Political spectrum

From ency.pub

The political spectrum is an imagined left-right categorisation system in political positions that originates in the seating arrangement in the National Constituent Assembly (Assemblée nationale constituante) of France at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. The "leftists" or "left-wingers" sat on the left side of the Assembly, the "rightists" or "right-wingers" sat on the right side.[1] According to Dean Russell, at that time, leftists were on the side of having less rather than more government control "over industry, trade, and the professions" and leaving "wages, prices, and profits to be determined by competition in a free market", rather than by governmental decree. On the other side, "The rightists or 'reactionaries' stood for a highly centralized national government, special laws and privileges for unions and various other groups and classes, government economic monopolies in various necessities of life, and a continuation of government controls over prices, production, and distribution."[2] Nowadays, people tend to associate the term "left" with the words "progressive", "liberal" and "socialist", whereas they tend to associate the term "right" with "reactionary", "conservative" and "capitalist", to name a few.[3] One rightist has written that "the Left stands for egalitarianism, while the Right stands for the aristocratic principle of nature."[4]


  1. Leonard E. Read (1 January 2006). "Neither Left Nor Right". fee.org. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  2. Dean Russell (1952). "The First Leftist". Mises.org. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  3. Crispin Sartwell (20 June 2014). "The Left-Right Political Spectrum Is Bogus". theatlantic.com. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  4. Ahab (6 June 2017). "Environmentalism and the Alt Right". altright.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.