What is the “Left”?

The expressions “left wing” and “right wing” originate from the French Revolution, where the seating was arranged so that those in favor of the revolution and a republic sat on the left, and those in opposition sat on the right.

As such, “left wing” has come to represent those pushing for social change,  liberalism, and at times communism or anarchy. Left wing politics generally holds the opinion that there are inequalities in society at large that ought to be abolished.

In opposition to these principles, “right wing” politics tends towards the conservative and traditional, and the belief that some level of hierarchy in society is natural and beneficial. In terms of the French revolution, the right wing remained in support of the monarchy.