What Does It Mean To Be Far Left?

Politics can often be about directions. After all, that is how it is generally labeled – all thanks to an ideological spectrum.

Americans have political ideologies that are as diverse as the society of the country. Virtually everyone who is politically active or has an opinion about various political issues tend to sit somewhere on a political spectrum – from the far-left to the far-right, and they all have various labels thereof – from libertarian to communist, moderate, liberal, progressive, conservative, fascist, anarchist.

Many of these labels have their own biased connotations, so if you want to look at a political spectrum from an objective perspective, you can narrow things down to far left, left, center-left, centrist, center-right, right and far-right. The spectrum runs from socialism and communism over to libertarianism.

Political parties are really just social group of a similar political bent, and for people to belong to a group – which is something that is inherent in many of us – they might have to consider the platform of that party, prioritize their own values and stances on certain issues and then pick the group or party that best fits those prioritized values. In reality, America has such a diverse league of ideas and ideologies, that the concept of a two-party system really doesn’t fit; our country should easily be able to support six or seven viable political parties, one for each range of ideology on the spectrum, from the far-left to the far-right and those in between – or as some may think, those with “common sense” or are “realistic.”

So what is far-left, anyway?

Far-left, whether on an overall political spectrum, or within a political party, is a position that is considered “progressive” and is more about “the common good” over personal freedoms. The far-left is about the collective success and equality of outcome and assuming inequality of opportunity for people.

The most “far left” would be those philosophies that are consistent with authoritarianism, communism and socialism – in other words, nearly full government control of virtually all aspects of the economy and society. Theocracies can be like this as well, especially what could be seen in Islamic countries that operate under Sharia law.

In some cases, anarchy – which is some ways is actually “far-right” because it is a no-government philosophy – actually has elements of authoritarianism and can be every bit as violent as many on the far-left to enforce “equality of outcome” in the economy.

The far left believes in policies where there is forced redistribution of wealth to assist the lower-income residents – though there are several countries where these kinds of policies end up not helping the poor but instead leads to corruption and financial success among those who are within the ruling political party or their families and close associates.

When a philosophy or ideology favors more government intervention, such as the far-left, there will often be individuals who get left out in favor of those who are “favored” by the government – “victimized” groups, or just those who are in position of power. On the far left, many are not considered individuals, but usually part of a group – either a group of the “oppressors” who need to be “punished,” or the “oppressed” who need a hand up.

It’s all about social justice, and the definition of justice being equal to fairness.