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{{Redirect|Leftism|the political position that combines centrist and left-wing policies|Centre-left politics|the album by the group Leftfield|Leftism (album)}}{{Redirect|Left wing|the sports position|Winger (sports)}}{{Use British English|date=August 2017}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2017}}{{Party politics}}Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy.BOOK, Smith, T. Alexander, Raymond, Tatalovich, Cultures at War: Moral Conflicts in Western Democracies, Toronto, Canada, Broadview Press, 2003, 30, BOOK, Bobbio, Norberto, Allan, Cameron, Left and Right: The Significance of a Political Distinction, University of Chicago Press, 1997, 37, BOOK, Ball, Terence, The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Political Thought, 2005, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 9780521563543, Reprint.,weblink 15 November 2016, 614, BOOK, Thompson, Willie, The Left In History: Revolution and Reform in Twentieth-Century Politic, 1997, Pluto Press, London, 978-0745308913, It typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others (prioritarianism) as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished (by advocating for social justice). The term left-wing can also refer to "the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system".WEB,weblink left wing – definition of left wing in English | Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford Dictionaries, 20 April 2014, 15 November 2016, The political terms "Left" and "Right" were coined during the French Revolution (1789–1799), referring to the seating arrangement in the French Estates General: those who sat on the left generally opposed the monarchy and supported the revolution, including the creation of a republic and secularization, while those on the right were supportive of the traditional institutions of the Old Regime. Use of the term "Left" became more prominent after the restoration of the French monarchy in 1815 when it was applied to the "Independents".Realms of memory: conflicts and divisions (1996), ed. Pierre Nora, "Right and Left" by Marcel Gauchet, p. 248. The word "wing" was appended to Left and Right in the late 19th century, usually with disparaging intent and "left-wing" was applied to those who were unorthodox in their religious or political views.The term was later applied to a number of movements, especially republicanism during the French Revolution in the 18th century, followed by socialism,BOOK, Alan, Maass, Howard, Zinn, The Case for Socialism, The International Socialist Review is one of the best left-wing journals around..., 164, Haymarket Books, Revised, 2010, 978-1608460731, communism, anarchism and social democracy in the 19th and 20th centuries.BOOK, Michael, Schmidt, Lucien, Van der Walt, Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, Counter-Power, 1, AK Press, 2009, 128, [...] anarchism is a coherent intellectual and political current dating back to the 1860s and the First International, and part of the labour and left tradition, 978-1-904859-16-1, Since then, the term left-wing has been applied to a broad range of movementsBOOK, Jean Francois, Revel, Last Exit to Utopia, In the United States, the word liberal is often used to describe the left wing of the Democratic party., 24, Encounter Books, 2009, 978-1594032646, including civil rights movements, feminist movements, anti-war movements and environmental movements,JOURNAL, Eric, Neumayer, The environment, left-wing political orientation, and ecological economics, Ecological Economics, 51, 2004, 3–4, 167–175, 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2004.06.006,weblink BOOK, John, Barry, International Encyclopedia of Environmental Politics, All surveys confirm that environmental concern is associated with green voting...[I]n subsequent European elections, green voters have tended to be more left-leaning...the party is capable of motivating its core supporters as well as other environmentally minded voters of predominantly left-wing persuasion..., Taylor & Francis, 2002, 978-0415202855, as well as a wide range of parties.WEB,weblink Democratic socialism, PDF, 3 June 2017, bot: unknown,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060902085146weblink">weblink 2 September 2006, NEWSPAPER,weblink Green party to position itself as the real left of UK politics, Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 2014-09-05, BOOK, Arnold, N. Scott, Imposing values: an essay on liberalism and regulation, Oxford University Press, 2009, Florence, 978-0-495-50112-1, 3, Modern liberalism occupies the left-of-center in the traditional political spectrum and is represented by the Democratic Party in the United States, the Labor Party in the United Kingdom, and the mainstream Left (including some nominally socialist parties) in other advanced democratic societies., According to former professor of economics Barry Clark, "[leftists] claim that human development flourishes when individuals engage in cooperative, mutually respectful relations that can thrive only when excessive differences in status, power, and wealth are eliminated".Clark, Barry (1998) Political Economy: A Comparative Approach. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Press {{ISBN|9780275958695}}

History

{{see also|History of political thought|Left–right political spectrum|French Left}}File:Estatesgeneral.jpg|thumb|5 May 1789, opening of the Estates General of 1789Estates General of 1789In politics, the term "Left" derives from the French Revolution, as the anti-monarchist Montagnard and Jacobin deputies from the Third Estate generally sat to the left of the presiding member's chair in parliament, a habit which began in the French Estates General of 1789. Throughout the 19th century in France, the main line dividing Left and Right was between supporters of the French Republic and those of the monarchy.BOOK, Knapp, Andrew, Wright, Vincent, The government and politics of France, 2006, Routledge, London [u.a.], 978-0-415-35732-6, 5th,weblink {{Page needed|date=November 2016}} The June Days uprising during the Second Republic was an attempt by the Left to assert itself after the 1848 Revolution, but only a small portion of the population supported this.In the mid-19th century, nationalism, socialism, democracy and anti-clericalism became features of the French Left. After Napoleon III's 1851 coup and the subsequent establishment of the Second Empire, Marxism began to rival radical republicanism and utopian socialism as a force within left-wing politics. The influential Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, published in 1848, asserted that all human history is the history of class struggle. They predicted that a proletarian revolution would eventually overthrow bourgeois capitalism and create a classless, stateless, post-monetary communist society. It was in this period that the word "wing" was appended to both Left and Right.WEB,weblink Home: Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary, 3 June 2017, File:1912 Lawrence Textile Strike 1.jpg|thumb|Labour union demonstrators at the 1912 Lawrence textile strikeLawrence textile strikeIn the United States, many leftists, social liberals, progressives and trade unionists were influenced by the works of Thomas Paine, who introduced the concept of asset-based egalitarianism, which theorises that social equality is possible by a redistribution of resources.The International Workingmen's Association (1864–1876), sometimes called the First International, brought together delegates from many different countries, with many different views about how to reach a classless and stateless society. Following a split between supporters of Marx and Mikhail Bakunin, anarchists formed the International Workers' Association.BOOK, Marshall, Peter, Demanding the Impossible — A History of Anarchism, 9, Fontana Press, London, 1993, 978-0-00-686245-1, Demanding the Impossible, The Second International (1888–1916) became divided over the issue of World War I. Those who opposed the war, such as Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, saw themselves as further to the left.In the United States after Reconstruction, the phrase "the Left" was used to describe those who supported trade unions, the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement.BOOK, Van Gosse, The Movements of the New Left, 1950–1975: A Brief History with Documents, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, 978-1-4039-6804-3, BOOK, JoAnne C., Reuss, American Folk Music and Left-Wing Politics, The Scarecrow Press, 2000, 978-0-8108-3684-6, More recently in the United States, left-wing and right-wing have often been used as synonyms for Democratic and Republican, or as synonyms for liberalism and conservatism respectively.NEWS,weblink Steel to gop fight for Coleman, Time, 3 March 2009, 4 April 2010, WEB,weblink Is it Spain's place to investigate Gitmo?, The Week, 7 May 2009, 3 June 2017, Reported in Mother Jones, 29 April 2009.{{full citation needed|date=June 2017}}NEWS,weblink Los Angeles Times, Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain, 10 September 2007, 2 May 2010, Denise, Gellene, Since the Right was populist, both in the Western and the Eastern Bloc anything viewed as avant-garde art was called leftist in all Europe, thus the identification of Picasso's Guernica as "leftist" in EuropeBOOK, Werckmeister, Otto Karl, Icons of the Left: Benjamin and Eisenstein, Picasso and Kafka After the Fall of Communism, 1999, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 978-0226893563, {{page needed|date=January 2017}} and the condemnation of the Russian composer Shostakovich's opera (The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District) in Pravda as follows: "Here we have 'leftist' confusion instead of natural, human music".BOOK, Gutman, David, Prokofiev, 1996, Omnibus Press, London, 978-0711920835, New, {{page needed|date=November 2016}}

Positions

The following positions are typically associated with left-wing politics.

Economics

Leftist economic beliefs range from Keynesian economics and the welfare state through industrial democracy and the social market to nationalization of the economy and central planning,Andrew Glyn, Social Democracy in Neoliberal Times: The Left and Economic Policy since 1980, Oxford University Press, 2001, {{ISBN|978-0-19-924138-5}}. to the anarcho-syndicalist advocacy of a council- and assembly-based self-managed anarchist communism. During the Industrial Revolution, leftists supported trade unions. At the beginning of the 20th century, many leftists advocated strong government intervention in the economy.BOOK, Beinhocker, Eric D., The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics, 2006, Harvard Business Press, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass., 978-1-57851-777-0, 316,weblink Leftists continue to criticize what they perceive as the exploitative nature of globalization, the "race to the bottom" and unjust lay-offs. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the belief that government (ruling in accordance with the interests of the people) ought to be directly involved in the day-to-day workings of an economy declined in popularity amongst the center-left, especially social democrats who became influenced by "Third Way" ideology.Other leftists believe in Marxian economics, which are based on the economic theories of Karl Marx. Some distinguish Marx's economic theories from his political philosophy, arguing that Marx's approach to understanding the economy is independent of his advocacy of revolutionary socialism or his belief in the inevitability of proletarian revolution.WEB, The Neo-Marxian Schools, The New School,weblink 23 August 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090416234151weblink">weblink 16 April 2009, dmy-all, WEB, Munro, John, Some Basic Principles of Marxian Economics, University of Toronto,weblink 23 August 2007, Marxian economics does not exclusively rely upon Marx, but it draws from a range of Marxist and non-Marxist sources. The "dictatorship of the proletariat" or "workers' state" are terms used by some Marxists, particularly Leninists and Marxist–Leninists, to describe what they see as a temporary state between the capitalist state of affairs and a communist society. Marx defined the proletariat as salaried workers, in contrast to the "Lumpenproletariat", who he defined as outcasts of society, such as beggars, tricksters, entertainers, buskers, criminals and prostitutes.WEB,weblink Lumpenproletariat, Encyclopædia Britannica, The political relevance of farmers has divided the left. In Das Kapital, Marx scarcely mentioned the subject.JOURNAL,weblink Communists: Marxism Fails on the Farm, Time, 13 October 1961, 3 June 2017, Mao Zedong believed that it would be rural peasants, not urban workers, who would bring about the proletarian revolution.Left-libertarians, libertarian socialists and anarchists believe in a decentralized economy run by trade unions, workers' councils, cooperatives, municipalities and communes and oppose both state and private control of the economy, preferring social ownership and local control, in which a nation of decentralized regions is united in a confederation.The global justice movement, also known as the anti-globalization movement or alter-globalization movement, protests against corporate economic globalization due to its negative consequences for the poor, workers, the environment and small businesses.Tom Mertes, A Movement of Movements, New York: Verso, 2004.BOOK, Krishna-Hensel, Sai, 2006, Global Cooperation: Challenges and Opportunities in the Twenty-first Century, Ashgate Publishing, 202, BOOK, Juris, Jeffrey S., 2008, Networking Futures: The Movements against Corporate Globalization, Duke University Press, Durham, 978-0-8223-4269-4, 2,

Environment

Both Karl Marx and the early socialist William Morris arguably had a concern for environmental matters.BOOK, Foster, J. B., Marx's Ecology, 2000, New York, Monthly Review Press, BOOK, Burkett, P., Marx and Nature, 1999, New York, St. Martin's Press, 978-0312219406, WEB,weblink William Morris: The First Green Socialist, Leonora.fortunecity.co.uk, 14 December 2007, 13 May 2010, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100413181212weblink">weblink 13 April 2010, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Moore, J. W., 2003,weblink Capitalism as World-ecology: Braudel and Marx on Environmental History, Organization & Environment, 16, 4, 431–458, 10.1177/1086026603259091, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110713090801weblink">weblink 13 July 2011, dmy-all, 10.1.1.472.6464, According to Marx: "Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together [...] are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations".WEB,weblink Marx and ecology, Socialist Worker#United Kingdom, 8 December 2007, 13 May 2010, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100326154510weblink">weblink 26 March 2010, Following the Russian Revolution, environmental scientists such as revolutionary Alexander Bogdanov and the Proletkult organisation made efforts to incorporate environmentalism into Bolshevism and "integrate production with natural laws and limits" in the first decade of Soviet rule, before Joseph Stalin attacked ecologists and the science of ecology, purged environmentalists and promoted the pseudo-science of Trofim Lysenko.BOOK, Gare, A., Soviet Environmentalism: The Path Not Taken, Benton, E., The Greening of Marxism, 1996, New York, Guilford Press, 978-1572301184, 111–128, BOOK, Kovel, J., The Enemy of Nature, 2002, JOURNAL, Arran, Gare, The Environmental Record of the Soviet Union, Capitalism Nature Socialism, 13, 2002, 3, 52–72, 10.1080/10455750208565489, Likewise, Mao Zedong rejected environmentalism and believed that based on the laws of historical materialism all of nature must be put into the service of revolution.BOOK, Judith, Shapiro, Mao's War against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China, Cambridge University Press, 2001, From the 1970s onwards, environmentalism became an increasing concern of the left, with social movements and some unions campaigning over environmental issues. For example, the left-wing Builders Labourers Federation in Australia, led by the communist Jack Mundy, united with environmentalists to place green bans on environmentally destructive development projects.Meredith Burgman, Green Bans, Red Union: Environmental Activism and the New South Wales Builders Labourers' Federation, UNSW Press, Sydney, 1998. Some segments of the socialist and Marxist left consciously merged environmentalism and anti-capitalism into an eco-socialist ideology.For example, see Wall, D., Babylon and Beyond: The Economics of Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Globalist and Radical Green Movements, 2005. Barry Commoner articulated a left-wing response to The Limits to Growth model that predicted catastrophic resource depletion and spurred environmentalism, postulating that capitalist technologies were chiefly responsible for environmental degradation, as opposed to population pressures.Commoner, B., The Closing Circle, 1972. Environmental degradation can be seen as a class or equity issue, as environmental destruction disproportionately affects poorer communities and countries.WEB,weblink Poor Bear Burden of Industrialisation, Blacksmith Institute, 19 October 2007, 16 April 2016, Sanra Ritten,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160303184856weblink">weblink 3 March 2016, yes, dmy-all, Several left-wing or socialist groupings have an overt environmental concern and several green parties contain a strong socialist presence. For example, the Green Party of England and Wales features an eco-socialist group, Green Left, that was founded in June 2005. Its members held some influential positions within the party, including both the former Principal Speakers Siân Berry and Dr. Derek Wall, himself an eco-socialist and Marxist academic.WEB,weblink Green Left homepage, Gptu.net, 13 May 2010, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090311004501weblink">weblink 11 March 2009, In Europe, some Green left political parties combine traditional social-democratic values such as a desire for greater economic equality and workers rights with demands for environmental protection, such as the Nordic Green Left.Well-known socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales has traced environmental degradation to consumerism.WEB,weblink President Evo Morales, The Daily Show, Comedy Central, 25 September 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150923114559weblink">weblink 23 September 2015, yes, He has said: "The Earth does not have enough for the North to live better and better, but it does have enough for all of us to live well". James Hansen, Noam Chomsky, Raj Patel, Naomi Klein, The Yes Men and Dennis Kucinich have had similar views.WEB,weblink How to Solve the Climate Problem, James Hansen, The Nation, 2009-12-31, BOOK, Chomsky, Noam, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, 1999, Seven Stories Press, New York, 9781888363821, 1st,weblink 3 June 2017, en, {{page needed|date=June 2017}}WEB, Trisha,weblink The Nation: We Have Yet to See The Biggest Costs of the BP Spill, Raj Patel, 6 August 2010, 15 November 2016, WEB,weblink Naomi Klein- Climate Debt (Part 1), YouTube, 26 February 2010, 15 November 2016, WEB,weblink The Yes Men Fix the World :: Scrutiny Hooligans, Internet Archive, 27 July 2011, 3 June 2017, bot: unknown,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110727110443weblink">weblink 27 July 2011, WEB,weblink Kucinich responds to BP Oil Spill, YouTube, 26 May 2010, 15 November 2016, File:Ms. magazine Cover - Spring 2007.jpg|thumb|Global warming was the cover story of this 2007 issue of Ms. magazine]]In the 21st century, questions about the environment have become increasingly politicized, with the Left generally accepting the findings of environmental scientists about global warmingWEB,weblink The Left Pushes Secular Religions: Global Warming, Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Michael Barone, U.S. News & World Report, 13 May 2010, WEB,weblink World Scientists' Warning To Humanity, Dieoff.org, 18 November 1992, 13 May 2010, and many on the Right disputing or rejecting those findings.NEWS, Andrew C. Revkinnov,weblink Global Warming – Books – The New York Times, New York Times, 13 November 2007, "Challenges to both Left and Right on Global Warming", by Andrew C. Revkin, Nov. 13, 2007, "The right says global warming is somewhere between a hoax and a minor irritant, and argues that liberals' thirst for top-down regulations will drive American wealth to developing countries and turn off the fossil-fuelled engine powering the economy.", 15 November 2016, NEWS,weblink Weather Channel Founder Blasts Gore Over Global Warming Campaign, Fox News, 29 January 2009, 13 May 2010, BOOK, Mooney, Chris, The Republican War on Science, 2006, BasicBooks, New York, 978-0-465-04676-8, 4–5, Rev, [T]he modern Right has adopted a style of politics that puts its adherents in increasingly stark conflict with both scientific information and dispassionate, expert analysis in general., However, the left is divided over how to effectively and equitably reduce carbon emissions: the center-left often advocates a reliance on market measures such as emissions trading or a carbon tax, while those further to the left tend to support direct government regulation and intervention either alongside or instead of market mechanisms.WEB,weblink Rudd's carbon trading — locking in disaster, Green Left Weekly, 23 May 2009, 15 November 2016, WEB,weblink Carbon tax not the solution we need on climate, Solidarity Online, 10 March 2010, 15 November 2016, WEB,weblink James Hansen and climate solutions, Green Left Weekly, 13 March 2010, 16 October 2017,

Nationalism and anti-nationalism

{{see also|Internationalism (politics)|Left-wing nationalism|Proletarian internationalism}}The question of nationality and nationalism has been a central feature of political debates on the Left. During the French Revolution, nationalism was a policy of the Republican Left.BOOK, Doyle, William, The Oxford History of the French Revolution, 2002, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 978-0-19-925298-5, 2nd, "An exuberant, uncompromising nationalism lay behind France's revolutionary expansion in the 1790s...", "The message of the French Revolution was that the people are sovereign; and in the two centuries since it was first proclaimed it has conquered the world.", The Republican Left advocated civic nationalism and argued that the nation is a "daily plebiscite" formed by the subjective "will to live together". Related to "revanchism", the belligerent will to take revenge against Germany and retake control of Alsace-Lorraine, nationalism was sometimes opposed to imperialism. In the 1880s, there was a debate between those, such as Georges Clemenceau (Radical), Jean Jaurès (Socialist) and Maurice Barrès (nationalist), who argued that colonialism diverted France from the "blue line of the Vosges" (referring to Alsace-Lorraine); and the "colonial lobby", such as Jules Ferry (moderate republican), Léon Gambetta (republican) and Eugène Etienne, the president of the parliamentary colonial group. After the Dreyfus Affair, nationalism instead became increasingly associated with the far-right.Winock, Michel (dir.), Histoire de l'extrême droite en France (1993).The Marxist social class theory of proletarian internationalism asserts that members of the working class should act in solidarity with working people in other countries in pursuit of a common class interest, rather than focusing on their own countries. Proletarian internationalism is summed up in the slogan: "Workers of the world, unite!", the last line of The Communist Manifesto. Union members had learned that more members meant more bargaining power. Taken to an international level, leftists argued that workers ought to act in solidarity to further increase the power of the working class.Proletarian internationalism saw itself as a deterrent against war, because people with a common interest are less likely to take up arms against one another, instead focusing on fighting the ruling class. According to Marxist theory, the antonym of proletarian internationalism is bourgeois nationalism. Some Marxists, together with others on the left, view nationalism,Szporluk, Roman. Communism and Nationalism. 2nd. Oxford University Press, 1991. racismJOURNAL, John, Solomos, Les, Back, Marxism, Racism, and Ethnicity, American Behavioral Scientist, 1995, 38, 3, 407–420, 10.1177/0002764295038003004,weblink 10.1.1.602.5843, (including anti-Semitism)WEB, Lenin, Vladimir, Anti-Jewish Pogroms, Speeches On Gramophone Records, 1919,weblink and religion as divide and conquer tactics used by the ruling classes to prevent the working class from uniting against them. Left-wing movements therefore have often taken up anti-imperialist positions. Anarchism has developed a critique of nationalism that focuses on nationalism's role in justifying and consolidating state power and domination. Through its unifying goal, nationalism strives for centralization, both in specific territories and in a ruling elite of individuals, while it prepares a population for capitalist exploitation. Within anarchism, this subject has been treated extensively by Rudolf Rocker in Nationalism and Culture and by the works of Fredy Perlman, such as Against His-Story, Against Leviathan and The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism.BOOK, The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism, Fredy, Perlman, Detroit, Black & Red, 1985, 978-0317295580, The failure of revolutions in Germany and Hungary ended Bolshevik hopes for an imminent world revolution and led to promotion of "Socialism in One Country" by Joseph Stalin. In the first edition of the book Osnovy Leninizma (Foundations of Leninism, 1924), Stalin argued that revolution in one country is insufficient, but by the end of that year in the second edition of the book he argued that the "proletariat can and must build the socialist society in one country". In April 1925, Nikolai Bukharin elaborated the issue in his brochure Can We Build Socialism in One Country in the Absence of the Victory of the West-European Proletariat?, whose position was adopted as state policy after Stalin's January 1926 article On the Issues of Leninism (К вопросам ленинизма). This idea was opposed by Leon Trotsky and his followers who declared the need for an international "permanent revolution". Various Fourth Internationalist groups around the world who describe themselves as Trotskyist see themselves as standing in this tradition, while Maoist China supported Socialism in One Country.European social democrats strongly support Europeanism and supranational integration, although there is a minority of nationalists and eurosceptics also in the left. Some link this left-wing nationalism to the pressure generated by economic integration with other countries encouraged by free trade agreements. This view is sometimes used to justify hostility towards supranational organizations. Left-wing nationalism can also refer to any nationalism which emphasises a working-class populist agenda which seeks to overcome perceived exploitation or oppression by other nations. Many Third World anti-colonial movements adopted left-wing and socialist ideas.Third-Worldism is a tendency within leftist thought that regards the division between First World developed countries and Third World developing countries as being of high political importance. This tendency supports national liberation movements against what it considers imperialism by capitalists. Third-Worldism is closely connected with African socialism, Latin American socialism, Maoism,WEB,weblink What is Maioism-Third Wolrdism?, Anti-Imperialism.org, 2 November 2011, 16 October 2017, {{third-party-inline|date=November 2012}} Pan-Africanism and Pan-Arabism. Some left-wing groups in the developing world – such as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico, the Abahlali baseMjondolo in South Africa and the Naxalites in India – argue that the First World Left takes a racist and paternalistic attitude towards liberation movements in the Third World.{{citation needed|date=November 2012}}

Religion

{{see also|Political science of religion|Anarchism and religion|Buddhist socialism|Christian left|Jewish left|Islamic socialism}}The original French left-wing was anti-clerical, opposing the influence of the Roman Catholic Church and supporting the separation of church and state. Karl Marx asserted that "[r]eligion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people".Marx, Karl. 1976. Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right. Collected Works, vol. 3. New York. In Soviet Russia, the Bolsheviks originally embraced "an ideological creed which professed that all religion would atrophy" and "resolved to eradicate Christianity as such". In 1918, "ten Orthodox hierarchs were summarily shot" and "children were deprived of any religious education outside the home".Michael Burleigh, Sacred Causes HarperCollins (2006), p. 41–43. Today in the Western world those on the Left usually support secularization and the separation of church and state.However, religious beliefs have also been associated with some left-wing movements, such as the civil rights movement and the anti-capital punishment movement. Early socialist thinkers such as Robert Owen, Charles Fourier and the Comte de Saint-Simon based their theories of socialism upon Christian principles. From St. Augustine of Hippo's City of God through St. Thomas More's Utopia, major Christian writers defended ideas that socialists found agreeable.{{citation needed|date=January 2013}} Other common leftist concerns such as pacifism, social justice, racial equality, human rights and the rejection of excessive wealth can be found in the Bible.NEWS,weblink Does God Want You To Be Rich?, Time (magazine), Time, David van Biema, Jeff Chu, 10 September 2006, 20 April 2011, In the late 19th century, the Social Gospel movement arose (particularly among some Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Baptists in North America and Britain) which attempted to integrate progressive and socialist thought with Christianity in faith-based social activism, promoted by movements such as Christian socialism. In the 20th century, the theology of liberation and Creation Spirituality was championed by such writers as Gustavo Gutierrez and Matthew Fox.Other left-wing religious movements include Islamic socialism and Buddhist socialism. There have been alliances between the left and anti-war Muslims, such as the Respect Party and the Stop the War Coalition in Britain. In France, the left has been divided over moves to ban the hijab from schools, with some supporting a ban based on separation of church and state and others opposing the prohibition based on personal freedom.

Social progressivism and counterculture

{{see also|Socialist feminism|Socialism and LGBT rights}}Social progressivism is another common feature of modern leftism, particularly in the United States, where social progressives played an important role in the abolition of slavery,James Brewer Stewrt, Abolitionist Politics and the Coming of the Civil War, University of Massachusetts Press, 2008, {{ISBN|978-1-55849-635-4}}. "[...] the progressive assumptions of 'uplift'." (page 40). women's suffrage,WEB,weblink For Teachers (Library of Congress), Lcweb2.loc.gov, 13 May 2010, civil rights and multiculturalism. Progressives have both advocated prohibition legislation and worked towards its repeal. Current positions associated with social progressivism in the West include opposition to the death penalty and the War on Drugs, as well as support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage, cognitive liberty, distribution of contraceptives, public funding of embryonic stem-cell research and the right of women to choose abortion. Public education was a subject of great interest to groundbreaking social progressives, such as Lester Frank Ward and John Dewey, who believed that a democratic system of government was impossible without a universal and comprehensive system of education.Various counterculture movements in the 1960s and 1970s were associated with the "New Left". Unlike the earlier leftist focus on union activism, the New Left instead adopted a broader definition of political activism commonly called social activism. The United States New Left is associated with the hippie movement, college campus mass protest movements and a broadening of focus from protesting class-based oppression to include issues such as gender, race and sexual orientation. The British New Left was an intellectually driven movement which attempted to correct the perceived errors of "Old Left".The New Left opposed prevailing authority structures in society, which it termed "The Establishment" and became known as "anti-Establishment". The New Left did not seek to recruit industrial workers but rather concentrated on a social activist approach to organization, convinced that they could be the source for a better kind of social revolution. This view has been criticised by some Marxists (especially Trotskyists) who characterized this approach as "substitutionism", which was what they saw as the misguided and non-Marxist belief that other groups in society could "substitute" for the revolutionary agency of the working class.WEB,weblink Tony Cliff: Trotsky on substitutionism (Autumn 1960), Marxists.org, 13 May 2010, WEB,weblink Against Substitutionism, Scribd.com, 6 November 2006, 13 May 2010, Many early feminists and advocates of women's rights were considered left-wing by their contemporaries. Feminist pioneer Mary Wollstonecraft was influenced by the radical thinker Thomas Paine. Many notable leftists have been strong supporters of gender equality such as the Marxists Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai; anarchists such as Virginia Bolten, Emma Goldman and Lucía Sánchez Saornil; and the socialists Helen Keller and Annie Besant.BOOK, Campling, Valerie Bryson. Consultant ed.: Jo, Feminist Political Theory: An Introduction, 2003, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire [u.a.], 978-0-333-94568-1, 2nd, However, Marxists such as Rosa Luxemburg,WEB,weblink Rosa Luxemburg: Women's Suffrage and Class Struggle (1912), Marxists.org, 15 November 2016, Clara ZetkinWEB,weblink Clara Zetkin: On a Bourgeois Feminist Petition, Marxists.org, 28 December 2008, 15 November 2016, WEB,weblink Clara Zetkin: Lenin on the Women's Question – 1, Marxists.org, 29 February 2004, 15 November 2016, and Alexandra Kollontai,WEB, Alexandra Kollontai,weblink The Social Basis of the Woman Question by Alexandra Kollontai 1909, Marxists.org, 15 November 2016, WEB, Alexandra Kollontai,weblink Women Workers Struggle For Their Rights by Alexandra Kollontai 1919, Marxists.org, 15 November 2016, though supporters of radical social equality for women, opposed feminism because they considered it to be a bourgeois ideology. Marxists were responsible for organizing the first International Working Women's Day events.WEB, Alexandra Kollontai,weblink 1920-Inter Women's Day, Marxists.org, 26 August 1920, 13 May 2010, The women's liberation movement is closely connected to the New Left and other new social movements that challenged the orthodoxies of the Old Left. Socialist feminism, as exemplified by the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women; and Marxist feminism, as with Selma James, saw themselves as a part of the left that challenged what they perceive to be male-dominated and sexist structures within the Left. Liberal feminism is closely connected with social liberalism and the left wing of mainstream American politics (e.g., National Organization for Women).The connection between left-leaning ideologies and LGBT rights struggles also has an important history. Prominent socialists who were involved in early struggles for LGBT rights include Edward Carpenter, Oscar Wilde, Harry Hay, Bayard Rustin and Daniel Guérin among others.

Varieties

The spectrum of left-wing politics ranges from center-left to far-left (or ultra-left). The term center-left describes a position within the political mainstream. The terms far-left and ultra-left refer to positions that are more radical. The center-left includes social democrats, social liberals, progressives and also some democratic socialists and greens (including some eco-socialists). Center-left supporters accept market allocation of resources in a mixed economy with a significant public sector and a thriving private sector. Center-left policies tend to favour limited state intervention in matters pertaining to the public interest.In several countries, the terms far-left and radical left have been associated with varieties of communism, autonomism and anarchism. They have been used to describe groups that advocate anti-capitalism or eco-terrorism. In France, a distinction is made between the left (Socialist Party and Communist Party) and the far-left (Trotskyists, Maoists and anarchists).Cosseron, Serge (ed.). Le dictionnaire de l'extrême gauche. Paris: Larousse, 2007. p. 20. The United States Department of Homeland Security defines left-wing extremism as groups that want "to bring about change through violent revolution rather than through established political processes".WEB,weblink Leftwing Extremists Increase in Cyber Attacks, PDF, 3 June 2017, bot: unknown,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090419052505weblink">weblink 19 April 2009, In China, the term "Chinese New Left" denotes those who oppose the current economic reforms and favour the restoration of more socialist policies.WEB,weblink China launches 'New Deal' for farmers, Financial Times, 22 February 2006, In the Western world, the term New Left refers to cultural politics. In the United Kingdom in the 1980s, the term "hard left" was applied to supporters of Tony Benn, such as the Campaign Group and those involved in the London Labour Briefing newspaper, as well as Trotskyist groups such as Militant and the Alliance for Workers' Liberty.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Benn's golden anniversary, 4 December 2000, 4 April 2010, In the same period, the term "soft left" was applied to supporters of the British Labour Party who were perceived to be more moderate. Under the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the British Labour Party rebranded itself as New Labour in order to promote the notion that it was less left-wing than it had been in the past. One of the first actions of the Labour Party leader who succeeded them, Ed Miliband, was the rejection of the "New Labour" label. However, Labour's voting record in parliament would indicate that under Miliband it had maintained the same distance from the left as it had with Blair.NEWS,weblink BBC News, MPs approve annual welfare cap in Commons vote, 26 March 2014, NEWSPAPER, John Kampfner,weblink Labour's return to the right, The Guardian, 2012-11-05, 15 November 2016, Likewise, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader was viewed by some as Labour turning back toward its socialist roots.Leftist postmodernism opposes attempts to supply universal explanatory theories, including Marxism, deriding them as grand narratives. It views culture as a contested space and via deconstruction seeks to undermine all pretensions to absolute truth. Left-wing critics of post-modernism assert that cultural studies inflates the importance of culture by denying the existence of an independent reality.WEB,weblink International Socialism: Postmodernism, commodity fetishism and hegemony, Interet Archive, 3 June 2017, bot: unknown,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20051125104930weblink">weblink 25 November 2005, WEB,weblink Noam Chomsky on Post-Modernism, Internet Archive, 3 June 2017, bot: unknown,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20030421013324weblink">weblink 21 April 2003,

Criticism

In 1996, physicist Alan Sokal wrote a nonsensical article entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity".WEB,weblink Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity, NYU Physics Department, 15 November 2016, The journal Social Text published the paper in its Spring/Summer 1996 issue, whereupon Sokal publicly revealed his hoax. While this action was interpreted as an attack upon leftism, Sokal (who was a committed supporter of the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua during the 1980s) intended it as a critique from within the left.WEB,weblink A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies, NYU Physics Department, Alan D. Sokal, Sokal said he was concerned about what he saw as the increasing prevalence on the left of "a particular kind of nonsense and sloppy thinking [...] that denies the existence of objective realities". Sokal also called into question the usefulness of such theories to the wider left movement, saying he "never understood how deconstruction was meant to help the working class".

See also

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References

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Further reading

  • Encyclopedia of the American Left, ed. by Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, Dan Georgakas, Second Edition, Oxford University Press 1998, {{ISBN|0-19-512088-4}}.
  • Lin Chun, The British New Left, Edinburgh : Edinburgh Univ. Press, 1993.
  • Geoff Eley, Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850–2000, Oxford University Press 2002, {{ISBN|0-19-504479-7}}.
  • "Leftism in India, 1917–1947", Satyabrata Rai Chowdhuri, Palgrave Macmillan, UK, 2007, {{ISBN|978-0-230-51716-5}}.
  • weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160313015630weblink">Neither Washington Nor Stowe: Common Sense For The Working Vermonter, by David Van Deusen, Sean West, and the Green Mountain Anarchist Collective (NEFAC-VT), Catamount Tavern Press, 2004.
  • weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150930091721weblink">The Rise and Fall of The Green Mountain Anarchist Collective, 2016.
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