Wednesday, November 26, 2008

[political spectrum] quadrant is the best model

Cherry Pie commented on the socialism post:

The problem with our current government is they have moved away from their left wing stance and are actually now right wing authoritarians which is why the rich are getting richer etc.

I don't wish to put words in her mouth but Cherry is one of the "utopian socialists", one of the "old labour trade unionists" I was referring to, who wants a better deal for workers and families and as such, she is not far away from my stance, except in the implementation.

The linear left/wing divide is increasingly irrelevant in this day [and I suggest but don't insist - in all days] and many people have set up circular models, which are better - an American variant of that is above.

Perhaps a quadrant is more accurate than a circle. In this quadrant below, statism is seen as control oriented and includes religions where one has a self-imposed rule not to act out one's hedonism. Something like satanism purports to be libertarian but actually it is complete control by the dark side. So this is centred horizontally.

It would have been nice to put in the "politics of envy" which says "woe is me, I have very little, he has a lot, I want the state to take it from him and give it to me", that's close to our current situation in Britain.

From the quadrant, you can see that Cherry's statement that Nu-Labour has become "right wing" translates into Gordo's mob becoming more extreme statist rather than moderate statist.

As for the Libertarians [many of my blog friends], I would suggest that they were, some years back, possibly to the right of the classic liberal in this quadrant but with events of 2007/8, have moved up vertically to a more extreme position.


angus said...


Personally I think that the circle should be changed to a roulette wheel, with "new/old labour" as the ball as it seems they don't know which direction to go in.

James Higham said...

Bring on 2009.

CherryPie said...

You knew exactly what I was thinking. I agree the linear model doesn't work and I do prefer the quadrant model.

I think that the Tories are a bit more in the centre of that top right quadrant than you have placed them and new labour similar but more authoritarian.

I would put the liberals round about where you have put yourself.

Now the interesting one is the BNP. I think they are now placed slightly to the left of that centre line and that is one of the reasons they are gaining ground, they are picking up some of the lower paid people who previously would have voted labour. I find that quite worrying.

As for me...

Steve Hayes said...

I used political compass to interpret the US presidential election, and it showed Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and John McCain all to be right-wing authoritarian. It showed Dennis Kucinich to be closest to where I am, so i rather hoped he'd make it.

Miller 2.0 said...

This is an original contribution to the debate, and one well worth considering. However, as a social democrat myself, I'd ask that people consider the proposition that the state is not always counterposed to freedom, and that sometimes state action can be freedom's most powerful guarantee.

James Higham said...

That last is a thought and yes, it is not the state itself but those manipulating it who give it its complexion.