Talk:Right-wing politics/Archive 15

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Are Right Wing and Conservative really completely different things?

This is the objection to the Buckley quotation. If they are entirely different things, then why is this part of WikiProject Conservatism? Is it really deniable that in post-World War II America, the Right = Conservatism?

Yes, the Buckley quote is applicable mainly to the Right in countries like America, the UK, and Canada. So what? This is a huge part of Wikipedia's readership - I'm not saying we should devote the entire article to the Anglosphere, if someone wants to write a section about what the phrase "right wing" means in the Third World that's fine, but why can't the quote be there? It's a good illustration of right wingers believe.

And with all this concern about world wide application, why should the article focus so much on revolutionary-era France? The phrase "right-wing" may have originated there, but modern day right wing attitudes, what one editor called "liberal conservatism," like that of Edmund Burke (I read both liberal and conservative publications. Only conservatives offer paeans to Burke) did not. Falconclaw5000 (talk) 04:42, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Buckely wrote that he was "on the libertarian side" and "on the conservative side" - that is not a normal definition of conservatism. He did not say he was defining conservatism or the Right. Many of his supporters rejected the term "conservative". And "right" and "conservative" are not synonyms, otherwise we could merge the articles. TFD (talk) 20:45, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Please avoid black and white thinking. Right-wing and Conservative are not completely different things. Nobody said they were. Neither are they identical things. This article should focus on Right-wing. The article Conservatism should focus on conservatism. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:03, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Buckley's quotation is a useful counterweight to the fact that this article relies predominantly on left wing, anti-Right sources. Falconclaw5000 (talk) 04:42, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

You need to provide a source saying that they are the same thing and then we can turn this article into a re-direct to conservatism, per WP:DISAMBIG. In the meantime, Buckley was not talking about the Right or even conservatism. BTW, the political views of authors are irrelevant to rs. As a wise man once said, "facts are stupid things". It does not matter how the author votes, so long as his facts are vetted. TFD (talk) 05:01, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Clearly, there's no such thing as completely objective, undisputed facts about contentious areas of political science. Karl Marx and Buckley had different "facts." Falconclaw5000 (talk) 08:14, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

From the article on conservatism: "Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism that combines liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or, more simply, the right wing of the liberal movement.[29][30][31] The roots of conservative liberalism are found at the beginning of the history of liberalism. Until the two World Wars, in most European countries the political class was formed by conservative liberals, from Germany to Italy. The events such as World War I occurring after 1917 brought the more radical version of classical liberalism to a more conservative (i.e. more moderate) type of liberalism.[32]" Falconclaw5000 (talk) 08:16, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Libertarians

Some editors of this article want, for reasons I do not understand, Right-wing to equal Libertarian. But while they are willing to argue the point ad infinitum, they are not able to provide any references for this point of view. This renders the arguement pointless, since Wikipedia requires references. Rick Norwood (talk) 21:42, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Misrepresentation of source in intro by changes to the sentence it is sourcing

Here is the sentence: "Historically they refer to support for a hierarchical society justified by an appeal to natural law or tradition." (Source: Smith, T. Alexander and Raymond Tatalovich. Cultures at War: Moral Conflicts in Western Democracies (Toronto, Canada: Broadview Press, Ltd., 2003) pp. 30. "That viewpoint is held by contemporary sociologists, for whom 'right-wing movements' are conceptualized as 'social movements whose stated goals are to maintain structures of order, status, honor, or traditional social differences or values' as compared to left-wing movements which seek 'greater equality or political participation.' In other words, the sociological perspective sees preservationist politics as a right-wing attempt to defend privilege within the social hierarchy.) The bolded world "historically" was added by a user that is not used in the reference that is talking about the left vs. right spectrum in general - not historically. Thus the inclusion of the word "historically" is a misrepresentation of this source.--R-41 (talk) 23:11, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

I think the lede should revert to its previous form and the stuff added by Rick Norwood should move to the history section. LittleJerry (talk) 00:26, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Before I added material to the lead, it was being reverted back and forth several times a day between the "support for hierarchy" version and the "support for small government" version. The material I added is referenced, and covers both. Do you want to return to the revert war? Rick Norwood (talk) 13:12, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Action can be taken by administrators to stop a revert war. Are you suggesting that a conclusion not agreed upon by you legitimizes revert edit warring?--R-41 (talk) 16:18, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm "suggesting" that referenced material is better than unsupported opinion. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:18, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Do Leftists comprehend the Right?

I cannot help noticing that the article uses Leftists (such as Seymour Martin Lipset) as authorities. I am guessing that the Wikipedia article about the Left does not rely upon Right Wing critics of the Left to supply its definition.

It is pretty evident that most of the people on the political Left who are editing this article have very little conception of what it is to be on the Right politically.

They notice people who oppose them, and go in search of an explanation. Some Leftists believe that people on the Right fail to comprehend that things can be made better, others says that they resist change because they do not like change. Some say that the Right opposes progress on the grounds that it is in their self-interest to keep things the same, others conclude that people on the Right are bad people, and bad people do bad things.

When the Right talk about the Left they also often assume they are either idiots or bad people. They assume for example (to focus on the egalitarian argument for a moment) that when people say that everybody is equal they do this because they are stupid or because it helps them get political power.

The Right-Left dichotomy is too persistent for it not to mean something, but what? I wrote the original Wikipedia definitions for the Right and Left on Wikipedia, suggesting egalitarianism of the Left, and anti-egalitarianism of the Right. I notice that despite numerous changes these definitions have survived more or less intact, but I now think that they fail to go to the heart of the issue. When Bobbio (for some reason this Italian Leftist is viewed as an authority giving an "international" perspective) defines the Right as anti-egalitarian, he is framing what the Right believe in Leftist terms.

So what do the Right believe? Crudely, the Right believe that the universe not only has an order, but that this order has a moral dimension. Inequality is just ONE aspect of this order. In other words it is not the case that the world can be anything we want it to be, we are constrained by what is the case, and this constraint includes right and wrong. The Left on the other hand claim that we impose values (and for post-modernists this includes truth) upon the world. If values are created, why not re-form human societies so that everybody is equal, in accordance with principle that nobody is better than anybody else, because what everybody believes, achieves, or believes to be the case, is of equal value.

The point here is not equality v inequality it is (for the Right) accepting the world or trying to remake the world.

To put it like this implies that modernity is inherently Leftist, and to some extent this is true. It is possible to make a division on the Right between those who view Modernity as one a big (hubristic) mistake, and those who accept many of the criticisms which Moderns have made about the way in which previous societies were organised. To be on the Right in this second sense is to accept that it is possible to change the world for the better, but it is combined with opposition to the antinomian utopianism of the Left; whose false utopian assumptions generate bad societies. The politics of the Right in other words can be described as the politics of imperfection; if perfection can be achieved it exists in another reality.

If we view "modernity" as the rejection of tradition on the basis of an appeal to new knowledge, this explains why, as our assumptions have become more and more "modern", more and more views that were once on the Left are pushed to the Right. Some people therefore have objected to seeking to define the Right as believers in hierarchy. They say that because I am on the Right I believe in a society that rewards excellence, and this is best achieved in a free society. They oppose the Left because they see it as attempting to use the power of the State to impose utopian ideals that destroy a free society. For example, they claim that when Communists abolished free markets this led to the starvation of millions i.e. utopianism did not improve the world it made it worse.

Some on the Right believe in free markets others seeks to constrain markets, but what the Right have in common is the belief that while humans can know the difference between good and bad, to be human is to be finite, fallible, and "fallen". The more Right you are the more pessimistic you are about our capacity to change things for the better, but to claim that being on the Right (in it contemporary meaning) designates complete pessimism about social change is false. In the West we are (nearly) all moderns now, and so the Right-Left dispute is about where to draw the line between what we can change for the better, and what we should accept e.g. Is a society which accepts private property a better or worse society?

(ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 07:53, 15 February 2012 (UTC)).

Seymour Martin Lipset was a leftist when he was a college student. This article does not reference work he wrote as an undergraduate, it references work he wrote as a professional scholar.
To explain the motives of those who edit articles is mind-reading. In particular, most of the people I love are on the Right, and I certainly do not think they are bad people. You have been called on this before. Stick to facts, avoid personalities.
Most sources agree with you that the essential difference between left and right is between egalitarianism and hierarchy. Your explanation of the difference between Left and Right today is well-written, and I agree with almost all of it.
Rick Norwood (talk) 13:48, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
It is one thing to state that there is a left-right axis, but another to determine where the dividing line between left and right lies. While there is no serious dispute that traditional European conservatism was right-wing, the extension of the concept to U.K. and U.S. conservatism is recent and controversial and was ironically pioneered by the Left. What I find bizarre is that rather than objecting to the description, some conservatives embrace it, redefine it, and even claim that the traditional right was really left-wing. TFD (talk) 18:55, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Right wing in the Anglophone world means conservative. They are one and the same. "William F. Buckley Jr. was an immodest man with much to be immodest about. Not only was he the high priest of the modern American conservative movement and the founding editor in chief of its leading intellectual publication, National Review; he was also a gifted polemicist, best-selling novelist, sesquipedalian speaker, television star, political candidate, yachtsman, harpsichordist, wit and bon vivant. Small wonder that I once saw him nod approvingly when a tongue-tied freshman referred to his 1951 autobiographical best seller as “God as Man at Yale.” He performed his many roles with such panache, and such obvious enjoyment of being William F. Buckley Jr., that he captivated people who otherwise would have despised someone who did much to move the United States politically to the right from the early 1950s until his death in 2008. But even liberals had to laugh when Buckley, asked whether he slouched in his chair as host of the TV program “Firing Line” because he couldn’t think on his feet, drawled, “It is hard . . . to stand up . . . under the weight . . . of all that I know.”

Of course the focus on equality vs. inequality is a leftist perspective. Rightists don't see it that way. Largely, they see it as government coercion vs. individual freedom, including economic freedom. Inequality isn't the issue for us. They don't advocate inequality. They advocate limited government when it comes to economics. The article, as written, might be appropriate for 18th century France, but not for the 21st century English Wikipedia.

I agree that the fact that an Italian leftist says something gives him an "international perspective" is hilarious. I also think calling these left wing academic hacks "scholars" is absurd as well, when they can't even talk about the Right in the terms that the Right uses.

If I had to pick one defining difference between the Left and the Right, it would be that the Left prioritizes economic equality, whereas the Right prioritizes economic freedom. Falconclaw5000 (talk) 08:08, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

‎ You need a secondary source that supports your view, particularly that Buckley was talking about the Right. Ironically, it was "left wing academic hacks" who decided that people such as Buckley were right-wing. Only extremists call themselves right-wing. Also, scholarly writing, whatever the political beliefs of the writer, is more reliable than magazine mixsion statements. TFD (talk) 14:44, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/books/review/buckley-william-f-buckley-jr-and-the-rise-of-american-conservatism-by-carl-t-bogus-book-review.html?pagewanted=all Buckley's National Review column was called "On the Right." Many scholars thought that the Soviet Union's massacres, mass murders, and starvations were overstated and that it was a fine place, until Gulag Archipelago came out. If Wikipedia published an article based on their scholarly work, Stalin would seem better than Roosevelt. Falconclaw5000 (talk) 15:25, 16 February 2012 (UTC) Also http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1717900,00.html Falconclaw5000 (talk) 15:28, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

None of those sources address the text you wish to insert. Ironically, your first source is from a book review in the New York Times (!) by a left-wing academic about a book written by a self-described (U.S.) liberal. We have already established that the Left calls Buckley "right-wing". Your second source is a tweet, not rs. TFD (talk) 16:05, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
This article is on the term "right-wing" not American conservatism. Please stop imposing your Anglo-Americentric view. LittleJerry (talk) 19:02, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Many people use "right-wing" and "conservative" and even "right-wing" and "Republican" as synonyms. More generally, many people use words badly. But if they were in fact synonyms, how are we to understand such common observations as contrasts between the right-wing and more moderate conservatives, or statements than in recent years the Republicans have swung far to the Right. If there words were synonyms, these phrases would be meaningless.

Libertarians think that the main difference between conservatives and liberals is economic, but the small percentage of votes Ron Paul has gotten in the Republican primaries is ample evidence that, at least in the US, that is not the main issue separating conservatives and liberals. The number one issue in the presidential race at the moment is birth-control.

Rick Norwood (talk) 20:42, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

What is the purpose of this section? To deny that left-wing people can comprehend the right and that right-wing people cannot comprehend the left? One user has dismissed Norbeto Bobbio as just "some Italian leftist" - he is also a respected philosopher - and what exactly in what he says that has been included in the intro is so intolerable? If it is merely because someone discovered that he is "left-wing" and thus unreliable then this is idiotic Dark Ages black and white thinking prejudice of "oh he believes in such-and-such, thus he cannot be trusted". Christopher Hitchens was an athiest, but he was invited to lectures on religion to discuss his critique of religion side by side with religious proponents. Is this section proposing the censorship of people because of personal political beliefs? Should we only listen to fascists about fascism and communists about communism? People have differences of opinion and views - to say "ah this person is a stated left-winger and therefore they are completely unreliable for material on right-wing politics" is completely and idiotically prejudiced because it does not base its opposition upon the content of their work at all! Bobbio says that the right has a legitimate basis for its beliefs - in that the right believes that achieving complete social equality in society is impossible and that there will always be social hierarchy that is inevitable and natural - and this point is a very strong point for the right - because the left has been unable to concisely prove that social equality is natural - bear in mind that I am a centre-left social democrat saying this. I as a leftist believe that the right over its history has had many convincing views of society which is why people like Thomas Hobbes' view of society without law and order as leading to a natural state of all-out anarchic war, and Edmund Burke on the dangers of too much egalitarianism - especially revolutionary egalitarism; they are still discussed today and I agree with some right-wing ideas and I agree with a number of left-wing ideas. I do not want myself or anyone including scholars or philosophers like Bobbio or even ones I disagree with like Ayn Rand or Thomas Hobbes to be censored, ignored, or disregarded by idiotic Dark Ages prejudice involving suspicion of beliefs being of one group always being toxic to another and thus segregating them.--R-41 (talk) 21:03, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Falconclaw5000, what you fail to understand is that nobody considers American conservatives or libertarians right-wing simply because they support individaul liberty, but for how they view liberty. They both believe that society should be stratified and that if one group wants to be on equal par with other, they should work their way up the social ladder. They believe that such a society allows for more freedom, and the imposition of equality threatens freedom. More left–leaning individuals believe that society should be levelled to where it is more inherently equal. LittleJerry (talk) 21:40, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Don't bother wasting your time conversing with the person who posted this "Do Leftists comprehend the Right?", it is so offensively discriminatory and prejudiced on a Dark Ages level of intolerance - it's just like those in the Dark Ages who would say "Do heathens comprehend Christians?". This section only reveals the original poster's unfortunately open black and white thinking prejudice against left-wing people that claims that left-wing people are incompetent to understand their own biases and account for them in their work. By the standard of the poster that no outside views on right-wing politics are valid, then by that standard should we thus take Stalin's word on Stalinism - that he advocated a peace-loving, proletarian brotherhood of all people of the world united in a caring, compassionate state by a democracy of workers - and should other views arise, ask "Do capitalists and Trotskyists comprehend Stalinism?" - such questions like this pigeonholes people into stereotype groupings defined by strawman fallacy - who can stand for all the left for instance? The user who posted this says "we rightests" stand against state intervention, for democracy, for individual liberty, laissez-faire capitalism, etc., etc. - that is the modern libertarian centre-right that is linked to the ideals of classical liberalism with a tinge of conservatism, as in upholding the tradition of the capitalist economy - what about the Catholic right that supports government intervention in the economy and supports people limiting their actions to those ordained by the Bible and refusing to do those opposed by the Bible, or what about absolute monarchists like Thomas Hobbes who advocated a strong state? Or reactionaries who advocated aristocracy and mercantilism and strongly opposed individualistic liberty and parliamentary democracy like Joseph de Maistre or the more recent Charles Maurras of Action Francaise? Or British conservatives who opposed free trade and laissez-faire economics for many years - deep into the 20th century? The user's description of "we rightests" do not represent these examples of right-wing politics, they do not universally uphold individual liberty, opposition to state intervention, democracy, and laissez-faire capitalism in common. Just as the far-left is not all statists - anarchists like Mikhail Bakunin wanted to destroy the state and have small voluntarily-united communities replace them - by the way from the late 19th century until the 1920s (and into the 1930s in Spain during the Spanish Civil War), just somewhat later than the Bolshevik Revolution, it was the anarchists, NOT the communists, who were the primary popular troublemakers of the far left: anarchists bombed Wall Street, assassinated major public figures - including the assasinations of: US President William McKinley, Tsar Alexander II of Russia, and the King Umberto I of Italy all to gain attention to their cause of a stateless society--R-41 (talk) 00:30, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
As for alleged unrepenting bias of the left: I know an ex-Marxist history professor who is very open to right-wing people having their voices heard in academia, just as I have known a conservative politics professor who is open to hear out voices on the left - in academia you need to listen to your critics before publishing or your work will be a flop and torn to pieces by critics, it is different then the cheap partisan grandstanding of politicians in elections. As I said before and will repeat exactly again so it is clear especially to the user who posted this blatantly discrimatory, prejudiced, and offensive section: I do not want myself or anyone including scholars or philosophers like Bobbio or even ones I disagree with like Ayn Rand or Thomas Hobbes to be censored, ignored, or disregarded by idiotic Dark Ages prejudice involving suspicion of beliefs being of one group always being toxic to another and thus segregating people into "us" versus "them" categories of "we rightests" versus "you leftists". I would appreciate it if someone would just close this section down with the Wikipedia "hat" template, because it is so obviously intended as a soapbox - and these are opposed by Wikipedia.--R-41 (talk) 00:30, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

It is perfectly reasonable to draw attention to the political affiliation of an author if they are being used as authoritative source in an article seeking to define what it is to be Right-Wing. R-41, you are either being naïve or disingenuous to claim otherwise. To answer your question, I would not use Christopher Hitchens as an as an authority on the Christian religion, and if reference was made to him in a Wikipedia article on Christianity, I think it is entirely reasonable to identify him as an atheist.

Advocating hierarchy is an odd way to define Right Wing politics, and only makes sense as a contrast to egalitarianism. I don't see much evidence that the Leftists who are contributing to this article have much understanding of the political Right, and I put forward the suggestion that this probably has something to do with their political assumptions.

The Right is (generally) not ideological, whereas the Left (generally) is ideological. A five year old could understand the ideology of The Communist Manifesto in about 5 minutes, but I very much doubt a five year old world be able to understand the political views being defended by Edmund Burke.

Neither Thomas Hobbes nor Ayn Rand are Right-Wing philosophers by the way. That fact that you believe them to be Right-Wing R-41 tells me more about your confusion than it tells me about Right Wing thought.

I think that Little Jerry makes a good point about how liberals and conservatives have a different undersanding of liberty. Freedom is not an end in itself for conservatives, it is a means to an end, the end of realising various ideals such as truth and justice. It is because our access to these ideals is fallible that some conservatives value liberty, not because they reject the objective validity of those ideals.

P.S. I appreciate you have have poor reading skills R-41, but I was seeking to articulate what somebody with Falconclaw's political assumptions might say. Given that you fail to quote what I said correctly, I am not sure why you feel the need to put quotation marks.

ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 04:35, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

You are still associating the right with the classical liberal conservative centre-right, there are other right-wing movements from the centre-right to far-right that do not agree with laissez-faire capitalism, or do not agree with parliamentary or legislative democracy, or are very statist. It makes far more sense from a number of scholars accounts that the right is associated with a predisposition to accept social hierarchy as natural or inevitable along with a predisposition of social order as basis of society, in opposition to left-wing politics with a predisposition to advocate social equality and a predisposition of social justice as the basis of society - whose most radical proponents sought to abolish all traditional stratified institutions - including the aristocracy, the monarchy, and the Catholic Church. Opposition to the egalitarian social levelling particularly of the radical left, rallied the aristocracy, monarchists, and the Catholic Church together to defend their positions against social levelling schemes of the radical left through claims of them providing social order and stability of society through traditions. Your definition of the right as inevitably supportive of the classical liberal originated concept of individual liberties, of being against state intervention only describes the British and American developments of Burkean conservatism, libertarian conservatism, and neoliberalism. It does not account at all for continental conservatism known on Wikipedia as "Latin conservatism", or the Catholic religious right that supports the Catholic Church's advocacy Christian corporatism while opposing laissez-faire capitalism (by 1931 the Catholic Church openly condemned both "capitalist individualism" and "socialist totalitarianism"). Therefore none of these right-wing groups fit anywhere close to being united on what you describe as "we rightests". Your accusation of left-wing being incompetent of understanding the right is blatant black and white thinking of stereotyping whom you regard as your "opponent" as automatically "wrong", "devious", "weak", or "corrupt" - that kind of thinking would be acceptable in the Dark Ages - today, it is known that anyone who has led a military in war who has assumed their military opponent to be automatically "wrong", "devious", "weak", or "corrupt" - has been severely in danger of losing a war due to assumptions of what their opponent will do based on strawman fallacy. Right-wing people at the time when there was first a left-wing and right-wing of the French parliament, at that time said that violent anarchy was the inevitable result of egalitarianism pursued to its end: that under egalitarianism, everyone would believe that they are equal authorities of themselves, reject any hierarchical authority, and will refuse to be forced to make contributions (like taxes) to society as demanded by the state - resulting in violence, and the French Revolution is an excellent example of egalitarianism in practice becoming a tyranny of anarchic violence as they claimed. I am left-wing, and I acknowledge that there have been very strong arguments by the right for their positions, so don't stereotype people with left-wing views as automatically and deliberately trying to make the right be seen as disreputable.--R-41 (talk) 05:13, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't define the Right as “inevitably supportive” of Classical Liberalism. I presume you are talking about Falconclaw, but he can answer for himself; unlike the person quoted as saying “we Rightists” - which of course is a quote you made up. ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 05:43, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Well I saw something along the lines of "we rightests" - I could have been mistaken, and again you are accusing me of lying - once again demonstrating your inherent tendency to assume bad faith of people you disagree with. How does that justify assuming that someone is "wrong" because of the views they hold? What I saw was FalconClaw's statement I suppose, when he says "If I had to pick one defining difference between the Left and the Right, it would be that the Left prioritizes economic equality, whereas the Right prioritizes economic freedom." - that is what is naive, the original right had aristocrats who refused to give up their feudal lands or enfranchise their peasants by allowing them to own significant portions of the land that they worked on for the aristocrats - capitalist classical liberals in France at this time were on the centre-left in comparison to the dominance of aristocrats on the right - because the classical liberals believed in equality of opportunity and the Adam Smith notion that people deserve the "fruits of their labour".--R-41 (talk) 05:54, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Did you even read the article I posted? I'm sorry to say this, but only someone with the reading comprehension of a three year old can say that it is about the Right, not American Conservatism. American conservatives ARE right wing. They are one and the same. You cannot be a right wing liberal. You cannot be a left wing conservative. Liberals are on the Left. Conservaties are on the Right. These are some of the most basic concepts in existence. Again, this focus on inequality is inappropriate. Inequality does not feature much in right wing thought and ideology. The preservation of inequality is not a goal of the Right in it of itself. All major Communist regimes participated in widespread murder. By your logic, communism is all about murdering people. Falconclaw5000 (talk) 06:01, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

"You cannot be a right-wing liberal" - Have you ever heard of neoliberalism - British Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher advocated that, and present Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron regularly defines Britain in a positive way as a "liberal democracy". And if the issue of advocacy of social equality vs. acceptance of social hierarchy, social order vs. social justice are not the dichotomies, then what could possibly unite: conservatives, reactionaries, aristocrats, monarchists, mercantilists, capitalists, secular classical liberals, liberal conservatives, libertarian conservatives, conservative nationalists, conservative religious people, neoliberals, etc. into the definition "right-wing"?--R-41 (talk) 05:54, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

This is a different use of the word "liberal." Let's not pretend that the word "liberal" is universally used the same everywhere. Liberal used to mean, roughly, pro-laissez faire capitalism (see classical liberal.) It then switched to mean "progressive," in other words, a position in between socialism and capitalism. Neo-liberal does NOT mean politically liberal. Nothing unites all the various ideologies listed. Fascism is considered by many to be a right wing ideology; it has nothing in common with right wing libertarianism, and indeed has much more in common with communism, and, to an extent, leftism, which is almost always in favor of centralization of power in the hands of those who run the government. In other words, it may indeed be more accurate to say that leftists are more elitist - after all, who's the one always fetishizing about "experts?" Democrats or Republicans? Who's the one who believes in central planning? Rightists or leftists? The reality is, fascism is not really right wing - it's national socialism; it's left wing. Monarchists and liberal conservatives are not part of the same ideology, either. The historical Right is completely separate from the modern, especially American and British, Right. You say my definition ignores European Continental conservatism. Well, yours ignores American and British conservatism! Falconclaw5000 (talk) 06:12, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

"Well, yours ignores American and British conservatism!" - oh really - you mention that there can be no such thing as "left-wing conservatism" - you are partially correct - conservatives identify as being right but British Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli created progressive conservatism that supports a social welfare state. Also this progressive conservatism pursued under Stanley Baldwin and particularly Conservative foreign secretary Austen Chamberlain turned strongly against free trade and openly promoted the British Conservative Party in elections as protectionist and a supporter of social welfare - attacking liberals for allegedly being against the poor for their then-laissez-faire and free trade policies. "This is a different use of the word "liberal"" - nope, social liberalism developed out of classical liberalism in Britain and elsewhere in response to the rise of labour unrest to laissez-faire capitalist policies, even social liberals maintain a commitment to capitalism - in a regulated form and advocate equality of opportunity but not equality of outcome. You say the modern right is completely separate from the historical right - that doesn't make sense because why would we still call it right-wing if it is completely separate? You say the left is all about the state having control - increasing as one moves leftward - then what the hell were Mikhail Bakunin and the anarchists calling for anarchist revolution to establish a local voluntary community-based socialism and calling for destruction of the state?--R-41 (talk) 06:17, 17 February 2012 (UTC)


I think it would be helpful if you focused on Falconclaws's key point:

"The preservation of inequality is not a goal of the Right in and of itself."

The Right oppose radical egalitarianism, but it is misleading to DEFINE the Right as those who seek to preserve inequality. This is to frame the Right in terms derived from the Left.

Acceptance of some inequality is a consequence of its other beliefs. It is these other beliefs that define the political Right.

ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 06:35, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Let me make it clear: The right does not always seek preservation of inequality as a goal, rather it typically claims that inequality is inevitable because social hierarchy is ever-present in natural law. The right distrusts egalitarian schemes of societies attempting to forge social equality where it has not normally existed in nature. There are some - particularly on the far right that do seek preservation of inequality as a goal. It is not that most right-wing people desire inequity and inequality for people, it is that they believe that the concept of achieving complete social equality is either not possible or extremely dangerous to society and its people.--R-41 (talk) 06:42, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Where are these sources from right-wingers calling themselves right-wing and defining the Right? The only sources i can find are by extremists. TFD (talk) 13:07, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I do free market type not believe that there should be a social ladder in which people must move up? LittleJerry (talk) 23:03, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I refuse to let this article be written like a Marxist hit piece. What exactly about Nobbio qualifies him as writing from an "international" perspective? Why isn't Buckley, the most prominent Rightist of the 20th century, even mentioned?

Responding to Falconclaw, whose comment is quoted above.

1) It is not helpful to characterize everyone who disagrees with you as a Marxist. As far as I know, there are no Marxists editing this article. If they are, they do not let their Marxist beliefs color their edits.

2) The name you are groping for is Bobbio. Here is what one review says about the cited book: "Are contemporary political issues best understood in left-right terms? With his customary lucidity and wisdom, Professor Bobbio, Italy's most distinguished political thinker explains the persistence and defends the relevance of the distinction in the face of "the great problem of inequality between people and between the peoples of this world" in a short work that is far-reaching, simple and deep." Steven Lukes, European University Institute That seems to support Professor Bobbio's qualifications as a major writer, writing from an international perspective.

3) The most prominent Rightist of the 20th century by far is Adolph Hitler, which is one of many reasons I do not understand your efforts to identify Libertarianism with the usually perjorative phrase "right-wing".

Rick Norwood (talk) 15:39, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I have removed Bobbio - not because I agree with Falconclaw, but because the controversy of it just keeps coming up. I find it ashame that censorship of Bobbio has been pressed upon this article because he is left-wing, and that Falconclaw is suggesting that only right-wingers can speak for the right-wing - that is again censorship and is equivelent to saying that only communists can speak for communism accurately and only fascists can speak for fascists accurately. There still is the source in the intro that states the right-wing's association with the acceptance of social hierarchy as based upon natural law and tradition - a user attempted to change the meaning of what it said by claiming that it only mean "historically" for the right - when it never said that it meant historically - but this edit has been reverted. --R-41 (talk) 15:48, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Falconclaw: I just used Google scholar to search for the phrase "right-wing". The top three hits were: Enemies of freedom: Understanding right-wing authoritarianism B Altemeyer, 1988; The politics of unreason: Right-wing extremism in America, 1790-1977, SM Lipset, 1978; and Radical right-wing populism in Western Europe, HG Betz, 1994. The pharse "right-wing", outside modern US politics, does not mean what you think it means! Rick Norwood (talk) 16:07, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

You have certainly told us all what you WP:KNOW, but that is not exactly the best way to proceed. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:15, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Collect, your comments do not appear to make any sense, and clicking WP:KNOW I get a quote saying, "It ain't ignorance causes so much trouble; it's folks knowing so much that ain't so." Are you claiming that what Rick Norwood says "ain't so". If you are then how do you WP:KNOW it ain't so? TFD (talk) 18:36, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Rick Norwood: Finding books written by Leftists with "Right-Wing" in the title which assert that it is wicked to be Right-Wing is hardly the find of the century. I have news for you. I can find three books with the word "Left-Wing" in the title, in which opponents of the Left claim that it is wicked to be Left-Wing.

Quite why you think a positive endorsement by the Leftist Steven Lukes of Bobbio's political claims changes anything is unclear.

The Four Deuces: You seem to think that if you repeat the claim that only "extremists" call themselves "Right-Wing" enough times, that will make it correct. Good luck with that one.

ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 19:01, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Just remove Bobbio's statement if it is so egregious. But explain why is it egregious - what does Bobbio say that is so biased?--R-41 (talk) 19:15, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
ERIDU-DREAMING, if you think that non-extremists call themselves "right-wing", then please provide an example. Even most extremists have stopped calling themselves right-wing. TFD (talk) 02:13, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Buckley's column was "On the Right." Quod erat demonstrandum. Collect (talk) 09:07, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

I was not expressing an opinion, I was citing a fact. The search of google scholar did, in fact, return the three titles I cited. These three titles used "right-wing" in the way it has been used for a very long time, and the way it is still used in academia, and still used internationally. Some editors want to purge this article of international or scholarly uses of the phrase, on the assertion that anyone who uses words correctly must be "Leftists", and that only the modern usage in the popular media is the correct usage. But they go beyond that, and want this article to assert that the "real" meaning of "right-wing" is not even the popular media usage, but the Libertarian media usage. As I've pointed out, this article is here to report how the phrase is used, not to change how the phrase is used. Why not call libertarian views "libertarian"? Rick Norwood (talk) 13:21, 18 February 2012 (UTC)


I appreciate Rick Norwood that only you know how the phrase "right-wing" should be used, but a few seconds Google search supplies this usage from Australia

http://www.actnow.com.au/Opinion/Whats_the_difference_between_left_and_right_wing.aspx

"Whats the difference between left and right wing?..To explain this I’ll compare and contrast the positions taken by the far left and the far right. Be aware that many people’s political beliefs are on a continuum between left and right.

1. Role of the individual and government

My friend used to have this analogy = left wingers believe that the state is more important than the individual, right wingers believe that the individual is more important than the state. That analogy is semi-true. Left wingers believe that governments are a force for social justice and change, and so should intervene in individual’s lives to ensure social justice is achieved. Right wingers believe that governments are big and unwieldy and so should not interfere with people’s lives at all. They believe that government interference contravenes an individual’s right to liberty. For this reason left wingers have traditionally favoured ‘big’ government while right wingers favoured ‘small’ government.

2. Formal versus substantial equality

Right wingers believe in formal equality. They believe that everyone should be treated equally under the law and should be treated equally by government. Examples of right wing formal equality include equal pay for equal work and civil and political rights. Left wingers believe in substantial equality. They argue that not every individual is the same and so government policy should be aimed to create substantial rather than just formal equality. Examples of left wing substantial equality include affirmative action and social and cultural rights.

3. Markets and the economy

Right wingers favour laissez-faire, free market economic policies. This is in line with individuals controlling their own lives, deciding their own version of the good life, and emphasises the role of individual initiative. Examples of right wing economic policy is Voluntary Student Unionism, emphasising a pay as you go approach so that students who want services should pay for them, and Work Choices legislation, which removes regulation and promotes the use of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). AWAs are designed to allow employers and employees to bargain with each other as individuals.

Left wingers favour interventionist, regulated market economic policies. In the past they have favoured publicisation of industries, of which extreme example is the command economy of the former USSR. Left wingers emphasise the importance of regulation, initiatives that allow employers and employees to bargain equally, and the dangers of free market exploitation. Examples of left wing economic policy would be supporting the role of unions in collective and enterprise bargaining, as this recognises the power employers have over employees in the bargaining process, and consumer protection legislation such as the Trade Practices Act.

Summary

Right wingers are libertarians. They believe in liberty for the individual as the most important fundamental principle society should be based on. This libertarianism has morphed into neo-liberalism, which emphasises individual initiative for all interactions with government. For example, Work for the Dole is neo-libertarian as it is trying to get people off the dole (which is funded by government acquisition of individual’s wealth (taxes)) and into work where they can work for themselves.

Left wingers are socialists. They believe that government should be doing things to help the entire society. This focus has lead them to focus on the disadvantaged peoples in our society as these peoples are often treated the worst. Socialists emphasise the ability of collective action in achieving outcomes in relation to equality and social justice. For example, universal education is a socialist objective because it would provide all people, irregardless of how much money they have, the opportunity to get an education and thus improve their lives.

And finally: As you can see, left and right wing doesn't encompass progressive or conservative. You can have conservative left wingers and progressive right wingers. Both major political parties in Australia, the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party of Australia, have progressive and conservative elements within them.

Examples of parties

Left / Environmental: Australian Greens http://www.greens.org.au/

Centre-left: Australian Labor Party http://www.alp.org.au/

Centre: Australian Democrats http://www.democrats.org.au/

Right: Liberal Party of Australia http://www.liberal.org.au/

Right: The Nationals http://www.nationals.org.au/


(ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 14:48, 18 February 2012 (UTC)).

Insults do not advance your argument. I have never claimed to "know" what the phrases mean, only to have the ability to look things up and cite sources.

The article you quote seems to be a fairly accurate explanation of what libertarians mean by "right-wing". It doesn't explain why, during his lifetime, Francisco Franco was so often described as right-wing. In other words, the article you cite claims that the change in meaning over time is now complete. But that article is by its own description an opinion. I don't see that reflected in the books and articles I read.

Let me give you an example. The word "girl" used to mean "boy". Over the centuries, its meaning changed, to include all children of both sexes, and over more centuries, its meaning changed further to mean only female children. That change is now complete, and there is no reason in a modern article on the subject to even mention the old meaning except possibly as a historical footnote.

On the other hand, the word "literally" used to mean "in fact". In the past few decades, there has been some shift in meaning toward meaning "emphatically", as in "I'm literally drowning in paperwork." That shift is not complete, and so to define "literal" as meaning "emphatically" would not be correct in a modern article.

The subject under discussion here is whether the shift in meaning of "right-wing" is now so complete that the older meaning is obsolete. I can cite many examples to show that it is not. Here is one, picked more or less at random from the 2012 World Almanac, "...a July 1936 extreme right rebellion led by Gen. Francisco Franco and aided by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy succeeded..." I don't think you can made a case that the World Almanac is Marxist, or that they mean to say that Franco was an extreme supporter of small government and free enterprise.

Rick Norwood (talk) 15:43, 18 February 2012 (UTC)


Care to see how the World Almanac fares at RS/N? I suggest that it is a simplified tertiary source at best, and not WP:RS for anything much at all. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:47, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
A blog is not a reliable source. For your information, the Liberal Party of Australia, together with the Torys and Republicans, is a member of the International Democrat Union, an organization of "political parties of the centre and centre right".[1] TFD (talk) 15:50, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Why censor Buckley?

I saw a comment about the tragedy of "censoring" Bobbio from this article. Well, I put him back in, and Bobbio is about the 20th leftist who's perspective given in this article. His perspective isn't international, it is Marxist. But there is not ONE perspective from the Right. So why censor Buckley? You don't think Buckley is a serious thinker? He is one of the most serious thinkers of the 20th century, admired from both the Left and the Right, and his stature certainly exceeds Mr. Bobbio. Just because something is an academic work, doesn't mean it isn't political propaganda, as Rick Norwood showed when he displayed the Google results for Right Wing (clearly, Norwood thinks Right Wing means "evil," while left wing means "good," (good like Stalin?)). Falconclaw5000 (talk) 20:15, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I do not think that Bobbio was a Marxist. But you have failed to provide a single source from a right-wing person who calls himself right-wing. As I said before, only extremists call themselves right-wing in sources. TFD (talk) 01:35, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
How soon they forget -- Buckley had a long-time syndicated column "On the Right." I rather think this is self-evidently an identification with the "Right." Cheers. Collect (talk) 01:42, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Big leap Collect. While I suspect your judgment is impeccable, policy requires a published writer to make the connection. TFD (talk) 02:09, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Buckley, indeed, was a "published writer" and note that WP specifies that people can make statements about themselves, and be considered a "reliable source" for such. I also suspect he is RS for making "political statements". Next? Collect (talk) 09:09, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Falconclaw5000: You are mind reading again. I have never said that "Right-wing" means evil nor that "left-wing" means good. Why is it so hard for you to deal with what I say, instead of putting words in my mouth. Bobbio is not a Marxist. He is an anti-Marxist, deploring the use by Marxists of violence to achieve thier ends. It does not advance your point of view to lable everyone you disagree with "Marxist". As for your assertion that 20 leftists have their views included in this article, please provide a list.

Collect: I agree, William F. Buckley, Jr. considered himself "On the Right". If this article was titled "The American Right in the second half of the 20th Century", it would be appropriate to use the Buckley quote as what "the Right" meant in that context. But note that TFD is not saying that Buckley did not self-describe himself as "On the Right", but is asking for a commentator who described his views as being "right-wing". It shouldn't be hard to find one.

Rick Norwood (talk) 13:28, 18 February 2012 (UTC)


Normally a person is a reliable source for his self-identification - but since you want yet another source other than the person himself making the statement try [2] Time magazine, and the rather clearly named book [3] Strictly Right: William F. Buckley, Jr. and the American conservative movement among a huge number of reliable sources. You're welcome. Collect (talk) 16:25, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Why censor De Maistre?

A rhetorical response to the statement above on Buckley. The intro already mentions the indivualist and libertarian right along with the collectivist right. Falconclaw, you should post that statement by Buckley on an article about American right-wing politics where it would be particularly useful. Here it is going against the worldview of right-wing politics, that is already described in the intro without that statement. If you emphasize one right-wing proponent like Buckley, then later someone will bring up Joseph De Maistre because his views are not accounted by Buckley, then someone will say that it is Eurocentric and want Asian political outlook, etc. etc. It is better without the statement and by focusing on the right-wing as a whole while mentioning internal differences and divisions on the right. The statement by Buckley in the lead intro emphasizes the Anglophone world's classical liberal-based right-wing politics of the recent past and present while deemphasizing others - thus it does not represent a world view.--R-41 (talk) 20:35, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

But preservation of inequality is not a goal of the Right in America or Britain. Rightists like Ronald Reagan sought to curb dependence on government programs by poor people, which actually increased wealth inequality. Falconclaw5000 (talk) 20:45, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I never SAID preservation of inequality was pursued by the centre-right as in the case of centre-right neoliberal conservative Ronald Reagan. The moderate right accepts the inevitability of significant degrees of social hierarchy to exist, no matter what attempts are made by society to change it. The far right believes that social hierarchy is not only inevitable but desirable. Please stop your edit warring of removing very neutral scholarly sources that explain the differences and divisions in the right between the centre right and far right and the individualist right and the collectivist right. You did not offer any explanation whatsoever for removing that neutral material.--R-41 (talk) 20:50, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
You do not understand who De Maistre is, what he represented, or even what the history of right-wing politics has been in Europe. You only understand the American centre-right classical liberal libertarian and neoliberal politics of American conservatism. Your view of left-wing = statist totalitarians versus right-wing = freedom-loving libertarians is a stereotypical claim made by American conservative pundits that does not account for statist right-wingers like De Maistre who advocated absolute monarchy and extreme libertarian left-wingers like the anarchist Bakunin who advocated the complete destruction of the state and the creation of an anarchist socialist system of decentralized voluntary communities. If you want to add material on Buckley in an intro add it to an intro on American conservatism, because Buckley does not represent a world view of right-wing politics.--R-41 (talk) 20:53, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
If you meet a person affiliated with the Catholic political right - that is a major political force in Europe and Latin America today, you will find that they would completely disagree with Buckley. Why? Because they view society in a collective communitarian manner and oppose laissez-faire capitalism because of Catholic emphasis on charity to the poor and the Catholic Church's long-held endorsement of Christian corporatism involving cooperation between employers and employees as being the proper economy based on Christian values. The Catholic Church has denounced what it deems "capitalist individualism" and what it deems "socialist totalitarianism".--R-41 (talk) 21:17, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Nowhere in the articles on Buckley you referenced does it state anything about "inequality" or "unequal" social circumstances, I pushed "CTRL-F" and searched "inequality", "unequal" etc. it appeared nowhere there. So it appears that you just made that up out of thin air. Plus the intro already says that the centre-right accepts society providing equality of opportunity but does not accept society providing equality of outcome. You still have failed to address why the sources in the intro's second sentence are wrong? And why have you failed to even acknowledge any other right-wing movements that I have informed you of, that are outside your ideal right-wing movement being a libertarian conservative movement based upon classical liberal conceptions of liberty (including individualism), politics, and the economy (laissez-faire)? In answer to one of your comments earlier, as a centre-left social democrat, I can personally attest on behalf of myself and others to assure you that most reasonable centre-leftists that I have known accept that there were evil left-wing people like Maximilien Robespierre, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, and others, in the case of Robbespierre he massacred thousands of people, the other three massacred and millions of people, out of psychopathy, narcissism, and ideological zeal. I am disgusted by Slobodan Milosevic - who as head of the left-wing Socialist Party of Serbia exploited ethnic nationalism to gain power, resulting in the Yugoslav civil wars. I admire George Bush Senior a man who is much underappreciated by both the right and left - Bush Senior pressed hard for the dismantlement of apartheid in South Africa and Africans who remember what he did tremendously respect him.--R-41 (talk) 00:12, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Falconclaw5000, could you please provide a source that Ronald Reagan ever called himself right-wing. TFD (talk) 01:28, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Reagan 1964 speech:
There is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant-heap of totalitarianism.
Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:42, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Good quote, Collect. Or should I say "Pip, pip, and cherrio"? Rick Norwood (talk) 13:47, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Gauchet's Realms of Memory

A new paragraph has been added to the lead. I don't dispute it, but I would like it to be supported, like the other citations in the lead, with a quote. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:45, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

William F. Buckley

In the hope of avoiding more edit wars, I've left the Buckley quote in, but changed the text to reflect that source, which says that Buckley was the "intellectual godfather" of the conservative movement, not of "the Right". On the one hand, certainly Buckley was an important figure among American Right-wing intellectuals. On the other, I would prefer a quote that actually uses the phrase "Right-wing" rather than the word "conservative". The important question here is the meaning of "right-wing", not whether the "right-wing" view is or is not the correct view, and the widely different ways the phrase is used make intelligent discourse difficult. Buckley is famous for nothing if not for proper use of words. I remember when he issued a ukase to the staff of National Review requiring the Oxford comma (I've corrected a comma error in the lead -- poets are people fascinated with death and commas). His reasoning was that a conjunction cannot replace a separator. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:59, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Add "long-time writer of the column On the Right " and I think it would work. I rather think the title of his column is a teensy bit self-explanatory? Collect (talk) 14:03, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

As I said, there is no doubt that Buckley considered himself "On the Right", though I'm not sure he would have embraced the epithet "right-wing". I just said it should be easy to find a quote that used that phrase. Buckley valued words and would, I believe, have been disgusted by the misuse of words by the anti-intellectual Right of the twenty-first century. I'm certain he never called anyone a "Marxist" unless they were, in fact, a Marxist -- he would not use that as a general term of dislike or dismissal. I remember once when he debated a Marxist on Firing Line, and admitted on the air that it was the first time he had been totally defeated in a debate. The Marxist won by paying no attention to anything Buckley said, and simply reciting the Marxist Party line.

I suspect that one reason Buckley's son resigned from National Review is that the modern American Right has no respect for words, or for facts, but is only interested in winning votes for Republican candidates. I would love to read a column by Buckley on the distinction between "conservative" and "right-wing". I'm sure he would have had insights that this article could profit from. Is there a searchable database of National Review on-line? Rick Norwood (talk) 14:25, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

I can't find any sources that Buckley called himself right-wing. Hayek called himself a "liberal" and said that liberalism was in the center, not on the right. The editor in charge of ideology at the NR was Frank S. Meyer - he might have written something on this. TFD (talk) 15:24, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
so On the Right means what, precisely? That he is right-handed? The "laugh test" is hereby invoked. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:32, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Why, if you admire Buckley (as I do) do you laugh at attempts to use words carefully, as he did. I agree, Buckley considered himself "on the Right". Do some research. Find a quote where he stated what the right-wing believed. He wrote a lot. Surely that is in there somewhere. Nobody is saying that there is not an overlap between right-wing beliefs and conservative beliefs. That does not imply that the two are identical, or even that William F. Buckley considered the two to be identical. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:47, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Buckley wrote a column called "On the Right", therefore Buckley was right-wing, therefore any opinion he expresses is about the Right, even if he does not explicitly say so. Whether or not that would be a reasonable approach in a research paper, it is original research and therefore of little use to us. If you want to include Buckely, find a source where he explains what right-wing means. TFD (talk) 15:57, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
You are errant in the extreme. Mentioning his column name is not "original research" in any universe ever created. Cheers - but this is about as far off an arguemnt as ever made on Wikipedia! Collect (talk) 16:28, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
While mentioning the name of the column, forming a conclusion about it is. BTW the U.S. president says he is a Christian. Does that mean that every statement he makes is a pronouncement on Christianity? TFD (talk) 17:17, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Exactly, and where did Buckley actually try to analyse the term "right-wing" from a historical and global prespective and try to come up with a defintion based on that? LittleJerry (talk) 19:19, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Also, while mainstream source do use the term "Right" to refer to U.S. politics, it is normally used to refer to mainstream Republicans, e.g., Eisenhower. When people such as Buckley, Joe McCarthy or Barry Goldwater were mentioned the term "right" was normally qualified as far right, extreme right, radical right, etc. See for example Daniel Bell's The Radical Right. TFD (talk) 01:33, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Wow! So a person on the right wing of the "political spectrum" is not on the right wing of the "political spectrum." You have made the argument so absolutely and wondrously clear~ Collect (talk) 13:01, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
That's a bit like saying that if one is wealthier than average, then one is rich, but if one is poorer then average, then one is poor. So the U.S. could be described as 50% rich and 50% poor. A rich American vacationing in Bermuda would suddenly become poor, while a poor American vacationing in Mexico would suddenly become rich. How far to the right does one have to be before one is a right-winger? TFD (talk) 14:18, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that these are terms which can be used in both relative and absolute senses. We still speak of left and right in countries where there is no actual left wing party left in mainstream politics, using it solely as a relative term. The perceived centre point shifts with the parties and ignores the absolute definitions of left and right. Similarly we often talk of rich and poor in relative terms although absolute definitions are available. For the terms to be meaningful they require context. Take the example of somebody on the right of the Democrats in the USA. To the Democrats that person is right wing, to the US as whole that person is still a Democrat and hence left wing, while to the world as a whole, which has not entirely forgotten what the real left is (or was), that person is a member of a centre-right party and hence fairly right wing. None of those descriptions is wrong but each is easily misunderstood without context. Furthermore it is that final, worldwide view, which accords with the absolute definitions of left and right, that we should use by default in Wikipedia as we need to be understood by readers around the world. --DanielRigal (talk) 14:54, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

(od) IOW, by "world standards" it is silly to say that Buckley was not right wing at all. BTW, you again point out that there is no absolute "political spectrum" applicable to all eras and all places, or even to all issues. Collect (talk) 15:09, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

But the term left is more often used as an absolute. The parties called "the Left" have historic roots in socialism. TFD (talk) 15:28, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

In most of the world, yes, but not in the US. Here the Democratic Party is called the party of the Left, and its roots are not in socialism, but in liberalism. Rick Norwood (talk) 16:33, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


IOW, no matter who slices the cake, Buckley is "on the right". And there are still no meaningful and universal descriptions of the "political spectrum." Which is what the sources actually do agree on. Cheers. Collect (talk) 18:45, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

the lede has become an information dump, most of the information here should be spread thoughout the body of the article.

I don't see why people are obsessed with the lede when it is the body of the article that needs improving. It seems this consent editting is being done to please one editor. LittleJerry (talk) 19:14, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

The lede is meant to summarise the subject as a whole. Anything in the lede should already be reflected in the body somewhere, covered in more detail and with references. If not, then something has gone badly wrong. Ledes can become bloated when there is disagreement about what are the key points of the subject that require inclusion and so too much stuff gets included. This is common with contentious subjects. It can happen as a result of deliberate POV pushing but more often it comes from good faith differences in understanding over which points are key.
I think that the reason people become obsessed with the lede is that they know that it sets the tone for an article and also that many readers will only read the lede of an article if they just want a basic overview of a subject. I suspect there is also a feeling, probably justified, that if the lede goes to hell the whole article follows.
In this case, I don't think the lede is egregiously long, although it would benefit from tightening. I think the second paragraph is material not covered in the body. I would like to see that slimmed down in the lede and expanded upon in the Varieties section. --DanielRigal (talk) 13:21, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree with DanielRigal. The lead does not seem particularly long, for such a difficult and important topic. It is shorter than the lead for Conservatism in the United States, for example. But the second paragraph should be dealt with as DanielRigal suggests. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:22, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

This isn't being done to please one editor - Collect, Eridu Dreaming, Boris, and I all believe that the article is biased towards a left wing worldview. That makes four editors. Falconclaw5000 (talk) 17:18, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

And your definition of left wing - having roots in socialism - is not even the definition provided in the left wing article. Falconclaw5000 (talk) 17:19, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Falconclaw, you really need to learn about the basis of the left-right spectrum. The left-wing originally founded in the French Parliment in the 1790s DID NOT have roots in socialism, socialism DIDN'T EVEN EXIST THEN, until it was first developed in the 1810s and 1820s! Even in the 1810s and 1820s, socialism was a very small and isolated movement on the left at that time. I still cannot believe that you are ignoring everything that has been told to you, you still believe the left-right spectrum is between statism on the left to libertarianism on the right even though I told you about right-wing Joseph de Maistre and his reactionary supporters advocating the extreme statist absolute monarchy where the monarch and his government had unlimited power to rule through a very strong and centralized state; and the left-wing Mikhail Bakunin and his anarchist supporters advocating the extreme libertarian agenda of destroying the state and replacing it with decentralized socialist communities of voluntarily-adhering members. Please acknowledge that you are not familiar with the history of the left-right spectrum, these people or these examples, and please learn about examples of the statist right (such as absolutists) and the libertarian left (such as anarchists), then you can return and make more informed contributions.--R-41 (talk) 17:48, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I suggest that this article be re-written, at least the "positions" section. The subsections in that sections should be replaced with subsections dedicated to the different taxa of rightist movements; the reactionary right, the moderate Burkean right, the nationalist right, the neoliberal right, etc. LittleJerry (talk) 18:04, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
The positions statement is small enough for the intro and necessary to discern the different common variations of right-wing politics. It is small and it increses awareness to readers that right-wing politics is not one monolithic entity with a a single, clear set of positions.--R-41 (talk) 18:40, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

I said YOUR definition - the definition one of you left-leaning editors gave. I think it was TFD. Falconclaw5000 (talk) 20:56, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

R-41 did misunderstand Falconclaw's comment. But, Falconclaw, when you accuse everyone who does not agree with you of being "left-leaning" you lose ground. Do you seriously think that calling people "left-leaning" because they know a little history is advances rational debate? Rick Norwood (talk) 21:41, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
What Falconclaw is doing is WP:DISRUPT - he is doing the following disruptive behaviour it describes: "Does not engage in consensus building" - he is not cooperating with users who are, or whom he deems left-wing and "Failure or refusal to 'get the point'" - the 'point' being that the left vs. right is not statism on the left and libertarianism on the right, the examples of the absolutist Joseph De Maistre - for right-wing statism and the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin for left-wing libertarianism disprove this entirely - which he refuses to acknowledge so that he can continue to repeat ad nauseum that the left-right spectrum is just statist liberalism and socialism on the left versus libertarian conservatism on the right.--R-41 (talk) 00:53, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

The second paragraph of the lead.

The second paragraph of the lead has become a real mess, making statements about "conservatism" and assuming they automatically apply to the Right, and inserting before references ideas not included in the referenced work. Some people seem to think that right-wing always means conservative and conservative always means libertarian, while left-wing always means socialist, and socialist always means communist. This is siimplistic thinking unworthy of Wikipedia. Maybe the whole second paragraph should go. Rick Norwood (talk) 21:58, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

again tghe real and abiding problem is simple: There is no universal definition of a "political spectrum" which applies to all times and all places, and any article which tries to assert one is going to be horridly flawed. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:05, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
What do you think is the way forward? My view is that we should say the term "Right" has been defined as x, y and z. What do you think? TFD (talk) 04:33, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
We should be honest and say that "right" means different things in different places and at different times, and that there is no universal definition for any "political spectrum." Collect (talk) 12:55, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

We do say that. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:43, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

False Definition

"Right-Wing" does not "generally" refer to "acceptance or support of a hierarchical society" that is like defining a Muslim as generally meaning somebody who does not believe in the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. You will not find a single Right-Wing thinker who DEFINES Right-Wing as "acceptance or support of a hierarchical society" not a single one. Right-Wing thinkers reject radical egalitarianism (and consequently accept or support a "hierarchical" society) but to define the political Right in terms of that opposition is to frame the definition of what it is to be on the Right in terms derived from the political Left. It is as accurate as defining the Left as "Nihilists" or "Utopians" because that is how the "Right" comprehends the Left. You could just as accurately define the Right as anti-Nihilist or anti-Utopian, or to put it more positively, you could just as well define the Right as those who believe in the existence of objective values (truth - morality - excellence) but who combine that belief with a belief in human imperfection (error - evil - failure).

ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 12:31, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Not one? How about Francisco Franco, to name just one, and who is far-Right as cited in The World Almanac above? But I agree with you, and disagree with those cited sources who would primarily define Right-wing in a negative way as opposition to the Left. We should define Right-wing using standard sources in terms of its positive beliefs. As far as I can see, in every case the Right supports government that increases the wealth and power of those who have the most wealth and power, and most, but not all, standard reference works agree. The Right, like all other major political groups in the modern West, pay lip service to freedom and equality of oportunity, but since everyone does that, that does not distinguish the Right from any other group.
I gave you the example you challenged us to give. Now I challenge you to give any example of any group described as right-wing whose policies do not have the effect of supporting those who already have wealth and power.
Rick Norwood (talk) 13:52, 20 February 2012 (UTC)


And again - The World Almanac is not a WP:RS. Your assertions about "every" right-woing government are. alas, not true. There are no definitions of the "right" which are universally true, thus your assertions fail. Franco was certainly backed by the right of Spain, as defined at that time, but his acts were not those of the right wings of other nations at all -- the US "right" of the twenties was non-militaristic, in fact - isolationist, non-authoritarian, and pretty much opposite to Franco. So which definitions do you assert are universal? Militaristic or non-militaristic? Interventionist, or isolationist? Irredentist or non-irredentist? Heavily church-oriented or anti-religious? In favour of existing aristocracy, or anti-aristocratic? Driven by a cult of personalty, or led by self-effacing leaders? I fear your stated dislike for those "who already have wealth and power" makes you fail to see that such an attitude is found in all parts of the political spectrum, and opposition to such groups is found in all parts of the political spectrum. In the US, moreover, the "right" seems to assert that anyone should have the legal right to seek wealth and "happiness". Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:25, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
My claim that you will not find a single Right-Wing thinker who DEFINES Right-Wing as "acceptance or support of a hierarchical society" still stands. Being relaxed about INEQUALITY is a CONSEQUENCE of the above mentioned beliefs 1) Objective Values 2) Human Imperfection.
For example, mathematics is about objective truths (not subjective preferences) and some people are (measurably) better at mathematics than others.
As part of their desire to improve their own lives some of those with superior mathematical skills may seek to use them to obtain better paid jobs. Attempting to improve your opportunities in life encourages people to do jobs that require abilities that are in short supply. A successful economy generates wealth.
What matters (in this account) is not inequalities, but seeking to improve the opportunity (for everybody) to create wealth (however unequally) i.e. a rich rather than a poor society. Only an egalitarian would focus on equality of outcome to the exclusion of everything else. Nobody else is excited by the prospect of being equal but poor, and, unless you are seeking to improve your living standards by redistributing wealth generated by others to yourself, in the name of "social justice", few people are excited by the prospect of giving politicians absolute control over their lives. You would also be hard pressed to find anybody who believes that none of the wealth which you generate through your own efforts should be given to help the deserving poor i.e. those who are poor through no fault of their own.

ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 15:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

ERIDU-DREAMING - Both the church and social standing were arranged in a hierarchical order, from Pope to layman, King to peasant. Are you saying that the Right opposed this structure or that people who supported it were not right-wing? TFD (talk) 15:09, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

It depends which "Right" you are talking about. I would say trying to understand (for example) the American Right in terms of medieval feudalism is a very odd approach.

ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 15:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm baffled. Collect says "your stated dislike for those 'who already have wealth and power'". I have never stated any such thing in my life.

I said "I challenge you to give any example of any group described as right-wing whose policies do not have the effect of supporting those who already have wealth and power." ERIDU-REAMING seems to have skipped the important word "not". I'll restate my challenge in the affirmative. Groups described as Right-wing support those with wealth and power. Can you provide a counterexample?

Rick Norwood (talk) 15:44, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

As far as I can see, in every case the Right supports government that increases the wealth and power of those who have the most wealth and power, and most, but not all, standard reference works agree. The Right, like all other major political groups in the modern West, pay lip service to freedom and equality of oportunity, but since everyone does that, that does not distinguish the Right from any other group. (emphasis added)
rather strongly implies that you do not favour such a position as you impute to the "right."
As for WP:RS, almanacs, encyclopedias etc. are considered "tertiary sources" at best, and not "reliable sources" for claims in Wikipedia.
And I noted left-wing groups also support those with wealth and power as well. To wit - the Soviet and post-Soviet governments in Russia, for one example. When left wing and right wing groups can have the same result, it is kind of obvious that ascribing that attribute to the right alone does not work. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:08, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Like the Soviet nomenklature? Show me a Left-Wing government that does not redistribute wealth and power to itself? Some on the Right however seek to redistribute wealth and power BACK to the people away from Left-Wing governments.

ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 15:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

ERIDU-DREAMING: I owe you an apology. I thought the sentence added by TFD above was yours.

The idea that people who object to the extreme concentration of wealth want an equal distribution of wealth is black and white thinking. Most reasonable people are happy for the rich to have everything they want, as long as the 99% have a safe and comfortable life. The rich can have mansions and banquets as long as the rest have a roof over their head and food to eat.

A left-wing movement that does not redistribute wealth and power to itself? How about the New Deal. Now it's your turn. You say "some on the Right". Name one. Rick Norwood (talk) 16:06, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

"Groups described as Right-wing support those with wealth and power." - statement by Rick Norwood. That is a generalization, the Catholic Church and the Catholic religious right has and continues to supporting giving charity to the poor. The right was founded to justify existing hierarchical institutions and hierarchical social status as a necessary means to ensure social order. At that time the right, including the centre-right Edmund Burke, claimed that the pursuit of egalitarianism for its own end would result in disorder - as people would would reject authority figures and institutions for being hierarchical - leading to everyone believing that they were equal authorities over themselves, resulting in the breakdown of society into violent anarchy, as no one would accept any overarching authority to maintain order. This prediction of people like Burke and others proved accurate in the French Revolution - it devolved into violent anarchy. Second of all, in response to ERIDU-DREAMING, in the case of the Soviet government that was officially committed to radical egalitarianism, a valid scientific claim by political scientist Robert Michels has stated in his famous theory of the iron law of oligarchy that any means of organizing society - even in the pursuit of egalitarianism - inevitably results in hierarchy and oligarchy because organization implies control and leadership. Thus it is quite possible according to Michels' theory that complete egalitarianism - at least when pursued through organized means - is impossible. The Soviet Union claimed that a highly centralized state with strong policing powers was a necessary to prevent a counterrevolution promoted by anti-communist powers. Of course, like any ideology in practice, when it becomes an institution, pragmatic and non-idealist people will enter it, and the institution will become pragmatic and non-idealist. The iron law of oligarchy if accurate, strongly applies to the Soviet Union.--R-41 (talk) 16:14, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

The Catholic Church closes churches in poor neighborhoods that do not make a profit. Yes, the Catholic Church and many other organizations that might be described as "On the Right" gave money to charity, but not so much money that their wealth and power were put at risk. When various saints have recommended holy poverty, the Church honored them with sainthood but did not follow their advice. In any case, the Catholic Church has a long history of supporting its own wealth and power. I understand that Burke and others gave what seemed to them good and sufficient reasons for supporting a hierarchy. I'm not saying that the Right is wrong, I'm saying that the phrase "right-wing" is used to describe those who, rightly or wrongly, support established wealth and power. Rick Norwood (talk) 16:24, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

The Right no more define themselves as seeking to support wealth and power than the Left define themselves as seeking to create poverty and destroy freedom. These may (or may not) be the consequences of their assumptions, but it is the assumptions which define what it is to be on the Right (or the Left) politically. The notion that wealth and power is ipso facto supported by the Right is incorrect. In fact it is an absurd claim.

ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 16:55, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree with ERIDU DREAMING that support of "established wealth and power" are not the ideological goals of the right. Of course there are wealthy people who support the right but there have also been wealthy people like George Soros who have supported the left (at least the centre-left). Though I disagree with ERIDU DREAMING's complaint that acceptance of hierarchy is not a component of the right. Acceptance of some form of hierarchy is justified by the right as the means to insure social order. To the right, the egalitarianism of the left pursued to its natural end of the abolition of all hierarchy results in no authority figures to maintain physical and moral order over society, which according to the right results in chaos and violence as happened in the French Revolution.--R-41 (talk) 17:15, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I do not deny R-41 that ACCEPTANCE of inequality is a COMPONENT of what it is to be on the Right. I simply point out that acceptance of inequality is not the DEFINING quality of the Right. Inequality is a CONSEQUENCE of its assumptions. These assumptions include a commitment to value objectivity.

Value objectivity means that rightness and wrongness are not reducible to matters of preference. You are correct R-41 to draw attention to the importance of authority to the Right, but for the Right authority is not justified by power, on the contrary, power is justified by authority.

The term "hierarchy" has feudal implications that few on the Right these days would accept. So what grounds authority for the Right? It is belief in the RIGHTNESS of that authority.

What grounds rightness? It is that which accords with OBJECTIVE rightness. This is not to say that what is deemed to be morally justified is beyond dispute. All claims to justification can be questioned - and in a free society are questioned - but the recognition that authority is justified by something other than a de facto exercise of power is foundational to the Right.

In other words, there are mechanisms for determining what is right and what is wrong, but what is right and wrong is not settled by who has the power to decide.

To use the example of truth. What is true and what is false is determined by objective realities, but the reality of being human is such that we cannot jump out of the context from which we make our judgements, and so all of our judgements (including our moral judgements) are fallible.

In making these judgements (including moral judgements) some have more authority than others. All judgements are not equal. It is acceptance of value objectivity (and the situated and thus fallible nature of our judgements) that leads to an acceptance of inequality by the Right, not acceptance of inequality that leads to the assumption that values are objective. This is to put the cart before the horse. Acceptance of inequality is a CONSEQUENCE of more fundamental commitments.

It is these more fundamental commitments that define the Right. Not an acceptance of inequality.

ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 18:59, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

ERIDU DREAMING, instead of posting long expositions of your belief system, could you please provide a source written by someone who calls themselves right-wing and explain what it means. TFD (talk) 17:26, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I wish I understood why this is such a hard point for some people to understand. This article is not about how "right-wing" should be used in some ideal world. It is about how "right-wing" is used in this world. Until very recently, almost nobody would ever describe themselves as "right-wing" or "left-wing". Those words were insults. People called somebody "right-wing" because they supported the existing power structure. People called somebody left-wing to tar them with the communist brush. Neither was not a complement. Rick Norwood (talk) 21:22, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Here are quotations of the centre-right classical-liberal-leaning traditionalist conservative Edmund Burke from his work Reflections on the Revolution in France, he was more moderate than de Maistre:
    • "You would have had a flourishing commerce to feed it. You would have had a free constitution; a potent monarchy; a disciplined army; a reformed and venerated clergy; a mitigated but spirited nobility, to lead your virtue, not to overlay it; you would have had a liberal order of commons, to emulate and to recruit that nobility; you would have had a protected, satisfied, laborious, and obedient people, taught to seek and to recognise the happiness that is to be found by virtue in all conditions; in which consists the true moral equality of mankind, and not in that monstrous fiction, which, by inspiring false ideas and vain expectations into men destined to travel in the obscure walk of laborious life, serves only to aggravate and embitter that real inequality, which it never can remove; and which the order of civil life establishes as much for the benefit of those whom it must leave in an humble state, as those whom it is able to exalt to a condition more splendid, but not more happy."
    • "Believe me, Sir, those who attempt to level, never equalise. In all societies, consisting of various descriptions of citizens, some description must be uppermost. The levellers therefore only change and pervert the natural order of things; they load the edifice of society, by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground. The association of tailors and carpenters, of which the republic (of Paris, for instance) is composed, cannot be equal to the situation, into which, by the worst of usurpations, an usurpation on the prerogatives of nature, you attempt to force them."
    • "The chancellor of France at the opening of the states, said[…] that all occupations were honourable. If he meant only, that no honest employment was disgraceful, he would have gone beyond the truth. But in asserting, that any thing is honourable, we imply some distinction in its favour. The occupation of a hair-dresser, or of a working tallow-chandler, cannot be a matter of honour to any person—to say nothing of a number of more servile employments. Such descriptions of men ought not to suffer oppression from the state; but the state suffers oppression, if such as they, either individually or collectively, are permitted to rule. In this you think you are combating prejudice, but you are at war with nature."
Edmund Burke was saying that people be treated equally in a moral sense, but that outside of that, inequality is inevitable and that those seeking to create social equality in society on the left that he and others called "levellers" are pursuing an impossible and unnatural goal. He is saying that in all societies there must be an "uppermost" class of citizens to rule. And the last quote implies that treating all people as equally honourable and able to serve office is dangerous because he claims that equal honour is nonsense and that people of "servile employments" should not govern a state. In all these cases, Burke - the founder of moderate, classical liberal-oriented conservatism, is saying that beyond treating everyone equally on a moral ground, natural hierarchy exists and society cannot be equalized by social levelling.--R-41 (talk) 23:05, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
      • I do not see how presenting primary sources is helpful. TFD (talk) 01:27, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
        • People think that left-wing editors on this page are lying about the hierarchy component of the right. So I, a left-wing editor, provided words right from the horse's mouth, Edmund Burke, the founder of conservatism. But you are right, we need a secondary source to verify this, and here it is - the intro sentence from the traditionalist conservatism article describing traditionalist conservatism a.k.a. Burkean conservatism - it is sourced: "Traditionalist conservatism, also known as "traditional conservatism," "traditionalism," "Burkean conservatism", "classical conservatism" and (in the United Kingdom and Canada), "Toryism", describes a political philosophy emphasizing the need for the principles of natural law and transcendent moral order, tradition, hierarchy and organic unity, agrarianism, classicism and high culture, and the intersecting spheres of loyalty." (Source: Frohnen, Bruce, Jeremy Beer, and Jeffrey O. Nelson, ed. (2006) American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, pp. 870-875.) I bolded the hierarchy part as that is relevant to this discussion. This is what the major conservative figure Edmund Burke supported.--R-41 (talk) 01:49, 21 February 2012 (UTC)


At no point did I say that the Right advocates egalitarianism. Do I need to put that in bold letters? I said that its opposition to egalitarianism derives from its assumptions. I get the impression that some on the Left are having real trouble grasping these assumptions. As a result they seek to define the Right in terms which are derived from the Left - which relies upon assumptions which they do understand. It is not opposition to the Left that DEFINES the Right. Other than repeating this 64,000 times how can I make this any clearer?
The Right grounds social practices in traditions. These traditions are orientated by ideals which the Right believe to be objective. The rejection by the Right of egalitarianism is a CONSEQUENCE of their belief in realism - a realism (and this is important) which carries with it the implication that our claims about the world are fallible i.e. the Right is both Anti-Nihilist (which is to say that the Right believe that right and wrong, better and worse, just and unjust, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, are facts about what is the case, and it is Anti-Utopian (in its epistemological as well as it political sense) because we are human not divine.
The definition from "American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia" is a better definition than simply asserting that to be on the Right is to oppose egalitarianism. It is only the Left that believes that the Right is DEFINED by their opposition to egalitarianism. You will not find a single Right-Wing thinker who defines Right-Wing as "acceptance or support of a hierarchical society". Burke derives his opposition to egalitarianism from his beliefs about what is the case, he does not derive his assumptions about what is the case from his opposition to egalitarianism. His assumptions about what is the case are NOT simply reducible to the claim that he is opposed to egalitarianism. That is like defining a vegetarian as somebody who does not eat pork. A vegetarian does not eat pork, but not eating pork is not what defines what it is to be a vegetarian.
It is more subtle than saying you are lying, it is saying that you do not know what you are talking about, which I am sure you agree is not quite the same.
(ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 03:02, 21 February 2012 (UTC)).
"It is only the Left that believes that the Right is DEFINED by their opposition to egalitarianism." - statement by ERIDU DREAMING - Prove it - prove that the authors of the two sources in the intro (aside from left-wing Bobbio) that describe the right as being principally based on its acceptance or support of hierarchy, are clearly left-wing people with a clear agenda or bias that portrays the right in an inaccurate manner.
I showed you Burke but you are ignoring key components of what Burke is saying. For instance, why Burke emphasize the naturalness of social hierarchy and that social hierarchy is necessary for social order - that there always must be an "uppermost" class of people? Remember he emphasizes that an "uppermost" must rule society and that people of "servile employments" are not deserving of being termed "honourable" as suggested by the French chancellor. You can't compare this to a vegetarian not wanting to eat pork - that is a negation - acceptance or support of hierarchy is not a negation, it is a positive affirmation of social hierarchy as either a reality to be accepted or a goal.
I suggest that social hierarchy is a key component of the right because as one drifts further right and into the far right, the corresponding increase is stronger and stronger emphasis on hierarchy and a more radical desire to ensure hierarchy. The centre right accepts hierarchy as a natural fact but generally accepts equal opportunity, but when you move to the far right, hierarchy is not only accepted but demanded. The far right is about supremacy of individuals or groups deemed to be innately "superior" over others deemed to be innately "inferior". Are we supposed to believe that the far right advocates supremacism of people based on their social class, their religion, or their race out of "realism"? Also how would the Catholic religious right, that was a component of the original right in France, be able to fit into realism when Christianity is the pursuit of ideals and rules of God?--R-41 (talk) 04:46, 21 February 2012 (UTC)


R-41 try to focus on what people say (obviously you find listening/reading quite hard) rather than simply offering your own crass version. I did not say "left-wing people with a clear agenda or bias" [this may or may not be true] I said that some Leftists are drawing upon their left-wing assumptions in order to make sense of the assumptions being made by the Right, and the result is a failure to provide an adequate account of what is is to be on the Right.
The first source [Cultures at War: Moral Conflicts in Western Democracies} assert that "contemporary sociologists" conceptualize Right-Wing as 'social movements whose stated goals are to maintain structures of order, status, honor, or traditional social differences or values' as compared to left-wing movements which seek 'greater equality or political participation.' I have no problem with this as a sociological description (what is missing of course is any philosophical explanation of why there is difference and why it is possible to be on the Right and believe in social change) but the gloss that follows it - right-wing politics is the attempt to defend privilege within social hierarchy - is Leftist crap. It is unclear if that gloss is a quotation from the book. To see privilege within a social hierarchy look at any Communist State you care to mention.
The second source [Peace and prosperity in an age of incivility] asserts that Right-Wing "collectivism" is different from Left-Wing "collectivism" on the grounds that the first "collectivism" is justified via an appeal to "egalitarianism" and the second is justified by an appeal to "hierarchism". Of course this definition does not (and as far as I am aware it is not intended to) encompass any version of the Right that seeks to uphold individual rather than collective rights. I must have missed the political speech by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher or Davd Cameron or President Regan or Bush (senior or junior) that asserted that they went into politics to uphold hierarchy. Inequality as a consequence of liberty is rather different (as I am sure you will agree) from a feudal vision of society as consisting of hierarchical rights.
You do not understand the eating pork example. It is a consequence of having certain views (refusal to eat meat) that X does not eat pork. But what it is it be a vegetarian is not defined by the refusal to eat pork, rather the refusal to eat pork is a consequence of the refusal to eat meat. Of course Edmund Burke (the opponent of egalitarianism) rejects egalitarianism. He rejects egalitarianism because he views it as at odds with the nature of the universe. But it is crass to seek to reduce that vision of the universe to the single issue of equality. You keep on making the same mistake, which rather confirms my claim that Leftists such as yourself struggle to comprehend what the Right are assuming.
It is not the "Far Right" who claim that some people are superior over others (or to put it another way some people are inferior) I am pretty sure that you (who see yourself as on the Left) also view some people as superior/inferior to others, because only somebody deranged by egalitarianism could claim otherwise. You find it incredible that there could be some "realist" grounds which justifies somebody being richer than somebody else, or having a better religion, or being part of a superior race. Well it depends on the reasons why you are richer, on what you believe to be the truth about different religious claims, and if you think there is such a thing as race, and if there is such a thing whether or not there are relevant racial differences.
To be on the Right is to assert that the universe is a certain way, that it has a certain order, that we are not "unconstrained", and as a consequence there are better and worse ways of doing things. Opposition to radical equality is just one consequence of this realist assumption, but to assert that opposition to egalitarianism is what DEFINES the Right is to comprehend the Right in terms derived from the Left.
ERIDU-DREAMING (talk) 07:10, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Again, this is all OR discussing primary sources. Although Burke became a hero to Conservatives in the 20th century and Cold Warriors in the late 20th century, he did not call himself right-wing or even conservative and did not publish articles in modern academic and peer-reviewed literature. TFD (talk) 06:05, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
ERIDU-DREAMING, could you please provide a source that Sowell calls himself right-wing, or strike it out as a BLP violation. TFD (talk) 07:16, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
The far right is not simply evaluating people as "superior in a quality" to another person. I may be superior in knowledge at an academic level of left-right politics to someone who does not have such knowledge, but a car mechanic is superior to me in knowledge of mechanics. But the far right is not evaluating qualities of people it is evaluating people as a whole as being superior or inferior. The far right advocates supremacy of people deemed being innately superior people (be it on social class or race, etc). The reactionaries believed that you were born of noble birth - you were automatically superior to someone of non-noble birth. The racist far-right believes that if you are of an ideal racial group - you are automatically superior to someone of a non-ideal racial group.
In response to your (Eridu's) statement on the Soviet Union, Marxist-Leninist communism and hierarchy: Communism in the Soviet Union and elsewhere faced the problems of all revolutionaries: how to put ideals into practice given the people in charge of the revolution, in a given society with given traits and issues. People like Lenin and Trotsky truly believed that they were going to eventually establish a communist society - they devoted much time to writing their theories and were very committed to their goals, but they were ruthless in their ambition to achieve it. People like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot are another case altogether - they were completely Machiavellian, and Stalin was a sociopath. The main problem with communism in practice is the paranoia of counter-revolution, in the beginning of the Bolshevik rule this was a very real issue because Russia was in civil war between the Red Army versus the White Army. Plus if political theorist Robert Michels' famous theory of the iron law of oligarchy is correct, where he claims that even egalitarian-aiming organizations become inevitably hierarchical out of tactical necessities, then this best describes the Soviet case in the early years. In the latter years the Soviet Union and other communist governments had devolved into institutions with hollow ideology - almost no one took Marxism-Leninism as an ideology seriously by the 1970s and 1980s in Eastern Europe, and claims that today's People's Republic of China is still communist only deserve a response of laughter at such naivety.--R-41 (talk) 08:01, 21 February 2012 (UTC)