Left and Right : The Significance of a Political Distinction
Following the collapse of communism and the decline of Marxism, some commentators have claimed that we have reached the 'end of history' and that the distinction between Left and Right can be forgotten.In this book - which was a tremendous success in Italy - Norberto Bobbio challenges these views, arguing that the fundamental political distinction between Left and Right, which has shaped the two centuries since the French Revolution, has continuing relevance today.Bobbio explores the grounds of this elusive distinction and argues that Left and Right are ultimately divided by different attitudes to equality. He carefully defines the nature of equality and inequality in relative rather than absolute terms.Left and Right is a timely and persuasively argued account of the basic parameters of political action and debate in the modern world - parameters which have remained constant despite the pace of social change. The book will be widely read and, as in Italy, it will have an impact far beyond the academic domain.
- Hardback | 160 pages
- 136 x 189mm | 151g
- 14 Nov 1996
- Polity Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Translator's Introduction. Preface to the First Italian Edition. A Challenge to the Distinction. Extremists and Moderates. The Left/Right Distinction Survives. In Search of the Criterion which Governs the Distinction. Other Criteria. Equality and Inequality. Freedom and Authoritarianism. The Polar Star. A Reply to Critics (1995). Notes.