To understand this, we need to go back 200 years, to Revolutionary France in 1789.
Now let’s ask Mr Right and Mr Left what the difference is, both of whom were leaders in the Revolution.
Mr. Right. I believe that the state exists for the development of the individual.
Mr. Left. I believe that the individual exists for the development of the state.
Me. That it is the difference between the Left and the Right, simple isn’t it?
I wish it were! But why are they called Left and Right?
Well, for that we need to go back to the French Revolution in 1786.
Now I let me ask Messrs Right and Left to explain.
Mr. Right. Oh, yes, well, I am called “The Right” because before the French Revolution I was an Aristocrat and when I saw the King I sat on his right. Therefore, when I went into the Le Chambré de Deputie, which in English means the Chamber of Deputies, I naturally sat on the right.
Mr. Left. I am a revolutionary and I hated everything about the Monarchy and the Aristocracy so I sat on the other side of the chamber, the left, so we could throw rotten tomatoes at him.
Me. Thank you, gentlemen, I think you need to go before you start fighting, again.
These labels have stayed through the years, then as our politics grew to be between the workers and the wealthy, which naturally led us to continue to talk of the right and left. However, today they don’t come to blows anymore, well, I hope not too often!
As an aside, they are still worried that the two will come to blows, which is why in the House of Commons the space between the two front benches is specifically spaced to be wider than a swords length!
I know this is a simple explanation of Right and Left in politics, which I hope will tempt you to learn more about it.
Isn’t history fun!