I need help here

Where I come from, left or right or centre refer to relative geographical positions depending on where someone is standing but I think those words mean entirely a different thing in the “west”( I have it quotation marks as a way of asking west of what?)

So I was listening to this video and there is talk of regressive left, alt-right and woke left that has left me confused.

So here is the question, assume you’re explaining to a child and tell me the difference between the right, alt-right, leftist and regressive left.

Thank you

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

39 thoughts on “I need help here

  1. john zande says:

    They seem to be inventions of the American political discourse which has reduced itself to simple division.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. jeremiahmyer says:

    Alt-right have tendency’s that run toward fascism and racism. Right and left are centrist Neo-liberal capitalists protecting the current system. And regressive left seems to be a insult thrown by those centrist left/right folks on anybody on the left who “rocks the boat” by wanting to correct or change the current system. in my opinion.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Tish Farrell says:

      Well summed up, sir.

      Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      This looks like how I see it.
      There is a blog I visit which I am sure the author identifies as leftist but is always writing against the regressive left. It leaves me confused half the time

      Liked by 3 people

    • basenjibrian says:


      I am not sure I agree really. I think the term “regressive left” is used, correctly or not, by some on the liberal side as well as conservatives to refer to leftists completely beholden to the group identity/identity politics side of the modern Left. I have never heard it really used purely as a conservative trope.

      People who give too much credence to self-appointed “representatives” of a minority “faith community” who demand the State or culture cater to religious dictates the culture as a whole may find…distasteful or even illegal. Of course, the argument is usually made by those particularly concerned about fundamentalist Islam, but it can be too easily adopted and adapted to outright bigots.

      It can thus be very problematical, yet their are people, particularly in Britain, who DO frighten otherwise well-meaning people in their calls for a Caliphate in Leeds and the like.

      Is anyone else having issues with the commenting system here? I tried to post this comment on the “reply” button above, but it just flashed and dropped me at the bottom of the thread.


  3. judyt54 says:

    Since I barely understand it myself, I’d hesitate to burden a child with this kind of thing, and maybe do the “when you’re older we can figure it out together” statement.
    Beyond that, I just ignore the entire business. it’s a way of labeling people, often to their detriment, “nyah nyah, you’re just a liberal right winger” and as far as Im concerned they’re used more as insults in an argument (the kind no one wins) than anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tish Farrell says:

    The labels are designed to be-fog and confuse, divide and rule, divert us from the machinations of the monopoly-money-war-and-fear-mongers. Personally I opt for the term social justice; the world is in grave deficit of same.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. SJW is another term tossed around so often it has lost any meaning to me. Who in their right mind is against social justice? Yet, somehow, the letters SJW have a negative connotation. I completely disregard anyone’s argument who uses the term. Ah, divisiveness! When has that EVER caused us homo sapiens problems, eh.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. maryplumbago says:

    Power and control is bottom line….
    It’s a foolish game man plays because it usually bites them in the ass.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The meanings of these words are fluid. Generally they’re used as epithets. Alt-right is a polite way of calling someone a racist or bigot. Regressive left is a nice way of calling someone an extremist polemic. Right is a catch-all way of saying someone’s a conservative jackass. Left is a general term for saying someone’s a dirty, stinking liberal.

    You can define these terms as however you want, Mak. You can even take over the term “west.” It’s fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. renudepride says:

    Good question! 🙂


  9. The two-dimensional Political Spectrum still has merit, and that’s why it is so commonly used. Here’s a summary from Wikipedia:

    Most long-standing spectra include the left–right dimension, which originally referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament after the Revolution (1789–1799), with radicals on the left and aristocrats on the right.[1][6] While communism and socialism are usually regarded internationally as being on the left, conservatism and fascism are regarded internationally as being on the right.[1] Liberalism can mean different things in different contexts: sometimes on the left (social liberalism), sometimes on the right (classical liberalism). Those with an intermediate outlook are sometimes classified as centrists.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Mordanicus says:

    I strongly reject the use of “left” and “right” in politics, I prefer to use “reasonable” vs “lunatic” instead.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. nannus says:

    These terms seem to be (US) American, so I would not attribute them to “The West”. Back here in Europe, or at least here in Germany, they are not used and I am also not sure about the details. You will have to ask the Americans.
    Questions to ask: who coined these terms, when and for what audience. Are they self-descriptions of certain groups or have they been assigned from the outside, perhaps from their enemies? Such terms are parts of as-if-constructions, they are ideological in one way or the other. They might also come out of neutral attempts by historians or sociologists to describe what is going on, but one should be careful about claims of neutrality. The question is if it is even possible.
    Besides that, I am not sure “The West” still exists (and the West is, of course, also an as-if-structure). The current US government certainly does not stand for the values I used to think where the values of the West back when I was young. The (old) East of cold war times also does not exist again the way it used to be, so maybe the “West” is a concept of the past (or it has changed its meaning).


  12. Ron says:

    Basically, people fall into two camps: those who wish to live their lives unmolested by others and those who wish to rule over others. The labels merely describe the manner and degree to which the latter group wants to exert control over others.


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