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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
The Ideological Spectrum
    #4209406 - 05/23/05 11:06 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Anybody who has been here for a while probably remembers the political test that had two main variables; government influence in economics and social control.  As I remember(I could be wrong), there were four different areas that you could end up in:

1.  Libertarian - low government influence in economics and low government influence in social control.

2.  Liberal - high government influence in economics and low government influence in social control.

3.  Conservative - low government influence in economics and high government influence in social control.

4.  Fascist - High government influence in economics and high government influence in social control.

This was an interesting test, but it doesn't seem to touch upon the nuances inherent in individual belief systems.  Also, it doesn't address some important ideas, such as nationalism (the amount of allegiance to your nation or people).  The Leftist Mao could have been considered high in economic control, high in social control, and high in nationalism.  Although, the modern Left seems to distrust or outright detest nationalism.

I am a weird amalgamation of different basic ideas.  I am an isolationist, yet I am also as hawkish as you can get (I think you shouldn't become entangled in conflicts with people, but if someone messes with you you hit them back twice as hard).  I am fiercely pro-American, but I am also a fierce critic of America(I care about and have pride in my country and its people, but I am thoroughly dissapointed with how some things are currently). 

I think there is an over-simplification and over-categorization of people and their political beliefs.  John Stewart hit on that idea when he was on Crossfire and slammed the hosts of that show.  By only presenting two cookie cutter ideological molds in the media (Left/Right, Democrat/Republican, etc...), you limit people's perceptions and critical thinking.  I have been guilty of falling victim to this stereotyping myself.  I have automatically assumed that Leftists think certain things and that Rightists think certain things.

So, where the hell am I going with this post?  I guess it all boils down to the world not being black and white and having a lot of shades of gray.  Is that cliche enough for you? :smirk:

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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 23,576
Loc: The Barricades
Re: The Ideological Spectrum [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #4209454 - 05/23/05 11:30 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

The Wikipedia article on political spectra identifies several axes, too numerous to put into any sort of chart:

  • Role of the church: Clericalism vs. Anti-clericalism. This axis is not significant in the United States where views of the role of religion tend to get subsumed into the general left-right axis, but in Europe clericalism versus anti-clericalism is much less correlated with the left-right spectrum.

  • Urban vs. rural: This axis is also much more significant in European as well as Australian and Canadian politics than American.

  • Foreign policy: interventionism (the nation should exert power abroad to implement its policy) vs. isolationism (the nation should keep to its own affairs)

  • Market policy: socialism (government should democratize or control economic productivity) vs. laissez-faire (government should leave the market alone) vs. corporatism (government should subsidize or support existing successful businesses)

  • Political violence: pacifism (political views should not be imposed by violent force) vs. militancy (violence is a legitimate or necessary means of political expression). In North America, holders of these views are often referred to as "doves" and "hawks", respectively.

  • Foreign trade: globalization (world economic markets should become integrated and interdependent) vs. autarky (the nation or polity should strive for economic independence). During the early history of the Commonwealth of Australia, this was the major political continuum. Then it was called Free trade vs. Protectionism.

  • Diversity: multiculturalism (the nation should represent a diversity of cultural ideas) vs. assimilationism or nationalism (the nation should represent the dominant ethnic group)

  • Participation: Democracy (rule of the majority) vs. Oligarchy (rule by a limited number of people) vs. Republic (a compromise between the two - this is a specialised use of the term republic based on an interpretation of classical history)

  • Freedom: Positive liberty (Having rights which obligate others) vs. Negative liberty (Freedom from interference by others)

  • Progress: radicals (who believe in rapid change) vs. Conservatives (who believe in minimal or cautious change)


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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: The Ideological Spectrum [Re: Silversoul]
    #4209461 - 05/23/05 11:34 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Wow, that's a lot of axes.

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