What is “far left”?

After a reasonably thorough definition of Fascism, I figured now is the time to identify what I mean by “far left”. This will not be an in depth discussion, rather a quick analogy.

One thing to say from the off is that by “far left” I do not mean anyone to the left of me. In fact, I will show that your humble blogger is considerably less extreme right than you may think.

The problem with assessing the left/right political spectrum is that – like defining “fascism” – it is essentially subjective and semantic. The most consistently effective tool for defining a person’s political values is by use of a political spectrum. However – as I teach my students – even these systems have a great number of fallacies. The traditional left/right horizontal spectrum has its uses but is limited. For example, both Communism and Anarchism are extreme left, yet one is highly authoritarian and the other is, in theory, completely un-authoritarian.

Several other versions of the spectrum have been developed some seek to highlight the authoritarian factor, others seek to stress the typically directly inverse relationship between the values of political freedom and economic libertarianism.

Terminology such as “ultra leftist” is also open to anachronistic misinterpretation. During the Cold War or the Second World War, the term “far left” would have had very different connotations to those which it has today. Back then, Communism was a mainstream ideology and in some circles would have been considered “central”. Now however, it is a fringe ideology and is widely considered as extreme.

So when we speak of the “far left” which group are we referring to? The Anarchists or the Communists? The political libertarians or the  FTA fanatics? The Bolsheviks or the modern Socialist Workers Party?

Well, one way of identifying the left would be to use my listed characteristics. However, a more mainstream definition would seek different criteria.

The key to defining the extreme left as opposed to simply “the left” is the radical or reformist element of their views. Some key traits of left political voters are: opposition to class differences, resistance to state control or authority (such as the ID cards debate in Britain) , opposition to economic liberalism , support for ‘multiculturalism’ and the reformation of criminals rather than punishment.

Of course, many of these policies are mainstream idelogies (some appeal to me) but the radical left support more extreme measures.

For example, five years ago in London ,and Anarchist group rioted and vandalised a statue of Churchill (graffiti spraying “fascist pig” on the statue) and attacked a McDonald’s restaurant. This was a show of opposition to capitalism.

Many members of the extreme left do not support the concept of nationality or borders, to them, abolition of such borders are the next logical step in multiculturalism.

Ultra leftists tend to be highly liberal in terms of jurisprudence. Some extreme groups in the UK support reduction in the age of sexual consent to twelve or fourteen years of age.

Many extreme liberals support a huge reduction in criminal punishments, some radicals go as far as supporting the release of paedophiles or violent offenders to simply serve community service.

Clearly some of these policies are highly contentious but the importance of them here is in understanding the radical element in them. The differentiation between “left” and “far left” is the desire for reform so great it could be considered revolutionary.  This is what determines their position on the political spectrum. What makes some of them dangerous and obnoxious is the characteristics of their group behaviour.

I highly recommend the Chris Lightfoot political survey to any British readers. The survey provides a detailed breakdown of the surveyed’s political viewpoints. Readers might be surprised to find that I lie “just right of centre” compared to all surveyed and that I was “less right” than sixty eight percent of those who voted for the same party as me in the last election! (I happen to support gay rights and aid to countries wrecked by civil war).


2 Responses to “What is “far left”?”

  1. Lionheart will be on The Gathering Storm Radio Show on Friday, January 18. Details at my web site:


  2. Thanks for dropping by to my blog redandwhite and keeping up to date with my story.

    The battle has begun for all of us, ill stay in touch.

    God bless you


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