Left-wing politics

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Left-wing politics are the politics in the left-right spectrum. It is the opposite to conservatism.

The term left-wing itself originated with the seating arrangement of the deputies during the French Revolution. The deputies seated to the left of the President's chair were the more radical. However, as a general radicalization gradually occurred, views which earlier were considered to be leftist were later considered to be rightist, one example of the relative and changing opinions on how to define the left-right spectrum.

In European countries the original opposition to conservatism was Liberalism, arguably the original Left as it predated the American and French Revolutions.

In the 19th century Karl Marx introduced a new form of radical Leftism named after himself, Marxism. This was the basis for modern socialism and the more hard-line communism. By the turn of the 20th century the British Labour Party and the Social Democratic Party of Germany had both adopted Marxism as the basis of their beliefs, while at the same time claiming to be "democratic".

Many leftist views are unusual or strange from a historical perspective, being rare or non-existent anywhere in the world before the European Enlightenment. One example of criticisms is that some leftist views contribute to dysgenic effects and therefore are not long-term sustainable. Some 21st century political philosophers argue that the terms Right and Left no longer have any meaning, whilst others argue that The Left remain alive and well and should not be ignored.

Often wanting various radical changes, The Left today often continue to use violence and other coercive methods in attempts to achieve these changes.

See also