Creative Writing – 151
Leftist, Rightist, and Centrist
The term left relates to the Communist line of thought and practice which keeps the welfare of the labourers, farmers, factory workers and the underprivileged uppermost in their priority of policy and governance. It does not allow personal ownership of property and any type of natural assets. Communism originated in Russia and later spread to different countries in Europe, and Asia. China, Vietnam and Korea came under communism. Since the 1990s, communism is gradually disappearing from the world. Even China has adopted a hybrid style of economy mixing elements of capitalism with its own brand of communism. The same thing has happened to Vietnam.
Presently, the word ‘Leftist’ or ‘Left-leaning’ is loosely used to describe economic and political policies and governance that attaches high priority to the interests of the poor, and the underprivileged classes like farmers, workers in the un-organized workers, and the weaker sections of society. Leftist governments and political parties are not averse to government ownership of national assets, giving subsidies to farmers, tribals, and all the marginalized sections of the society. Leftist governments are not opposed to capitalists owning factories and businesses, but they generally believe in the philosophy that governments must be pro-poor and must not allow too much accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of a few.
Loosely speaking, the Democratic Party of the United States and the Labour Party of the United Kingdom can be termed as faintly ‘left-leaning’ where as the Republican Party of the U.S., and the Conservative Party of Britain fall in the opposite side of the political spectrum i. e, Rightists.
Rightists are essentially capitalists, who aggressively encourage individual entrepreneurship, and have no objections to enterprising men and women accumulating huge wealth. Of late, the words ‘rights’ or ‘right-leaning’ have come to be used to include religious orthodoxy, racists, and political extremists who show much less concern for the poor. At present, rightist governments are in power on Britain and most other parts of Europe.
Centrists fall in the middle of the political divide. They are more or less neutral in their economic ideology and work according to the need of the situation. Some people term the Congress Party of India as ‘Centrist’ while some others describe it as mildly ‘left-leaning’. BJP can be described as a rightist party. But, such classifications are not always correct.
In most European countries, there are political parties who distinctly fall into these three divisions. Because of political wisdom and pragmatism, a change of government from a leftist party to a rightist party, we don’t get to see a drastic change in their policies and governance.