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Some Guy 2.0





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:48 pm    Post subject: The Real Political Spectrum Reply with quote

This is a post on my blog, but I'll post it here as well.
Quote:

I've seen a number of people tout the political compass above that of the left-right spectrum, but from what I've been seeing and learning, I think that the political compass is actually quite flawed as a theory, and the left-right spectrum is actually somewhat more accurate. This doesn't mean the left-right spectrum is without its flaws, but democracy is better than dictatorship, and it has plenty of flaws.

The political compass is shown as having four axes. This is the image that <a href="http://www.politicalcompass.org">The Political Compass</a> provides:

<img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Tur0DYVffbg/SbM8v_oCJvI/AAAAAAAAACk/PV_nmofW6QA/s320/bothaxes.gif">

I find a number of problems with this. The main reason is simply looking at where the compass puts people in the '08 US election.

<img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Tur0DYVffbg/SbM-vIyWh5I/AAAAAAAAACs/8lCK_TZ5U_M/s320/uscandidates2008.png">

Now, look at another analysis, including Hitler.

<img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Tur0DYVffbg/SbM-9ycn-lI/AAAAAAAAAC0/-Di3JMuQK7g/s320/axeswithnames.gif">

So, I'm expected to believe that someone like Sarah Palin is almost in line with Hitler on issues of authoritarianism?

There is a major, major difference between the two, and anyone with at least some aspect of logical thinking can see that. We are talking, on one hand, about Hitler, someone who nationalized huge areas of the private sector, banned the private ownership of firearms, murdered millions of people, aggressively expanded his country's borders, and thought of other people as inferior based on their race or gender, and actively controlled his population from behind his desk. On the other hand, we have Sarah Palin, someone who is completely against the nationalization of industry, is in favour of private ownership of firearms, believes in the right to life, is in favour of stabilizing Iraq and then leaving, and probably holds no prejudices. She is against control and for the free market, almost the complete opposite of Hitler.

It is a far cry from "I don't think homosexuals should marry because we have to protect the institution of marriage" to "kill the homosexuals". A very, very far cry.

Then, look where they put John McCain compared to Sarah Palin. Any conservative blogger from the USA, who keep highly up to date with politics and political issues, will tell you that Sarah Palin is right of John McCain fiscally, and yet this compass states that she is left of McCain. They've even put Biden, Obama, Edwards and Clinton (who shrieked about public health care) to the right of center.

And just look where Ron Paul is! One of the most staunchest of Libertarians is above center on authoritarianism? I think not!

No, this compass doesn't work at all.

I actually find a mix of the compass and the linear line to be the most accurate form of representation. The main reasoning behind this is that I fail to see how someone can be in favour of the free market and at the same time be authoritarian. I also fail to see how someone can be against the free market and not authoritarian. The problem is, the free market creates a freer society, while a controlled market requires a controlling government to operate. Thus, I find that two of the quadrants, the upper right and bottom left, do not actually exist. The real spectrum, in my opinion, looks more like this.

<img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Tur0DYVffbg/SbNC9IeoXFI/AAAAAAAAAC8/xkmS1FLps9s/s320/single+axis.GIF">

I will even argue somewhat against my case, and say that you could theoretically start as right of center and authoritarian, but one or the other will have to go. Authoritarianism requires control, like the elimination of the free press and the institution of gun control to prevent an uprising. The free market gives people control, so it will lead to the person in command being criticized and questioned, and for the eventual elimination of his power with people demanding the right to more say. This is what happened in the monarchies of Europe, who were indisputably authoritarian. Britain and Italy, on the one hand, gave its people more control, until the monarchy had no real power left. France and Russia ended up having rebellions that destroyed the monarchy.

So the existence of government right of center and authoritative or left of center and libertarian are merely theory, ones that can only exist for short periods of time before being eliminated. This means that the only forms of government that can exist are those authoritative and left of center, or libertarian and right of center.

This is where the straight line mixes in, creating a generalization of left to right.

<img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Tur0DYVffbg/SbNFUY2pHyI/AAAAAAAAADE/dILbUefwIPU/s320/single+axis+line.GIF">

Deviations from the line, being somewhat more authoritarian and right wing, or less authoritarian and left wing, are possible, but only to certain extents, which is why I leave the boxes. You may even be able to argue that there are some exceptions, where somewhat authoritarian and right wing could exist, somewhat libertarian and left wing could exist, somewhat right wing and authoritarian could exist, or somewhat left wing and libertarian could exist, but the occurrences are few and far between, if at all. The differences between the nationalization of industry and the free market are huge.


<a href="http://ragingtory.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-personal-analysis-of-political.html">Original Post</a>

Any feedback, opinions, points? Discuss.
DavidK





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great entry, saw your blog last night
Rusty Bedsprings





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got virtually center center 2/3 the three times I did it. I don't put too much faith in it especially when it asks do you agree or strongly agree. I hardly ever put just agree because wtf is the difference between strongly agreeing and just agreeing? Is my blood supposed to boil if I strongly agree?
ezbeatz





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's because we all know Conservatives are Nazis (sarcasm off). I remember doing this a while back and being surprised by the results. Clearly, Obama and Biden are put squarely in the middle while every Conservative is put way out into the middle of nowhere. Thatcher on the same level of Stalin and Hitler? Last I remember, she won three DEMOCRATIC elections and not once did she have any death camps setup.

But seriously, try having an objective, rationale debate in university these days on how Nazis were actually left-wing.
Mac





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ezbeatz wrote:
But seriously, try having an objective, rationale debate in university these days on how Nazis were actually left-wing.

It's pretty freaky when supposed intellectuals can accept, let alone spread, complete falsehood for partisan reasons, isn't it? Mind you, these are the same people who routinely embrace stupidities like the concept that only white people can be racists.

-Mac
ezbeatz





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did the test for the political spectrum and I was way out on the right for economics and more or less in the middle for authoritarian/libertarian.

What I noticed however was that there were a lot of personal life style choice questions. For instance, there were a number of questions (disproportionately IMO) regarding homosexuality, some on religious belief, and some on how you raise a family. While different people will hold different opinions, I am not sure how these beliefs make them a more libertarian or authoritarian politician. For instance, Sarah Palin is in favour of same sex unions but not same sex marriage.

I get the feeling that that would make her more authoritarian on this test even though that may or may not affect the way she governs. In other words, the test questions are largely subjective in nature and deal with issues not relating to governing yet they're put forth anyway.
RuralandRight





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done that test before and was surprised when I came up between Bush and Thatcher on the scale. I always thought that i was more centred, however I suppose it is a matter of perspective.

If I remember correctly the test I saw showed PMSH as +2 and +2.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
ezbeatz wrote:
But seriously, try having an objective, rationale debate in university these days on how Nazis were actually left-wing.

It's pretty freaky when supposed intellectuals can accept, let alone spread, complete falsehood for partisan reasons, isn't it? Mind you, these are the same people who routinely embrace stupidities like the concept that only white people can be racists.

-Mac

The history of how Fascism came to be assigned to the 'right' is interesting - back in the 20s and 30s, western politicians of all stripes became enamoured with the wonders of central economic planning, and with socialism in general. The international socialist movement, directed from Moscow, was quick to define facism as a 'reactionary' last gasp of capitalists trying to prevent the inevitable triumph of the socialist masses. This was a bold-faced lie, and they knew well from their comrades in Germany and Italy that fascism was a competing revlutionary ideology, not at an opposing ideology.

Intelligentsia in the UK and US, already convinced of the wisdom of socialism, readily accepted this view. There was, prior to and after WWII, a fair amount of debate on the issue - F.A. Hayek was among the dissenters, as were many other economists. Generally though, they were outnumbered, and while they'd briefly won in the courty of public opinion, the universities remained sympathetic to the socialist models of political discourse. It's fairly entrenched now, even in high school, which is why it's so difficult to challenge - who wasn't taught that the right wing is reactionary, and that the Nazis were right wing extremists?
Mac





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly... and thanks for adding that for the edification of those who might not be aware of such!

I've always attributed the current generation of teachers' acceptance of this tripe as being partisan but perhaps I'm over-estimating their acumen? If they were taught the "facism=rightwing" fallacy as fact and didn't think to question it because it suited their leftard thought patterns, are they truly being partisan by reiterating the fallacy to their students OR are they simply inept?

-Mac
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's probably a little of both - I recall a brief exchange with a Masters of Education student over this very issue. He advanced the standard 'reactionary' argument, and wouldn't address issues of totalitarianism or government control of the economy, and as his position became more untenable, he said that the racist rhetoric of the Nazis made them right wing; I then knew for certain that he was partisanly committed to his classification of fascism and ended the debate. Our mutual friend who is a centrist Liberal grew more uncomfortable as time went on, I suspect because he knew I was winning... but I digress.

It's a little hard to blame some of them, if they've only one perspective that they've heard for the vast majority of their education, that coincides with their inclinations. It must be quite a shock for it to be seriously challenged.

I was lucky in high school to have a 'social studies' teacher who encouraged rational free thinking, and allowed discussion when I objected to the 'reactionary' label, especially it's application to the 'new' opposition Reform Party.
Luke Nicholson





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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:

The history of how Fascism came to be assigned to the 'right' is interesting - back in the 20s and 30s, western politicians of all stripes became enamoured with the wonders of central economic planning, and with socialism in general. The international socialist movement, directed from Moscow, was quick to define facism as a 'reactionary' last gasp of capitalists trying to prevent the inevitable triumph of the socialist masses. This was a bold-faced lie, and they knew well from their comrades in Germany and Italy that fascism was a competing revlutionary ideology, not at an opposing ideology.

Intelligentsia in the UK and US, already convinced of the wisdom of socialism, readily accepted this view. There was, prior to and after WWII, a fair amount of debate on the issue - F.A. Hayek was among the dissenters, as were many other economists. Generally though, they were outnumbered, and while they'd briefly won in the courty of public opinion, the universities remained sympathetic to the socialist models of political discourse. It's fairly entrenched now, even in high school, which is why it's so difficult to challenge - who wasn't taught that the right wing is reactionary, and that the Nazis were right wing extremists?


Did you read Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg? Its a fantastic dissertation on why fascism is an ideology of the left, not the right.
hamiltonguyo





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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
I think it's probably a little of both - I recall a brief exchange with a Masters of Education student over this very issue. He advanced the standard 'reactionary' argument, and wouldn't address issues of totalitarianism or government control of the economy, and as his position became more untenable, he said that the racist rhetoric of the Nazis made them right wing; I then knew for certain that he was partisanly committed to his classification of fascism and ended the debate. Our mutual friend who is a centrist Liberal grew more uncomfortable as time went on, I suspect because he knew I was winning... but I digress.

It's a little hard to blame some of them, if they've only one perspective that they've heard for the vast majority of their education, that coincides with their inclinations. It must be quite a shock for it to be seriously challenged.

I was lucky in high school to have a 'social studies' teacher who encouraged rational free thinking, and allowed discussion when I objected to the 'reactionary' label, especially it's application to the 'new' opposition Reform Party.


Nazism does not equal Facism 100%. There were many differences between the NSDAP as Hitler saw it and the Facist Regime in Italy or Nazism as Ernest Rohm wanted it.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I agree that Nazism is it's own special sphere of hell. However, it is not sufficiently different to be seperated from the larger label of fascism, just as fascism is but a mildly different strain of totalitarian socialism than communism. They're like Coke, Pepsi, and 'New Coke' - much is made of their differences, despite their fundamental similarities.
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