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Right-wing politics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Right-wing politics holds the view that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable,[1][2][3] typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics, or tradition.[4]:p. 693, 721[5][6][7][8][9] Hierarchy and inequality may be viewed as natural results of traditional social differences[10][11] or the competition in market economies.[12][13][14] The term right-wing can generally refer to "the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system".[15]

The political terms "Left" and "Right" were first used during the French Revolution (1789–1799) and they originally referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament: those who sat to the right of the chair of the parliamentary president were broadly supportive of the institutions of the monarchist Old Regime.[16][17][18][19] The original Right in France was formed as a reaction against the "Left" and comprised those politicians supporting hierarchy, tradition, and clericalism.[4]:693 The use of the expression la droite ("the right") became prominent in France after the restoration of the monarchy in 1815, when it was applied to the Ultra-royalists.[20] The people of English-speaking countries did not apply the terms "right" and "left" to their own politics until the 20th century.[21]

Although the term "right-wing" originated with traditional conservatives, monarchists, and reactionaries, the term "extreme right-wing" has been applied to movements including fascism, Nazism, and racial supremacy.[22] From the 1830s to the 1880s, the Western world's social class structure and economy shifted from nobility and aristocracy towards capitalism.[23] This general economic shift towards capitalism affected centre-right movements such as the British Conservative Party, which responded by becoming supportive of capitalism.[24] In the United States, the Right includes both economic and social conservatives.[25] In Europe, economic conservatives are usually considered liberal and the Right includes nationalists, nativist opponents of immigration, religious conservatives, and, historically, a significant number of right-wing movements with anti-capitalist sentiments, including conservatives and fascists, opposed contemporary capitalism because they believed that selfishness and excessive materialism were inherent in it.[26][27]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Talking About Politics: LEFT WING & RIGHT WING
  • ✪ Political Spectrums Explained — Why is there a left wing and right wing?
  • ✪ The Political Spectrum Explained In 4 Minutes
  • ✪ Right wing Left wing Politics - वामपंथी दक्षिणपंथी विचारधारा में अंतर जानिए - UPSC/IAS/PCS
  • ✪ Right wing Left wing Politics - IAS/UPSC/PCS


I left my heart in San Francis-... Hi. James from engVid. I'd like to do a lesson today with you on politics. I know, you're used to grammar and vocabulary, but it's always good to expand your horizons, that means your learning abilities and look at things that you may not need today but you will need in the future, especially when you have, you know, educated conversations. In your own languages you often speak about religion, politics, sexual relations, and in this lesson what I want to teach you is a way to understand English terms, what they mean to us when we hear them and what we're trying to tell you when we're saying them. That way you can get into political conversations, and that doesn't mean, you know, who's right, who's wrong, but be able to explain where you're from, what it's like, and where we're from and maybe understand each other a little better. Are you ready? Let's go to the board. I said I left my heart in San Francisco. There's a reason for it. Notice E says: "I'm a lefty." Quick story for you so you understand. A long time ago back in England there were two houses. There's the queen, I'm sure you probably know that England has a queen, and they let the common people vote and there would be one side where the people with title, or princes, and counts, and dukes would sit; another side where the common people would sit. I'm wondering if you can figure out which side which sat. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, I know, difficult. Let me explain. So if you were the king or queen you sat in the middle, and you'd have your nobles, that's your knights, your kings, your dukes, your princes, barons; on the other side the common people. Well, I'll let you know. This is my right side. On the right side the barons, and the kings, and the dukes would sit; on the left side would be the common people. After a while what happened was people started referring to people on politics as right and left. Why? Because on the right side, the nobles, the kings, the princes, they wanted things to stay the same. They liked what they had, they didn't want to have anything to change. Of course, the common people who are on the left side, they were the ones who had money and they were paying for things and not really seeing things change, and they were like: "Hey, if we're paying, we should get to change things." So this became known as "left wing" and "right wing" because it was in the house of politics where the king would sit, there was a left side and a right side. Today's lesson is going to explain to you what that old way of thinking has changed into in the modern day, and where we sit now. You ready? Let's go to the board. Okay. You see this thing here? It's called a pendulum. A pendulum is basically you can have a string with a rock, and once you move it, it goes back and forward, back and forward, and swings. Politics, which is the business of people being together, "polis" meaning people. That's what it means. Politics. The people choose, and often sometimes they change in the way they look at things. Center is when the pendulum isn't moving. Center. And as you can think, it's probably a nice place to be. But there's more movement or activity when the pendulum goes up to the right or up to the left. That's when we see a lot of changes. And it's good to understand what terms are used and how they affect us. So let's start with... Well, let's start with the left, the common people. All right? Most of you would know the extreme version if you've heard of it... Or let's go here first. When we talk about left, we talk about all for one and one for all. If you're French, it's the three musketeers. One for one and one for all. It means we all work together for a good community or a better community. No one person is above the community. No one person is better than the community. Okay? So that's all for one. But we all will work for the individual, but the community is the most important part. And that will help you understand the most extreme form of left, left-sided politics which is communism, which is communityism. Right? This is the most extreme form. An example of this would be in 1918 to 1991 in the U.S.S.R. We now call it Russia. Okay? What this means is the government is in control of everything; the economy, how people make money, and how land is given out. And the government tries to give everybody the same amount of land. Everybody, I know it's crazy, but hey, that's what they're supposed to do. Everybody gets the same amount of land, the same amount of money, and everybody gets jobs, and everybody does what they like to do to help the community get better. That's the book communism, by the way. Real communism doesn't work that way, but that's the way it should be. Normally when we think of communism we think of the economy and how things work, which is the government controls how things are made and what gets made. Okay? There's no private business or enterprise. You don't have your own company. It belongs to the government, which belongs to the community, which belongs to everyone. That's the most extreme. As you can see, they tried this experiment from 1918 to 1991, and other countries have tried it. Didn't quite work as well as we thought, so people have kind of backed away from that. A lesser form or something not as serious we have called socialism. Socialism is existing right now in France. A country in Europe, in the middle of Europe, nice, little country, and it's a little different. They like some of the ideas of communism, but they were like: "Dude, you gone too far. Sometimes I want to go to Jeremy's Bakery and eat from Jeremy's. I don't want state-run bakery goods." So what they said and what socialism is about is we have to be social. Yes, we're a community, but it's more of our interaction, how we work together, we're social. All right? We're not always one community. And what they say is: "Look, the government runs a lot of the social programs." In this case, things like daycare where babies get taken care of or children get taken care of; medicine, when you go to the hospital; social welfare, if you lose your job, the government gives you money; and retirement, when you work no more and you don't... You're too old to work, they give you money. In socialism what they say is very big and important things-medicine, communications, roads-those are government things. Business should have no business in business. Or in other words: Business is not allowed to be in because this is too important to the society. So this is about the community, this is about the society. So you're allowed to have your own private business. So if you want to have a little English school, no problem, have an English school. If you want to start your own video company, go ahead. You want to start a hospital? Sorry, that's the French Government, not you. So they separate by saying the most important things are run by the government, but you can have some private companies. So some private companies are allowed. Cool? All right. Let's go to my favourite place. Ta-da, it's Canada. What? It's in the center. That's right, eh? Canada is central because they believe social programs are necessary, so a little socialist, but they think sometimes people can make good decisions and governments shouldn't always tell you what to do. So they're right in the middle. They've decided that we should have more private business and social programs. So while in France you'll notice medicine is run by the government, in Canada you can have the government which does take care of its people, but you can also have a private industry that can take care of people. So if you don't like the government's business, you can go out of it and say: "You know what? I want to go to a doctor." In fact, we have our medicine paid for in Canada, but you have to pay for a dentist. And in some cases the government will pay for a dentist for you, so they balance or try to balance private with social. Cool? All right. Okay, so when we... The pendulum swings to the right we go up to conservatism, and we're going to look at the United States of America. Sorry, Latin America, I know that you're Americans as well, but generally we consider in Canada "The United States of America" its official title. Okay? So we're not insulting you. In conservatism... Do you remember I talked about the rights, they like things to stay the same? Well, also they like to be able to do their own business. That's part of being conservative. And if we look up here, we'll go here, conservatism it starts one before all. They really care about the individual. They want individual rights, not to have government tell them what to do. They prefer lower taxes. They don't want to pay taxes for a government that's not doing anything for them. They like less regulation, that means less laws telling them what to do. It makes them a bit freer to do what they wanted to do. And you have to remember if the people who originally wanted this were knights, barons, and dukes who were independent people, who had their own way of making money and took care of their own things, so they didn't see why a government or a king should be able to tell them what to do. And that's where we have American on conservatism. Some people would say it's actually more moderate than a lot of other countries, but when you think about it, most Americans will tell you private business can do the job better than government and that's why they're here over here. For instance, in America, private healthcare, well, healthcare is done by insurance companies which people pay for. And I've made a small mistake, here. When I said "medicine", in Canada, we pay for medicine. That's in case... That's drugs. We pay for our drugs. What we don't pay for is healthcare. Healthcare are your doctors. Okay? So healthcare. We don't pay for our healthcare or our doctors. United States, you do. Okay? Sorry, a little mistake there. But in the US you do pay for this. We do pay for our drugs. Now, if we skip over here and we let the pendulum go a little bit further, we go to the highest form of conservatism, and that's fascism. We can look here at Italy from 1922 to 1945. Fascism is really interesting because, well, in communism, the government runs everything. In Fascism the government doesn't run everything. They work with business so they like the idea of business, but they do it for the country, for the nation because fascism has a lot to do with what we call nationalism, caring about more the nation. In communism they care more about the community. Fascism is more about the nation, not necessarily the individual people. That's why they can have business in fascist states or fascist countries. Italy was a fascist country for a pretty long time, 1922 to 1945. Yeah? Some people would say that there's not much of a difference between communism and fascism, and there is. Fascism is more national, so they do whatever they're doing is for the country. Remember, not necessarily the people but the country itself, and they will do whatever to make the country great. Communism tends to want to spread, it's more international looking. All right? So now that we understand the pendulum and how it swings, let's see how well you understand left wing and right wing. One for all or one before all? Ready? Okay, so we talked before, we're going to do our quiz, and just a little hint for you on some things you've heard before and may be confused by. Political systems and economic systems go together. So many times when you hear communism, sometimes you're talking about the political system, sometimes they're talking about the economic system. Generally if you're talking about communism, as you can see here, they go hand in hand. If you have a communist government, you'll have a communist economic system because the economics of communism is to be in control, the government controls how things are made, who makes them, and where they're made. Well, that's going to have to have a political system that follows that because you can't really have a democracy where people vote, and then the government tell them what's going to be done and how. So generally, communism will be economics and politics together, but people can refer or talk about them separately as different things. So don't get confused with the two. You have to understand if they're talking about how things are done or how things are run. Okay? Socialism also has politics and economics. In socialism for the politics, the government-once again, notice how I talk about the government-gets to decide which is... Which things that they are in control of, from healthcare, education, communications. Yeah. You think: "That's private." Some countries, no. The government decides what gets put on and who gets to do it because they think it's important for the society more than the individual. Okay? And economics is the same thing. Well, if someone is making those decisions, then they usually start telling people, who and what to do, who to do it, and how to do it or when to do it. So these two tend to go together, but they can be separate. Okay? Finally, this one is actually easy, capitalism and conservatism usually go together. Capitalism, though, has the belief that private hands or private companies make the best decisions better than governments. In conservative politics they think the individual should be free to make the decision and that's why these two go together rather well because you get the individual who happens to be a private business owner, they work well together. So, and sometimes these couples go together. Not always, but you'll find they generally do, and you have to listen carefully sometimes because it can be confusing if you're having an economic conversation or political one. Okay? Let's go to the board and do a very quick test to see how well you understood before. What is communism and which one's capitalism? And if you notice my Star Wars' figures. I want you to take a good look here. You go: "Which one's which? Why are you using them? Why are you using them?" Well, when we think more of the fascist kind of governments, think more like a Darth Sidious. Okay? Individuals. Remember we talked about the individual is more important? I'm not saying they're all evil. Okay? Fascism did have its time, it wasn't a good place, or it wasn't a good thing. And you can think it's a little dark, but it's about the individual. When we talk about communism, this piece of... It's more about the collective of the community. You can see how communism is about the community. Individual versus community. Right? Okay, cool. I hope you got the visuals, that'll help you. Communism is a big piece of... Well, fascism can be a little bit evil sometimes, it's about the individual. The collective, the individual. Ready for your test? Let's go. And those of you who are Star Wars fans are like: "I think, I think not." Well, that's my... That's Yoda. Sorry. [Laughs] "Do not think. Think..." Whatever. Let's go to the board for your quick quiz. Okay? Let's talk about social... Okay, first one: "Communism and socialism are on the __________ of the political pendulum." Would that be the left or the right? Communism and socialism. A bit tricky on that one, but think about it. Na, na, na, na-na, na, na, na, na. Hint, hint. Okay. Remember we talked about the left in politics? It was for the people, the common people. In "communism" we have community, and in "socialism" we have social, which are people. So we would say it was on the left. Yes, I know I put that piece on my right shoulder, but it's on the left. Left. All right? Good. Let's try the next one. You ready? "Moderate countries __________ social programs. Moderate countries __________ social programs." Do they have them or don't they have them? O Canada. We're so proud of that song. Yeah, some of you went: "Oh yeah, Canada is central and moderate, and they have social programs." Right? They have social programs because moderate means basically middle, so they'll have some. Not everything, but some. A little less, well, much less in many cases than the communism or socialist brothers, there. And the final question: "In countries that are conservative, private businesses __________ allowed." Are they allowed or not allowed, what do you think? Hmm, well, here, let's take a look. We said conservative, and earlier on I told you about capitalism and conservatism. If you put that that would be this, they are allowed because capitalism usually goes with conservative countries. Right? Private business, private entities or business for you. Cool? Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our little chat together on politics. As I said before, it's a bit of an advanced lesson because some of you are still working on basic grammar or vocabulary. But you have to understand that you have to grow and go. Right? So you may be here, but later on you'll be using these terms if you go to school or you have to take an IELTS exam or something like that, these terms will be brought up. So if you have an understanding now, it'll be easier to deal with it later. All right? Anyway, look, you have a good day. But before we go anywhere I want you to go to my favourite place in the universe: www, what? eng, and I always get this wrong, this one. Okay, got it right this time. eng as in engVid, eng as English, v as in ( Okay? Don't forget to subscribe, and as the pendulum swings, it could be here, here, or here. I'm sure one day it'll be down here as well. But don't forget to subscribe, and I look forward to chatting with you soon. All right? Have a good one. And thanks, as always, for being on engVid.



5 May 1789, opening of the Estates-General in Versailles in 1789, as the conservatives sat on the right
5 May 1789, opening of the Estates-General in Versailles in 1789, as the conservatives sat on the right

The political term right-wing was first used during the French Revolution, when liberal deputies of the Third Estate generally sat to the left of the president's chair, a custom that began in the Estates General of 1789. The nobility, members of the Second Estate, generally sat to the right. In the successive legislative assemblies, monarchists who supported the Old Regime were commonly referred to as rightists because they sat on the right side. A major figure on the right was Joseph de Maistre, who argued for an authoritarian form of conservatism. Throughout the 19th century, the main line dividing Left and Right in France was between supporters of the republic (often secularists) and supporters of the monarchy (often Catholics).[19] On the right, the Legitimists and Ultra-royalists held counter-revolutionary views, while the Orléanists hoped to create a constitutional monarchy under their preferred branch of the royal family, a brief reality after the 1830 July Revolution. The centre-right Gaullists in post-World War II France advocated considerable social spending on education and infrastructure development as well as extensive economic regulation, but limited the wealth redistribution measures characteristic of social democracy.[citation needed]

In British politics, the terms "right" and "left" came into common use for the first time in the late 1930s in debates over the Spanish Civil War.[28]

The Right has gone through five distinct historical stages: (I) the reactionary right sought a return to aristocracy and established religion; (II) the moderate right distrusted intellectuals and sought limited government; (III) the radical right favored a romantic and aggressive form of nationalism; (IV) the extreme right proposed anti-immigration policies and implicit racism; and (V) the neo-liberal right sought to combine a market economy and economic deregulation with the traditional right-wing beliefs in patriotism, elitism and law and order.[9][page needed][29]


The meaning of right-wing "varies across societies, historical epochs, and political systems and ideologies".[30] According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, in liberal democracies, the political right opposes socialism and social democracy. Right-wing parties include conservatives, Christian democrats, classical liberals, nationalists; and on the far-right, fascists.[31]

Roger Eatwell and Neal O'Sullivan divide the right into five types: reactionary, moderate, radical, extreme and new.[32] Chip Berlet argues that each of these "styles of thought" are "responses to the left", including liberalism and socialism, which have arisen since the 1789 French Revolution.[33] The reactionary right looks toward the past and is "aristocratic, religious and authoritarian".[33] The moderate right, typified by the writings of Edmund Burke, is tolerant of change, provided it is gradual and accepts some aspects of liberalism, including the rule of law and capitalism, although it sees radical laissez-faire and individualism as harmful to society. The moderate right often promotes nationalism and social welfare policies.[34] Radical right is a term developed after World War II to describe groups and ideologies such as McCarthyism, the John Birch Society, Thatcherism and the Republikaner Party. Eatwell stresses that this use has "major typological problems" and that the term "has also been applied to clearly democratic developments".[35] The radical right includes right-wing populism and various other subtypes.[33] Eatwell argues that the extreme right' has four traits: "1) anti-democracy; 2) nationalism; 3) racism; and 4) the strong state".[36] The New Right consists of the liberal conservatives, who stress small government, free markets and individual initiative.[37]

Other authors make a distinction between the centre-right and the far-right.[38] Parties of the centre-right generally support liberal democracy, capitalism, the market economy (though they may accept government regulation to control monopolies), private property rights and a limited welfare state (for example, government provision of education and medical care). They support conservatism and economic liberalism and oppose socialism and communism. By contrast, the phrase "far-right" is used to describe those who favor an absolutist government, which uses the power of the state to support the dominant ethnic group or religion and often to criminalize other ethnic groups or religions.[39][40][41][42][43] Typical examples of leaders to whom the far-right label is often applied are: Francisco Franco in Spain, Benito Mussolini in Italy, Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany and Augusto Pinochet in Chile.[44][45][46][page needed][47][48]

The United States Department of Homeland Security defines right-wing extremism in the United States as "broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration." [49]

Social stratification

Right-wing politics involves in varying degrees the rejection of some egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming either that social or economic inequality is natural and inevitable or that it is beneficial to society.[50] Right-wing ideologies and movements support social order. The original French right-wing was called "the party of order" and held that France needed a strong political leader to keep order.[19] British conservative scholar R. J. White, who rejects egalitarianism, wrote: "Men are equal before God and the laws, but unequal in all else; hierarchy is the order of nature, and privilege is the reward of honourable service".[51] American conservative Russell Kirk also rejected egalitarianism as imposing sameness, stating: "Men are created different; and a government that ignores this law becomes an unjust government for it sacrifices nobility to mediocrity".[51] Kirk took as one of the "canons" of conservatism the principle that "civilized society requires orders and classes".[52] Right libertarians reject collective or state-imposed equality as undermining reward for personal merit, initiative and enterprise.[51] In their view, it is unjust, limits personal freedom and leads to social uniformity and mediocrity.[51] In the view of philosopher Jason Stanley, the "politics of hierarchy" is one of the hallmarks of fascism, which refers back to a "glorious past" in which members of the rightfully dominant group sat atop the hierarchy, and attempt to recreate this state of being.[53]


The original use of "right-wing" in reference to communism had the conservatives on the right, the liberals in the centre and the communists on the left. Both the conservatives and the liberals were strongly anti-communist. The history of the use of the term "right-wing" in reference to anti-communism is a complicated one.[54]

Early Marxist movements were at odds with the traditional monarchies that ruled over much of the European continent at the time. Many European monarchies outlawed the public expression of communist views and the Communist Manifesto, which began "[a] spectre [that] is haunting Europe", stated that monarchs feared for their thrones. Advocacy of communism was illegal in the Russian Empire, the German Empire and Austria-Hungary, the three most powerful monarchies in continental Europe prior to World War I. Many monarchists (except constitutional monarchists) viewed inequality in wealth and political power as resulting from a divine natural order. The struggle between monarchists and communists was often described as a struggle between the Right and the Left.

By World War I, in most European monarchies, the divine right of kings had become discredited and was replaced by liberal and nationalist movements. Most European monarchs became figureheads or they accepted a lesser degree of powers while elected governments held the day-to-day power. The most conservative European monarchy, the Russian Empire, was replaced by the communist Soviet Union. The Russian Revolution inspired a series of other communist revolutions across Europe in the years 1917–1923. Many of these, such as the German Revolution, were defeated by nationalist and monarchist military units. During this period, nationalism began to be considered right-wing, especially when it opposed the internationalism of the communists.

The 1920s and 1930s saw the decline of traditional right-wing politics. The mantle of conservative anti-communism was taken up by the rising fascist movements on the one hand and by American-inspired liberal conservatives on the other. When communist groups and political parties began appearing around the world, their opponents were usually colonial authorities and the term right-wing came to be applied to colonialism.

After World War II, communism became a global phenomenon and anti-communism became an integral part of the domestic and foreign policies of the United States and its NATO allies. Conservatism in the post-war era abandoned its monarchist and aristocratic roots, focusing instead on patriotism, religious values and nationalism. Throughout the Cold War, colonial governments in Asia, Africa and Latin America turned to the United States for political and economic support. Communists were also enemies of capitalism, portraying Wall Street as the oppressor of the masses. The United States made anti-communism the top priority of its foreign policy and many American conservatives sought to combat what they saw as communist influence at home. This led to the adoption of a number of domestic policies that are collectively known under the term "McCarthyism". While both liberals and conservatives were anti-communist, the followers of Senator McCarthy were called right-wing and those on the right called liberals who favored free speech, even for communists; leftist.


In France after the French Revolution, the Right fought against the rising power of those who had grown rich through commerce and sought to preserve the rights of the hereditary nobility. They were uncomfortable with capitalism, the Enlightenment, individualism and industrialism and fought to retain traditional social hierarchies and institutions.[16][55] In Europe's history, there have been strong collectivist right-wing movements, such as in the social Catholic right that has exhibited hostility to all forms of liberalism (including economic liberalism) and has historically advocated for paternalist class harmony involving an organic-hierarchical society where workers are protected while hierarchy of classes remain.[56]

In the nineteenth century, the Right had shifted to support the newly rich in some European countries (particularly England) and instead of favouring the nobility over industrialists, favoured capitalists over the working class. Other right-wing movements, such as Carlism in Spain and nationalist movements in France, Germany and Russia, remained hostile to capitalism and industrialism. However, there are still a few right-wing movements today, notably the French Nouvelle Droite, CasaPound and American paleoconservatives, that are often in opposition to capitalist ethics and the effects they have on society as a whole, which they see as infringing upon or causing the decay of social traditions or hierarchies that they see as essential for social order.[57]

In modern times, "right-wing" is sometimes used to describe laissez-faire capitalism. In Europe, capitalists formed alliances with the Right during their conflicts with workers after 1848. In France, the Right's support of capitalism can be traced to the late-nineteenth century.[19] The so-called neoliberal Right, popularised by US President Ronald Reagan and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, combines support for free markets, privatisation and deregulation with traditional right-wing support for social conformity.[8] Right-wing libertarianism (sometimes known as libertarian conservatism or conservative libertarianism) supports a decentralised economy based on economic freedom and holds property rights, free markets and free trade to be the most important kinds of freedom. Russell Kirk believed that freedom and property rights were interlinked.[52] Anthony Gregory has written that right-wing libertarianism "can refer to any number of varying and at times mutually exclusive political orientations". Gregory holds that the issue is neither right or left, but "whether a person sees the state as a major hazard or just another institution to be reformed and directed toward a political goal".[58]

Conservative authoritarians and those on the far-right have supported fascism and corporatism.[57]


In France, nationalism was originally a left-wing and Republican ideology.[59] After the period of boulangisme and the Dreyfus Affair, nationalism became a trait of the right-wing.[60] Right-wing nationalists sought to define and defend a "true" national identity from elements which they believed were corrupting that identity.[19] Some were supremacists, who in accordance with scientific racism and social Darwinism applied the concept of "survival of the fittest" to nations and races.[61] Right-wing nationalism was influenced by Romantic nationalism, in which the state derives its political legitimacy from the organic unity of those it governs. This generally includes the language, race, culture, religion and customs of the nation, all of which were "born" within its culture. Linked with right-wing nationalism is cultural conservatism, which supports the preservation of the heritage of a nation or culture and often sees deviations from cultural norms as an existential threat.[62][page needed]

Natural law and traditionalism

Right-wing politics typically justifies a hierarchical society on the basis of natural law or tradition.[5][6][7][8][9][page needed][50]

Traditionalism was advocated by a group of United States university professors (labeled the "New Conservatives" by the popular press) who rejected the concepts of individualism, liberalism, modernity and social progress, seeking instead to promote what they identified as cultural and educational renewal[63] and a revived interest in what T. S. Eliot referred to as "the permanent things" (concepts perceived by traditionalists as truths that endure from age to age alongside basic institutions of western society such as the church, the family, the state and business).


Tea Party protesters walk towards the United States Capitol during the Taxpayer March on Washington, 12 September 2009
Tea Party protesters walk towards the United States Capitol during the Taxpayer March on Washington, 12 September 2009

Right-wing populism is a combination of civic- and ethno-nationalism with anti-elitism, using populist rhetoric to provide a radical critique of existing political institutions.[64] According to Margaret Canovan, a right-wing populist is "a charismatic leader, using the tactics of politicians' populism to go past the politicians and intellectual elite and appeal to the reactionary sentiments of the populace, often buttressing his claim to speak for the people by the use of referendums".[46][page needed]

In Europe, right-wing populism often takes the form of distrust of the European Union and of politicians in general combined with anti-immigrant rhetoric and a call for a return to traditional, national values.[65][page needed] In the United States, the Tea Party movement states that the core beliefs for membership are the primacy of individual liberties as defined in the Constitution of the United States, small federal government and respect for the rule of law. Some policy positions include an opposition to illegal immigration, a strong national military force, the right to individual gun ownership, cutting taxes, reducing government spending and balancing the budget.[66]


Government support for an established religion was associated with the original French Right.[55] Joseph de Maistre argued for the indirect authority of the Pope over temporal matters. According to Maistre, only governments which were founded upon Christian constitutions, which were implicit in the customs and institutions of all European societies, especially in Catholic European monarchies, could avoid the disorder and bloodshed that followed the implementation of rationalist political programs, as in the French Revolution. The Church of England was established by Henry VIII and some churchmen are given seats in the House of Lords, but they are considered politically neutral rather than specifically right or left-wing.

The American right-wing media frequently urges the government to enact laws which support its religious tenets.[55][failed verification] It also opposes sex outside marriage [67][failed verification] and same-sex marriage, and it sometimes rejects scientific positions on evolution and other matters where science tends to disagree with the Bible.[68][69]

Outside the West, some other religiously and ethnically-based political groups are considered right-wing.[citation needed] The Hindu nationalist movement has attracted privileged groups which fear encroachment on their dominant positions as well as "plebeian" and impoverished groups which seek recognition around a majoritarian rhetoric of cultural pride, order, and national strength.[70]

Due to Zionism’s ultranationalist characteristics, Israel has a number of right-wing religious parties and movements, such as Kahanism which believes that Israel should be a theocratic state, where non-Jews have no voting rights[71] and the far-right Lehava which strictly opposes Jewish assimilation and the Christian presence in Israel.[72] The Jewish Defence League(JDL) in the United States was classified as "a right wing terrorist group" by the FBI in 2001.[73]

Many Islamist groups have been called "right-wing" including the Great Union Party[74] and the Combatant Clergy Association/Association of Militant Clergy[75][76] and the Islamic Society of Engineers of Iran.[77][78]

The term "family values" has been used by right-wing parties such as the Republican Party in the United States, the Family First Party in Australia, the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom and the Bharatiya Janata Party in India to describe support for traditional families and opposition to the changes the modern world has made in how families live. Right-wing supporters of "family values" may oppose abortion, euthanasia, and teenage pregnancy.[79][80]

See also


  1. ^ Johnson, Paul (2005). "Right-wing, rightist". A Political Glossary. Auburn University website. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  2. ^ Bobbio, Norberto; Cameron, Allan (1996). Left and Right: The Significance of a Political Distinction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 51, 62. ISBN 978-0-226-06246-4.
  3. ^ Goldthorpe, J.E. (1985). An Introduction to Sociology (Third ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-521-24545-6.
  4. ^ a b Carlisle, Rodney P. (2005). Encyclopedia of Politics: The Left and the Right. Thousand Oaks [u.a.]: SAGE Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4129-0409-4.
  5. ^ a b T. Alexander Smith, Raymond Tatalovich. Cultures at war: moral conflicts in western democracies. Toronto, Canada: Broadview Press, Ltd, 2003. p. 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."
  6. ^ a b Left and right: the significance of a political distinction, Norberto Bobbio and Allan Cameron, p. 37, University of Chicago Press, 1997.
  7. ^ a b Seymour Martin Lipset, cited in Fuchs, D., and Klingemann, H. 1990. The left-right schema. pp. 203–34 in Continuities in Political Action: A Longitudinal Study of Political Orientations in Three Western Democracies, ed.M.Jennings et al. Berlin:de Gruyter
  8. ^ a b c Lukes, Steven. 'Epilogue: The Grand Dichotomy of the Twentieth Century': concluding chapter to T. Ball and R. Bellamy (eds.), The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Political Thought. pp.610–612
  9. ^ a b c Clark, William Roberts (2003). Capitalism, Not Globalism: Capital Mobility, Central Bank Independence, and the Political Control of the Economy ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). Ann Arbor [u.a.]: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11293-7.[page needed]
  10. ^ Smith, T. Alexander and Raymond Tatalovich. Cultures at War: Moral Conflicts in Western Democracies (Toronto, Canada: Broadview Press, Ltd., 2003) p. 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.'
  11. ^ Gidron, N; Ziblatt, D. (2019). "Center-right political parties in advanced democracies 2019" (PDF). Annual Review of Political Science. 22: 23. doi:10.1146/annurev-polisci-090717-092750. Defining the right by its adherence to the status quo is closely associated with a definition of the right as a defense of inequality (Bobbio 1996, Jost 2009, Luna & Kaltwasser 2014). As noted by Jost (2009), within the context of Western political development, opposition to change is often synonymous with support for inequality. Notwithstanding its prominence in the literature, we are hesitant to adopt this definition of the right since it requires the researcher to interpret ideological claims according to an abstract understanding of equality. For instance, Noel & Therien (2008) argue that right-wing opposition to affirmative action speaks in the name of equality and rejects positive discrimination based on demographic factors. From this perspective, the right is not inegalitarian but is “differently egalitarian” (Noel & Therien 2008, p. 18).
  12. ^ Scruton, Roger "A Dictionary of Political Thought" "Defined by contrast to (or perhaps more accurately conflict with) the left the term right does not even have the respectability of a history. As now used it denotes several connected and also conflicting ideas (including) 1)conservative, and perhaps authoritarian, doctrines concerning the nature of civil society, with emphasis on custom, tradition, and allegiance as social bonds ... 8) belief in free enterprise free markets and a capitalist economy as the only mode of production compatible with human freedom and suited to the temporary nature of human aspirations ..." pp. 281–2, Macmillan, 1996
  13. ^ Goldthorpe, J.E. (1985). An Introduction to Sociology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-521-24545-6. There are ... those who accept inequality as natural, normal, and even desirable. Two main lines of thought converge on the Right or conservative side...the truly Conservative view is that there is a natural hierarchy of skills and talents in which some people are born leaders, whether by heredity or family tradition. ... now ... the more usual right-wing view, which may be called 'liberal-conservative', is that unequal rewards are right and desirable so long as the competition for wealth and power is a fair one.
  14. ^ Gidron, N; Ziblatt, D. (2019). "Center-right political parties in advanced democracies 2019" (PDF). Annual Review of Political Science. 22: 24. doi:10.1146/annurev-polisci-090717-092750. ...since different currents within the right are drawn to different visions of societal structures. For example, market liberals see social relations as stratified by natural economic inequalities.
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Further reading

  • Berlet, Chip. "When Alienation turns Right". In Langman, Lauren and Kalekin-Fishman (Eds.) The Evolution of Alienation: Trauma, Promise, and the Millennium. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006 ISBN 0-7425-1835-3, ISBN 978-0-7425-1835-3
  • Davies, Peter. The Extreme Right in France, 1789 to the Present: From De Maistre to Le Pen. New York, NY: Routledge, 2002 ISBN 0-415-23982-6, ISBN 978-0-415-23982-0
  • Eatwell, Roger. "Introduction: the new extreme right challenge". In Eatwell, Roger and Muddle, Cas (Eds.) Western Democracies and the new Extreme Right Challenge. London, UK: Routledge, 2004 ISBN 0-415-36971-1, ISBN 978-0-415-36971-8
  • Eatwell, Roger. "Conclusion: The 'End of Ideology'". In Eatwell, Roger and Wright, Anthony (Eds.) Contemporary Political Ideologies. Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999 ISBN 0-8264-5173-X, 9780826451736
  • Fielitz, Maik; Laloire, Laura Lotte (eds.). Trouble on the Far Right. Contemporary Right-Wing Strategies and Practices in Europe. Bielefeld: transcript, 2016 ISBN 978-3-8376-3720-5
  • Bacchetta, Paola; Power, Margaret (eds). Right-Wing Women: From Conservatives to Extremists around the World. New York: Routledge, 2002.
  • Gottlieb, Julie; Berethezéne, Clarisse (Eds). Rethinking right-wing women: Gender and the Conservative Party, 1880s to the present. 2017

External links

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