My Simplistic Theory of Left and Right Bryan Caplan
1. Leftists care more about equality, rightists care more about efficiency.
2. Leftists care more about the poor, rightists care more about the rich.
3. Leftists are more secular, rightists are more religious.
To my mind, though, all these theories overintellectualize Left and Right. Neither ideology is a deduction from first principles. Not even close. What binds Leftists with fellow Leftists, Rightists with fellow Rightists, is not logic, but psycho-logic. Feelings, not theories.
What's my alternative? This:
1. Leftists are anti-market. On an emotional level, they're critical of market outcomes. No matter how good market outcomes are, they can't bear to say, "Markets have done a great job, who could ask for more?"
2. Rightists are anti-leftist. On an emotional level, they're critical of leftists. No matter how much they agree with leftists on an issue, they can't bear to say, "The left is totally right, it would be churlish to criticize them.