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Is the Left more violent than the Right?

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Evangelicalhumanist, Jan 15, 2021.

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  1. The Right is more violent than the Left, historically

    9 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. The Left is more violent than the Right, historically

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  3. The Left and Right are equally violent

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  4. I haven't got a clue, there's no data that speaks to the question

    6 vote(s)
    33.3%
  5. Nobody is violent, it's all in our imagination

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    I started this thread after participating in another (are Atheists more violent than Theists). In that thread, I determined I couldn't decide.

    In this thread, I'm going to ask members to do a little investigative research, and answer this question: around the world, do we see more violence from groups that we may call "the Right" (or generally conservative) or "the Left" (or generally liberal). Your task is to do whatever Google searches you can think of that provide factual information based on actual events.

    For the record, my search in the US and most of Europe has led me to believe that groups that we generally assign to the right, are far more violent than those on the left.
     
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  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    The question, as actually important as it is, is currently phrased in such a way as to be open to many interpretations.

    I'm already at work choreographing my "interpretive dance". which I plan to videotape and post in response to the OP.
     
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  3. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Before you retire to the studio to begin taping -- how might you rephrase the question to make it less open to "many interpretations?"
     
  4. Quetzal

    Quetzal A little to the left and slightly out of focus.
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    How far back do we want to go? Also, do we consider communism from the 60s a political principle representing the left? In which case, Stalin & Mao win.
     
  5. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    I guess it depends on how "violence" is defined and how it can be attributed to "the Right" or "the Left." Do we include violence which might be a consequence of conservative or liberal policies? For example, the drug gangs and cartel wars might be said to be a consequence of conservatives who support the war on drugs. Should that be included?

    An example of possible left-wing violence in U.S. history might be associated with the labor movement, but there might be a question of who started it.

    It's also a question of motives. Left-wing violence is generally to fight against injustice, while right-wing violence entails either implementing injustice or maintaining it. So, it doesn't matter which side is "more violent," but who has the more righteous cause.
     
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  6. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    You drive me crazy!

    This may seem strange to you, but I generally do not consider the communism of either Stalin or Mao to be "left" at all. But that's because the simplistic notion of "left/right" really only seems to speak to economic notions. Questions about the rights of individuals to choose for themselves how to live (what we might call libertarian/totalitarian) are not really included. That leaves a very distorted, and over-simlistic, view.

    So these days, when I talk about "left" and "right," I generally mean:
    • Left -- socially libertarian (live as you see fit), economically aligned to some government controls.
    • Right -- more socially totalitarian (you should be like the rest of us), and an economy generally free of government intervention.
     
  7. KenS

    KenS Veteran Member
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    I don't believe your definitions are correct.
     
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  8. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    For once you may have a valid point. To me a violent protest is anyone that incurs significant property damage. Think of it in terms of work hours. By taking away a person's property one is effectively shortening that person's life. He has just lost how ever many hours of his life that it would take to work to replace that property. And all that insurance does is to spread the loss of life along a wider base. One could even find a rough equivalence between property loss and loss of life. How much of your life would you have to work to replace a million dollars of damage? Sooner or later one is going to find a number that is equivalent to the earning power of the average person over his lifetime. By that standard demonstrations by the left may be more violent than those by the right.

    I will grant if one only counts lives lost that the right is worse. But that is an incomplete metric.
     
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  9. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Me an' my Gun! vs State Soup Kitchens!

    Blood everywhere!

    And soup.
     
  10. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Interesting perspective. But if you are going to include economic loss, then you must be including such things as strike action by unions, which cost businesses a great deal. Do you consider that violence of the same kind?

    I don't disagree, by the way. Destruction of property is a violence, and so you've shown, as others have, that my question was malformed or incomplete.

    But I think you must also admit that the destruction wreaked at the Capitol must count, too. And perhaps the threats, just recently, against the legislative buildings in every state in the union.
     
  11. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    This is the problem of trying to discuss the modern world using the left/right vocabulary of 18th C France, it's largely meaningless and people tend to 'no true Scotsman' the worst examples on the 'other side'.

    If we want to go back further and consider nationalism and imperialism as being "right-wing" then we can make the "right" win.

    Unless we, correctly, noted that nationalism and imperialism were not necessarily "right wing" that is :D

    Most violence is due to groups who don't fit neatly into that binary.
     
  12. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    As someone who's lived on the American West coast for most of their life, I can tell you that the supposed "live as you see fit" liberal ideology almost invariably comes with several pages of small print.
     
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  13. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Strikes are legal actions. Not showing up to work is not directly destroying or stealing the goods of another. Violent riots result in property damage. That is always illegal. The analogy fails.
     
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  14. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea. Just looking throughout history, we have the right, those who want to stick to the past, causing lots of violence. Whatever is progressive to the norm would be the left, so all violent movements who want to change society, such as violent revolutions eg the French Revolution and the Leninist Revolution in Russia, also have blood on their hands.

    Who is on the right and left is relative to where a person is standing inbetween. In recent times the right have been more violent, such as the Neo Nazi's and Isis.
     
  15. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    One suggestion. Rephrase the question as something along the lines of "authoritarians vs non-authoritarians". I would suggest "left vs right" obscures an underlying reality, and launches people on both sides scurrying for their rabbit holes.
     
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  16. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Well-Known Member

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    I think the definitions of left and right given in this thread are self-serving. The Marxist regimes of the twentieth century ruined countless lives. And that if you survived the purges and manufactured famines that killed by hundreds of thousands if not millions. The claim that these criminal regimes weren't really left wing is nonsense. Leftist intellectuals spent decades playing apologist for them. To my knowledge George Orwell was one of the few examples of a left leaning intellectual who saw though the communist lies.

    When an ideology sells itself as the perfect political prescription brutality is sure to follow if it gets into power. Marxism claimed that communism was an historical inevitability. It was historical law. So with that mentality is it a surprise to anyone that communism turned out to be a brutal nightmare?

    As to right now in this historical moment I think the far right is more immediately vicious. But I also think if Antifa or the more hardline 'SJW' types actually got their way politically it would get very scary very fast.

    What I'm trying to say is that I think it is important to reject Manichaeistic narratives of political good and evil. The idea that the left is unquestionably "good and correct" in all its goals while the right is merely "stupid and evil" is a bogus way to see the world.
     
    #16 Musing Bassist, Jan 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  17. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    My observations:
    The Right seems to value property over human lives (unless they are the unborn)
    (The Right is making the argument that protecting the economy is more important than saving lives during this pandemic, the right is more outraged over the property damage of the BLM riots, etc.)

    The Left seems to have a less cut and dried take on the property vs human lives than the right.
     
  18. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    I don't find such a divisive exercise a good idea, especially given current circumstances. Aside from that, it seems impossible to do in a fair way. There has been all manner of violence and death from people associated with both left and right, many of whom can be argued not to really belong to either.
     
  19. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    No true Scotsman is violent. On the other hand, zealous mobs are inherently so.
     
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  20. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Exactly. I'm waiting for someone to cite, say, Maduro, or someone, and then for others to pile in, saying "Ah, he's not a true socialist because real socialists are inherently peaceful, blah blah blah.....".:rolleyes:
     
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