In a modern democracy supposedly geared towards benefitting its citizens, why do so-called right-wing parties still exist, or even centrist ones?
The term right wing came about because during the French revolution in 1789, those supporting the monarchy sat to the right of the presiding officer, so it became a shorthand for those wealthy landed men who supported the monarchy and the preservation of that wealth and the privileged status and treatment it involved. They relied on maintaining a class structure where those with wealth decided how the masses in their society lived and the opportunities they had to change their lives, while those privileged continued to amass further wealth.
While the name might be relatively new, the division has been in existence ever since some took control of their tribes by force, and continued to use that force to gather privileges for themselves and their families. The shift to agriculture and the resulting opportunity to gather vast amounts of possessions and property only widened the gap. Of course, those at the top were only able to stay there because so many supported them, either because they also had wealth they relied upon the class structure for, or they were hoping for special treatment and rewards for their support.
Parallel to all this was the resistance that was building from the resentment that so few could have so much wealth without really having any justification for it, other than status or inheritance, both of which ultimately relied upon force. Some groups gathered enough influence, usually through their own forces, to challenge those at the top to either share some of their power, or lose it altogether, as happened in France.
Unfortunately, however power arrives at one's feet, it proves especially difficult to voluntarily give it up. Privilege is very tempting, especially if the alternative is to share poverty with the masses of the rest of society. While in many societies, poverty isn't as rampant as it one was, many still cling to the idea of being better off, even if the symbols of that privilege are frivolous extravagances. Of course, such desires for a better life than others are the result of centuries of propaganda that posits that some are special and so entitled to more than others, but it's just a ruse.
People are generally much the same as far as strength and intellectual capability goes, and certainly nothing to justify why any person should be entitled to hundreds of times as much as anyone else, let along a million-fold. It is this basic meritless flaw that has driven many to search for a more equitable way to organise society. When some have gained power, they have imposed their ideas upon millions, with disastrous results, just because they had no real idea how to run a society. No one does, just because it evolves as those in it do. There is no one-size-fits-all.
That means we need to experiment and come to some consensus as to what may work for us best. The way we choose this is through democracy, which currently needs us to elect others to represent us as direct democracy doesn't scale well at this time. Unfortunately, we have seen that those with privilege have found ways to hijack that process to get their own way, even if they have to disguise it by donations, fake think tanks and dark money, though they have now become brazen enough to do it in the open, thinking they have enough support.
We are in a battle for our societies, but to reach integrity and fairness in our societies, we have to manifest those same qualities in ourselves. However, we cannot wait until we have individually perfected ourselves before acting as we are under attack from those who will take advantage of our doubts. We thus have to maintain a dual focus of improving ourselves as we improve our societies, which, given the fluidity of our consciousness and inter-relationships, is the only way we can do it.
That is hard given the ideological rigidity of the opposition and the millennia-long head-start it has had. However, we have come a long way and we know we cannot let ourselves succumb to the many attempts at subverting our resolve to improve humanity's chance at a decent future without destroying the earth. Everyone can have a decent life, but not if a few squander the planet from under us while falsely persuading us that supporting them is in our best interests. We do not need the wealthy controlling our societies or power-hungry despots running our lives.
We always have free will to choose what life we want, and even when we may feel fenced in, there are always many who can help us break out of our self-imposed prisons of mind that we have locked ourselves into, so that we can see a way out of the false pressures we have had lumped onto us by those who pretend to be our saviours while holding us prisoner to their privilege. When we release ourselves from the delusion that we cannot change ourselves, together we can change our societies for the better.
Left and right are misleading terms that set up a false equivalence and the false impression that there is a balance point.
Don't be fooled into thinking that the so-called two sides of left and right are equality legitimate. The choice is between people and the earth or the false wealth of material gain, and the latter is the way of death as has always been the result when it has been the overriding goal. Stand with people and work towards giving everyone a chance to have the freedom to choose how they want to live. If we work from that goal and shape our societies to maximise those opportunities, we will have done the best that we can do.
Taking a stance by framing ourselves as left-wing or leftist gives validity to the misanthropy of those who champion the so-called right-wing. Using left and right implies that the balance is in the centre, which in the current politico-economic context is neoliberalism, and that certainly is not in peoples' best interests. Better to frame the conversation in what those terms are obscuring than the fairly neutral terms themselves, especially when the money-backers have been moving the whole conversation towards normalising their extreme and toxic stance by strawmaning those terms into meaning whatever they want.
Any stance that allows people to be ranked in monetary terms is against the best interests of almost everybody, and opens up societies to be controlled by those who have lots of wealth, reinforcing their power. We have value as human beings in our own right, not as pawns on an economic chessboard. Frame talk in terms of people and those who seek to harm them, which sets up the correct perspective and that people will readily understand. It puts the conversation in absolute terms rather than fuzzy ones that have been manipulated to demonise favouring people.
Framing in terms of supporting people also disconnects that stance from being falsely linked to being misrepresented as leading to authoritarianism, which hides the fact that that is the real goal of those who seek to tokenise people. All conversations need to be firmly putting people at the centre, not in vague and manipulative economic terms. It may seem like semantics, but the false framing has been hoodwinking people into sacrificing their liberty for over two centuries under the false impression that favouring people was an extreme position.
Conceding that a so-called market economy is in any way valid as a means of determining our value automatically devalues us to being commodities and legitimises the psychopathic treatment of us. The tokenisation that is money does facilitate a measure of social mobility, but not if it is used as the primary basis of deciding how important we each are. We have to take back our humanity and that starts with ceasing to see ourselves as anything but as human beings.
We are not a token representative of us. Our value should not be defined by how much we are worth to society, especially when that value is defined by those who want to control us. Accepting that valuation allows us to be ignored, treated with distain, imprisoned or killed, just to bolster the fortunes of the privileged. We each have a right to live, and when we stand up for that right, we take back our humanity.
When we label things accurately, we can begin to deal with them properly.
Once we look at things from a human-benefit perspective, a lot of behaviours we may have accepted over others now come into strong contrast. For example, those we label as extreme right-wing we might have tended to consider worse than those we consider centre-right, but while the former may spew forth a lot of verbal rubbish, many of the latter are those who head corporations that are killing thousands by the pollution they create, if not by the direct result of the use of their products.
The labels we have been using have blinded us as to the actual damage they are causing. Of course we knew what they were doing was bad, but the emotional stance we have taken is greatest towards those with the worse labels rather than by their actions. We have accepted the wordings often used by the so-called centrists about themselves and graded them less a problem accordingly. This is deliberate, as they fund the extreme groups to be able to make themselves look better in comparison. A ruse de guerre.
The learning lesson here is to stick to language that portrays the reality of people and actions, rather than the labels preferred by the perpetrators. The language has to be accurate and truthful because we have to be able to put ourselves under the same lens. It is often the case that opposing groups will use the same dubious language and actions despite the different names they are known as. The correct choice of language is required so we can keep ourselves from falling into the same abyss we might be accusing others of.
People who consistently do actions that create harm to people should rightly be called misanthropists, so that excludes those who are just occasionally reacting. Those who wish others ill-will have left plenty of evidence of their harmful deeds. That evidence should be given preference over any of their self-assessed political position. Conversely, those who actually support people-centred policies should have left plenty of evidence of their positive efforts, again taking precedence over any self-professed humanitarian stance. Reality must be the final arbiter of where people stand.