I hear the terms "left wing" and "right wing" used a lot in news articles. Though, I hear them used in reference to topics which seem fairly different from one-another, for example:

  1. French Presidential Election
  2. Charlottesville Rally
  3. March for Missing Activist

Are there multiple meanings behind both terms, thus enabling them to be applied to different scenarios such as those listed above?

  • 1
    This question seems very broad, and What is meant by the “left” and the “right”? should cover most of it already. Your premise is also quite unclear to me. Why must there be multiple meanings, doesn't the common meaning cover all three cases? If not, why not? I think it's accepted that both terms are rather broad, so they should cover more than a single issue. It would really help if you could be more specific.
    – tim
    Sep 5, 2017 at 12:51
  • 5
    One thing to note is that, just like the spatial descriptors being used, left- and right-wing are comparative terms on a one-dimensional political spectrum, not absolute ones.
    – origimbo
    Sep 5, 2017 at 12:54
  • @tim I have heard both terms used primarily to differentiate between political parties e.g. in the UK, Labour are left wing and Conservative are right wing. I was under the impression that these terms were solely used to refer to these parties in particular. And so, when I have heard them used in other situations such as the march linked above; I was confused as to how a group of Argentinians could be described using the same term used to describe the Labour party in the UK. The question you linked has helped me understand these terms more clearly.
    – Cthulhu
    Sep 5, 2017 at 13:09


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