“Since, today, there are no clear definitions of political terms, I use the word “rightist” to denote the views of those who are predominantly in favor of individual freedom and capitalism—and the word “leftist” to denote the views of those who are predominantly in favor of government controls and socialism.
As to the middle or ‘center,’ I take it to mean ‘zero,’ i.e., no dominant position, i.e., a pendulum swinging from side to side, moment by moment.”
……………………………………………………………..- Ayn Rand
It describes the centrists in the government to a ‘t,’ don’t you think?
And if you go by the standard she uses, there very very few “rightists” around – as the so-called “rightists” who inhabit the Kiwiblog comments thickets might demonstrate—a result that Rand (who wrote the above in 1971) predicted, saying in the paragraph that followed,
“For about half a century [and remember that this process accelerated after 1971], the intellectuals, most of whom are leftist, have been struggling to achieve a spatial situation which is geometrically impossible: a political field consisting of a middle and a left-of-middle, with no right-of-middle. They came close to succeeding. Their success was made possible by the non-philosophical attitude of most rightists, who surrendered the intellect to the leftists, accepted their basic premises, and mouthed empty slogans in answer to deadly political principles—or: who accepted a wholesaler's warehouse of tainted meat, then haggled over the price and cut of the chops at the corner grocery store.
“This permitted the intellectuals to play the game of ‘window dressing,’ i.e., to preach political tolerance or impartiality and to practice it, on suitable occasions, by featuring the weakest, most befuddled champion of capitalism as a representative of the right. (Which led people to the conclusion: ‘If this is the best that can be said for the right, then the leftist position must be true.’)
Still going on, isn’t it.
PS: For the record, I still describe myself as neither right nor left, whatever label Tim Selwyn gives me. And that’s partly because of the very intellectual bankruptcy of the right that Rand describes so well.