About “Right and Left”

Raffaello Tesi

Right and Left.

A question of politics.
A question of philosophy.
A question of culture.
A question of life.

This weblog is an experiment. It all comes from some discussions we had in Mau weblog (in Italian) about political issues.
Then a question popped up: could people from different countries understand what we are talking about? Unfortunately Italian language is not suitable for that purpose, since it is not highly spoken worldwide. So we decided to switch to English.

There is a big discussion on the media about globalization. The latest American elections can be considered a striking example. Many people all over the world took the stand and declared themselves to be pro Bush or Kerry. Without being American citizens, without having the power of vote. Many of them without having been in the States nor having talked with any American whatsoever. But the American politics (and the country by all means) are so penetrating that it is quite easy to get a personal opinion on it.

That had a good side effect: it gave the chance to people from different countries to have a common subject for discussion, for exchanging ideas, for confronting themselves with people belonging to different cultures.
In our so small world we are trying to do the same. We will attempt to give some hints for discussion and at the same time to see how much these things can be interesting and understandable.

Please forgive us for the (many) language mistakes you will find in these pages. English is not our native tongue. But we will promise to make a large use of dictionaries in order to be as clear as possible. Starting from the four words that entitle this weblog.
From the Oxford English Dictionary:

  • right, n.
    17 d.
    Politics.Orig. in Continental legislative chambers, the party or parties of conservative principles. Now applied generally to any political group holding conservative principles.
  • left, n.
    2 c.
    In continental legislatures, the section of the members who occupy seats on the left side of the chamber (as viewed from the president's chair), a situation which is by custom assigned to those holding relatively liberal or democratic opinions. Hence applied transf. to the more advanced or innovating section of a philosophical school, a religious sect, or the like, and esp. to a political group holding radical or socialist views.
  • conservative, a.
    2. a.
    The most common current designation of one of the two great English political parties, the characteristic principle of which is the maintenance of existing institutions political and ecclesiastical. (With capital C.)
    3. a.
    Extended to characterize a similar spirit in the political movements of other countries or times, in religious inquiry, criticism, business enterprise, etc.; the connotation being generally favourable.
  • progressive, a.
    4 a.
    Favouring, advocating, or directing one's efforts towards progress or reform, esp. in political, municipal, or social matters.
    4 b.
    Characterized by (the desire to promote) change, innovation, or experiment; avant-garde, advanced, 'liberal'.

You can take a look at the Wikipedia.