In politics, right-wing historically referred to a society run by natural law or tradition. It currently can refer to a belief set made up of economic and social conservatism, and support for a strong military and an active foreign policy. The term, as well as left-wing come from the French Revolution, a reference to where people sat in parliament.
The term Rightist refers to someone on the 'right' side of the political spectrum. Politics on the 'right' usually imply taking positions in favor of the traditional system of a society, including its traditional values and its traditional ruling institutions. Compare: leftist. Following the left-right political spectrum, a "Right-Winger" could be referred to as anyone who favors having marginally more economic than personal liberties.
It is widely accepted, however, that there is not just one dimension of political thought, so that people can unambiguously be classified as 'right' or 'left'. Nonetheless, the political spectrum theory still has wide currency.
Usage of terms like "right wing" and "far right" by liberals about conservatives is usually intended to conjure up images of Nazi genocide (though an objective interpretation of the left-right political spectrum would reveal that the fascist regimes of WWII Europe were more statist than right-wing). Indeed, some critics openly liken Israel and its leaders to "Nazis", even though Israel is the most democratic country in the entire Middle East.
Example usage is, "He's a right-winger!" rather than simply, "He's conservative."
The term is used less frequently by liberals now because it has lost much of its pejorative effect.
- ↑ Arabs have full citizenship rights in Israel, even serving as judges and legislators.