Do an NGRAM search for such terms as “leftist” and “rightist” or “left deviationist” or “right deviationist” or “left winger” or “right winger”, etc. and it becomes crystal clear that the language of “left” and “right” come into the English language and American conversation in the 1920s and especially the 1930s.
Do a search of a host of the dominant intellectual magazines across American history at Unz.org and the first modern introduction of the language of “left wing” and “right wing” can be found in a 1919 Literary Digest article on the socialist parties in Russia. The battle over the statist and socialist program in Russia was fought between “left” factions and “right” factions, and when the Communist Party took over, the battle to control the part and the party line was fought in terms of “rightist” factions and programs and “leftist” factions and programs. Depending on who he was out to destroy, Stalin moved back and forth between factions, and ultimately labeled anyone he wanted to destroy as a “right deviationist”. Earlier Lenin had attacked “left wing communism”. Trotsky and the Trotskyites battled for the mantle of being the leftist “good guys”, while Stalin’s Comintern liked to label all rivals among the various statist and socialist campts as right wing “bad guys”.
Note that all of these battle were raging in Russia across the 1910s and 1920s and 1930s, but you don’t find don’t find this language used to characterize American political struggles and debate until this sort of language began to trickle in from Russian and the Russian socialists, anarchists and especially the Russian and Comintern communists and ex-Russian Trotskyites, etc.
Americans between 1789 and the 1930s did not characterize their political debates in terms of the Russian socialist and communist party labels of “left” and “right”, and this language only slowly trickled into American usage, very often coming out of the socialists and communist publications in New York and Chicago with surprisingly massive circulation figures.
I’ll add more and update later.
UPDATE: I find a writer for the British Labour Monthly as late as 1924 groping to make sense of how to use the words “left” and “right” in the British Labour Party context, and struggling to define who or what is “left wing” and what is “right wing” within the rival factions and programs of the British Labour Party and within the various socialist and statist parties on the Continent. When this author looks for examples to make sense of how to use the terms, he doesn’t refer to 18th century France and its Parliament, he refers to the positions and factional fights among socialists parties in Russia and in Germany in the midst of WWI, and to the Communist International and the German Socialist Party.
Volume 8 of Hayek’s Collected Works is shipping in June and is available now to preview or order at Amazon.com. The book — Business Cycles, Part II — is edited by Hansjoerg Klausinger, and includes a useful introduction by the editor, which is available as part of the Amazon preview. The purchase price is $65.00 and there is no Kindle edition.
Table of Contents:
One Investigations into Monetary Theory
Appendix: The Exchange Value of Money; A Review
Two The Purchasing Power of the Consumer and the Depression
Three A Note on the Development of the Doctrine of ‘Forced Saving’
Four The Present State and Immediate Prospects of the Study of Industrial Fluctuations
Five Restoring the Price-Level?
Appendix: Excerpt from a Letter, F. A. Hayek to Gottfried Haberler, December 20, 1931
Six Capital and Industrial Fluctuations: A Reply to a Criticism
Seven Investment that Raises the Demand for Capital
Eight Profits, Interest and Investment
Nine The Ricardo Effect
Ten Professor Hayek and the Concertina-Effect, by Nicholas Kaldor
Postscript, by Nicholas Kaldor
Eleven Three Elucidations of the Ricardo Effect
Twelve The Flow of Goods and Services
The forthcoming volume 7 of Hayek’s collected works is available for preview at Amazon.com , including the introduction to the book by volume editor Hansjoerg Klausinger. The book can be purchased in advance for $55.00 and is due for release in September.
Business Cycles, Part 1 by F. A. Hayek, The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Vol. 7, Edited by Hansjoerg Klausinger.
Table of Contents:
MONETARY THEORY AND THE TRADE CYCLE
Kevin Vallier explains some very basic and important distinctions found in Hayek’s work on the topic of welfare provision, the rule of law, and the redistributive schemes of socialists and the left.
It’s clear that most leftists, such as Brad DeLong and Henry Farrell, have no interest in any of this, their aim is to generate the stinkiest red herring they can create, and nothing else. But if you’re interested in Hayek’s social philosophy, you’ll likely find Vallier’s piece of some interest.
UPDATE: A reality check on this topic from Ryan Murphy, well worth reading.
There are some really good books out this spring covering ground of interest to anyone fascinated by the work of F. A. Hayek. Here are a few of those titles:
The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas by Jonah Goldberg
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson
Why Capitalism? by Allan Meltzer
Living Economics : Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow by Peter Boettke
Free Market Fairness by John Tomasi
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise by Arthur Brooks
Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School by Ralph Raico
No, They Can’t: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed by John Stossel
Knowledge and Coordination: A Liberal Interpretation by Daniel Klein
Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America by Mark Levin
Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson
Intellectuals and Society: Revised and Expanded Edition by Thomas Sowell
Why Progressive Institutions are Unsustainable by Richard Epstein
French Liberalism from Montesquieu to the Present Day edited by Raf Geenens & Helena Rosenblatt
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff