The word ‘Institute’ is used primarily for its former meaning:

a treatise or summary of principles (1)

The need to identify and explain Right wing thinking has become pressing because

  1. there is widespread ignorance today about what constitutes Right wing politics, and

  2. the Right’s  public image is being dangerously distorted by the ‘politically correct’ Left.

So, by identifying and articulating the underlying philosophical and moral position of Right wing politics, Right Wing Institute aims to

  • promote understanding, perception, action and policies according to the fundamentals of Right wing thinking

  • dispel misapprehensions about the meaning and role of Right wing politics

It is vital to be clear about what “Right” and “Left” actually mean.

Firstly, Right and Left wing are parliamentary terms  derived from the French national Assembly at the end of the 18th century. They apply, therefore,  to those who choose to talk about their differences and come to a rational agreement to resolve them.

This means that Right and Left wing politicians – properly so called – share the values of respect for difference of opinion and perspective; are willing to weigh the arguments, rationally; are willing to compromise their own position in order to achieve an agreement for the benefit of all.

Such politicians therefore reject violence, and the mindset associated with it. 

Secondly, the terminology of Left and Right derives from the position in which representatives in the French National Assembly sat before, and around,  the chairman of the Assembly.  That remains the case in France today, and in all modern, parliamentary assemblies with a semi circle seating arrangement, such as the European parliamentary Assembly.

Those seated on the Right in such an Assembly oppose change, and favour tradition. Those sat further to the Right want to restore previous arrangements; those nearer the centre are prepared to entertain change or reform, but want such reform to preserve the overall, traditional system. This was the position outlined by Edmund Burke in his classic statement of modern ‘Conservatism’, Reflections on the Revolution in France published in 1790. That is also the broad position of this writer.

So, those on the Left in such an Assembly, however,  seek change and are opposed to conservation or maintenance of traditional arrangements. They are often referred to as progressives but that begs the question as to what is desirable as progress – in what form and in what direction ? Those on the Far Left wish to radically alter and change all current arrangements in accordance with their particular Ideology –  invariably Marxist inspired. This includes Communists. Those sitting nearer the Centre do not want to see such revolutionary changes but accept the need to make changes in a particular ideological direction. Democratic socialists and those of such ilk fall into this category. Green groups always sit on the Left, and many of them are quite far Left because they want a radical change in the way economy and society function. However it must be observed that their desire, their instinct is right wing – they seek to maintain the integrity of our planet and the way in which the ecosystem naturally and traditionally works.

Many may wonder, then,  whether the Right/Left explanation of politics is too simplistic and, indeed,  unrealistic. That is a legitimate question. It is important, too, to recognise that  other models are possible.

One other model views the underlying conflict in political thought as Authoritarian versus Libertarian.

Significantly, however, the authoritarian/ libertarian conflict today is largely aligned with the Left/ Right divide.  The Left is dominated by the authoritarian thinking of Marxism where the State is the mechanism for changing Society fundamentally and extensively in accordance with a radical and ideological agenda based on what ought to be rather than on what actually is and how we really are.

The Right in the English speaking world stands for maximising individual responsibility and liberty, minimising the intervention of an all powerful corporate interest like the State.  The Right opposes the top-down, pervasive tendencies of  the State to intrude on every area of the individual’s life. It opposes the State’s proclivity to requisition yet more private resources in order to extend the scale and scope of bureaucracy.

For the fundamentally distinctive English/British tradition which contrasts with the European, see Magna Carta 1215 and the Bill of Rights 1689 on the History Page above.

The Right is therefore also concerned about the Corporatist collusion of Big Business and Big State. This alliance rigs regulations and distorts free markets; it results in unfair tax advantages and subsidies from public funds to corporate concerns. It undermines the fundamental principle of equality before the law which forbids the strong to abuse their position at the expense of the weak. This principle goes back to Magna Carta in 1215 and is intrinsic in Christianity.

Big State-Big Business collusion to advance corporate control is a prominent feature of Fascist economics and undermines free market capitalism. It is a serious threat to a free, fair and democratic society.

The value of the Right/Left model persists because it is grounded in historical fact and continues in current use. It remains  a convenient shorthand for delineating two fundamentally distinct and persistent approaches to political understanding – two approaches which are particularly  helpful in explaining the ideas and associated mindsets which actually influence today’s political agenda.

Right Wing Institute therefore seeks to explain contemporary politics according to an informed Right Wing perspective and framework of thinking.

Right Wing Institute is the initiative of “Ray” Catlin who has published an accessible version of Edmund Burke’s classic work on Conservative thought, Reflections on the Revolution in France in “CORE CONSERVATISM: Edmund Burke’s Landmark Definition”.

“CORE CONSERVATISM” provides an Introduction, Contents page, Edited Highlights of Burke’s philosophy in Reflections, and a distillation of Burke’s doctrine to 3 Principles and 10 essential Tenets.

Correspondence addressed to: RightWing.Institute

@gmx.com will be treated according to the spirit in which it is sent – if constructive, considered;  otherwise as it manifestly merits !

(1) Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2011 edition

Copyright © 2018/2019/2020 Ray Catlin. All rights reserved