Left-wing, leftist

General descriptive terms for any of several otherwise quite varied political ideologies (socialism, communism, social democracy, welfare statism, contemporary American liberalism, some versions of anarchism, etc.) that join in denouncing the extent of economic and social inequality in the present order of society and advocate the adoption of vigorous public policies to reduce or eliminate these inequalities, usually through some combination of the following:

  • Reduction or elimination of legal protections for private property rights
  • Greater regulation (or complete expropriation) of private economic activity
  • Stringent limitations on the right to inherit wealth
  • Higher tax burdens on the rich and the middle-class, and/or the provision of more tax-supported government services and money payments to the poor.

In America, the term has a somewhat more derogatory flavor than in European usage.

[See also: right-wing, ideology, legitimacy, socialism, communism, anarchism, liberalism, welfare state]