07 February 2022

The origin of "left" and "right" as political terms

"One reason intellectual debates of the mid eighteenth century seem so strange to us nowadays is precisely that what we understand as left/right divisions had not yet crystallized.  At the time of the American Revolution the terms 'left' and 'right' themselves did not yet exist... they originally referred to the respective seating positions of aristocratic and popular factions in the French National Assembly of 1789."
--- from The Dawn of Everything by Graeber and Wengrow

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