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Talk:Leftism

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And to anyone like me, who finds the single-axis approach to politics useless, conflating "liberal" with EACH OTHER is equally exasperating. Exactly what do radical anti-sex feminists and pornographers have in common, aside from a mutual dislike for Jerry Falwell? --Gulik 00:20, 23 October 2007 (EDT)

Actually, many political scientists have spent a great deal of time and energy trying to figure out why some positions, which don't necessarily have anything to do with each other, tend to group together in the same people. In other words, why do people who support gay rights tend to support progressive income taxes? (Note: See word "tend to". I know all about Andrew Sullivan.) And there's not really a good answer. But back to your particular point--right. "Liberal" and "conservative" are extremely outdated concepts (see the exploding number of "hyphenated conservatives" that a Republican presidential candidate recently railed against.) We're overdue for complete ideological realignments, I think. Researcher 00:26, 23 October 2007 (EDT)
I don't find this very well balanced. It's focused on one narrow definition of left wing (synonymous with socialism), which I for one don't agree with, & doesn't say where this definition is drawn from. In a wider context "left" and "right" are political vagueries rather than referring to specific beliefs, and their definition differs from one country to another. Broadly speaking, left wing usually means wanting progress and reform, and right wing means wanting to preserve the existing status quo (socially, economically). Thus liberalism is left of centre, in that it seeks reform, but not as far left as socialism, communism or anarchism. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpgbite me 09:54, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
When I hear "leftism" I think of Marxists and anarchists of various sorts, whereas when I hear "liberalism" I think of the political center, or at most, very slightly left of center. Not the same thing at all. Same goes for "conservatism" by the way (very slightly right of center and in no way incompatible with liberalism), vs. "rightism" (Nazis, Fascists, military dictators, and Dominionist Christians of various sorts). Secret Squirrel 13:44, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
I think those connotations are pretty common in America, but not quite the same in Europe or UK. "Leftist" or "rightist" isn't really used much in the UK but "left wing" & "right wing" are pretty common as general labels. Of course there's a huge difference between extreme left (e.g. communists) & moderate left (e.g. liberals), just as there is between moderate right wing (conservatives) & extreme right (e.g. Fascists). But that's the point of terms like left & right wing: they relate to the idea of a spectrum from left to right. & This article is not presenting that, since it confines the definition of left wing specifically to people who want to abolish capitalism. The left-right continuum idea is a bit outdated as it doesn't really cover things like libertarianism (which is a mixture of left & right), but 2D diagrams like this or the political compass cover most political views. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpgbite me 14:11, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
Perhaps - but I think the point of this article is to counter those who would deliberately set out to confuse liberalism with extreme-leftism, since the two aren't the same thing at all and are diametrically opposed on many points (freedom of speech and the press, for one). Secret Squirrel 20:37, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
I've put together an article on the political spectrum which discusses left & right & in between in more detail. Left this article pretty much as-is, dealing with extreme leftism only. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 20:41, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

It seems to me[edit]

that this article should be considered to be an essay rather than an article per se. It seems to be one editor's opinion, not sourced at all, and consisting of a series of points, all of which seem to me to be highly debatable if not outright . ...... mistakes. It reads more like a blog entry based loosely on a 11th grade civics paper than anything else. 71.30.151.72 21:31, 25 August 2008 (EDT) (also known as Carptrash 21:32, 25 August 2008 (EDT))

I agree with your misgivings about this article. That's why I've written the political spectrum entry which deals with left & right in (I hope) a more balanced way; & redirected 'left', 'right', 'left wing' and 'right wing' to there. I've left 'leftism' and 'rightism' as they are on the understasnding that they're just about extremists, but I'm still uneasy about this article - especially the unsourced description of Leftists as "people who believe explicitly in the abolition of capitalism". But I think that improving the article is a better option than essaying it. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 08:59, 26 August 2008 (EDT)
I tried to begin modifying it ("explicitly" → "to a greater or lesser degree" etc.) but it's impossible without a total rewrite. I'm a leftist but this is referring to extremists - at least here in the UK. Is CRAP. SusanG  ContribsTalk 09:10, 26 August 2008 (EDT)
Here, here! I'm a lefty, I was born a lefty, I'm the son of lefties going all the way back to the Bloomsbury group (splitters!) and I see nothing in this article that describes me. Silver Sloth 09:27, 26 August 2008 (EDT)
It seems to be written from a right wing American POV - mainly by User:Researcher. Apparently Leftism is a dirty word there. SusanG  ContribsTalk 09:38, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

One thing (opinion) that this piece needs is a bit of history, going back to the French Revolution, and the original origins of the terms left and right. However I don't like to use internet sources and my History of France, a one volume event, leaves out that story. Anyway, that should kick off the article. It would still go down hill from there, but I do believe that it's where we need to begin. You know:

When we count we begin with 1, 2, 3
When we sing we begin with Do re me.

Carptrash 11:24, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

I mentioned it in the political spectrum article but didn't reference it to anything. It's fairly well known & I don't think we need go into too much detail on the early history. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 11:29, 26 August 2008 (EDT)
The idea was to get the stuff on left & right wing together in one article as it's all connected. I guess one possibility would be to delete this article (& rightism too?) & redirect them to the spectrum article + put more in it about extreme leftist and rightist positions. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 11:32, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

So let's thry this section[edit]

" "Leftists" are people who believe explicitly in the abolition of capitalism. They believe that there can be no redeeming of it, no way to regulate it, and that the world needs a different system instead, usually socialism, which will transition into communism, though this is not necessary, as other groups such as Stalinists believe in destroying capitalism and replacing it with state rule, or totalitarianism. This is different from liberals who believe in regulated capitalism."

I find this, the opening of the article to be pretty much beyond redemption. A harsh judgement, perhaps, but one I will put forward none-the-less. This definition might work at Conservapedia, but really folks, we can do better. Can't we? Carptrash 13:23, 1 September 2008 (EDT)

Eh, I don't see the problem, by leftists here we're referring to people who want to destroy capitalism (far left). On the other hand, I suppose it would be better if 'explicitly' were removed. -Judas Reward 13:47, 1 September 2008 (EDT)
"by leftists here we're referring " You seem to be saying that this usage of the term is okay "by definition." This is a common practice by right wing obscurists who define words what ever way they want them defined and then consider this to be a compelling argument. Around the world I believe that you will NOT find that this definition of "leftists" fits into regular usage. If you are referring to the far left, then say that. Carptrash 13:42, 1 September 2008 (EDT) (PS don't forget to sign your posting, please)
I suppose some people may call social democrats leftist, so... -Judas Reward 13:47, 1 September 2008 (EDT)
I think this article, like the political spectrum one, should address the ambiguity of the term rather than sticking to a narrow definition. In some contexts (e.g. for many Americans) leftist means far left. In others (like the UK) it tends to mean people with some degree of left wing opinions (e.g. progressive taxation, trade union support) but not necessarily anti-capitalist per se. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 15:04, 1 September 2008 (EDT)
Perhaps we should move whatever's necessary from here to the Political Spectrum article? Since it's mainly about far-lefters, we can perhaps add this for them, and then slowly divide it up into authoritarian left v libertarian left, etc. Perhaps add stuff on the other beliefs (social democrat, etc) to clarify what they mean? Of course, some terms are more ambiguous, since they don't have a book detailing what they are, so we'd have to point those out. -Judas Reward 15:08, 1 September 2008 (EDT)
I agree. Support merge to political spectrum. Rightist should also be merged there. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 15:27, 1 September 2008 (EDT)

I agree. Then all the discussion will be in one place. Start by copying the entire articles in as new sections? Also, copy the talk pages over to the PS talk page... ħumanUser talk:Human 17:59, 1 September 2008 (EDT)

I'm not here enough to really argue...[edit]

But the point of this article (as someone else had mentioned) was to distinguish between "leftism" and liberalism. Perhaps I do have too much of an American POV (and possibly even an old-fashioned American POV), but historically there is a large distinction between leftism and liberalism. Leftists were the explicitly Communist/socialist groups, whereas liberals were those who supported the welfare state but also supported a free market. This could be seen in the fights between Eugene Debs and Progressives, between the Communists and pre-WWII New Deal Democrats, or between the New Left and JFK/LBJ. (This is kind of a very small, more broad, condensed version of a paper I wrote in grad school in a history class.) Researcher 08:49, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

If this is an argument against merging it into the political spectrum thing, IMO it would make more sense to just move this into the political spectrum page and then differentiate it from liberalism, etc. It seems to make more sense than an article on Leftism being focussed on why liberalism isn't awesome leftism. -Judas Reward 08:54, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
Feel free. I was just giving my opinion on why they are distinct, which seemed to be part of the debate. (Also, I will admit that as someone with a Master's in poli sci, I was kind of stung by someone saying it looked like the writing of someone from an 11th grade civics class. Which is never a good reason to write a comment, but oh well.) By all means, merge it. Researcher 08:58, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

Merged. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 05:08, 3 September 2008 (EDT)