Politics : Entry 2 ; The Right

So this is my second entry and it is on the right. My next entry will be my personal opinion and where I stand on the policies selected.

Right wing

The right-wing started off as a classification during the French revolution. Which came into being thanks to the Estates General. This was a legislative and consultative assembly of the different classes of French subjects (citizens). This was not an independent body but rather an advisory board for the king. From 1789, it was generally separated between the nobility class which were to the right side of the room and the deputies of the citizens to the left side of the room. There is also a third side which consisted of the catholic clergy but that is not relevant to this classification.

They wanted to preserve the institution of the old regime which was called the Ancien Regime which was based on administrative centralisation of powers which can be wielded by the king of France, which is basically an absolute monarchy. The original right supported hierarchy, tradition and clericalism (clericalism is the application of the formal leadership of the ordained clergy of issues outside the religious institutions that they represent.) They became prominent in France after the restoration of the French monarchy in 1815 and were often called the ultra-loyalists. These classifications did not become of use in the English-speaking world for their own policies until the early 20th century.

From the 1830s to 1880s, there was a shift in the western world of the social class structure and the economy, moving away from nobility and aristocracy and towards capitalism.

In the United States “right-wing” has quite a different history and meaning. For the most part the American right-wing is an integral part of the conservative movement in the U.S. The right has been a major factor and often dominant in American politics since 1980.

The Right has gone through five distinct historical stages: firstly, the reactionary right, which sought a return to aristocracy and established religion; secondly, the moderate right, who sought limited government and distrusted intellectuals; thirdly, the radical right, who favoured a romantic and aggressive nationalism; fourthly, the extreme right, who proposed anti-immigration policies and implicit racism; and lastly, the neo-liberal right, who sought to combine a belief in a market economy and economic deregulation with the traditional Right-wing beliefs in patriotism, elitism, and law and order.

Policies

Economics

In France, after the French Revolution, the Right fought against the rising power of those who had grown rich through commerce, and sought to preserve the rights of the hereditary nobility. They were uncomfortable with capitalism, with the Enlightenment, with individualism, and with industrialism and fought to retain traditional social hierarchies and institutions. In Europe’s history, there have been strong collectivist right-wing movements, such as in the social Catholic Right that has exhibited hostility to all forms of liberalism, including economic liberalism, and has historically advocated for class harmony involving a hierarchical society where workers are protected while hierarchy of classes remained.

In the 19th century, the Right had shifted to support the newly rich in some European countries, and instead of favouring the nobility over industrialists, favoured capitalists over the working class. Other right-wing entities on the Continent, such as Carlism (which is a traditionalist and legitimist political movement in Spain seeking the establishment of a separate line of the Bourbon dynasty (no, not the biscuit) on the Spanish throne.) in Spain and nationalist movements in France, Germany, and Russia, remained hostile to capitalism and industrialism. There are, however, still a few right-wing movements today, notably the French Nouvelle Droite (New Right), the Italian CasaPound (named after an American poet), and American paleoconservatives, that are often in opposition to capitalist ethics and the effects they have on society as a whole, which they see as infringing upon or causing the decay of social traditions or hierarchies that they see as essential for social order.

In modern times, “right-wing” is sometimes used to describe laissez-faire capitalism. In Europe, capitalists formed alliances with the Right during their conflicts with workers after 1848. In France, the Right’s support of capitalism can be traced to the late 19th century. The so-called neoliberal Right, popularized by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, combines support for free markets, privatisation, and deregulation with traditional right-wing support for social conformity. Right-wing libertarianism supports a decentralized economy based on economic freedom, and holds property rights, free markets and free trade to be the most important kinds of freedom.

Conservative authoritarians and those on the far right have supported fascism (who advocates a self-sufficient mixed economy (autarky) based on protectionist and interventionist economic policies) and corporatism (economic tripartism involving negotiations between business, labour, and state interest groups to establish economic policy. This is sometimes also referred to as neo-corporatism and is associated with social democracy)

Environment

There is a prevalent group in the right-wing regarding the environment, especially in the US and this is called Anti-environmentalism. Present day anti-environmentalists view environmentalism as “an attack on middle-class capitalism”

Larry Bell, an anti-environmental speaker claimed that the point of environmentalism is to destroy capitalism. By 2011, less than half of the American population believed that the burning of fossil fuels would affect the environment. In 2011, 80% of American Republicans did not agree with the science explaining the current “environmental crisis”.

The policies seem to be the eradication of environmental regulation, the traditional denial of global warming and keeping things as they are.

There is not really much to say about the right-wing outside the US though. Except for the promotion of the usage of fracking and the usage of natural resources.

Some on the right-wing do however accept global warming.

Nationalism

In France, nationalism was originally a left-wing and Republican ideology. After the period of rise of revanchism (which is a term used since the 1870s to describe a political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country, often following a war or social movement.) during the French third republic (context being the Franco-Prussian war in 1870-1871) and the Dreyfus Affair (It was a political scandal that from its beginning in 1894, which divided France until it was finally resolved in 1906. The affair is often seen as a modern and universal symbol of injustice, and remains one of the most striking examples of a complex miscarriage of justice, where a major role was played by the press and public opinion.) Nationalism became a trait of the right-wing.

Right-wing nationalists sought to define and defend a “true” national identity from elements deemed to be corrupting that identity. Some were supremacists who, in accordance with Social Darwinism, applied the concept of “survival of the fittest” to nations and races. Right-wing nationalism was influenced by romantic nationalism, in which the state derives its political legitimacy from the organic unity of those it governs. This generally includes, the language, race, culture, religion and customs of the “nation”, all of which were “born” within its culture. Linked with right-wing nationalism is cultural conservatism, which supports the preservation of the heritage of a nation or culture, and often sees deviations from cultural norms as an existential threat.

Religion

Government support for an established religion was associated with the original French right-wing. Religious fundamentalists frequently feel that governments should enact laws supporting their religious tenets. The Christian right is a major force in North America. They generally support laws upholding what they consider religious values, such as opposition to abortion, contraception, sex outside marriage, and to same-sex marriage, and reject scientific positions on evolution and other matters where science disagrees with the Bible. Outside the West, other religious and ethnic groups are considered right-wing.

In India, Hindu nationalism is sometimes considered a part of the Right. The Hindu nationalist movement has attracted privileged groups fearing encroachment on their dominant positions, and impoverished groups seeking recognition around a rhetoric of cultural pride, order, and national strength. Many Islamist groups have been called “right-wing” including the Great Union Party in Turkey, and the Combatant Clergy Association in Iran and the Islamic Society of Engineers of Iran giving just a few examples.

The term “family values” has been used as a buzzword by right-wing parties such as the Republican Party in the United States, the Family First Party in Australia, the Conservative party in the United Kingdom and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India to describe support for traditional families, and opposition to the changes the modern world has made in how families live. Right-wing supporters of “family values” may oppose abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, divorce, teenage pregnancy and adultery.

Social stratification

Right-wing politics involves in varying degrees the rejection of some egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming either that economic inequality is natural and inevitable or that it is beneficial to society. Right-wing ideologies and movements support social order. The original French right-wing was called “the party of order” and held that France needed a strong political leader to keep order. Right libertarians reject collective or state-imposed equality as undermining reward for personal merit, initiative, and enterprise. In their view, it is unjust, limits personal freedom, and leads to social uniformity and mediocrity.

Variety

The meaning of right-wing varies across societies, political systems and ideologies. According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, in liberal democracies, the political Right opposes socialism and social democracy.

Although the right-wing originated with traditional conservatives, monarchists and reactionaries, it has evolved to include neo-conservatives, authoritarians, nationalists, fascists, racial supremacists, Christian democrats, religious fundamentalists, and classical liberals.

Parties of the centre-right generally support liberal democracy, capitalism, the market economy (though they may accept government regulation to control monopolies), private property rights, and a limited welfare state (for example government provision of education and medical care). They support conservatism and economic liberalism, and oppose socialism and communism. The phrase far right, by contrast, is used to describe those who favour an absolutist government, which uses the power of the state to support the dominant ethnic group or religion and often to criminalize other ethnic groups or religions.

The right-wing generally find Postmodernism to be a variation of Relativism and hence immoral and something to fight.

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