Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism in opposition to social hierarchy. It involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished; the term left-wing can refer to "the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system". The political terms "Left" and "Right" were coined during the French Revolution, referring to the seating arrangement in the French Estates General: those who sat on the left opposed the monarchy and supported the revolution, including the creation of a republic and secularization, while those on the right were supportive of the traditional institutions of the Old Regime. Use of the term "Left" became more prominent after the restoration of the French monarchy in 1815 when it was applied to the "Independents"; the word "wing" was appended to Left and Right in the late 19th century with disparaging intent and "left-wing" was applied to those who were unorthodox in their religious or political views.
The term was applied to a number of movements republicanism during the French Revolution in the 18th century, followed by socialism, communism and social democracy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Since the term left-wing has been applied to a broad range of movements including civil rights movements, feminist movements, anti-war movements and environmental movements, as well as a wide range of parties. According to former professor of economics Barry Clark, " claim that human development flourishes when individuals engage in cooperative, mutually respectful relations that can thrive only when excessive differences in status and wealth are eliminated". In politics, the term "Left" derives from the French Revolution, as the anti-monarchist Montagnard and Jacobin deputies from the Third Estate sat to the left of the presiding member's chair in parliament, a habit which began in the French Estates General of 1789. Throughout the 19th century in France, the main line dividing Left and Right was between supporters of the French Republic and those of the monarchy.
The June Days Uprising during the Second Republic was an attempt by the Left to assert itself after the 1848 Revolution, but only a small portion of the population supported this. In the mid-19th century, socialism and anti-clericalism became features of the French Left. After Napoleon III's 1851 coup and the subsequent establishment of the Second Empire, Marxism began to rival radical republicanism and utopian socialism as a force within left-wing politics; the influential Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, published in 1848, asserted that all human history is the history of class struggle. They predicted that a proletarian revolution would overthrow bourgeois capitalism and create a classless, post-monetary communist society, it was in this period that the word "wing" was appended to both Right. In the United States, many leftists, social liberals and trade unionists were influenced by the works of Thomas Paine, who introduced the concept of asset-based egalitarianism, which theorises that social equality is possible by a redistribution of resources.
The International Workingmen's Association, sometimes called the First International, brought together delegates from many different countries, with many different views about how to reach a classless and stateless society. Following a split between supporters of Marx and Mikhail Bakunin, anarchists formed the International Workers' Association; the Second International became divided over the issue of World War I. Those who opposed the war, such as Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, saw themselves as further to the left. In the United States after Reconstruction, the phrase "the Left" was used to describe those who supported trade unions, the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement. More in the United States, left-wing and right-wing have been used as synonyms for Democratic and Republican, or as synonyms for liberalism and conservatism respectively. Since the Right was populist, both in the Western and the Eastern Bloc anything viewed as avant-garde art was called leftist in all Europe, thus the identification of Picasso's Guernica as "leftist" in Europe and the condemnation of the Russian composer Shostakovich's opera in Pravda as follows: "Here we have'leftist' confusion instead of natural, human music".
The following positions are associated with left-wing politics. Leftist economic beliefs range from Keynesian economics and the welfare state through industrial democracy and the social market to nationalization of the economy and central planning, to the anarcho-syndicalist advocacy of a council- and assembly-based self-managed anarchist communism. During the industrial revolution, leftists supported trade unions. At the beginning of the 20th century, many leftists advocated strong government intervention in the economy. Leftists continue to criticize what they perceive as the exploitative nature of globalization, the "race to the bottom" and unjust lay-offs. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the belief that government ought to be directly involved in the day-to-day workings of an economy declined in popularity amongst the center-left social democrats who became influenced by "Third Way" ideology. Other leftists believe in Marxian economics; some distinguish Marx's economic theories from his political philos
A political spectrum is a system of classifying different political positions upon one or more geometric axes that represent independent political dimensions. Most long-standing spectra include a left wing, which referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament after the Revolution. On a left–right spectrum and socialism are regarded internationally as being on the left, Liberalism can mean different things in different contexts: sometimes on the left; those with an intermediate outlook are sometimes classified as centrists. That said and neoliberals are called centrists too. Politics that rejects the conventional left–right spectrum is known as syncretic politics, though the label tends to mischaracterize positions that have a logical location on a two-axis spectrum because they seem randomly brought together on a one-axis left-right spectrum. Political scientists have noted that a single left–right axis is insufficient for describing the existing variation in political beliefs and include other axes.
Though the descriptive words at polar opposites may vary in popular biaxial spectra the axes are split between socio-cultural issues and economic issues, each scaling from some form of individualism to some form of communitarianism. The terms right and left refer to political affiliations originating early in the French Revolutionary era of 1789–1799 and referred to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France; as seen from the Speaker's seat at the front of the Assembly, the aristocracy sat on the right and the commoners sat on the left, hence the terms right-wing politics and left-wing politics. The defining point on the ideological spectrum was the Ancien Régime. "The Right" thus implied support for aristocratic or royal interests and the church, while "The Left" implied support for republicanism and civil liberties. Because the political franchise at the start of the revolution was narrow, the original "Left" represented the interests of the bourgeoisie, the rising capitalist class.
Support for laissez-faire commerce and free markets were expressed by politicians sitting on the left because these represented policies favorable to capitalists rather than to the aristocracy, but outside parliamentary politics these views are characterized as being on the Right. The reason for this apparent contradiction lies in the fact that those "to the left" of the parliamentary left, outside official parliamentary structures represent much of the working class, poor peasantry and the unemployed, their political interests in the French Revolution lay with opposition to the aristocracy and so they found themselves allied with the early capitalists. However, this did not mean that their economic interests lay with the laissez-faire policies of those representing them politically; as capitalist economies developed, the aristocracy became less relevant and were replaced by capitalist representatives. The size of the working class increased as capitalism expanded and began to find expression through trade unionist, socialist and communist politics rather than being confined to the capitalist policies expressed by the original "left".
This evolution has pulled parliamentary politicians away from laissez-faire economic policies, although this has happened to different degrees in different countries those with a history of issues with more authoritarian-left countries, such as the Soviet Union or China under Mao Zedong. Thus the word "Left" in American political parlance may refer to "liberalism" and be identified with the Democratic Party, whereas in a country such as France these positions would be regarded as more right-wing, or centrist overall, "left" is more to refer to "socialist" or "social-democratic" positions rather than "liberal" ones. For a century, social scientists have considered the problem of how best to describe political variation. In 1950, Leonard W. Ferguson analyzed political values using ten scales measuring attitudes toward: birth control, capital punishment, communism, law, theism, treatment of criminals and war. Submitting the results to factor analysis, he was able to identify three factors, which he named religionism and nationalism.
He defined religionism as belief in God and negative attitudes toward birth control. This system was derived empirically, as rather than devising a political model on purely theoretical grounds and testing it, Ferguson's research was exploratory; as a result of this method, care must be taken in the interpretation of Ferguson's three factors, as factor analysis will output an abstract factor whether an objectively real factor exists or not. Although replication of the nationalism factor was inconsistent, the finding of religionism and humanitarianism had a number of replications by Ferguson and others. Shortly afterward, Hans Eysenck began researching political attitudes in Great Britain, he believed that there was something similar about the National Socialists on the one hand and the communists on the other, despite their opposite positions on the left–right axis. As Hans Eysenck described in his 1956 book Sense and
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is a social-democratic political party in Spain. The PSOE has been in government for a longer time than any other political party in modern democratic Spain: from 1982 to 1996 under Felipe González; the PSOE was founded in 1879, which makes it the oldest party active in Spain. The PSOE played a key role during the Second Spanish Republic, being part of coalition government from 1931 to 1933 and from 1936 to 1939, when the Republic was defeated by Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. A Marxist party, it abandoned Marxism in 1979; the PSOE has had strong ties with the General Union of Workers, a Spanish trade union. For decades, UGT membership was a requirement for PSOE membership. However, since the 1980s UGT has criticized the economic policies of PSOE calling for a general strike against the PSOE government on 14 December 1988; the PSOE is a member of the Party of European Socialists, Progressive Alliance and the Socialist International. In the European Parliament, PSOE's 14 Members of the European Parliament sit in the Socialists and Democrats European parliamentary group.
PSOE was founded by Pablo Iglesias on 2 May 1879 in the Casa Labra tavern in Tetuán Street near the Puerta del Sol at the centre of Madrid. Iglesias was a typesetter who had become in contact in the past with the Spanish section of the International Working Men's Association and with Paul Lafargue; the first program of the new political party was passed in an assembly of 40 people, on 20 July of that same year. The bulk of the growth of the PSOE and its affiliated trade union, the Unión General de Trabajadores was chiefly restricted to the Madrid-Biscay-Asturias triangle up until the 1910s; the obtaining of a seat at the Congress by Pablo Iglesias at the 1910 legislative election, in which the PSOE candidates presented within the broad Republican–Socialist Conjunction, became a development of great symbolical transcendence, gave the party more publicity at the national level. The party and the UGT took a leading role in the general strike of August 1917, in the context of the events of the 1917 Crisis during the conservative government of Eduardo Dato.
The strike was crushed by the army with the result of further undermining of the constitutional order. Sent to the prison of Cartagena, they were released a year after being elected to the Cortes in the 1918 general election. During the 1919−1921 "Crisis of the Internationals" the party experienced tensions between the members endorsing the Socialist International and the advocates for joining the Third International. Two consecutive splits of dissidents willing to join the Komintern, namely the Spanish Communist Party in 1920, the Spanish Communist Workers' Party in 1921, broke away from the PSOE and soon merged to create the Communist Party of Spain; the party was a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1923 and 1940. After the death of Pablo Iglesias in 1925, Julián Besteiro replaced the at the presidency of the PSOE and the UGT. During the 1923–1930 dictatorship of Primo de Rivera corporativist PSOE and UGT elements were willing to engage into limited collaboration with the regime, against the political stance defended by other socialists such as Indalecio Prieto and Fernando de los Ríos, who instead vouched for a closer collaboration with republican forces.
The last years of the dictatorship saw a divergence emerge among the "corporativists". The opposition of Besteiro to participate in the "Revolutionary Committee" led to his resignation as president both of the party and the trade union in February 1931, he was replaced as president of the party by Remigio Cabello. After the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic on 14 April 1931, three PSOE members were included in the cabinet of the provisional government: Indalecio Prieto, Fernando de los Ríos and Francisco Largo Caballero; the socialist presence remained in the rest of cabinets of the "Social-Azañist Biennium". After the November 1933 general election, which marked a win for the right-of-centre forces, in a climate of increasing polarization and growing unemployment along a desire to mend the mistake of not having sided along the republicans in the election against the united right, Largo Caballero adopted a revolutionary rhetoric. Indalecio Prieto had participated in the aggressive rhetoric, having condemned the heavy-hand repression of the December 1933 anarchist uprising by the government, cheered on by the CEDA parliamentary fraction leaders.
The Socialist Youth of Spain engaged into a shrilling revolutionary rhetoric, while Besteiro opposed the insurrectionary drift of the militancy. The formation of a new cabinet including CEDA ministers in October 1934 was perceived among the Left as a reaction, with the CEDA party being indistinguishable from contemporary Fascism to most workers, while CEDA leader Gil-Robles had vouched for the establishment of a corporative state in the 1933 electoral campaign. Having the UGT called for a general strike in the country for 5 October, the strike developed into a full-blown insurrection
Congress of Deputies
The Congress of Deputies is the lower house of the Cortes Generales, Spain's legislative branch. It is located in the Palace of the Parliament, it has 350 members elected by constituencies by proportional representation using the D'Hondt method. Deputies serve four-year terms; the President of the Congress of Deputies presides over debates. In the Congress, members of the Parliament from the political parties, or groups of parties, form parliamentary groups. Groups must be formed by at least 15 deputies, but a group can be formed with only five deputies if the parties got at least 5% of the nationwide vote, or 15% of the votes in the constituencies in which they ran; the deputies belonging to parties who cannot create their own parliamentary group form the Mixed Group.. In June 2018, 41.72% of the deputies were women, being the third European country with more women in the lower house, after Sweden and Finland and same proportion as Norway. The Spanish Constitution establishes in the Article 68.1 that the Congress of Deputies must be composed of among 300 deputies at least and 400 deputies at most.
At present, the chamber has 350 deputies, determined by the General Electoral Regime Organic Law, approved in 1985. The Spanish Constitution establishes that the deputies are chosen by universal, equal and secret suffrage; the election is held every four years or before in case of snap election. The members of the Congress are elected by proportional representation with closed lists in each constituency, which means they are appointed by the political parties. There are 50 multi-member constituencies for the Congress of Deputies which belong to the 50 provinces of Spain and the two single-member constituencies which belong to two autonomous cities. According to the Spanish Electoral Law, each province must elect two deputies at least. In this way, there are 102 deputies apportioned; the other 248 deputies are allocated proportionally to the citizenships. This distribution can change a bit in each election and it is specified when writs are dropped. After the General Election, seats are assigned to the electoral lists in each constituency.
For this distribution the D'Hondt method is used in each constituency separately. This distributes seats to parties in proportion to the number of votes each received in the constituency. A proportional system would result in fractional seats; the D'Hondt method resolves this, in a manner that favors larger parties. Moreover, there is an election threshold of 3%; the 5/1985 Organic Law, 19 June, of the General Electoral Regime establishes a 3% minimum valid votes in its constituency requirement in order to take a party into account in the seats' distribution in that constituency. The last item is only applied in the provinces. At present, this condition is only fulfilled by Barcelona. In March 2011, the General Electoral Regime Organic Law was remodeled so that the parties which are not represented neither at the Congress nor at the Senate have to collect signatures to support the candidacy in order to be able to run in the election. 0.1% of signatures of the electoral register in each constituency are needed.
Each citizen can only sign once for each candidacy. The Electoral Board will establish the details of the collection of signatures. With this system, the least populated provinces are overrepresented as the population is lower than other provinces which are still awarded one seat, than if the seats would be distributed in proportion to the population of each province; the most populated provinces are underrepresented. This system tends to favour the biggest political parties. In spite of using a proportional representation system, the electoral system of the Congress of Deputies favours the creation of a two-party system, it is due to different reasons such as: The large disparity of population between the provinces. Despite the smaller provinces being overrepresented, the number of deputies assigned to each one is small and tends to go to the two main parties; the election threshold of 3% only acts in the provincies which elect more than 30 deputies, Madrid and Barcelona. In the rest of constituencies where fewer seats are distributed, the real barrier to enter to the Congress is meaningfully larger.
For example, the barrier of the provinces which have 3 seats is 25%. The average of seats per constituency is one of the lowest of Europe; that is because of the use of provinces as constituencies. The number of useful votes is big, there is a great number of votes which can not affect to the result because they have been emitted for a political party which has not got representation in the constituency where votes have been emitted; the D'Hondt method favours the biggest parties compared to other electoral formulas such as the Webster/Sainte-Laguë method or the largest remainder method. However, the influence of the D'Hondt method in the bipolarization of the electoral system is limited compared to the factors mentioned above; the size of the Congress of Deputies is small, together with the aforementioned factors, may favour the biggest parties and a disproportional distribution. The deputies' term of office finishes four ye
Democratic socialism is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production, with an emphasis on self-management and democratic management of economic institutions within a market or some form of decentralized planned socialist economy. Democratic socialists espouse that capitalism is inherently incompatible with what they hold to be the democratic values of liberty and solidarity. Democratic socialism can be supportive of either revolutionary or reformist politics as a means to establish socialism; the term democratic socialism is sometimes used synonymously with socialism, but the adjective democratic is sometimes used to distinguish democratic socialists from Marxist–Leninist-inspired socialism which to some is viewed as being non-democratic in practice. Democratic socialists oppose the Stalinist political system and Soviet economic model, rejecting the perceived authoritarian form of governance and centralized command economy that took form in the Soviet Union and other socialist states in the early 20th century.
Democratic socialism is further distinguished from social democracy on the basis that democratic socialists are committed to systemic transformation of the economy from capitalism to socialism whereas social democracy is supportive of reforms to capitalism. In contrast to social democrats, democratic socialists believe that reforms aimed at addressing social inequalities and state interventions aimed at suppressing the economic contradictions of capitalism will only see them emerge elsewhere in a different guise; as socialists, democratic socialists believe that the systemic issues of capitalism can only be solved by replacing the capitalist system with a socialist system—i.e. By replacing private ownership with social ownership of the means of production; the origins of democratic socialism can be traced to 19th-century utopian socialist thinkers and the British Chartist movement which differed in detail, but all shared the essence of democratic decision making and public ownership in the means of production as positive characteristics of the society they advocated.
In the early 20th century, the gradualist reformism promoted by the British Fabian Society and Eduard Bernstein in Germany influenced the development of democratic socialism. Democratic socialism is defined as having a socialist economy in which the means of production are and collectively owned or controlled alongside a politically democratic system of government. Peter Hain classifies democratic socialism along with libertarian socialism as a form of anti-authoritarian socialism from below in contrast to Stalinism, a variant of state socialism. For Hain, this democratic/authoritarian divide is more important than the revolutionary/reformist divide. In this type of democratic socialism, it is the active participation of the population as a whole and workers in particular in the management of economy that characterizes democratic socialism while nationalization and economic planning are characteristic of state socialism. A similar, but more complex argument is made by Nicos Poulantzas. Draper himself uses the term "revolutionary-democratic socialism" as a type of socialism from below in his The Two Souls of Socialism and writes: "he leading spokesman in the Second International of a revolutionary-democratic Socialism-from-Below Rosa Luxemburg, who so emphatically put her faith and hope in the spontaneous struggle of a free working class that the myth-makers invented for her a'theory of spontaneity'".
He writes about Eugene Debs: "'Debsian socialism' evoked a tremendous response from the heart of the people, but Debs had no successor as a tribune of revolutionary-democratic socialism". Tendencies of democratic socialism follow a gradual, reformist or evolutionary path to socialism rather than a revolutionary one; this tendency is invoked in an attempt to distinguish democratic socialism from Marxist–Leninist socialism as in Donald Busky's Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey, Jim Tomlinson's Democratic Socialism and Economic Policy: The Attlee Years, 1945–1951, Norman Thomas Democratic Socialism: A New Appraisal or Roy Hattersley's Choose Freedom: The Future of Democratic Socialism. A variant of this set of definitions is Joseph Schumpeter's argument set out in Capitalism and Democracy that liberal democracies were evolving from "liberal capitalism" into "democratic socialism", with the growth of workers' self-management, industrial democracy and regulatory institutions. For example, the new version of Clause IV of the constitution of the British Labour Party, though affirming a commitment to democratic socialism, no longer commits the party to public ownership of industry as in its place advocates "the enterprise of the market and the rigour of competition" along with "high quality public services either owned by the public or accountable to them".
Scholar Lyman Tower Sargent proposes: Democratic socialism can be characterized as follows: Much property held by the public through a democratically elected government, including most major industries and transportation systems A limit on the accumulation of private property Governmental regulation of the economy Extensive publicly financed assistance and pension programs Social costs and the provision of services added to purely financial considerations as the measure of efficiencyPublicly held property is limited to productive property and significant infrastructure. And in practice in many democratic socialist countries, it has not extende
Socialist Party of the Islands
Socialist Party of the Islands was a political party in the Balearic Islands, Spain. PSI was formed in February 1976 by a sector of the socialist movement who wanted emphasis on the nationality question, establishing itself in Majorca. In parallel, the Socialist Movement of Menorca and the Socialist Movement of Ibiza and Formentera were created in with the same aim in the other islands. PSI was part of the Federation of Socialist Parties and, together with the Socialist Convergence of Catalonia and the Socialist Party of the Valencian Country, part of the Socialist Coordination of the Catalan Countries. Ahead of the 1977 general election, PSI created an alliance together with MSM and MSEF, joining the People's Socialist Party in the Socialist Unity coalition. US did not gain any seat in the Congress nor in the Senate in the Balearic Islands constituency. After the election, PSI refused to merge with the Balearic federation of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, instead founded the Socialist Party of Majorca.
Socialist Party of Majorca