Left-wing politics

Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy.[1][2][3][4] It typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others (prioritarianism) as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished (by advocating for social justice).[1] The term left-wing can also refer to "the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system".[5]

The political terms "Left" and "Right" were coined during the French Revolution (1789–1799), referring to the seating arrangement in the French Estates General: those who sat on the left generally opposed the monarchy and supported the revolution, including the creation of a republic and secularization,[6] while those on the right were supportive of the traditional institutions of the Old Regime. Use of the term "Left" became more prominent after the restoration of the French monarchy in 1815 when it was applied to the "Independents".[7] The word "wing" was appended to Left and Right in the late 19th century, usually with disparaging intent and "left-wing" was applied to those who were unorthodox in their religious or political views.

The term was later applied to a number of movements, especially republicanism during the French Revolution in the 18th century, followed by socialism,[8] communism, anarchism and social democracy in the 19th and 20th centuries.[9] Since then, the term left-wing has been applied to a broad range of movements[10] including civil rights movements, feminist movements, anti-war movements and environmental movements,[11][12] as well as a wide range of parties.[13][14][15] According to former professor of economics Barry Clark, "[leftists] claim that human development flourishes when individuals engage in cooperative, mutually respectful relations that can thrive only when excessive differences in status, power, and wealth are eliminated".[16]

History

Estatesgeneral
5 May 1789, opening of the Estates General of 1789 in Versailles

In politics, the term "Left" derives from the French Revolution, as the anti-monarchist Montagnard and Jacobin deputies from the Third Estate generally sat to the left of the presiding member's chair in parliament, a habit which began in the French Estates General of 1789. Throughout the 19th century in France, the main line dividing Left and Right was between supporters of the French Republic and those of the monarchy.[6] The June Days Uprising during the Second Republic was an attempt by the Left to assert itself after the 1848 Revolution, but only a small portion of the population supported this.

In the mid-19th century, nationalism, socialism, democracy and anti-clericalism became features of the French Left. After Napoleon III's 1851 coup and the subsequent establishment of the Second Empire, Marxism began to rival radical republicanism and utopian socialism as a force within left-wing politics. The influential Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, published in 1848, asserted that all human history is the history of class struggle. They predicted that a proletarian revolution would eventually overthrow bourgeois capitalism and create a classless, stateless, post-monetary communist society. It was in this period that the word "wing" was appended to both Left and Right.[17]

1912 Lawrence Textile Strike 1
Labour union demonstrators at the 1912 Lawrence textile strike

In the United States, many leftists, social liberals, progressives and trade unionists were influenced by the works of Thomas Paine, who introduced the concept of asset-based egalitarianism, which theorises that social equality is possible by a redistribution of resources.

The International Workingmen's Association (1864–1876), sometimes called the First International, brought together delegates from many different countries, with many different views about how to reach a classless and stateless society. Following a split between supporters of Marx and Mikhail Bakunin, anarchists formed the International Workers' Association.[18] The Second International (1888–1916) became divided over the issue of World War I. Those who opposed the war, such as Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, saw themselves as further to the left.

In the United States after Reconstruction, the phrase "the Left" was used to describe those who supported trade unions, the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement.[19][20] More recently in the United States, left-wing and right-wing have often been used as synonyms for Democratic and Republican, or as synonyms for liberalism and conservatism respectively.[21][22][23][24]

Since the Right was populist, both in the Western and the Eastern Bloc anything viewed as avant-garde art was called leftist in all Europe, thus the identification of Picasso's Guernica as "leftist" in Europe[25] and the condemnation of the Russian composer Shostakovich's opera (The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District) in Pravda as follows: "Here we have 'leftist' confusion instead of natural, human music".[26]

Positions

The following positions are typically associated with left-wing politics.

Economics

Leftist economic beliefs range from Keynesian economics and the welfare state through industrial democracy and the social market to nationalization of the economy and central planning,[27] to the anarcho-syndicalist advocacy of a council- and assembly-based self-managed anarchist communism. During the industrial revolution, leftists supported trade unions. At the beginning of the 20th century, many leftists advocated strong government intervention in the economy.[28] Leftists continue to criticize what they perceive as the exploitative nature of globalization, the "race to the bottom" and unjust lay-offs. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the belief that government (ruling in accordance with the interests of the people) ought to be directly involved in the day-to-day workings of an economy declined in popularity amongst the center-left, especially social democrats who became influenced by "Third Way" ideology.

Other leftists believe in Marxian economics, which are based on the economic theories of Karl Marx. Some distinguish Marx's economic theories from his political philosophy, arguing that Marx's approach to understanding the economy is independent of his advocacy of revolutionary socialism or his belief in the inevitability of proletarian revolution.[29][30] Marxian economics does not exclusively rely upon Marx, but it draws from a range of Marxist and non-Marxist sources. The "dictatorship of the proletariat" or "workers' state" are terms used by some Marxists, particularly Leninists and Marxist–Leninists, to describe what they see as a temporary state between the capitalist state of affairs and a communist society. Marx defined the proletariat as salaried workers, in contrast to the "Lumpenproletariat", who he defined as outcasts of society, such as beggars, tricksters, entertainers, buskers, criminals and prostitutes.[31] The political relevance of farmers has divided the left. In Das Kapital, Marx scarcely mentioned the subject.[32] Mao Zedong believed that it would be rural peasants, not urban workers, who would bring about the proletarian revolution.

Left-libertarians, libertarian socialists and anarchists believe in a decentralized economy run by trade unions, workers' councils, cooperatives, municipalities and communes and oppose both state and private control of the economy, preferring social ownership and local control, in which a nation of decentralized regions are united in a confederation.

The global justice movement, also known as the anti-globalization movement or alter-globalization movement, protests against corporate economic globalization due to its negative consequences for the poor, workers, the environment and small businesses.[33][34][35]

Environment

Both Karl Marx and the early socialist William Morris arguably had a concern for environmental matters.[36][37][38][39] According to Marx: "Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together [...] are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations".[36][40] Following the Russian Revolution, environmental scientists such as revolutionary Aleksandr Bogdanov and the Proletkul't organisation made efforts to incorporate environmentalism into Bolshevism and "integrate production with natural laws and limits" in the first decade of Soviet rule, before Joseph Stalin attacked ecologists and the science of ecology, purged environmentalists and promoted the pseudo-science of Trofim Lysenko.[41][42][43] Likewise, Mao Zedong rejected environmentalism and believed that based on the laws of historical materialism all of nature must be put into the service of revolution.[44]

From the 1970s onwards, environmentalism became an increasing concern of the left, with social movements and some unions campaigning over environmental issues. For example, the left-wing Builders Labourers Federation in Australia, led by the communist Jack Mundy, united with environmentalists to place Green Bans on environmentally destructive development projects.[45] Some segments of the socialist and Marxist left consciously merged environmentalism and anti-capitalism into an eco-socialist ideology.[46] Barry Commoner articulated a left-wing response to The Limits to Growth model that predicted catastrophic resource depletion and spurred environmentalism, postulating that capitalist technologies were chiefly responsible for environmental degradation, as opposed to population pressures.[47] Environmental degradation can be seen as a class or equity issue, as environmental destruction disproportionately affects poorer communities and countries.[48]

Several left-wing or socialist groupings have an overt environmental concern and several green parties contain a strong socialist presence. For example, the Green Party of England and Wales features an eco-socialist group, Green Left, that was founded in June 2005. Its members held some influential positions within the party, including both the former Principal Speakers Siân Berry and Dr. Derek Wall, himself an eco-socialist and Marxist academic.[49] In Europe, some Green left political parties combine traditional social-democratic values such as a desire for greater economic equality and workers rights with demands for environmental protection, such as the Nordic Green Left.

Well-known socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales has traced environmental degradation to consumerism.[50] He has said: "The Earth does not have enough for the North to live better and better, but it does have enough for all of us to live well". James Hansen, Noam Chomsky, Raj Patel, Naomi Klein, The Yes Men and Dennis Kucinich have had similar views.[51][52][53][54][55][56]

Ms. magazine Cover - Spring 2007
Global warming was the cover story of this 2007 issue of Ms. magazine

In the 21st century, questions about the environment have become increasingly politicized, with the Left generally accepting the findings of environmental scientists about global warming[57][58] and many on the Right disputing or rejecting those findings.[59][60][61] However, the left is divided over how to effectively and equitably reduce carbon emissions: the center-left often advocates a reliance on market measures such as emissions trading or a carbon tax, while those further to the left tend to support direct government regulation and intervention either alongside or instead of market mechanisms.[62][63][64]

Nationalism and anti-nationalism

The question of nationality and nationalism has been a central feature of political debates on the Left. During the French Revolution, nationalism was a policy of the Republican Left.[65] The Republican Left advocated civic nationalism[6] and argued that the nation is a "daily plebiscite" formed by the subjective "will to live together". Related to "revanchism", the belligerent will to take revenge against Germany and retake control of Alsace-Lorraine, nationalism was sometimes opposed to imperialism. In the 1880s, there was a debate between those, such as Georges Clemenceau (Radical), Jean Jaurès (Socialist) and Maurice Barrès (nationalist), who argued that colonialism diverted France from the "blue line of the Vosges" (referring to Alsace-Lorraine); and the "colonial lobby", such as Jules Ferry (moderate republican), Léon Gambetta (republican) and Eugène Etienne, the president of the parliamentary colonial group. After the Dreyfus Affair, nationalism instead became increasingly associated with the far-right.[66]

The Marxist social class theory of proletarian internationalism asserts that members of the working class should act in solidarity with working people in other countries in pursuit of a common class interest, rather than focusing on their own countries. Proletarian internationalism is summed up in the slogan: "Workers of all countries, unite!", the last line of The Communist Manifesto. Union members had learned that more members meant more bargaining power. Taken to an international level, leftists argued that workers ought to act in solidarity to further increase the power of the working class.

Proletarian internationalism saw itself as a deterrent against war, because people with a common interest are less likely to take up arms against one another, instead focusing on fighting the ruling class. According to Marxist theory, the antonym of proletarian internationalism is bourgeois nationalism. Some Marxists, together with others on the left, view nationalism,[67] racism[68] (including anti-Semitism)[69] and religion as divide and conquer tactics used by the ruling classes to prevent the working class from uniting against them. Left-wing movements therefore have often taken up anti-imperialist positions. Anarchism has developed a critique of nationalism that focuses on nationalism's role in justifying and consolidating state power and domination. Through its unifying goal, nationalism strives for centralization, both in specific territories and in a ruling elite of individuals, while it prepares a population for capitalist exploitation. Within anarchism, this subject has been treated extensively by Rudolf Rocker in Nationalism and Culture and by the works of Fredy Perlman, such as Against His-Story, Against Leviathan and The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism.[70]

The failure of revolutions in Germany and Hungary ended Bolshevik hopes for an imminent world revolution and led to promotion of "Socialism in One Country" by Joseph Stalin. In the first edition of the book Osnovy Leninizma (Foundations of Leninism, 1924), Stalin argued that revolution in one country is insufficient, but by the end of that year in the second edition of the book he argued that the "proletariat can and must build the socialist society in one country". In April 1925, Nikolai Bukharin elaborated the issue in his brochure Can We Build Socialism in One Country in the Absence of the Victory of the West-European Proletariat?, whose position was adopted as state policy after Stalin's January 1926 article On the Issues of Leninism (К вопросам ленинизма). This idea was opposed by Leon Trotsky and his followers who declared the need for an international "permanent revolution". Various Fourth Internationalist groups around the world who describe themselves as Trotskyist see themselves as standing in this tradition, while Maoist China supported Socialism in One Country.

European social democrats strongly support Europeanism and supranational integration, although there is a minority of nationalists and eurosceptics also in the left. Some link this left-wing nationalism to the pressure generated by economic integration with other countries encouraged by free trade agreements. This view is sometimes used to justify hostility towards supranational organizations. Left-wing nationalism can also refer to any nationalism which emphasises a working-class populist agenda which seeks to overcome perceived exploitation or oppression by other nations. Many Third World anti-colonial movements adopted left-wing and socialist ideas.

Third-Worldism is a tendency within leftist thought that regards the division between First World developed countries and Third World developing countries as being of high political importance. This tendency supports national liberation movements against what it considers imperialism by capitalists. Third-Worldism is closely connected with African socialism, Latin American socialism, Maoism,[71] Pan-Africanism and Pan-Arabism. Some left-wing groups in the developing world – such as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico, the Abahlali baseMjondolo in South Africa and the Naxalites in India – argue that the First World Left takes a racist and paternalistic attitude towards liberation movements in the Third World.

Religion

The original French left-wing was anti-clerical, opposing the influence of the Roman Catholic Church and supporting the separation of church and state.[6] Karl Marx asserted that "[r]eligion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people".[72] In Soviet Russia, the Bolsheviks originally embraced "an ideological creed which professed that all religion would atrophy" and "resolved to eradicate Christianity as such". In 1918, "ten Orthodox hierarchs were summarily shot" and "children were deprived of any religious education outside the home".[73] Today in the Western world those on the Left usually support secularization and the separation of church and state.

However, religious beliefs have also been associated with some left-wing movements, such as the civil rights movement and the anti-capital punishment movement. Early socialist thinkers such as Robert Owen, Charles Fourier and the Comte de Saint-Simon based their theories of socialism upon Christian principles. From St. Augustine of Hippo's City of God through St. Thomas More's Utopia, major Christian writers defended ideas that socialists found agreeable. Other common leftist concerns such as pacifism, social justice, racial equality, human rights and the rejection of excessive wealth can be found in the Bible.[74] In the late 19th century, the Social Gospel movement arose (particularly among some Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Baptists in North America and Britain) which attempted to integrate progressive and socialist thought with Christianity in faith-based social activism, promoted by movements such as Christian socialism. In the 20th century, the theology of liberation and Creation Spirituality was championed by such writers as Gustavo Gutierrez and Matthew Fox.

Other left-wing religious movements include Islamic socialism and Buddhist socialism. There have been alliances between the left and anti-war Muslims, such as the Respect Party and the Stop the War Coalition in Britain. In France, the left has been divided over moves to ban the hijab from schools, with some supporting a ban based on separation of church and state and others opposing the prohibition based on personal freedom.

Social progressivism and counterculture

Social progressivism is another common feature of modern leftism, particularly in the United States, where social progressives played an important role in the abolition of slavery,[75] women's suffrage,[76] civil rights and multiculturalism. Progressives have both advocated prohibition legislation and worked towards its repeal. Current positions associated with social progressivism in the West include opposition to the death penalty and the War on Drugs, as well as support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage, cognitive liberty, distribution of contraceptives, public funding of embryonic stem-cell research and the right of women to choose abortion. Public education was a subject of great interest to groundbreaking social progressives, such as Lester Frank Ward and John Dewey, who believed that a democratic system of government was impossible without a universal and comprehensive system of education.

Various counterculture movements in the 1960s and 1970s were associated with the "New Left". Unlike the earlier leftist focus on union activism, the New Left instead adopted a broader definition of political activism commonly called social activism. The United States New Left is associated with the hippie movement, college campus mass protest movements and a broadening of focus from protesting class-based oppression to include issues such as gender, race and sexual orientation. The British New Left was an intellectually driven movement which attempted to correct the perceived errors of "Old Left".

The New Left opposed prevailing authority structures in society, which it termed "The Establishment" and became known as "anti-Establishment". The New Left did not seek to recruit industrial workers but rather concentrated on a social activist approach to organization, convinced that they could be the source for a better kind of social revolution. This view has been criticised by some Marxists (especially Trotskyists) who characterized this approach as "substitutionism", which was what they saw as the misguided and non-Marxist belief that other groups in society could "substitute" for the revolutionary agency of the working class.[77][78]

Many early feminists and advocates of women's rights were considered left-wing by their contemporaries. Feminist pioneer Mary Wollstonecraft was influenced by the radical thinker Thomas Paine. Many notable leftists have been strong supporters of gender equality such as the Marxists Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai; anarchists such as Virginia Bolten, Emma Goldman and Lucía Sánchez Saornil; and the socialists Helen Keller and Annie Besant.[79] However, Marxists such as Rosa Luxemburg,[80] Clara Zetkin[81][82] and Alexandra Kollontai,[83][84] though supporters of radical social equality for women, opposed feminism because they considered it to be a bourgeois ideology. Marxists were responsible for organizing the first International Working Women's Day events.[85]

The women's liberation movement is closely connected to the New Left and other new social movements that challenged the orthodoxies of the Old Left. Socialist feminism, as exemplified by the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women; and Marxist feminism, as with Selma James, saw themselves as a part of the left that challenged what they perceive to be male-dominated and sexist structures within the Left. Liberal feminism is closely connected with social liberalism and the left wing of mainstream American politics (e.g., National Organization for Women).

The connection between left-leaning ideologies and LGBT rights struggles also has an important history. Prominent socialists who were involved in early struggles for LGBT rights include Edward Carpenter, Oscar Wilde, Harry Hay, Bayard Rustin and Daniel Guérin among others.

Varieties

The spectrum of left-wing politics ranges from center-left to far-left (or ultra-left). The term center-left describes a position within the political mainstream. The terms far-left and ultra-left refer to positions that are more radical. The center-left includes social democrats, social liberals, progressives and also some democratic socialists and greens (including some eco-socialists). Center-left supporters accept market allocation of resources in a mixed economy with a significant public sector and a thriving private sector. Center-left policies tend to favour limited state intervention in matters pertaining to the public interest.

In several countries, the terms far-left and radical left have been associated with varieties of communism, autonomism and anarchism. They have been used to describe groups that advocate anti-capitalism or eco-terrorism. In France, a distinction is made between the left (Socialist Party and Communist Party) and the far-left (Trotskyists, Maoists and anarchists).[86] The United States Department of Homeland Security defines left-wing extremism as groups that want "to bring about change through violent revolution rather than through established political processes".[87]

In China, the term "Chinese New Left" denotes those who oppose the current economic reforms and favour the restoration of more socialist policies.[88] In the Western world, the term New Left refers to cultural politics. In the United Kingdom in the 1980s, the term "hard left" was applied to supporters of Tony Benn, such as the Campaign Group and those involved in the London Labour Briefing newspaper, as well as Trotskyist groups such as Militant and the Alliance for Workers' Liberty.[89] In the same period, the term "soft left" was applied to supporters of the British Labour Party who were perceived to be more moderate. Under the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the British Labour Party rebranded itself as New Labour in order to promote the notion that it was less left-wing than it had been in the past. One of the first actions of the Labour Party leader who succeeded them, Ed Miliband, was the rejection of the "New Labour" label. However, Labour's voting record in parliament would indicate that under Miliband it had maintained the same distance from the left as it had with Blair.[90][91] Likewise, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader was viewed by some as Labour turning back toward its socialist roots.

Leftist postmodernism opposes attempts to supply universal explanatory theories, including Marxism, deriding them as grand narratives. It views culture as a contested space and via deconstruction seeks to undermine all pretensions to absolute truth. Left-wing critics of post-modernism assert that cultural studies inflates the importance of culture by denying the existence of an independent reality.[92][93]

In 1996, physicist Alan Sokal wrote a nonsensical article entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity".[94] The journal Social Text published the paper in its Spring/Summer 1996 issue, whereupon Sokal publicly revealed his hoax. While this action was interpreted as an attack upon leftism, Sokal (who was a committed supporter of the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua during the 1980s) intended it as a critique from within the left.[95] Sokal said he was concerned about what he saw as the increasing prevalence on the left of "a particular kind of nonsense and sloppy thinking [...] that denies the existence of objective realities". Sokal also called into question the usefulness of such theories to the wider left movement, saying he "never understood how deconstruction was meant to help the working class".[95]

See also

References

Notes

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  2. ^ Bobbio, Norberto; Cameron, Allan (1997). Left and Right: The Significance of a Political Distinction. University of Chicago Press. p. 37.
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  4. ^ Thompson, Willie (1997). The Left In History: Revolution and Reform in Twentieth-Century Politic. London: Pluto Press. ISBN 978-0745308913.
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  6. ^ a b c d Knapp, Andrew; Wright, Vincent (2006). The government and politics of France (5th ed.). London [u.a.]: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35732-6.
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  8. ^ Maass, Alan; Zinn, Howard (2010). The Case for Socialism (Revised ed.). Haymarket Books. p. 164. ISBN 978-1608460731. The International Socialist Review is one of the best left-wing journals around...
  9. ^ Schmidt, Michael; Van der Walt, Lucien (2009). Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism. Counter-Power. 1. AK Press. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-904859-16-1. [...] anarchism is a coherent intellectual and political current dating back to the 1860s and the First International, and part of the labour and left tradition
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Further reading

External links

  • Quotations related to leftism at Wikiquote
32 County Sovereignty Movement

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement, often abbreviated to 32CSM or 32csm, is an Irish republican group that was founded by Bernadette Sands McKevitt. It does not contest elections but acts as a pressure group, with branches or cumainn organised throughout the traditional counties of Ireland.

The 32CSM has been described as the "political wing" of the Real IRA, but this is denied by both organisations. The group originated in a split from Sinn Féin over the Mitchell Principles.

African-American leftism

African-American leftism refers to left-wing political currents that have developed among various African-American communities in the United States of America. These currents are active around social issues, and often call for an expansive state that aims at bringing about equality of outcome between the African-American community and White community and other minority groups.

American Left

The American Left has consisted of a broad range of individuals and groups that have sought fundamental egalitarian changes in the economic, political, and cultural institutions of the United States.

Leftist activists in the United States have been credited with advancing social change on issues such as labor and civil rights, as well as providing critiques of capitalism.

Centre-left politics

Centre-left politics or center-left politics (American English), also referred to as moderate-left politics, are political views that lean to the left-wing on the left–right political spectrum, but closer to the centre than other left-wing politics. Those on the centre-left believe in working within the established systems to improve social justice. The centre-left promotes a degree of social equality that it believes is achievable through promoting equal opportunity. The centre-left has promoted luck egalitarianism, which emphasizes the achievement of equality requires personal responsibility in areas in control by the individual person through their abilities and talents as well as social responsibility in areas outside control by the individual person in their abilities or talents.The centre-left opposes a wide gap between the rich and the poor and supports moderate measures to reduce the economic gap, such as a progressive income tax, laws prohibiting child labour, minimum wage laws, laws regulating working conditions, limits on working hours and laws to ensure the workers' right to organize. The centre-left typically claims that complete equality of outcome is not possible, but instead that equal opportunity improves a degree of equality of outcome in society.In Europe, the centre-left includes social democrats, progressives and also some democratic socialists, greens and the Christian left. Some social liberals are described as centre-left, but many social liberals are in the centre of the political spectrum as well.

Communism in Peru

Several different left-oriented organizations in Peru refer to themselves as communist (comunista) parties, movements, organizations, groups, etc. Some are still active, under their original or other appellation, some have merged or split, and some have ceased operating.

Communist Party of Chile

The Communist Party of Chile (Spanish: Partido Comunista de Chile) is a Chilean political party inspired by the thoughts of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. It was founded in 1922, as the continuation of the Socialist Workers Party, and in 1932 it established its youth wing, the Communist Youth of Chile (Juventudes Comunistas de Chile [abbr:JJ.CC]).

Democracy and Autonomy

Democracy and Autonomy (Italian: Democrazia e Autonomia, DemA) is a political party in Italy, based in Campania. Its founder and leader is Luigi de Magistris, current mayor of Naples and former MEP for Italy of Values.

Green Left Party

Green Left Party (Turkish: Yeşil Sol Parti) is a left-libertarian and green party in Turkey. It was founded on 25 November 2012 with the name Greens and the Left Party of the Future (Turkish: Yeşiller ve Sol Gelecek Partisi) as a merger of the Greens Party and the Equality and Democracy Party. The party changed its name in April 2016.

Prominent members include Murat Belge, left-liberal political author and columnist for Taraf; Kutluğ Ataman, filmmaker and contemporary artist; and Ufuk Uras, former Istanbul deputy and president of the Freedom and Solidarity Party.

The party is one of the participants in the Peoples' Democratic Congress, a political initiative instrumental in founding the Peoples' Democratic Party in 2012.

The party has formally acknowledged the Armenian Genocide.

Green left

The term green left is used primarily to refer to a combination of environmentalism, feminism, socialism and pacifism in countries where the term is used. It is primarily a social justice and human rights oriented ideology, with an expansion in focus to the rights of other species.

The name "Green Left" is also used by a variety of organisations which espouse socialist or Marxist principles, but with a greater emphasis on environmental preservation than previous iterations of socialism and communism.

Hard left

Hard left is a term used—often pejoratively—to refer to political movements and ideas outside the mainstream centre-left, particularly in the United Kingdom. The term has been used more formally in the United Kingdom in the context of debates within both the Labour Party and the broader left in the 1980s to describe Trotskyist groups such as the Militant tendency, Socialist Organiser and Socialist Action. Within the party, the "hard left", represented by the Campaign Group, subscribed to more strongly socialist views while the "soft left", associated for example with the Tribune Group, embraced more moderate social democratic ideas. Politicians commonly described as being on the hard left of the Labour Party at the time included Derek Hatton, Ken Livingstone, Dennis Skinner and Eric Heffer. The term has been used since then by Labour's political opponents, for example during the Conservative Party's election campaigns of the early 1990s and by the media.

Italian Communist Party (2016)

The Italian Communist Party (Italian: Partito Comunista Italiano, PCI) is a minor communist party in Italy.

Mutual aid (organization theory)

In organization theory, mutual aid is a voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit. Mutual aid, as opposed to charity, does not connote moral superiority of the giver over the receiver.

Old Left

The Old Left is the pre-1960s left-wing in the Western world, the earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had often taken a more vanguardist approach to social justice and focused mostly on labor unionization and questions of social class in the West.

Politics of Israel

Politics in Israel is dominated by Zionist parties. They traditionally fall into three camps, the first two being the largest: Labor Zionism (social democrat), Revisionist Zionism (conservative) and Religious Zionism. There are also several non-Zionist Orthodox religious parties, non-Zionist left-wing groups as well as non-Zionist and anti-Zionist Israeli Arab parties.

Progressivism

Progressivism is the support for or advocacy of improvement of society by reform. As a philosophy, it is based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition.

The meanings of progressivism have varied over time and from different perspectives. Progressivism became highly significant during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, out of the belief that Europe was demonstrating that societies could progress in civility from uncivilized conditions to civilization through strengthening the basis of empirical knowledge as the foundation of society. Figures of the Enlightenment believed that progress had universal application to all societies and that these ideas would spread across the world from Europe.The contemporary common political conception of progressivism in the culture of the Western world emerged from the vast social changes brought about by industrialization in the Western world in the late-19th century. Progressives in the early-20th century took the view that progress was being stifled by vast economic inequality between the rich and the poor; minimally regulated laissez-faire capitalism with monopolistic corporations; and intense and often violent conflict between workers and capitalists, thus claiming that measures were needed to address these problems. Early-20th century progressivism was also tied to eugenics and the temperance movement. Contemporary progressives promote public policies that they believe will lead to positive social change.

Rights and Freedoms Party

The Rights and Freedoms Party (Kurdish: Partiya Maf û Azadiyan‎, Turkish: Hak ve Özgürlükler Partisi, abbreviated HAK-PAR) is a Kurdish nationalist political party in Turkey.

Advocating federalism as a means of increasing Kurdish autonomy in the south-east of the country, the party split from the Democratic People's Party (DEHAP) in 2002. The party's head office is in Diyarbakır. Until his death in October 2015, the party was headed by Fehmi Demir.In the local elections of 2014, the party won the municipal mayoralty in Konukbekler, Muş, attaining 43,846 votes. In the June 2015 general election, HAK-PAR participated for the first time in a general election, winning 58,698 votes.

Social Democrats (Ireland)

The Social Democrats (Irish: Daonlathaigh Shóisialta) is a political party in Ireland. The party was launched on 15 July 2015 by three independent TDs, Stephen Donnelly, Catherine Murphy, and Róisín Shortall.

Social criticism

Social criticism is a form of academic or journalistic criticism focusing on cultural or sociological issues relating to matters of concern within contemporary society in particular with respect to perceived injustices. It often refers to a mode of criticism that locates the reasons for such conditions in a society considered to be in a flawed social structure. It may also refer to people adhering to a social critic's aims at practical solutions by way of specific measures either for consensual reform or powerful revolution.

Spiritual left

Spiritual left refers to a spiritually or religiously based position that shares the social transformative vision of the left and its commitment to social justice, peace, economic equality, and (in recent years) ecological consciousness, but who base their commitment on spiritual or religious traditions.

Two present-day examples of spiritual leftism are Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine, who finds a call for peace and for the elimination of poverty in the Christian Gospel and Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine, calling for a "New Bottom Line" where productivity, efficiency and rationality would be judged not only in material terms, but also in terms of love, generosity, peace, social justice, ecological sanity and awe and wonder at the grandeur of the universe.

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