Word Origins tells us the terms left-right date back to pre-revolutionary France. In 1789, the French National Assembly was created as a parliamentary body to move control of issues, such as taxation, from the king to the citizenry.
The left–right political spectrum is a common way of classifying political positions, political ideologies, or political parties along a one-dimensional political spectrum. The perspective of Left vs. Right is a dialectical interpretation of complex questions. Left-wing politics and right-wing politics are often presented as polar opposites, and although a particular individual or party may take a left-wing stance on one matter and a right-wing stance on another, the terms left and right are commonly used as if they described two globally opposed political families.
Modern day left vs right
In general, left implies a commitment to social equality, support for the class interests of the less privileged, and support for a liberal social policy of individual cultural freedom, though not necessarily equally concerned with individual economic freedom. In contrast to the original meaning of "left", the contemporary Left is usually characterized as having a willingness to engage in government regulation of business, commerce, and industry, and in government intervention on behalf of the less privileged (the poor; racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities; et cetera). In recent years, even some representatives of the anarchist tradition have argued that government regulation may be a lesser evil than what anarchist intellectual Noam Chomsky characterizes as the "private tyranny" of the corporations.
The contemporary right is usually defined by its opposition to economic redistribution, open/loose border immigration policies, social liberalism, and/or government mandated cultural diversity. This opposition is usually either in the name of tradition (conservatism or nationalism), of economic freedom and the rights of private property, or of pessimism about the possibility of governments successfully achieving positive effects by legislation.