Left vs. Right

Băltărețe • de Criticul miercuri, 29 septembrie 2010, 11:35

I think that there exists a correlation between a person’s socio-political orientation on the left-right spectrum and that person’s perception of the strength of their own character, as well as of Man in the philosophical sense.

Traditionally, the two poles of the spectrum have been associated with two different supreme values: equality for the left and freedom for the right. The „properness” or goodness of an act is thus judged differently by people on either side, depending on whether the said act results in a higher equality in distribution, or in a higher freedom of choice, speech or action.

Initially, however, I think that this cleavage was born within the individual, not as a group feature. Basically, the more highly an individual thinks of himself, of his ideas, of his chances, the more he is likely to lean toward the right. Likewise, leftists will push tolerance as a high virtue because, due to their own insecurities, they secretly strive to be tolerated themselves. Leftists abhor the „survival of the fittest” because they do not deem themselves fit enough to survive in fair competition against men of higher ability. The leftist is much more likely to believe in God, or any other form of higher power, because he sees himself as small and insignificant. Rather than to take action to achieve a goal, the leftist would rather pray for it, not having the confidence in himself required to pursue said goal.

Conversely, people who lean more towards the right are more likely to be confident in their own powers to achieve success. For them, the supreme value is freedom, because their talents require freedom in order to manifest. They tend to be stifled by the pursuit of an equal distribution, because they perceive it to be unfair that their work should benefit others who cannot – or do not – work as proficiently. In other words, rightists don’t value equality as much, because they’re better fit for survival than the average person, and thus would rather they not be forced into „equality” with their lessers.

Of course, not all rightists are of higher ability than leftists. The Dunning-Kruger effect is often at work here, and causes people of high talent to doubt their own skills and desire equality, thus leaning more towards the left. More on that in another article.