Why is free trade considered a right-wing ideology?

I learned in class that laissez-faire trade is considered right-wing. Wouldn't it make more sense to label it as libertarian?

The whole left vs right thing in general is derived from French legislative history. At the end of the day, it's just half-accurate conversational shorthand. Useful, but not too important.
I still find it very useful, you just need to understand how it applies.
It's quite simple: It is always relative to the current status quo; that's the easy part.
"We missed our turn a mile back. Plus, this car sucks. We should have taken the horses. I'm getting out so I can go get my horse."
"We missed our turn, stop the car. We need to put it in reverse to go back a bit."
"Will you slow down? We're going to miss our turn."
"This is fine, we're one the right road. Just keep it right here. Set it on cruise control."
"I know this is the right road, but we need to drive a little faster."
"I know this is the right road but I'm not sure this car will get us there, it's too slow and probably going to break down before we make it. We should keep an eye out for a mechanic soon."
"This car is about to break down. Yes we're headed in the right direction, but we're on the wrong road. I'm jumping out and I'll just ride my motorcycle. It's cooler anyway."
The part where people get mixed up is that it is also relative to the subject at hand; there is hardly any all-encompassing ideal that is universally progressive nor universally traditional. This scale applies to each separate subject.
A person can be reactionary economically but status quo/neutral on reproductive rights, progressive on drug legalization, and traditional on civil rights.
One can be radical economically/politically, conservative on gun rights, reformist on healthcare, and traditional on religion.
The left/right paradigm still works, it still applies; you just need to know how to apply it.
We all know right-wingers still secretly want a return to absolutist-era monarchism.
Because it develops and legitimates the resulting hierarchy/social order, according to people's economic outcomes. Quote from the wiki on what is considered to be right wing:
Right-wing politics holds that certain
I’d say anyone who says that is either over simplifying or simply trying to erase libertarians. Laissez faire and free trade were foundational to classical liberalism. Classical liberalism eventually evolved into both libertarianism and modern big L liberalism. People on the some parts of the right are pretty consistently pro free trade, but others are quite protectionist. This is all really because of the limitations of the right left spectrum. I believe the political compass works much better to see where groups are in relation to each other in their beliefs.
Even the political compass is just another simplification, but at least it offers a little more nuance.
8values is another version that is even more complex, but it ends up being a tradeoff between simplicity and labels that still make sense.
Libertarians: "We matter too!"
Everyone else: "Nah."
You sort of have that backwards, Libertarian-ism came first (at least in the US) and Classical Liberalism developed as a way to counter Libertarian-isms shortcomings.
Libertarian-ism is a great way to run a country when its economy is based on agriculture and it has a low population. Unfortunately as your country grows unbridled Capitalism starts to create (or expose) cracks and left unaddressed those cracks become gaping chasms.
The US first hit this nationally around the time of the Civil War when the USDA was created. A fine example of Classical Liberalism was tasking the USDA to eliminate the abuses of commercial meat packing (Upton Sinclair / The Jungle) through the Meat Protection Act in 1906.
This was seen as a progressive cause back in the early 1900s and certainly was not Libertarian in nature. It was however a victory for Roosevelt and a strong indicator that Libertarian-ism had given way to Classical Liberalism.
Over time those same Progressives that championed such causes chafed at the restrictions of Classical Liberalism, mainly that CLs still cared about free trade and Laissez faire, and so those Progressives labelled themselves as Progressives until somewhere in the late 40s early 50s when they re-labelled themselves as simply "Liberals".
All of that may not perfectly follow established political theory but it certainly tracks the functional political history of the United States pretty damn close.
A class taught you to acknowledge and take the right-vs-left false dichotomy seriously?
You should question literally everything else that you're being taught at that school.
Literally all we know is that OP's teacher told them that laissez-faire capitalism is considered to be right-wing. Which is true; right (heh) or wrong, people do consider it be right-wing. That is hardly a basis for calling the whole course propaganda.
Underrated comment, that I think users from a variety of opinions on this sub would agree upon.
This sounds like a 'political indoctrination' class to me.
I would not trust the science, or sex education from a school that teaches economics or civics like this.
According to the oxford dictionary the definition of socialism is:
And for capitalism:
In the case of laissez faire, the state does not regulate the market/economy, therefore it is in accordance with capitalism. I think many people confuse left and right (on the economic scale) with liberal and conservatives due to american politics and history.
Well, yes, since there is no need for a big government to run the economy, but it's not mandatory for laissez faire to work.
Those definitions are reduced to the kind of systems that have resulted in quite a few cases, however the moral objective that it was about seems to have been scrubbed.
Socialism was attempting to stop the grave abuses of the working masses, rejecting the idea that people should have the right to deny each other anything, and work each other to near death or actually to death if that was what the markets would dictate in terms of labor value.
Socialism was not only against Capitalism - as defined as the rule of society by miniscule cliques of ultra-wealthy cruel people - it was also a movement against Social-Darwinism (another dumb word in the language, by the way, better termed "anti-social Darwinism" since there are different views on 'survival of the fittest' which account for the benefit of helping each other rather than killing each other), also known as eugenics and closely associated with Fascism. Eugenics and Fascism was very popular back then, and supposedly scientific. Eugenics was also popular in Britain and the USA. Fascism also centralized control, yet the Socialists where against it. So this kind of definitions do not do the situation justice, and are possibly politically motivated.
Without open borders "free trade" is one of the foundational systems of feudalism, where workers are tied to land to prevent the increase of wages and the demand for standards of living. It's about as far from libertarian as you can get.
I think part of it is that western media and education has conflated free markets with Capitalism. Capitalism is a right wing ideology and so, through the power of fuzzy thinking, free markets came along with it.
In reality, you can have free markets in almost any economic system. Free markets are as old as monkeys trading fruit for grooming while Capitalism arose in the 1700's.
Every libertarian socialist in the world is a leftist who supports free markets.
Because its pro business. Its not actually a free trade platform so much as it has been adopt Americas business and property laws for your economy and let our goods in platform. Sure. It's free trade, under the American system.
why would right wing contradict being libertarian?
saying it is right wing is sort of restrictive isn't it? at least if you think of the political compass, its leaving out the bottom left if it truly is libertarian
Because Libertarian-ism is more than just economic theory and defining it as "right wing" entirely leaves out other aspects.
None of that lines up with what people commonly think of as "right wing" and yet they are established parts of Libertarian-ism.
Because "free trade" is "libertarian" only for the rich. For the poor it ends up being quite oppressive because without government to tax and balance the scales, the rich control all markets and decide prices, not the people.
That kind of rich-above-the-law unspoken rule is typically right wing
Only if there is an absolute monopoly. I recommend reading at least page 1-13 of
It's incredibly right-wing. Here is why.
During feudalism people were tied to the land they were born on and people were required to have passports in order to move about from one territory to another. This kept labor stationery while capital was kept mobile so that landlords would have an advantage over workers.
That feudal system was torn apart in the 1700s and the early industrial age, where borders were opened entirely allowing workers to move to where higher wages were available. This gave them a natural edge above capital, which was largely in the form of land and factories that are hard to move. The mobility of labor gave them a competitive advantage over landlords and corporations.
After world war one the system of passports was resurrected and trade was restricted greatly, but since then trade has been opened up for businesses but remains closed to workers. That is "free trade". The mobilizing of capital, while laborers remain tied to their nation of birth, ultimately a resurrection of feudalism once again, where workers may be able to move from one local landlord to another, but really can't substantially change their circumstance. In non-western countries, this might mean working for pennies a day and whenever higher wages or better safety standards are demanded a company will just up and leave, let them starve and wait till they are desperate enough to work for those wages again. This exploitation only works if labor is immobile. "Free trade" is a vestige of feudalism that has been reborn to give multinational corporations an advantage over their workers, which depresses wages, and reduces safety standards. Its about as right-wing as it gets.
But trade exist since the ancient times, i dont agree with the point you tried to make it here.
If it wastruelya free mrket than yes, but what capitalistsrefer to as a "free market" is only free to the first companies to expand into a given industry after which point they monoplize it and techinicay speaking the capitalist market becomes less free than a soscialist market.
Can you provide examples? Because in the view from my desk, this is complete fiction. If it was, MySpace would likely be the dominant social network, Sears would be the dominant retailer, and I would shave myself tomorrow using Burma-Shave.
If you believe in the left-right dichotomy (at least in the US), here are the major points:
The right (conservatives) wish to conserve what whey believe brought America to its era of power, which is socially conservative ideals (nuclear family with a breadwinner and a home caretaker and lots of kids, Christianity, hardworking attitude, etc), and laissez-faire economics that allowed the economy to boom. The left (liberals) want to pass legislation which they believe will allow those who were disadvantaged during those times to prosper, so they go in the opposite direction to try and achieve that end: progressive ideals (varieties of family structures, "freedom" from child rearing, any religion but Christianity, pursuing happiness and pleasure), and restrictions on economic systems to give those who fail in a free market opportunity to prosper. Both ideas have their strengths and weaknesses, which will vary depending on who you ask. Me being a libertarian, you know I'll just want both social and economic legislation to be laissez-faire. Authoritarians may think society can't function without a strong guiding hand, both socially and economically. And then there's everyone in between.
Many criticize the left-right dichotomy for being oversimplified, but it's just the two major factions which tend to arise in western economic systems, which tend to believe in some government control but general freedom, and just disagree about where the government control should be and which aspects should really be free. There are ideologies which will be inaccurately lumped in with others in such a simple approach to organizing ideologies, but it's better than having no shorthand at all and having no means whatsoever to get a bearing on who generally believes what.
Libertarian is right wing.....
Not necessarily,
Anarchists, Georgists, libertarian socialists, and figures like Noam Chompsky or Ghandi would all fall under this category. Prior to the 1960s when contemporary American right wing libertarianism gained popularity, libertarianism was actually more associated with left wing politics in many parts of the world.
Not necessarily...
No, Libertarian is 90° from rightwing.
Think of a four squares. Left at the left, right at the right, authoritarian at the top, libertarian at the bottom. Laissez-faireism is on the bottom right. Where else could you reasonably put it?
You have to appreciate that political, social, economic etc etc views are all complex and intertwined. While considering a single axis such as left/right can be a useful shorthand - the reality is that it’s really a multidimensional argument: economic left/right, social authoritarian/liberal etc etc. These axes are not always completely orthogonal, which is why the left/right shorthand can be useful - but don’t overreach it.
Libertarians, as I understand them, are as much about social issues as they are economic ones. So while they favour economic liberalism - which often aligns with right wing views - that doesn’t mean they’re right wing because right wing is also tended to mean more socially authoritarian than libertarians would be happy with. Of course, there’s many counter examples to that as no one uses the left/right thing in completely rigorous and consistent ways.
tumyeto, tumato
why? because it refers to the same thing while being both all wrong.... these terms can be exchanged pretty much nowadays.
Technically it’s part of the moderate middle(Democratic socialists to liberal conservatives) ideology. Far left & far right is mixed 50/50 for and against. Extreme right is against it as they believe in using muscle to get a better negotiating position and extreme left is against borders.
the further left you go the more you push equality
the further right: the less
capitalism doesn't make people equals, thus it is right wing
Because the right favors free trade more than the left.
That's just semantics.
It's liberal, not libertarian.
I think one of the problems is that the political spectrum isnt the same in all countries at all times. In Hayeks time, the liberals were the free marketers and the small government guys while today in America, liberals are big government, socialist, welfare state advocates.
If you go back in america before FDR, the democrat party was actually the party of small government. Then, the Republicans became the party of small government. Now, neither is the party of small government so I dont think the spectrum is stagnant, it changes.
The Right is generally concerned with property, while the Left questions it's legitimacy.
Libertarianism is neither left nor right, concerning itself with the rights of the individual. There's no connection between libertarianism and free-trade/property ownership for the first 300 years of it's existence. Popular culture has only recently associated "libertarian" with capitalism — it wasn't even an idea until some of Ayn Rand's "disciples" made it a thing in the 50s/60s.
It is classical liberalism, which the left has abandoned for the sake of 'equality of outcome'.
Because traditionally protectionism was supported by organized labour while free trade was moreso supported by business leaders and chambers of commerce and such.
In US politics, right-wing ideology is typically "conservative" in the sense that they value stability and the status quo and are more fearful of dramatic change. Liberalism, in a very broad sense, values pushing for changes where they feel they have accurately identified issues. It's not that conservatives don't want to solve problems, they just typically think more problems come from "meddling" and are more likely to literally fear different kinds of unintended consequences.
These are extremely broad descriptions, and the left is far more fractioned as a group than the right, but these traits do a decent job of describing a pretty fundamental set of values.
So why is "free trade" conservative? The short answer is that those who advocate for free trade have very successfully swayed public opinion for decades such that, at least at a basic fundamental level, it is quickly assumed and accepted that "free trade" is an "ideal" if you look at business and economics from some purist standpoint. What does that mean? It means that if the popular view on "free trade" is that it is an ideal thing for which to strive, then conservatives adopt that ideal. Conservatives like to conserve the status quo, and if they think "free trade" is the most fundamental element of an economy, then they will accept any number of other arguments to get closer to free trade.
You can break down most of the various political ideas to see similar rationales for them, if you understand what a group values at the most basic level. Part of the relative success of the LGBTQI+ community has been in being more open and having allies willing to openly discuss their own humanity. After years of open persecution conservatives don't seem to care as much about whether or not this person or that person is getting married. TV shows featuring likeable and charismatic LGBTQI+ people, like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Modern Family have helped average people see that human beings come in more shapes, sizes, and colors than what they previously thought. There is still a ton of persecution and privately held beliefs, but it is no longer politically valuable to tout "family values" when talking about, say, making it strictly illegal for two people of the same sex to marry. Conservatives no longer consider it necessary to preserve what they had previously thought they were protecting, probably because at some level they don't see sexuality in all its colors as being an inherent risk to their own world position.
Yeah, probably.
1d political models are stupid. They could at least use a 2d one, if not a 3d or higher model.
Well, actually no. It's more libertarian than right wing, but usually conservatives are in the same page about economy than libertarians (not in everything but in basic things like laizes-fare for example)
Libertarianism isn't left or right, I just wanted to take that in account. It has social policies of the left, for example we don't care about your private life as long as you have the same rights than everyone, we also have the economic views of the right (or should I say, the right has OUR economic views)
To make it clearer: Left - Free society, oppressed economy. Right - oppressed society, free economy. Libertarianism - Free society, free economy.
That's because libertarianism is an economically right winged ideology
Capitalism. Whats wrong with that ? Better than being a slave in a Socialist/Communist society with a lot of infringements.
It’s not
You're smart. Never let school get in the way of your education.
I consider it a liberal ideology
Back when I was in elementary school and the liberal government was in power and was pushing NAFTA, free trade was a left-wing ideology.
It's all identity politics.
To my knowledge most socialists aren't okay with accumulating too much of certain things and they certainly aren't fans of people owning land and capital or buying/ selling labor. The "right wing" libertarians don't want to interfere with people trading whether it's land, labor, or capital and the left wing absolutely wants limits on what you can obtain even through trade.
No idea. Bastiat, one of the early classical liberals and an early proponent of free trade, was sitting to the left in the French Parliament. I guess the socialists wanted to kick him out to the other (right) side so much they're still trying to do it centuries after his death.
This is why
Free trade is a Neoliberal construct that is based off right wing economics
Right and left are economic spectrums, authoritarian and libertarian are statist spectrums.
laissez-faire = fuck you, we are the colonizers/owner class/etc. good luck not getting bulldozed you disgusting global south/worker class/etc!
seems pretty right wing to me.
Left-right is completely useless in 21th century. It’s bullshit.
Yeah, everything is red vs blue now. Sadly.
It is libertarian, you are correct. The modern and ancient "right" were entirely in favor of government intervention.
markets are non-democratic, they are "the strong dominate the weak", which is a right-wing attitude
left vs right is essentially democracy vs hierarchy
That's a fucking stupid thing to say.
And democracy isn’t “the strong dominate the weak”? Isn’t the entire premise of democracy the emphasis on strength in numbers? Don’t those who have the strength in numbers get to dominate the weak by definition? Any and all alterations on democracy to limit this ‘mob rule’ tendency which is inherent in democratic decision making is nothing but a concession of the fact that pure democracy is about the majority dominating the minority.
Democracy is hierarchical. It places the will of majority over the minority. Your dichotomy isn’t really dichotomous.
On the contrary, on market ''strong'' can only earn money and make profit by helping others, that is providing services and goods to them, to consumers.
In market every vote counts, every dollar spent matters and can go into production. Also companies provide services not just to mass consumers but to minority consumers with special needs. Free market is a summary term for an array of voluntary exchanges that take place in society, both parties benefit from an exchange. Also "market" is not some sort of living entity making good or bad decisions, but is simply a label for individual persons and their voluntary interactions. If B thinks that the "market" is not paying A enough, B is perfectly free to step in and supply the difference. He is not blocked in this effort by some monster named "market."
Very correct. When it comes to deciding who provides goods and services to the public, the public should decide by giving their resources to the one they feel provides the best service at the best price.
Through capitalism, every user has a vote, thus the 'capitalism = democracy'. On the other hand, socialism generally doesn't offer such choices, particularly if they restrict free markets, or have planned economies, thus 'socialism = hierarchy'.
Yes it is libertarian, and Libertarian has never been part of the Left until recently(last century) when they ransom that as a face lift to compensate for the atrocities the Left did in the USSR and Cuba...
After all, Freedom is the reason WHY so many countries got their independence, some with more success than others.
And sometimes, the Left CAN and WILL disguise itself as the Right... My country is a good example where the Left and the Right are Socialists and the Elites get richer while the people is miserable or at best try to survive with what we have.
Neither side cares about free trade. All trade is a human interaction and should be free of government regulations.
Why shouldn't it be?
The fact that the words "free market", "libertarian", "liberism" has a goodish sound doesn't mean they're not right wing.
Trade in general is considered right wing, because the left wing generally is too dumb to understand what trade is. The left wing is in a big way laborers, people who work for bosses, rather than trade. This stunts their intellect. The work is often, quite literally, killing the mind. I even experienced this myself a little, when doing mind numbing dumb work. You really get stupid when doing it too much. Since business get larger all the time in laisez fair Capitalism ("let it run" Capitalism), the mind numbing only gets worse over time. More and more people are bowed under ever smaller psycho infested cliques of power.
The work gets divided into smaller actions on an assembly line, etc. These people never trade what they make, they are entirely institutionalized within the companies. They are behaving like children, or pets. They get angry when they don't get enough wages, and that is about the mental participation in the production sector, beyond following orders. There is no familiarity with trade.
This is also no doubt why the labor movement leans toward things like central planning, because that is what they are accustomed to within the companies. The companies are really communes, in so many ways. They only object to the ruler ship not listening to them enough, taking most of the profits. Hence their simple thinking goes like so: if only we could have this commune (business), but the people in charge where on our side, and we don't need trade at all because the Capitalists always bring that on as the excuse for why we get less ... why don't we just make the whole world one big commune.
The only ones who still trade (in the past, working people also traded much more as one person businesses of sorts) are ever more only the Capitalist bosses. They run these 'communes' (businesses), and busy themselves with the in/out interface, which is mostly about trade. Since in the biggest businesses - who run the show mostly - they are dictatorial and extremely greedy and maniacal, typically against democracy and rights for people, it is pretty obvious how trade gets associated with them on the right wing.
On the other end again, labor is the masses and would benefit from things like peace, democracy and rights for all, hence you have those ideals on the left, but not associated with trade.
How all this goes is a big mistake, it can be seen as the political consequences of a badly structured economy, which in turn continue to support the endless lurching between the left and the right in politics, who each cause their own form of damage.
To correct the situation, everyone needs their equal value share in land. However the labor movement has become vastly demented due to the simple work they always do, that they are at this point scared of land. They are afraid to be free. The Capitalist bosses also obviously don't like to give land to everyone, because they want to control everything and rule the masses as their pets. Therefore left and right are going hand in hand to whatever the end of this Empire might bring. They have found each other on something they agree on: neither wants an economy that has dynamic stability and freedom for all. With some good things on the left, and some good things on the right, society can be wig-wagged forever from one side to the other, until it breaks apart.
libertarian is right lol
Only in the US
It's not free trade. It's greedism without protection for its victims through the government.
Greedism values money and the experiences of those with capital. Caring about the wellbeing of others lowers profit margins so they hate anything that protects their victims from abuse.
A good analogy is the German invasion of France in WW1. The Germans thought they were the good guys and the French and British were the government regulators getting in the way of the German's desire for more resources. The Germans didn't care that the French did not want to be ruled by them.