Left Wing / Right Wing

The ' Left ' features the following typical ideas:

· collectivism, which is a belief that goals can be achieved by collective action as well as by the efforts of individuals. This includes the idea of the state as an essential and positive force in the lives of all

· a belief that the interests of the wider community are superior to the interests of individuals

· a belief in the universal distribution of benefits such as health, education, social insurance

· a positive view of human nature and a belief that people are essentially social animals, rather than self-seeking individuals

· the promotion of equality, fraternity and maximum freedom

Socialism is a clear example of left-wing beliefs.

The 'Right ' features the following typical ideas:

· a firm belief in the importance of the individual and the provision of individual choice

· a belief that individuals have a flawed human nature and therefore need discipline

· a rejection of collectivism, with which right-wing politicians largely disagree

· a view that the role of the state in people's lives should be limited

· a view of human nature suggesting that individuals prefer to pursue their own goals and may see their own interests as more important than those of the wider community