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Posts Tagged ‘what is ‘left wing’?’

  1. Lefter 18 ~ I choose

    September 14, 2009 by emweb

    I promised to reveal my own political bent more fully. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I could sum it up in one word, but that word is so often grossly misrepresented that I would be doing myself – and you – an injustice.

    So I do it in several words, and you can draw your own conclusions.

    I place myself on the left, but many who are firmly to the left either do not consider me to be left at all, or consider me deluded. This is due to my having no doctrinaire Marxism or even residual Marxism in my makeup at all. So they find that difficult.

    Even left wingers often choose (or worse, don’t choose) to blindly follow a doctrine.

    I choose not to blindly follow a doctrine.

    I’ve never been a communist. I do agree with many aspects of Socialism – ie, that since the state is a social construct, it should have a regard for the wellbeing of the people inside that state.

    I’ve never been right wing. In other words, I do not consider the common man to be placed there for me to exploit and make financial gains from, and to rule with laws. (And besides, I too am a common man.)

    But here’s where I differ from most left-wingers: I refuse to accept (or try to refuse to accept) any impetus directed at me without examining it first.

    I fundamentally believe in my own right to consider, then accept or reject, any directive that comes my way.

    I know – I would be useless in an army. That’s as it should be – and as it should be for any thinking individual. No armies, no wars.

    Sometimes I do decide to accede to directives, that’s true. Even to ‘leadership’ for given periods. I am a very loyal person, once I decide to assign that loyalty. I also consider that to be my right. But don’t ever expect me to follow blindly, because I don’t.

    So, often I decide to follow societal or legal directives, but I always try and consider them first. How will they effect me? How will this effect others? What will happen if I don’t? If I do?

    I view the world as a set of systems. Some systems, on the face of it, are ‘legal’ systems and some are not. Each has its advantages and each has its disadvantages. Each can have moral justifications in different circumstances. I believe in examining everything that comes my way and deciding for myself whether I take part or not. In other words, I refuse to accept a ‘legal’ system over an ‘illegal’ system at face value; ‘just because’ one is one, and the other is ‘other’.

    In this way I do not need to suffer guilt if I decide to do something ‘illegal’. I choose, having considered the pluses and minuses and the possible impacts on myself and those around me. And I have to accept any consequences that I am, hopefully, fully aware of.

    Legal systems often have the same array of advantages and disadvantages as illegal systems. For example: if I choose to run a business under the laws of the state, I am accepting certain restraints on how I can trade. Like constraints on profit, since I have to pay taxes (which I do willingly, BTW). I can’t undertake fraud, larceny and indulge in stand-over tactics on competitors if I want to exist inside this system. If I do, I am subject to punitive measures mandated by the state. But I am ‘allowed’ to wreck the business prospects of competitors using the many legal means available, depending on how astute and rapacious I am. (A fact I find disturbing.)

    Or I can decide to do something illegal. Advantages are no taxes and no restraints, and possible instant gratification. Disadvantages include incarceration, and other punishments, if caught, as well as social and societal disapproval.

    (Those are very broad examples.)

    Basically, I believe that I have the ability and the intellect to choose what I do, having considered why I would do it. Do you have this belief?

    This individually human philosophy is considered anathema by many regimes. It has been thoroughly repressed by states both left and right …

    Historically there have been many examples of my philosophy working. When it works, it’s brilliant – no repression. Pure freedom. Thoughtful cooperation.

    Of course, I am also a realist. I choose to live in New Zealand; essentially it’s a centre-conservative nation. I choose what I follow and what I don’t follow. I choose which structures to take part in. In some instances I choose to actively further various societal aims, on committees and in volunteer capacities, for example.

    In other words, my beliefs don’t mean I drive on the wrong side of the road. That would be stupid and dangerous.

    My personal political beliefs are well developed, sound and heartfelt.

    I think; I choose.

  2. So, I’m left wing

    November 19, 2008 by emweb

    Most Kiwis won’t say what their political affiliations are; this may be similar where you live. I find this frustrating. I was shocked when I went to Holland, though, over 20 years ago. You’d meet someone and they’d say “Hi, I’m so and so, I’m a journalist and a communist.”

    In New Zealand, you might know someone six months before you even got an inkling of where their political affiliations lay and even then, you might be guessing for months or years more before you had a clear picture. Just asking a Kiwi who they voted for is often considered a real social gaffe.

    For me, I wish New Zealanders would get over it. It’s pathetic and shows our immaturity as a nation. I wonder where it comes from? Farmers? In theory we have one of the biggest personal spaces in the world. Don’t come too close … Maybe our political space is as off limits as our personal space? But probably it’s because the wealth of the nation is so firmly rooted in agriculture it’s considered, at a deep level, weird to be anything but a National supporter. Anything else is an aberration so don’t ask. It would be as gauche as asking someone if they had piles. 

    But hey, the world is changing.

    Of course every discussion about left and right begs the question: what is ‘left wing’? Well, it aint ‘communism’. Not if you consider the Chinese, Russian, Albania etc systems ‘communist’, anyway. Those were (are, in the case of China) right wing systems of social control almost from the get go. While they did spread the wealth a little better than the systems they replaced, how hard would that have been considering their extremely iniquitous predecessor regimes? Any gumby could have arranged better distribution, but as soon as the state control ratcheted up, they were heading towards full-on fascim realy fast. But hey, good old George Orwell sussed that out long before most outside those systems did, right? Clever man, that Orwell. 

    Only a facile git would level the ‘Communist’ slur at someone who’s left. Which is not to say original Communist theory wasn’t left wing, at least in some major aspects. 

    To me, boiling it all down, the left puts people first, the right puts money first.

    I will discuss this further.