The terms Right and Left were coined during the French Revolution (1789–99). They referred to where lawmakers sat inside the French parliament–on the right of the chair of the parliamentary president were supportive of the monarchist Ancien Régime. Today the right–or rather the ultra right–is not necessarily in parliament but on the streets fighting for nationalism, racism and empire, against liberalism, freedom and rationality.
A fascinating book, Tricolores: A Visual History of the Right and the Ultra Right by Zvonimir Novak (Editions L’Echappée, Montreuil, France) (only in French) surveys the graphics (posters, flyers, buttons and more) of the organized Right from the late 19th century to the present. Some of the work is indistinguishable from its Left counterparts, others are decidedly fascistic and ominously hardcore.
The Right has long played a role in French politics. During World War II the government in Vichy was allied with the Nazi occupiers. During the end of French colonialism the Right also played a disruptive–what today would be a terrorist–role.
The posters here represent various groups that share Right wing methods and motives.
For more Steven Heller, check out Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility, one of the many Heller titles available at MyDesignShop.com.