwise 09:09, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

I'd be glad to lose the blogs, neutral on the discussion sites. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:25, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Bang and the inapropreate links are gone.--JK the unwise 17:37, 1 November 2005 (UTC)


The recently added material on Sokal: this was about postmodernism, not about leftism, and unless I am very mistaken, Sokal said this explicitly. Unless someone has an actual citation of Sokal saying this was about leftism -- I certainly don't remember him saying that -- it does not belong in this article. -- Jmabel | Talk 03:51, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I had the same thought myself. From what I have read the Sokal affair was directed against postmodernism in general not "lef-wing postmodernism" or even left-wing postmodernists. The article currently claims that Sokal was concerned with "increasing prevalence on the Left of a particular kind of nonsense...etc." but I cannot find a quote were he says that that it was left-wing thought per say that he was concerned about.--JK the unwise 11:56, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
These objections are without merit. This is the text on Sokal which I added ->
The Sokal Affair
"In 1996, physicist and self-described leftist Alan Sokal, concerned about what he saw as the increasing prevalence on the Left of "a particular kind of nonsense and sloppy thinking: one that denies the existence of objective realities, or (when challenged) admits their existence but downplays their practical relevance"[5], composed a nonsensical article entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity"[6], in which a mix of mis-stated and mis-used terms from physics, postmodernism, literary analysis, and political theory are used to claim that physical reality, and especially gravitation, do not objectively exist, but are psycologically and politically contructed.
The journal Social Text published the paper in its Spring/Summer 1996 issue, whereupon Sokal publically revealed the hoax and entreated the Leftist community to apply higher standards of intellectual rigor. In response, the editors of Social Text and many others on the left accused Sokal of using deceit to try to deliberately discredit the Left. The hoax and resulting controversy have come to be known as the Sokal Affair."
If we're going to have a section on "The Left and postmodernism", then it should include a precís of the Sokal Affair. Mine was succinct and appropriate.
Here is an "actual citation" from Sokal, from [9], my source #1 linked in my text.
"Politically, I'm angered because most (though not all) of this silliness is emanating from the self-proclaimed Left. We're witnessing here a profound historical volte-face. For most of the past two centuries, the Left has been identified with science and against obscurantism; we have believed that rational thought and the fearless analysis of objective reality (both natural and social) are incisive tools for combating the mystifications promoted by the powerful -- not to mention being desirable human ends in their own right. The recent turn of many ``progressive or ``leftist academic humanists and social scientists toward one or another form of epistemic relativism betrays this worthy heritage and undermines the already fragile prospects for progressive social critique. Theorizing about ``the social construction of reality won't help us find an effective treatment for AIDS or devise strategies for preventing global warming. Nor can we combat false ideas in history, sociology, economics and politics if we reject the notions of truth and falsity.
The results of my little experiment demonstrate, at the very least, that some fashionable sectors of the American academic Left have been getting intellectually lazy."
(My emphasis.) This makes it quite plain that Sokal's concern was to address a problem he saw within the Left. (Frankly, I rather suspect that he would not have even bothered to attack postmodernism except insofar as it damages Left politics.)
This matter is quite relevant to any discussion of The-Left-and-postmodernism, and, as I say, my text was a succinct summary. Expecting Jmabel and JK the unwise to agree on this. -- 23 November 2005
I agree that you have now shown it is germane. I disagree that your text was a succinct summary of what is relevant here: too much of a description of his actual hoax, not enough about the political statement he was making. It is the latter which is relevant. With that caveat, I would support a rewrite and restoration. -- | Talk 07:50, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Jmabel, I may not share your view on what is/is not relevant on this page. If you would care to attempt the rewrite and restoration yourself, please do so and I'll try to work with you on it. If not, I'll come back in a couple of days and see what I can do about this. Thanks for your spirit of compromise -- something we don't always see on the Wikipedia or in discussions of politics. :-)

My appologies, from the quote you have provided it seems that Sokal was concerned specificaly with left-wing thought. That said I do think that the current revised version is an improvement as it makes more explict why he was aiming it at the left.--JK the unwise 13:27, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Intro help / definitions section

My Peter Singer comment may not belong in the intro, but I didn't see a section on definitions. I vaguely feared that I might have to transfer some hard fought over material on secularism from the intro to the definition section if I created one. Comments? JeffBurdges 11:57, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

I find Singer's remark a bit self-serving, though not completely off. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:09, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Its a nice definition, but I knew I was making a mistake when I put it in the intro. Is it okay to just make a section for interesting definitions? The preceding unsigned comment was added by JeffBurdges (talk • contribs) 24 November 2005.
In principle, yes. I haven't looked that much at the structure of the article to see how well that would work. "Interesting" here is a tricky word: if they are idiosyncratic, it doesn't matter too much that they are interesting. Remember, we are trying to write an encyclopedia, not a chapbook. Anyway, welcome aboard, and clearly what you are doing is well-intentioned.
One thing you might consider: if you have a situation of "I'd like to get this into the article, but I don't see where or how" it is sometimes best to come to the talk page first, and see if you can get some useful comments before proceeding. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:32, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

The Left and Darwinism

Recently added. Probably worth taking up (whether here or elsewhere), but the current version is a bit slipshod and vague. I made some copyedits, but this needs a lot more work. In particular, I find the last sentence incomprehensible: "Fears significant scientific support for leftist liberal social policies is a significant theme in American Christian fundamentalism, especially the Intelligent Design movement." -- Jmabel | Talk 20:40, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Okay, I had soemthing I wanted to say there, but it came out crappy, if I think of a better way to say it, I will do so. I'll go remove the sentence for now. Actually Mary Midgley should maybe be mentioned in that section, as she may have been the first such critic of Marxist thought, but I've not actually read the book Beast and Man myself. - JeffBurdges 21:03, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Richard Dawkins a leftist?

Richard Dawkins is described as a "leftist" in the section on Darwinism. I've never thought of him that way at all, based on his writings on evolution, which is all I know of him. But perhaps he has written things that I don't know. Is there a basis for this claim? -- Jmabel | Talk 19:10, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

I have a vage memory of attending a left-wing meeting by Steven Rose in which he was disagreeing with Dawkins and saying that his version of evolutionary theory was ideologicaly right-wing (or some such thing). However, interestingly he allso said that Dawkins generally has good left-wing politics for example he was one of the first people to sign a motion supporting the academic boycott of Israel. [THIS MEMORY COULD NE INNCORRECT] Anyway, other then that half remembered snipit I have always thought of him as right-wing too.--JK the unwise 09:55, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I was involved in a (successful) campaign against the takeover of a school in Conisbrough by the Reg Vardy Foundation (creationists). Richard Dawkins was fully in support of the campaign and wrote an article in The Times in support of it (somewhat surprisingly, with the Bishop of Oxford). Having said that, although the campaign was strongly left-wing, I can't remember the contents of the article - he may just have been stating scientific fact, which isn't in itself leftist. Incidentally, I think I've seen Rose give the same talk, and it's really his opinion that Dawkins' view of evolutionary theory is right-wing - it's not a widely accepted thing. Warofdreams talk 18:26, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't think Rose's critisism is relevant, or even valid.. the educated left is abandoning the "blank slate". Dawkins non-scientific writing is often anti-religious, but it does sometimes support leftist agendas directly, such as vegetarianism. It might be reasonable to remove him as not being "actively leftist enough". But I certainly wouldn't give him any other classification besides leftist. Anyway, the idea that understanding of the IPD can be used as a corrective to Marxism is leftist, although obviously not Marxist. Many people besides Dawkins have written about this, nothing wrong with trying to find one with a higher leftist pedigree. JeffBurdges 21:35, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
What is "leftist" or "rightist" about vegetarianism? Or, for that matter, about being anti-Israel: surely U.S. paleoconservatives are not leftists. - Jmabel | Talk 06:34, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Dislike of the actions of Israel is of course not exclusivly left-wing however the campain in question which was in responce to alleged disruption of Palistinian Universitys by the Israeli army was a left-wing union lead iniciative.
  • I don't think VEgitarianism is particularly left (and I say this as a left-wing carrot cruncher).
  • Jeff, whether you think Roses critism is valid is irrelevant. Rose is educated. And "Blank Slate" theory is a straw man. Nevertheless, what may be relevant is that Rose's critism may be not widely accepted.
  • This section needs a lot of work, I wish I'd bought the book "The First Darwinian Left" which I saw the other day on a bookstall [other day=cornish expresion meaning ages ago or yesterday]--JK the unwise 09:14, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Muddled concepts, bad grammar, and tricky terms

Regarding the proposed merger into this page: There are other issues that might affect both the Left and Right pages. The biggest one is the idea of changing the pages Far left and Far right into disambiguation pages. The terms have many conflicting uses, even in academia, and are often used just as political epithets. There is also a huge area of study of the Extreme left which is distinct from the study of left-liberals and progressives. These would generally be communist cadre organizations or underground groups. Most of the current links to "Far-Left" should be divided up and most pointed to Left-wing politics. Some should go to the re-created Extreme left which would be a small page that parsed out links to various groups and movements and theories, while Far left would be a disambiguation page. I am not invested in a particular outcome, but the current sets of pages are very muddled (except for Left-wing politics) and both sets need an extreme makeover that pays at least some attention to scholarly research. Lot's of work, but it needs to be done.

Perhaps folks could first join in at Talk:Right-wing_politics --User:Cberlet|Cberlet]] 17:13, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

In American politics, "left-wing" is used to describe the Democratic party. See a recent study showing that American media are "left-wing" by showing that American media are pro-Democrat. During the fifties in America, "lefties" was a synonym for "commies", and so Republicans call Democrats "left-wing" at every oportunity, in hopes that some of the tar from the commie brush will stick. On the other hand, almost nobody in American self-describes their position as "left-wing", or even, these days, as "liberal". The result is that the Democratic party has, essentially, fallen apart, and doesn't stand for anything any more.

Rick Norwood 17:15, 27 December 2005 (UTC)


I think a short discussion of Unilateralism v. Globalism would fit well in keeping the article up to date. Mostly this would describe the United States mainly Unilateral approach in Iraq, and the opposition of the Left in that situation. As we know, this was not only in the US but in many other countries. If people agree it's a good inclusion, I could do the research and write the subtopic. Chenenko 27 Dec 2005

There is no question that at the moment the worldwide left opposes U.S. unilateralism, but I'm not sure that over time the left has been particularly multilateralist. I'd be interested in seeing someone track down some citable views from respected historians on this, not just get a litany of contributors' personal impressions. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:56, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
To the extent that "American left" means anything, few people in America, and no successful politians, are going to give up American hegemony and submit to world courts. I would say the split is between those who favor spreading American influence by arms, and those who favor spreading American influence economically. The former group -- Bush and Co. -- do not have any strong overseas interest beyond the preservation of Israel and keeping the oil flowing. The latter group are, in a sense, more interested in Unilateralism -- that is, they are only interested in cooperating with those nations that agree with them, while Bush & Co. will cooperate with anybody who keeps the oil flowing and leaves Israel alone. For example, the war in Bosnia was, pro forma, a multinational war, but the US called the shots. I find it hard to think of anyone genuinely interested in Globalism in any real sense of, say, one nation one vote, or even one person one vote. When people praise Globalism, it usually means something to the effect that countries like us -- the capitalist liberal democracies -- banding together to spread liberalism, women's rights, and secular humanism. Which is, of course, a good thing, yes? Rick Norwood 15:01, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

I will do my best to find out more information on the historical stances of the right and left on Unilateralism and Multilateralism. If anyone else finds anything, cite it and send it to me! Chenenko 22:50, 28 December 2005 (UTC)


"China has undergone a transition from a "Communist" state to in many ways a right-wing authoritarian regime in recent decade"

This is stupid because a communist state is a contradictory term. A state cannot be communist any more than a square can be circular. I realise it doesn't quite imply that China was a communist utopia, but does anyone agree that this should be changed? --ScottishPinko 12:32, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't like the sentence either, mostly because it doesn't flow well. We might as well replace "Communist state" with "Communist government" or something of that nature.
How's this for a proposition?
"China's leadership seems to be moving away from strict Communism to a more authoritarian government in recent years."The preceding unsigned comment was added by Chenenko (talk • contribs) 3 January 2006.
What the fuck? That's almost as bad, if not worse. How the hell was China's leadership communist at all? Unless that was sarcasm. =S --ScottishPinko 20:52, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

My POV is that a Communist state is a contradictory term and that China never was Communist, rather I beleive it was Sate capitalist. However, this article should aim to present a neural point of view (to the extent that this is posible). Many people beleive that the Chinise state was Communist so this article has to reflect this. I do think that the article needs some work so that it more clearly presents the fact that there is considerable debate over what a communist society is and whether it has ever existed so far.--JK the unwise 12:54, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Most of this is covered in the communist state article, so what is need is just a brief explanation - e.g. "China is regarded by many western governments as a communist state moving towards capitalism and regards itself as a socialist government easing the introduction of capitalism, but socialists from some other traditions do not regard it as ever having been a socialist government" - but hopefully someone can phrase it far more succinctly? Warofdreams talk 13:37, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

That would be almost perfect. --ScottishPinko 13:44, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army

There is a debate on the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army page about whether the group should be defined as left-wing. I would appricate the views of the editors of this page on the subject to help resolve the debate.--JK the unwise 14:01, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Clearly they are. Reminds me of the YIPPIE movement in the US. Giovanni33 19:55, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
In 1996, physicist and self-described leftist Alan Sokal, concerned about what he saw as the increasing prevalence on the Left of "a particular kind of nonsense and sloppy thinking: one that denies the existence of objective realities, or (when challenged) admits their existence but downplays their practical relevance"[7], composed a nonsensical article entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity"[8], in which a mix of mis-stated and mis-used terms from physics, postmodernism, literary analysis, and political theory are used to claim that physical reality, and especially gravitation, do not objectively exist, but are psycologically and politically contructed.