Although the designations "right" and "left" have come to refer to a lot of different things, the terms originate from the time of the French Revolution (1789–1799), referring to the seating arrangement in the French Estates General, where the wing of seats on the right were those who supported the traditional institutions of the Ancien régime.
A fundamental principle of right-wing thought appears to be an attraction to power – at best, a belief that the exercise of power is a social right of the powerful (might makes right), and at worst that the exercise of power is a desirable goal in and of itself, being simply an expression of human ambition (the will to power). A right-winger might therefore view bullying or even war atrocity in the same way most people would view a work of art.
Specific political views found on the political right can at times be completely arbitrary, as any counterfactual may serve as a rallying-point for authoritarian loyalty, but will at times follow logically from the principle of power-concentration as a desired end (anti-egalitarianism).
- distrust of "others" (people not of same religion or same geographic region; foreigners)
- favoring social stratification -- a need to know where "your place" is, and to keep others in theirs
- unwillingness to accept social change
- adherence to tradition and religion
- favoring the use of violence over peaceful, negotiated solutions
- /social: views social stratification or social inequality as either inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable
- /psychological: deference to authority (authoritarianism) as a primary trait
- In the United States, the right wing is essentially synonymous with conservatism and the Republican Party
- Wikipedia primarily uses the social definition
- Conservapedia "historically referred to a society run by natural law or tradition." ... "in favor of the traditional system of a society, including its traditional values and its traditional ruling institutions." ... " anyone who favors having marginally more economic than personal liberties."
- SourceWatch: page "under review" as of 2015-08-24, content temporarily on Talk page
- RationalWiki: redirects to "Conservative"