The Right is dead, the Left is dead. Well, not exactly, they’re just boring to the people who want a new political landscape, and this group is expanding. Definitely, Nazism gave the Right about as bad a name as you could get, and Stalin and Mao worked hard to foist a very similar repute upon the left. Certainly, doctrinaire positions from the Old Left and the Old Right look increasingly redundant, and even many with some doctrinaire beliefs nowadays shy away from being tarred with those old Left/Right brushes.
I’ve never been a doctrinaire lefty myself – even when I was a teenager it was pretty clear to me Communism was far from a good system, as reliant was it was on controlling every body and every thing, and as subject to the same kind of right-wing opportunistic narcissism as any other system that became thoroughly imposed over a population.
Systems resembling Socialism are more what I’ve ended up voting for over the years, but even there I find the positions of moribund unions within their structures annoying, along with the insistence of following party lines. So I’ve not joined these parties. Unions have been sadly crippled in New Zealand, yes – so why do they still have so much power in Labour? It’s redundant. And generally, I’ve always maintained that I have enough thought process to choose my own pathways, thank you very much, and I insist on my freedom to do so.
So where to from here? It’s not difficult, actually. You can distill what’s good about the left fairly easy, just as you can distill what’s still attractive (albeit not to me) about the right. The new poles are:
Humanitarianism verses Authoritarianism.
Humanitarianism takes the place of the left and keeps all that’s good about it, and authoritarianism is essentially what any Tory regime you can think of boils down to. And as alien as it seems to me, some people actually hanker for a society that controls them and tells them what to do – it makes them feel ‘safe’, even though it’s at the expense of any claims to actual human intelligence. Right thinking invariably embraces punishment over rehabilitation, promotes more and more rules and laws and even proposes strictures on how people should look (banning the burkha springs to mind) and act (learn our language if you want to live here, buddy).
Left wing social agendas promote difference, acceptance, education, cultural awareness and rehabilitation.
The actual shade of each position … well, that’s up to the parties and cultures. But it does give us easy platforms to develop.