Are the majority of countries predominately on the left or right on the political spectrum?

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1 February
14:00
21 February
11:23

By definition, the majority of countries in the world are in the hands of governments who are trying to maintain the status quo or to modernise. Therefore they are anti-revolutionary, they’re anti-Communist (even China’s state communism is anti-communist in any meaningful or original sense), they’re anti-anarchist. The tendency of all governments throughout history is to be conservative, because what they’re trying to do is stop anarchy and therefore, like a Doppler effect, there is a permanent ‘right-shift’ in government, even if it came to power through revolution (a pattern seen in the French, Russian, Mexican and Cuban revolutions). Even Myanmar is moving back towards military right-wing values under Aung San Suu Kyi.

  • “If you had to generalise, most of governments of the world are liberal-right to extreme-right.”

Having said that, what is meant by “right” in each country varies enormously according to whether it’s Hindu or Muslim “religious right” or liberal-capitalist right or military/personal dictatorship right. Even when you’re talking about liberal countries like Britain or Australia, there’s a constant fight going on between left and right. And liberal can mean something different depending on where you are: in America, you have to say Democratic rather than liberal, for example, and then that carries further complications.

“The tendency of all governments throughout history is to be conservative, because they’re trying to stop anarchy. Therefore, like a Doppler effect, there is a permanent ‘right-shift’ in government.

If you had to generalise, most of the governments of the world are liberal-right to extreme-right. There are near-totalitarian regimes in many of the earliest Soviet republics. If you look at Indonesia and Malaysia, they’re all right-wing. China, although it’s nominally socialist, is also deeply reactionary and arguably functions as a right-wing government because it’s totalitarian. Russia is right-wing, America has gone right-wing. Some people would say that the EU is right-wing.

If by “the left” you mean revolutionary socialist, pro-workers, anti-banking, anti-capitalism, then overwhelmingly the world is on the right; even if you simply mean radical redistribution of wealth and suspicion of capitalism, then New Labour would be considered a compromise. Very few are left-wing because they all have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.  

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