Left wing vs Right Wing

Hi all. ignorant question but nonetheless…

We define a belief as Left Wing when we consider it socialist in nature.

“Right Wing Conservative” is often thrown up n conversations.

I have an idea of their general leanings but where did the Left-Right orientation come from?

Wat’s the middle ground called?

By the way, I understand how the phrase "Bleeding-heart liberal " is applied. But where did that come from?

I tried the net but got a mish-mash of info.

So i decided to the source.

thanks teemings!

Left vs. Right as a seating arrangement

The middle ground has many names, but Centrist seems to me to be widely used.

As for bleeding-heart liberal, the term bleeding-heart usually refers to someone who is compassionate or feels sorry for those less fortunate. Add one dash liberal and you have it. I’ve always taken it to mean those folks on the very far left.

Google: origin “left wing” “right wing”

First hit: http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20011217.html

Anyhow, it basically comes down to the seating arrangements of the 1789 French National Assembly.

The left-wing, right-wing duality is quite a tricky one. In popular usage, left-wing generally describes bigger government, while right-wing is smaller government. The left-wing is (in general) more concerned with social programs, whereas the right-wing is more laissez-faire, pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of mentality.

But that’s REALLY simplifying it. Ask 5 people for definitions and you’ll probably get 6 answers.

Of course, then where do you put libertarians in this scheme? By many, they’re thought of as right-wing, but many of their beliefs are quite left-wing as well. When I went to university, the prevailing political model was divided into four quadrants, rather than two.

Freedom vs Order
Freedom vs Equality

It played out like this:

Freedom, Equality : Liberal
Order, Freedom : Conservative
Freedom, Freedom: Libertarian
Order, Equality: Populism

Other four-quadrant models augment the left-right duality with a democratic-totalitarian scale.

The middle ground is generally called “middle-of-the-road.”

The normal left-right dynamic is weird, though, in different parts of the world. For example, here in Hungary, the ruling Fidesz party is generally considered right-wing, whereas the Socialists are considered left-wing. Sound good so far? However, the Socialist party has been accused of favoring big business and lower social spending, which is traditionally associated with the right, whereas Fidesz claims to be the small-business, social spending party. On the other hand, Fidesz has a nationalist bent to it, which is considered extreme right, usually.

So while the labels are useful to an extent, the nuances of any given nation’s politics may be contrary to what is normally expected of a left-wing or right-wing government.