Voting – Shmoting… Left, Right, Left…

14 12 2007

Lattenomics is often asked which side of politics does the chief Lattenomician favours. In other words, the folks want to know if he is a Right-wing nutter or a Left-wing pansy. Well folks, this is not a simple question, but here at Lattenomics we like to tackle big complex issues. So here it goes.

We’ll start with the Right. Broadly speaking, Right or conservatives (UK Tories, US Republicans and Australian Liberals) stand for economic freedom but conservative social norms such as family values, Christian religious principles and so on.

Left (UK & Aussie Labor, US Democrats), also called small-L liberals, stand for progressive social values (gay rights, multiculturalism etc) while at the same time believe that economic freedoms needs to be curtailed to remove excesses of Capitalism.

Historically the Left was always anti-establishment (the establishment itself being conservative). However the very success of Leftist political movements in the 60’s and 70’s means that Left is now very much a part of the establishment, if not the establishment itself, in arts, media, education system and public service.

Currently it is even harder to pick between Left and Right because many of the old ideological battles have been largely settled. For instance Left used to be easily defined by socialist leanings, but now most mainstream Leftists support free markets (Right won). Similarly, while Left was once in favour of rampant multiculturalism, recent outbreak of jihadism in the Western countries caused many to question the multicultural orthodoxy making such Leftist parties as Labor in both UK and Australia to talk about “integration” and “British and Australian values”, essentially making themselves sound like rabid Bush-lovers. Conversely, conservatives have often adopted some of the Left’s social agendas.

So what is the difference between Right and Left in the modern converged political landscape? Here at Lattenomics we believe that the main difference is now between individualism and statism. Right believes in the power of individual to make economic choices while sticking to the old fashioned values. Left believes in top-down centralised economic prescriptions handed down by the state with unrestricted personal freedoms.

Given that economic freedom if one of the fundamental personal freedoms that underpins the entire society and provides us with resources to enjoy and fulfil our personal lives, the chief Latteologist has to confess that economically he leans towards the Right. On the other hand he doesn’t subscribe to old fashioned values, is pro choice, favours immigration and is pro gay rights, meaning he leans to the Left.

Confused? Well, our chief Latteologist is really a Libertarian and believes in individual freedom whether it is economic or personal but he demands debate and deep philosophical examination of the issues as opposed to ideological dogmatism. For example, he is pro-gay rights but he is not convinced about gay adoptions without serious considerations given to the rights of the child. He is pro-immigration but resents fashionable “all cultures are equal” multiculturalism, because behind the well-meaning politically correct façade it is factually not true.

So where does it leave our chief Lattenomician? He wants to pay low taxes, run his own business, send his kids to private or public school, chose a car appropriate to his needs, have colonoscopy at a private hospital if he so desires, have access to a countless choice of pornography and be able to chose the gender of his/her/its lover(s) and more. Whatever party can deliver gets his vote!

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