Think differently about the Right and the Left

03/16/2015 11:26 am ET | Updated May 16, 2015

While political parties, doctrines and party platforms might not want to admit it, there is a certain, albeit slow, shift in the traditional Left-Right cleavage in the practice of governments all over the world: As so often happens, practice precedes doctrine and creates it.
Clearly there is still on the one hand the weak and, on the other, the powerful; on the one hand the rich and, on the other, the poor; on the one hand, there are those who say that the poor only have themselves to blame for their own plight; and, on the other, those who maintain that the future of the poor depends on their seizure of political power.
Despite these universal characteristics, we are witnessing a strange shift in the left-right-cleavage model: Some on the political right have proposed to work to strengthen the State rather than weakening it; some on the political left have proposed to dismantle rents, even when they are concealed under the name of « acquired benefits.»
In Europe, in particular, it is clear that conservatism is present in political parties, Left and Right; that in both camps there are people who think that things were better before and others who believe that change can be the bearer of well-being.
This change has occurred largely as a result of the universal glorification of individual freedom, that very much determines ideologies, as well as technologies; and is the bearer of destructions and promises. And we all have our own ways of responding to them.
In fact, a new duality is emerging, that does not replace the old cleavage, but is superimposed on it. Between those who want to be in motion and those who prefer the status quo. Between nomad and sedentary.
According to the analytical grid, the connections made are explosive, on the one hand, from the far left to the far right; on the other hand, from the center-left to the center-right.
This is particularly true for geopolitical matters, and the peoples calling into question the borders of nation-states with increasing frequency. It is also true with respect to defense, knowing that we have built our armies around the prospect of having to fight nations, while we increasingly face stateless enemies. This is also true for the economy, in which everything is becoming increasingly nomadic, flexible, precarious, changing.
One might prefer yesterday over tomorrow; but the future will always trump the past; the nomad will always win over the sedentary, as he brings with him newness, or if it is not welcome, leaves to look for it elsewhere.
Selecting a vision of the future means therefore to encourage risk-taking, to assist young people to acquire this skill and protect them all against failure, as opposed to doing everything in order to avoid taking any risks. To do so, the State must protect and encourage; more security and more flexibility: As always, AND is better than OR. In particular, an industrial policy more focused on offering support for the setting-up of businesses and innovation is needed, rather than the preservation of the status quo, whereas training for the unemployed should be a socially useful activity which merits remuneration.
This is precisely the case in the most advanced social democracies. They are not ashamed to organize both huge social transfers and labor market flexibility; in order to unleash growth; to help you become yourself, throughout your life.
It is a huge task, which requires a strong State (taking over in particular the tasks imprudently decentralized) and large amounts of government expenditures, (in order to ensure the right of equality of all persons before education, health, housing, access to art, and full family life) as well as increased competition and absolute flexibility. The best liberalism and social democracy can offer.
Why do without it? Because it is not politically correct? Who loses in this situation? The political parties will, and all those who, like them, live on their rents. That is to say all those who cling onto their privileges and forsake the younger generations. It is because we did not dare do the above that we believe the only solution left is to fall into the arms of the extremes.