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Our condolences to everyone in Sweden

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Re: Our condolences to everyone in Sweden

Postby shootist » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:02 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:It's not an empty term. Left and right wing have been used as political descriptions since the French Revolution and are still useful in describing political positions now. We could replace them with other terms, but all we would be doing would be creating euphemisms.


Interesting.

The French Revolutionary era was where the terms Left-wing politics and Right-wing politics first originated.

The reason for the terms to become used at all was the seating of the ancien régime of France at that time. The aristocrats sat on the right, and the commoners sat on the left. So these terms evolved to mean so that right-wing politics refer to politics for aristocratic and royal interests, while left-wing politics refer to republicanism, socialism, and civil liberties.


So it was the left wing that ended up butchering anyone remotely connected with the aristocracy or their supporters and terrorising the rest of the population. Well, I suppose that balances the books a bit, and does rather more fairly describe the 'left wing' approach to population control. Perfaps it is the left wing that is populist then.
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Re: Our condolences to everyone in Sweden

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:54 pm

I think this is the most surreal conversation I have ever had the misfortune to be involved in. I've already said - more than once - that by right-wing I mean the ordinary meaning of the term as it used in common parlance. I don't, as I have said, intend it to be a term of abuse. In insisting to me that I really mean something else, either shootist is accusing me of being a liar, or he is suffering from the delusion that he knows what I mean better than I do. Neither of these reflects well on him.

Equally surreal is the experience of being told I should not use the reference source that shootist himself used in this very thread. Perhaps this is some sort of particularly well-hidden joke, or perhaps the same arrogance that leads him to believe that he is qualified to explain my own words to me also makes him think he is uniquely well-qualified to tell whether a Wikipedia article is accurate or not.

As he has asked me a direct question: I am a man of the centre-left. That is perhaps one of the Board's less well-kept secrets. I disagree with the principles in that quotation because I think they are poor principles. They are principles that are associated with the right. It is a non—sequitur to say that, because I disagree with things that are right-wing, I mean that term to be a term of abuse. It is a common description of a political position with which I happen to disagree. I recommend this policy to shootist.
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Re: Our condolences to everyone in Sweden

Postby atticus » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:07 pm

I have heard a different explanation of the origins of the terms "right" and "left" in politics.

Be that as it may, the modern usage of a term or phrase should not be misunderstood by reference to the possible original source centuries earlier. The meanings of words change over time. I read a few days ago that originally "painful" meant taking pains, i.e. taking care. This was with reference to a mediaeval text about "the painful ploughman".
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Re: Our condolences to everyone in Sweden

Postby atticus » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:08 pm

Populism is not exclusively a thing of the right.
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Re: Our condolences to everyone in Sweden

Postby dls » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:44 am

Populism is not exclusively a thing of the right.

Correct - but someone needs to tell that to Mr Corbyn.
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Re: Our condolences to everyone in Sweden

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:28 am

dls wrote:
Populism is not exclusively a thing of the right.

Correct - but someone needs to tell that to Mr Corbyn.

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