Conceptually you are right - one should be able to swap the tables and make a left join into a right join. It exists for your convenience if you want to use it. Also, even though you may write a query using LEFT join, the query optimizer may make it into a RIGHT join (which would be transparent to you, of course).
I admit I don't use it much any more. However, using a right join was more prevalent on older versions of SQL becuase the optimizer used to join tables from right to left. So, you could "help" it out by joining the smaller tables first.