When you're interested in politics, one of the first things you hear about is the left-right scale (left-wingers and right-wingers). This originally comes from the French Revolution in the late 18th century, when the supporters of the King would sit to the president's right, and those who supported the revolution sat to his left.
Originally, as such, the right-wingers were seen to be those interested in the wellbeing of the middle and upper classes, defenders of capitalism and private property. The left-wingers were seen to the those interested in the wellbeing of the lower/working classes, and they defended social justice.
Unfortunately, this is about where the scale stops being useful when determining political positions, because it only allows for general broad definitions, and worse still, it forces people into very polarised positions.
A topic which I find is often left alone is the way in which the left has corrupted language to better serve itself. I first started to consider this subject when reading Welcome to Obamaland by James Delingpole. Left-wingers have a tendency to attempt to change the meanings of words in order to stop their use in debate. As Delingpole writes:
Unfortunately when Obama talks of equality I fear he means something entirely different. What he means by equality is the liberal-left version of equality-not equality of opportunity but equality of outcome. This state-enforced fairness is in fact the very opposite of fair because it completely overlooks the most fundamental point about human beings: we are all different.
Unfortunately, 'equality' isn't the only word which the left seem to have attempted to hijack from its original meaning. Let's take 'liberty' for example.
Something I often find myself discussing with friends in the UK is the current state of welfare in the country. For those of you who don't know, the welfare state in the UK is a mammoth, providing money for just about any reason you can think of, and quite a bit of it as well, straight from the taxpayer's purse. The belief of the left is that somehow this dinosaur helps the poor, but really all it seems to do is keep them poor and keep their productivity down. We're going to look at how.
Meet Dave, he's a 26 year old unemployed man. He left school at 16 with GCSE qualifications, and has never had a job. He claims benefits and lives off of those. You may deride Dave and tell him he's done all manner of things wrong, but has he? As an unskilled worker, Dave is probably only going to be able to work for around the minimum wage. This is £5.93 per hour. Let's assume Dave could work 40 hours a week, this would give him a total weekly income of £237.20, or £12,334.00 per annum.