Horseshoe Theory

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People who believe in the horseshoe theory argue that the Far-left and the Far-right are closer to each other than either is to the centrists.

Horseshoe Theory is an idea in political science. It says the Far-right is more similar to the Far-left than to the center-right and the Far-left is more similar to the Far-right than it is to the centre-left. Horseshoe Theory is often used as argument for the centrism.

The name Horseshoe Theory comes from the idea that politics is not a straight line from left to right but bent like a horseshoe so that the two ends (the far-left and the far-right) share more similarities with each other than compared to the middle (centrism).

Philosopher Jean-Pierre Faye invented Horseshoe Theory after seeing the Nazis (far right) and Soviets (far left) invade Poland near the beginning of World War II.[1]

Criticism[change | change source]

Politics are more complex than a simple scale between left and right, and many ideas the far-left follows are not followed by the far-right (the opposite is also true). Because of this, many experts, like Simon Choat, have said that Horseshoe Theory is false.[2]

Many people on both sides of the spectrum have also disagreed with this idea.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Noah Berlatsky (February 9, 2018). "Let's Put an End to 'Horseshoe Theory' Once and for All". Pacific Standard. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  2. Choat, Simon (May 12, 2017) "‘Horseshoe theory’ is nonsense – the far right and far left have little in common" Archived 2017-06-19 at the Wayback Machine The Conversation