Home > India, The World > Political Left-Political Right:Explained

Political Left-Political Right:Explained

While surfing through the plethora of news channels that we have today, or while flipping through the newspaper, one might have come across the terms- left, right and centre frequently. Well these terms have nothing to do with directions(although it originates from how political parties with various alliances use to arrange themselves in the 19th century French senate) but are more to do with the policies and principles a party is expected to operate upon.

The figure to the right of the text is called the Nolan Chart, which is a description of these terms figuratively by an American Libertarian, David Nolan. It consists of 2 axes, the vertical one, or the Y axis depicting Personal Freedom, while the horizontal axis, or the X axis depicts Economic Freedom.

So what does this imply? It simply means that a political party who’s principle is towards the top end of the figure, focuses more on the aspects related to personal freedom, while a party more towards the right of the figure would focus more on economic liberation. Parties towards one of the four corners would be extreme examples of either of the two policies. The Indian political map below would also help to asses what sort of a rule takes place in which state government.

LEFT-WING PARTIES, or Leftist Parties would focus more on the prosperity and the social well-being of the commoners rather than support a free market which would lead towards economic disparities. Examples of such parties in India would include, the CPI(M), the CPI and All India Forward Bloc are top examples. The Mulayam Singh led Samajwadi Party can also be classified under this category, although, they have never officially used the term left, because in India the usage of this term is a straight indication towards the CPI(M) (and sometimes CPI) which leads the state governments of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura.

RIGHT-WING PARTIES, follow the belief system which preaches a hierarchical arrangement of individuals into divisions of power and wealth within a society, also known as social stratification. Such parties follow the order of preservation of social values. InIndia, right has come to be associated with Hindu nationalists and Hindutva preachers. This may largely be the case in India, but rightist parties may preach non-Hindi values as well. Such parties are in favour of Economic freedom, and free trade. Examples of rightist parties in India would be the Bhartiya Janata Party(BJP), the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal.

TOTALITARIAN: In such a government the major ruling power rests in the hands of an individual, a set of individuals or a group. Such a form of rule is not prominent anywhere in India, although certain democratic leaders can be compared in exaggerated ways to such a rule. Global examples of such a government would be those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

LIBERTARIAN: This idea of governance has generally been preached by a group of intellectual individuals and liberty/freedom activists. Such groups have wanted for personal  freedom to an extent of being allowed to preach one’s own philosophies, and an overthrow of all government forms. Although there are many varieties of Libertarianism, most are in favour of economic freedom in addition to the personal freedom. Libertarian activists have gone on to the extent of making demands for Marijuana consumption to be made legal.

CENTRIST parties are those parties which generally operate as neutrals, and decide on their policies from time to time, by analysing the present situations,and atmospheric parties. Such parties would be found spot in the middle of the Nolan Chart. The prime Indian example of such a party would be the Indian National Congress.

And to find out your political stand, if you are having trouble taking one, try this quiz, which gives you an accurate measure of it.


Categories: India, The World Tags: , , , ,
  1. July 22, 2010 at 19:28

    Thats one of the best explanations i have ever heard.

    • Anurag Yelkur
      July 22, 2010 at 19:50

      Thanks mate!!! Thanks a lot!!!

  2. July 23, 2010 at 02:06

    Indian National congress falls bit left, isn’t it ?

    • Anurag Yelkur
      July 23, 2010 at 03:41

      Well the Congress were leftist to begin with, but have slowly changed their stand, towards the centre, through the decades. The major shift in this occoured during the nineties.

  3. July 23, 2010 at 13:20

    Try this, it has good collection of different types of political ideologies.

  1. July 22, 2010 at 19:06
  2. July 22, 2010 at 19:10
  3. July 22, 2010 at 19:53
  4. July 22, 2010 at 20:17
  5. July 22, 2010 at 20:36
  6. July 22, 2010 at 21:44

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