Far-left politics

Far-left politics are political views located further on the left than the standard political left. Often criticized historically for advocating political violence and political censorship either directly or through smear campaigns against conservatives, libertarians, centrists, and even in some cases liberals.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

The term has been used to describe ideologies such as: authoritarianism, Stalinism, New anti-Semitism, Islamo-leftism, communism, anarcho-communism, left-communism, Black supremacy, Marxism–Leninism, Trotskyism, and Maoism.[7][8]

In modern times the term is also used to describe groups like Antifa who have far-left members and factions but are predominantly a decentralized group of non-violent anti-fascist protesters of varying left-wing political views.[9]


Luke March of the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh defines the far-left in Europe as those who position themselves to the left of social democracy, which they see as insufficiently left-wing. The two main sub-types are called the radical left, who desire fundamental changes to neo-liberal globalist capitalism and progressive reform of democracy (such as direct democracy and the inclusion of marginalised communities), and the extreme left, who denounce liberal democracy as a "compromise with bourgeois political forces," and define capitalism more strictly. March states that "compared with the international communist movement 30 years ago, the far left has undergone a process of profound de-radicalisation. The extreme left is marginal in most places." March specifies four major subgroups within contemporary European far-left politics: communists, which he states exist only as a "commitment to Marxism (of sorts)" and a "historical sense of the movement"; democratic socialists, who reject both totalitarianism and neo-liberalism, are "in many cases non-Marxist," and support environmental issues and "substantive democracy"; populist socialists who are similar but "overlaid with a stronger anti-elite, anti-establishment appeal"; and social populists, who evidence "a dominant personalist leadership, relatively weak organisation and essentially incoherent ideology," "fusing left-wing and right-wing themes behind an anti-establishment appeal" (true Populists).[10]

To distinguish the far left from the moderate left, March and Mudde identify three "useful criteria": firstly, they reject the underlying socio-economic structure of contemporary capitalism; secondly, they advocate alternative economic and power structures involving redistribution of resources from political elites; and thirdly, they are internationalist, seeing causality between imperialism and globalism and regional socio-economic issues. [11]

Vít Hloušek and Lubomír Kopeček suggest secondary characteristics, such as anti-Americanism, anti-globalization, opposition to NATO and in some cases a rejection of European integration.[12]

In France, the term extrême-gauche ("far-left") is a generally accepted term for political groups that position themselves to the left of the Socialist Party, such as Trotskyists, Maoists, anarcho-communists and New Leftists. Some, such as political scientist Serge Cosseron, limit the scope to the left of the French Communist Party,[13] but there is no real consensus.

Far-left terrorism

Many far-left militant organizations formed from existing political parties in the 1960s and 1970s,[14] such as the Red Brigades and the Red Army Faction.[15] These groups generally aim to overthrow capitalism and the wealthy ruling classes.[16][17][18]

See also


  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/03/ideology-was-behind-christchurch-tragedy/585856/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share
  2. https://www.inquirer.com/news/columnists/mindscom-philly-pitman-antifa-broadway-theater-tim-pool-no-hate-20190823.html
  3. https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/454712-conservative-journalist-andy-ngo-says-antifa-attack-resulted-in-brain-injury
  4. https://www.thepostmillennial.com/breaking-activists-threaten-to-shut-down-dave-rubin-and-maxime-bernier-event-at-canadian-college/</refhttps://www.berkeleyside.com/2018/08/08/eric-clanton-takes-3-year-probation-deal-in-berkeley-rally-bike-lock-assault-case
  5. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/07/17/steven-pinkers-aid-jeffrey-epsteins-legal-defense-renews-criticism-increasingly
  6. https://quillette.com/2018/11/14/the-free-speech-crisis-on-campus-is-worse-than-people-think/
  7. Left Communism in Australia, by J.A. Dawson Thesis 11]
  8. Left Communism and Trotskyism, by Loren Goldner et al.
  9. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/8/17/20810221/portland-rally-donald-trump-alt-right-proud-boys-antifa-terror-organization
  10. March, Luke (2008). Contemporary Far Left Parties in Europe: From Marxism to the Mainstream? (PDF). Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. p. 3. ISBN 9783868720006. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  11. Hloušek, Vít; Kopeček, Lubomír (2010). Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties: East-Central and Western Europe Compared. Farnham: Ashgate. p. 46. ISBN 9780754678403.
  12. Hloušek, Vít; Kopeček, Lubomír (2010). Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties: East-Central and Western Europe Compared. Farnham: Ashgate. p. 46. ISBN 9780754678403.
  13. Cosseron, Serge (2007). Dictionnaire de l'extrême gauche. Paris: Larousse. p. 20. ISBN 2035826209.
  14. Weinberg, Leonard; Pedahzur, Ami; Perliger, Arie (2009). Political Parties and Terrorist Groups (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. p. 53. ISBN 9781135973377.
  15. Chaliand, Gérard (2010). The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaeda. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520247093.
  16. "Red Brigades". Stanford University. Retrieved 1 November 2019. The PL [Prima Linea] sought to overthrow the capitalist state in Italy and replace it with a dictatorship of the proletariat.
  17. Raufer, Xavier (October–December 1993). "The Red Brigades: A Farewell to Arms". Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 16 (4): 319. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  18. "Red Brigades announce end of their struggle to overthrow German state". The Irish Times. 22 April 1998. Retrieved 1 November 2019. German detectives yesterday confirmed as authentic a declaration by the Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorist group that its struggle to overthrow the German state is over.
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