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Someone who is right-wing in politics is usually someone who supports social or economic conservatism. In other words, someone who is "right-wing" usually supports tradition and the perceived value it brings to society. People who are extremely right-wing are called "reactionary", and want to either return to the way things were before, such as neoreaction, or more often start as a reaction against left-wing ideas which are spreading in a country. Moreover, another definition for right wing is the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system.

The right-wing values individual freedoms with a minimum of government interference. The right believes an individual should decide their own path and not be dictated by a government.

Right-wing people are also perceived to be more likely to be less sympathetic to those who are needier than them. They have been accused by leftist for their own self-interests ahead of others even if others have far less than they do. Countries with right-wing governments are more likely to accept fewer refugees, regardless of the circumstances that created the refugees' status, even if they contributed to that status by their own interventions.

Despite the failure of many privatized public services, right-wing politicians are wedded to the economic ideology that the state should not run them and that private enterprise only should operate all industries and services. Many who do not agree with this proposition consider it to be motivated by vested interests rather than a belief that it is best for society. This latter view is supported by the proportion of wealth that is transferred to tax havens in order to avoid or evade paying the tax contribution to the country in which they live or operate.

The right-wing supports tradition and authority. The right-wing in some countries, like the United States, may also usually be in support of social liberalism and a capitalist economy where the government has little influence. Usually the right-wing thinks of society as similar to a living thing, what is called "organic society". They believe that society's customs and traditions are a collection of things that we have learned from the past and are useful and should be maintained as much as possible.

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