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Right-wing politics
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Right-wing politics

In politics, right-wing, political right, or simply the right, are terms which refer (with no particular precision) to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with conservatism, or with opposition to left-wing politics. (See Political spectrum and Left-Right politics for more on the merits/limitations of this kind of classification.) The terminology of Left-Right politics was originally based on the seating-arrangement of parliamentary partisans, during the French Revolution. The monarchists who supported the ancien regime were commonly referred to as rightists because they sat on the right side of successive legislative assemblies. As this original reference became obsolete, the meaning of the terms has changed as appropriate to the spectrum of ideas and stances being compared, and the point of view of the speaker.

Tradition, the means of preserving wealth, social stability, and national solidarity and ambition are among the concerns typically associated with the right wing of the political spectrum; over against systemic restructure, labor and social concern, cultural diversity and the community of nations, commonly associated with the left. Those on the right are sometimes called "reactionary" by their opponents, a term that first arose to refer to those whose politics was formed in reaction against the French Revolution.

Table of contents
1 Political groups on the right
2 A concept that has evolved over time
3 Fascism and right-wing politics
4 See Also
5 External links
6 References
7 Other meanings

Political groups on the right

The following groups are commonly characterized as being on the political Right, though they might have relatively little in common with other Right-wing groups (even in their own country) beyond their opposition to the Left.

Naturally, in all cases "left" and "right" express relative positioning. For example, the Log Cabin Republicans align on the right in the context of the U.S.'s gay community, but generally appear within the Republican Party as part of the left wing of the party.





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United States of America

A concept that has evolved over time

Since the French Revolution, the political use of the terms "left" and "right" has evolved across linguistic, societal, and national boundaries, sometimes taking on meanings in one time and place that contrast sharply with those in another. For example, the present-day
as of 2004 government of China claims to remain on the "left," despite an evolution that has brought it quite close to what is elsewhere characterized as "right," supporting national cultural traditions, the interests of wealth, privately owned industry, and a rather imperial nationalism. Conversely, the late dictator of Spain, Francisco Franco, who was firmly allied internationally with the right and who brutally suppressed the Spanish left, nonetheless pursued numerous development policies quite similar to those of the Soviet Union and other communist states, which are almost universally considered to be on the "left." Similarly, while "right" originally referred to those who supported the interests of aristocracy, in many countries today (notably the United States) the left-right distinction is not strongly correlated with wealth or ancestry.

Today, in many issues, the Left-Right dichotomy is often set by position on national conflicts, rather than economic differences. Examples include the War on terror campaign, led by the United States, and the Israeli war against Palestinian terrorism. While right-wing movements (e.g., American Neo Conservativess) are hawkish and support military operations against terror-sponsoring states) and emphasize the need to oppose Islamic terrorism (by which they mean Al-Qaida, Hamas and even Arab dictatorships), left wing movements are typically dovish and deplore preemptive military action as a violation of human rights and international law (see also: Anti War protests).

Fascism and right-wing politics

Despite the important differences from other right-wing ideologies, fascism is almost universally considered to be a part of "the right". This is somewhat parallel to the customary inclusion of state communism (and, in particular, that of the Stalinist Soviet Union and Maoist China) in "the left." Nonetheless, fascism differs significantly from other politics that are usually classified as right-wing.

Many of the creators of Italian Fascism had originally been supporters of the political left, but eventually turned against their old ideas (for various reasons) and tried to develop a right-wing alternative instead. Philosophers such as Robert Michel, Sergio Panunzio, and Giovanni Gentile were originally syndicalists, a group normally identified with the left and whose tactical propensity for direct action became an element in Italian Fascism. Benito Mussolini himself was originally a socialist, though he had ceased even to claim to be one by the time he was leading the fascist party (and, indeed, many of his old comrades were the first targets of his political police). In the treatise Doctrine of Fascism – written by Gentile but approved by Mussolini – fascism is identified as being of the right and it is declared that the 20th century will be the "century of the right".

David Schoenbaum argued in his book Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 that Nazism contained certain revolutionary and socialist aspects (although more in rhetoric than in reality), and it was no coincidence that the Nazis often found themselves in a struggle with the Communists for the same constituency (although this can be seen as a typical left/right struggle in elections, albeit involving more radical versions of the two sides). However, it is a historical truth that the DAP, which later became the Nazi Party, was formed in response and in opposition to a brief Communist revolt in Bavaria. While the Nazis opposed individualism and laissez faire capitalism, vigorous opposition to international socialism was a founding and continuing tenet of Nazi fascism. Also, one of the key motivations behind World War II was Hitler's desire to exterminate communism.

Japanese fascism, while a distinct phenomenon, is also ordinarily understood as an expression of a right-wing philosophy; but like other forms of fascism, it is only unequivocally right-wing if the terms of comparison are limited. Like other forms, it arose in antithesis to the agenda of leftists, Communists, and Socialists.

In contemporary politics, neofascists and neonazis are said to be far right. Authoritarian conservatives such as supporters of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet or supporters of the military juntas that ruled much of Latin America in the 1970s are also said to be far right.

See Also

External links


Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 by David Schoenbaum, ISBN 0393315541

Other meanings

Right wing may also refer to a player's position in sports such as soccer and ice hockey.