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Encyclopedia > Centrism

In politics, centrism usually refers to the political ideal of promoting moderate policies which land in the middle ground between different political extremes. Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of Left-Right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between left-wing politics and right-wing politics. However, there is arguably more than one dimension to politics, so even the centre has its own radicals as exemplified by radical centrist politics. For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... “Moderates” redirects here. ... Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A political spectrum is a way of visualizing different political positions. ... Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Left-Right politics or the Left-Right political spectrum is a common way of classifying political positions, political ideologies, or political parties along a one-dimensional political spectrum. ... Left wing redirects here. ... “Right wing” redirects here. ... The terms radical center or radical middle describe a type of third way philosophy as well as an associated political movement. ...



An alternate definition is to assume that the two poles in question (e.g., Left/Right) are well-defined, and then (i) define as 'centrist' any position which the Left considers too far Right and the Right considers too far Left, and (ii) define as a 'Centrist' any person who self-identifies more with those positions than either the Left or the Right. The weakness in this argument is that it is difficult to unambiguously and objectively define both poles at once, but that difficulty affects all political definitions, not just centrists.

In practice, the two poles can only be well-defined in a specific place at a specific time, since they differ from place to place and change over time. Thus, "centrism" itself means different things in different places (depending on the local political spectrum) and changes over time. For example, ideas that were considered extremist 200 years ago (such as democracy and universal suffrage) are considered centrist today - while other ideas that were considered centrist 200 years ago (such as slavery and racism) are considered extremist today. Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Universal suffrage (also general suffrage or common suffrage) consists of the extension of the right to vote to all adults, without distinction as to race, sex, belief, intelligence, or economic or social status. ... Slave redirects here. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Gay bashing Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial...

Centrism in the Marxist movement

"Centrism" has a specific meaning within the Marxist political movement. It usually reflects an ideologically held position between a revolutionary and reformist position. For instance, the Independent Labour Party was seen as centrist because they oscillated between advocating reaching socialism through reforms and advocating revolution. The members of the so-called Two-and-a-half International, who could not choose between the reformism of the democratic socialist Second International and the revolutionary politics of the Communist Third International are exemplary of centrism in this sense (examples are the POUM and Poale Zion). Marxists often describe centrism in this sense as opportunistic, since it argues for a revolution at some point in the future but urges reformist practices in the mean time. Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Revolutionary, when used as a noun, is a person who either advocates or actively engages in some kind of revolution. ... Reformism (also called revisionism or revisionist theory) is the belief that gradual changes in a society can ultimately change its fundamental structures. ... The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was a former political party in the United Kingdom. ... Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community[1] for the purposes of increasing social and economic equality and cooperation. ... The International Working Union of Socialist Parties (also known as 2½ International or the Vienna International) was a political international for the co-operation of socialists. ... Socialist Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a society can ultimately change a societys fundamental economic relations and political structures. ... Democratic socialism is a political movement propagating the ideals of socialism within the framework of a parliamentary democracy. ... The phrase Second International has two meanings: For the international association of socialist parties of the late 19th century, see Second International (politics) and a successor organization, the Socialist International For one of the Merriam-Webster dictionaries of American English, see Websters New International Dictionary, Second Edition This is... This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ... The term Third International has two well-established meanings: For the unabridged dictionary, see Websters Third New International Dictionary. ... The Workers Party of Marxist Unification (POUM, Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista) was a Spanish political party around the time of the Spanish Civil War. ... Poale Zion (also spelled Poalei Tziyon or Poaley Syjon, meaning Workers of Zion) was a Movement of Marxist Zionist Jewish workers circles founded in various Russian cities about the turn of the century after the Bund rejected Zionism in 1901. ... Opportunism is a term used in politics and political science. ... Reformism (also called revisionism or revisionist theory) is the belief that gradual changes in a society can ultimately change its fundamental structures. ...

On a related note, the term "Centrism" also denotes positions held by some of the Bolsheviks during the 1920s. In this context, "Centrism" refers to a position between the Right Opposition (which supported the New Economic Policy and friendly relations with capitalist countries) and the Left Opposition (which supported a planned economy and world revolution). By the end of the 1920s, all three factions had been outmanœuvred by Joseph Stalin who, while casually aligning with each of them in turn, built his own power bloc and had the leaders of the three factions removed from their positions, imprisoned and eventually executed during the Great Purge. At the same time, he implemented policies that drew some ideas from each of the factions, combined with his own characteristic ruthlessness. Bolshevik Party Meeting. ... The 1920s is sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... The Right Opposition was the name given to the tendency made up of Nikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov and their supporters within the Soviet Union in the late 1920s. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... The Left Opposition was a faction within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1923-1927. ... This article refers to an economy controlled by the state. ... World revolution is a Marxist concept of a violent overthrow of capitalism that would take place in all countries, although not necessarily simultaneously. ... Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Georgian: , Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jughashvili; Russian: , Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili) (December 18 [O.S. December 6] 1878[1] – March 5, 1953), better known by his adopted name, Joseph Stalin (alternatively transliterated Josef Stalin), was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unions Central Committee from... The Great Purge (Russian: , transliterated Bolshaya chistka) refers collectively to several related campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin during the 1930s, which removed all of his remaining opposition from power. ...

See: Two Articles on Centrism by Leon Trotsky

Centrism in Nordic Countries

In most of the Nordic countries there are centrist parties, these share in addition to the a centrist position on the socio-economic left-right scale, a clear separate ideology. This is based around decentralisation, a commitment to small business and environmental protection. They have aligned themselves with the Liberal International and European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. Historically all these parties were farmers' parties committed to maintaining rural life. In the 1960s these parties broadened their scope to include non-farmer related issues and renamed themselves Centre Party. The Nordic Agrarian parties, or Nordic Centre parties, is a class of post-agrarian political parties on the Nordic countries. ... Political map of the Nordic countries and associated territories. ... Decentralisation (American: decentralization) is any of various means of more widely distributing decision-making to bring it closer to the point of service or action. ... A small business may be defined as a business with a small number of employees. ... For the psychology topic, see Environmental psychology. ... Liberal International is a political international for international liberal parties. ... The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (founded in 1993) is a liberal party, mainly active in the European Union, composed of 49 national liberal and centrist parties from across Europe. ... Centre Party is the designation of several parties and might refer to: Estonian Centre Party (Eesti Keskerakond) Centre Party (Faroe Islands) (Miðflokkurin) Centre Party (Finland) (Suomen Keskusta) Centre Party (Germany) (Deutsche Zentrumspartei, or merely Zentrum) Centre Party (Hungary) (Centrumpárt) National Centre Party (Ireland) Centre Party (Israel) (Mifleget Hamerkaz...

The Centre Democrats and the New Alliance in Denmark are not rooted in agrarianism. The Centre Democrats (Centrum-Demokraterne or CD) is a Danish political party. ... New Alliance (Danish: ) is a Danish political party, founded on 7 May 2007. ...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Centrism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (782 words)
Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of Left-Right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between left-wing politics and right-wing politics.
Centrism is important because it applies to very large swaths of the populace.
Marxist Centrism is often opportunistic, since it argues for a revolution at some point in the future but urges reformist practices in the mean time.
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Centrism (639 words)
Close and sometimes overlapping with centrism are the ideals of political liberalism (in the European sense), though this philosophy generally emphasizes the individual at the expense of the community, while centrists seek a balance between the two.
This may have contributed to the controversial outcome of the 2000 U.S. presidential election in the United States (admittedly aggravated by political polarization among voters, a fairly different phenomenon).
There is anecdotal evidence that most people (at least in two-party democracies) consider themselves "centrists" and consider the word a compliment; thus, people are rarely attacked for being "centrists." This leads to a recursive definition where a centrist is merely defined by other centrists as "someone who agrees with me".
  More results at FactBites »



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