Left & Right - Introductory Remarks

by Dr. Marco C. Bernasconi

In his editorial [Migration and Development] Adriano Autino, President of Technology of the Frontier, widely uses some terms that he himself has labeled as obsolete: "right" and "left", to classify, and to refer to, generical political attitudes. Suffer me to say, dear Autino, that I consider such terms much worse then old-fashioned: they now belong to the core of slavespeak!

And since the use of such tool (as its name clearly indicates) aims to keep the slaves well subjugated, it decreases the message that your article wishes to pass.

"Right" and "Left" were topological indications, adopted for the sake of brevity in a certain historical moment. Their poor functionality is already made evident by the single dimension intrinsic to the model they continue to suggest. A better description of the diversity of the human (political) behaviour requires more than one dimension: for instance, Nolan has suggested a two-dimensional mapping that moves away from partisan colours and, at the same time, parametrizes two variables: the wish to control individual behaviour and the wish to control economic activities.

A political doctrine of total control (100% over the individual and 100% over the economy) is a totaliarianism, whatever its labels, colours and pseudo-moral arguments. Full acknowledgement of the individual and economic freedom (0% of control on both axes) happens in an authentic libertarian system. The classic authoritarian (with religious undercurrents) -- the "right" in the Autinian editorial -- aims to control individuals (that are deemed unable of self-government), but to leave "the economy" free (100%, 0%). The utopian communism dreams of a fully-controlled economy, conceding freedom to the individuals (0%, 100%): of course, Nolan’s diagram says nothing about the feasibility of a regime aiming at a certain mix of parameter values! While such "pure" vertices for sure never existed, I have to observe that some are better approximated than others: sadly, first of all totalitarianism (whether vectors of communism, theocracies, or national-socialistic forms, up to the ecozist one - currently quite fashionable). It is also interesting to note that extreme conservatism can be approximated, but seems to be an unstable locus: sooner or later, economic freedom entrains some form of individual emancipation. More rarely (but with increasing frequence in recent times), conservatism evolves into a suppression of economic freedom, through an alliance between "state" and "economy", that starts a society on the slippery slope towards totalitarianism. It is for this reason that to speak about Mr. Klinton and Mr. D’Alema as "left-wing politicians" is a useless exercise of slavespeak. On the opposite corner, instead, all the attempts to subdue the economic activity to "state's" control have ended up pushing society into totalitarian control.

Thus, de facto, the "liberal" (i.e., socialist, given that American linguistic abuse deprives international English of this, once so noble, adjective) ideology as represented in the Nolan diagram has little to partake with the "left" in the traditional political sense! Another fitting example of the degree of confusion attained by a continuous use of slavespeak! An example that can be also strictly associated to the conditioning operated by the mass-media during decades, to make people implicitely associate "right" with "oppressive retrogrades" and "left" with "enlightened progressives," to have such associations evoked spontaneously -- as the current masters desires.

The use of a more precise language is essential to free oneself from these and other conditionings, and to begin the analysis of the present political landscape.

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