Life is complex, but life is also simple. Dualistic. It seems thinkers of our time have settled on two main terms to describe the divide that splits the modern world: right and left.
Before we get into the theorising let us take a look at the etymology. In their original meanings left and right are instinctive words, yet hard to explain. Your left is simply, on your left. The side of your body where your heart lays. Your right is the opposite side, housing your liver. Left and right are coordinates for navigating your environment, similar to directions on a compass, but more primal.
The origin of the political left and right stems from the French revolution. In 1791 French revolutionaries rewrote the French constitution such that the old legislative body was stripped of its power. In its place came a new body, the Legislative Assembly, in which the revolutionaries enjoyed all the power.
Now, because the Legislative Assembly was brand new, fresh traditions were shaped every other day. On such tradition was the observation that there were two opposing groups in the Assembly: the group on the literal right side favoured a constitutional monarchy, felt things had escalated far enough. The group on the literal left side wanted the king dead, were in favour of more evermore equality and fraternity. Of course the conservatives lost, the Jacobins won and France endured all the lovely perks of having leftists in power.
So that’s it for origin stories. On to the good stuff. Why is the right/left divide so accurate? Because nature is dualistic. Every organism has 2 choices: to cooperate or to defect. Life in many ways is a never-ending series of prisoner’s dilemmas, a constant choice between working together with others or screwing others over. Eve cooperated with Adam until she defected on him. The choice turns out to be so fundamental to our survival that we’ve come to genetically specialise in one or the other. Rightism is cooperating, leftism is defecting.
Let there be no surprise that leftists categorically deny this label. In their defence, our definition pretty much puts them in a position where we are asking them how long they’ve been beating their wives, so they are in a bad position to defend themselves. But the truth speaks for itself, and the truth shouts that leftists by nature are defectors.
For cuttlefish, there are 2 main mating strategies. The first is to adhere to the mating ritual, which fighting other males for dominance (co-op/co-op). The strongest male gets to mate. This is good for the species, not so much for the weaker male. So many males employ an alternative mating strategy: pose as a female and sneak past the strong males (co-op/defect). If the bluff is successful, the weak male mates. Bad for the species, good for the weak male.
This in a nutshell is leftism vs rightism. The rightist wants to co-operate because he knows he is strong and he has the most to gain with all-around honesty (it is probably correct that the rightist does not care about what is good for civilisation either, that any boon to civilisation is merely a side-effect of his personal preference to play it straight). The leftist wants to defect because he knows he is outmatched in straightforward co-operation. The rightist builds the system, the leftist games the system.