If any proof is still needed that the popular notions of the political ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are completely erroneous, one need only hear those attempting to use those incorrect frames of reference in a political debate or discussion. If not so tragic, it would be humorous. The conversation will invariably disintegrate into a subjective morass of contradictory and meaningless labels that define nothing and resolve nothing.
That’s exactly what happened at the May 18th Munk Debate, featuring participants Jordan Peterson, Stephen Fry, Michael Dyson and Michelle Goldberg on a resolution about ‘political correctness.’ It also happened at the May 5th Society of Academic Freedom and Scholarship’s (SAFS) event featuring speakers David Haskell, Lindsay Shepherd, and Frances Widdowson during their discussion of free speech on campus.
The confusion arises in failing to recognize that the terms ‘Left’ and ‘Right,’ objectively defined, represent polar opposites, just like ‘north’ and ‘south.’
Unfortunately, the popular and accepted scale of Left and Right place ‘communism’ on the Left and ‘fascism’ on the Right, even though both communism and fascism are not opposites and explicitly sit on the Left. Nowhere on this scale is there a place for individual freedom or capitalism, despite beliefs that they exist on some imaginary ‘center.’ That scale looks like this: