¹ 6 - 2006
Kholodkovsky K.G.

The Left vs. the Right Wingers Opposition: Anachronism or Change of Coordinates?

The changes in the contents of politics, in the character of conflicts, that took place by the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries, couldn’t but tell on the configuration of forces in the political field. It is the leftist to the rightists continuum that had been, as is known, the organizing principle of the said configuration for two centuries. During the past several decades, the division between the rightists and the leftists has been growing ever less clear-cut and linear, ever more conditional; ever more often voices were heard among politicians and political scientists about the notions of “leftists” and “rightists” having turned into a kind of anachronism. But why then does the division, if only in the form of the left and right centers’ rivalry, remain? Analyzing the arrangement of forces in the leading Western countries, the author convincingly proves on this basis, that final elimination of distinctions between the rightists and the leftists is impeded by value divergence, especially obvious in pre-election polemics, but quite discernible also in practical policies in the humanitarian field. According to his conclusion, though the significance of the leftist vs. rightist delimitation has seriously diminished and the subjects thereof have notably changed, the delimitation itself has lost neither its functional meaning, nor its value coloration.