The terms Left and Right wing have been ruined forever by the Left’s failure to recognise that Adolf Hitler’s German Worker’s Party was a Socialist Party. Two generations have been raised to think Nazis are extreme Right Wing, while Communists are extreme Left Wing, and this distorts the meaning of both words.
The truth is that the Nazis were Socialists, and originally Allies with Communist Russia until they fell out over the division of Eastern Europe between the two Socialist Dictatorships. Hitler was no more Right Wing than Stalin: both railed against the Capitalist Plutocrats running the West.
I understand that it is a big ask for those in the Left Wing Bubble to accept that Hitler was more Left Wing than the American Democrat Party, but that is the simple Truth, how ever unpalatable it is to own that truth. Once you understand the big Lie that the Left told us about Hitler and the Nazis, it becomes much easier to define Right vs Left:
Welfare dependency_________________Individual Responsibility
Political Correctness______________________Freedom of Speech
Central Planning______________________Free Market Capitalism
Extreme Left Wing is both the Nazi, Soviet and Maoist regimes: extreme Right Wing is Libertarian Anarcho-Capitalism. So yes, it comes down to Big Government controlling everything versus No Government at all.
When you understand this it becomes apparent that life in either extreme would be miserable for most people: what we need is a position somewhere in between the two extremes, where Liberty and Responsibility are valued, but a Government with limited powers acts to enforce the rule of Law, and to protect the less fortunate in Society. Most Countries in the World have some sort of Public Health system, Public Schools and Welfare payments for the disabled, the elderly and the unemployed.
The trick for a democracy is to decide on where the balance should be between “To each according to his needs, from each according to his means” and “Freedom, including being free to starve!”
My view is that Society through its Government should give people a hand up, rather than a hand out. It is ultimately destructive to the individual to be paid to do nothing. People get addicted to sit-down money, and give up on improving their situation. The Welfare State should be a safety net to catch and save the unfortunate, not a hammock for the lazy.
I think the middle way that uses the least Government interference while maintaining individual freedoms wherever possible is neither Right nor Left: it uses the best features of both World-views. By being a centrist I shall of course be branded a Leftie by the Right, and a Nazi by the Left, but that is where I stand, in the Middle, where compromise and cooperation exist.