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Far left

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The term far left is a label used for political movements and parties that champion the abolition of private property and the achievement and upholding of a largely equal society in terms of "to each according to need" commodity distribution, rejection of currency, and advocacy of equal rights. Most of these movements fall under the label of either communist, left-wing anarchist, or socialist. If you hear it in American politics chances are it's being used as a snarl word to describe any liberal, even though many people on the actual far left may take offence at being called a liberal.

Common stances[edit]

  • The abolition of private property.
  • The abolition of class and perfect or near-perfect economic equality among people.
  • In contrast to common opinion nearly all far-left philosophies call for the eventual abolition of government.
  • Usually the abolition of discrimination, since this is seen as a method of dividing the lower class from unity with one another. This one's somewhat of a headscratcher considering the extreme social conservatism present in many communist dictatorships such as under Stalinist or Maoist systems.
  • Many used to call for a single united world, usually without borders, though the idea of "Socialism in one country" caused some far-left movements to become highly nationalistic.
  • Methods used to obtain said goals range from embracing pacifism (unlike the far-right) to outright violence.

Theory vs Practice[edit]

Rarely do far-left movements actually enact these goals since in practice the most ruthless members of these movements tend to position themselves to take it over, at which point they tend to devolve into highly nationalistic and brutal dictatorships. Anarchist or generally libertarian left movements have had more success in standing by their ideals however, such as in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War (until both the fascists and the Stalinists killed them that is), along with the Neo-Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico and more recently, Rojava during the Syrian Civil War.


Not far-left[edit]

Like the label far-right, the term is oftentimes used inappropriately and pejoratively to movements that are not actually of the extreme left, such as;

  • Social Democracy- As social democrats accept the presence of a widespread market system, private property, and some degree of class inequality they are not far-left. This label is even more absurd when applied to "Third Way" social democrats who are essentially centrists.
  • Social Liberalism- As social liberals are even more toned down than old-styled social democrats (as they do not advocate for nationalization of any business) it's really hard to see how they are "far-left" in any meaningful sense of the word.
  • Juche- This one's actually debatable. Most scholars today believe North Korea's ideology is actually much closer to ethnic fascism than communism though. While this may be seen as bordering on a No True Scotsman it's worth noting they recently removed all mentions of communism from their constitution in recent years, although their constitution still begins with the phrase "The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a socialist fatherland", and still contains dozens of references to socialism.[1])
  • Nazism- Nazism is a form of fascism which is inherently far-right. While the Nazi's did enact some policies that could be seen as "left" by the US political sphere, their stance on ultra-nationalism, racial superiority, their promotion of social inequality and etc. makes them far-right. One must also remember that the NSDAP means "National Socialist German Workers Party", while socialist and workers are far-left, wingnuts like to ignore that "National" and "German" were far-right, "patriotic" terms in 1930's Germany. Economists also rate Nazi Germany as centrist in terms of economic stance as it had no clearly defined economic policy and hated both communists and capitalists.

See also[edit]