Left-wing politics is usually progressive, meaning that left-wing people think the government should be the entity behind social change. They believe governments should try to create more social equality and economic equality through direct intervention and the regulation of markets.
Right-wing people tend to say the government should not be behind social change, instead delegating the authority to individuals. Definitions of "right-wing" vary, however conservatives oppose drastic changes by the government to the structure of society, occasionally supporting moves back to the way certain things were in the past (or the way people think it was in the past).
Ideologies representative of the authoritarian wing of the far left include Socialism, while the libertarian wing is represented by Communism. The authoritarian wing of the far right is represented by Fascism, while the libertarian wing is represented by Anarcho-capitalism.
The left and right groups get their names from the French Revolution. People in the National Assembly who wanted large changes in the French government sat on the left side of the room and people who wanted to keep the king and more tradition sat on the right side of the room and moderates sat in the middle. French newspapers started saying "left" and "right" to tell readers which member of the National Assembly thought what.
- "Why Do "Left" And "Right" Mean Liberal And Conservative?". Dictionary.com. 30 July 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
- Jerry Carnes (November 25, 2020). "Why are liberals "left" and conservatives "right" in politics?". 11 Alive News. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
- H. F. Bienfait; W. E. A. van Beek (2001). "Right and Left as Political Categories. An Exercise in "Not-so-Primitive" Classification". Anthropos. 96 (1): 169–178. JSTOR 40465460.