Sunday, 30 April 2017
I want to take a stand for the right/left dichotomy. Too many people are attacking it, based on what I believe to be pretty dim witted ideas. An example of such an argument we heard in the US 2016 election, is that GW Bush and Hillary Clinton are “the same” therefore there is no right left problem that describes modern politics, etc.
I think this kind of argument, that pretends to gloss over the differences between different party representatives, is pretty artificial. I understand, however, the point of the people making it, is to dismiss the positions of both of them...They tell themselves this is part of tearing down the system, I guess, of standing against the “establishment”. You can probably guess I don't see much substance in these would be terrorists; but, that doesn't mean I don't take them seriously. It's impossible to ignore them after they put Donald Trump in office, after all. It's just that opposing them will not ultimately be based on reasoned arguments, since that isn't something this movement currently responds to.
It's also beyond the scope of this blog to go any further in refuting them just now. Rather, let's consider why there is still a substantive difference between right and left:
Redistribution is a pretty fundamental difference
We live in a society where disparity between rich and poor is growing. Whether, we should be taking from the rich, and giving to the poor, is the basis of the difference that still exists between the right and left side of the political spectrum; and, I think its a pretty fundamental one.
Both sides see their position as rooted in “fairness”
The “right” sees redistribution as unfair, or perhaps even theft and the “left” sees inequality as unfair. They want to “redistribute” wealth from the poor to the rich. The problem then, is that fairness can not decide this issue. It's a political problem that is truly deeper than an appeal to that particular value.
At this point, each side would have to reach beyond their fairness arguments to explain their position, for or against redistribution respectively. And that is the place where ideology truly begins.