Three Meanings of the “Left”

A left fist
A left fist

Three distinct meanings of “left” in politics: (1) being on the left as an orientation of minorities, especially ethnic or cultural, toward marginalization by a dominant culture; (2) being on the left as an orientation of labor versus capital in economic relations; (3) being on the left as an orientation to critical thinking, independent reasoning for the sake of equality and freedom for individuals over conservative traditions that hinder equality and freedom.

Thesis: The left as a whole in the United States is politically weak because these three aspects of the left are too often in conflict over the problems of the day, not finding enough internal agreement required to create mass movement in the political arena.

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