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 asserts that the far-right is more similar to the far-left than to the center-right and vice versa. Horseshoe Theory is often used as argument for 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 their moderate counterparts.

Philosopher Jean-Pierre Faye invented Horseshoe Theory after observation of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union's joint invasion of Poland which started World War II.[1]

Criticism[change | change source]

Common criticism of Horseshoe Theory have often stated that 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. Because of this, many experts, like Simon Choat, have said that Horseshoe Theory is false.[2] A common rebuttal to Horseshoe Theory is the broaching of Fishhook Theory.

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