Political Spectrum Revisited


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A brief and simple look at each point on the traditional political spectrum

Published in: News & Politics, Technology

Political Spectrum Revisited

  1. 1. Anarchist Radical Liberal Moderate Conservative Reactionary Anarchist LEFT CENTER RIGHT Political Spectrum
  2. 2. Visualizing the Political Spectrum
  3. 3. Each Point on the Spectrum Represents.... An aspect of a culture's worldview A philosophical tradition Certain psychological attitudes A partisan tradition and set of positions on current politcal issues.
  4. 4. Hey THE LEFT “ All the world over, I will back the masses against the classes” - William E. Gladstone
  5. 5. ANARCHISM ! Mikhail Bakunin Modern Anarchists A philosophy of socialism demanding the end of government, capitalism and religion. Revolution through “Direct Action” - Terrorism & Assassination “ Smash the State” - extreme violence No planning of future society or economy Against all forms of authority and private property Sometimes fought Communists over who was more radical Assassinated many world leaders in the 19 th & early 20 th century
  6. 6. Revolutionary - conspiracy Imaginary Future Extreme Equality - socialism Violent but methodical & rational Anti-capitalist, illiberal, intolerant Act on behalf of workers, poor & marginalized social groups Marxist or other socialist ideas RADICALS “ One man with a gun can control 100 without one. ” - Vladimir Lenin
  7. 7. LIBERALISM “ Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence.” -Gladstone Trust in the ability of government to reform society Promote economic and social Equality Ensure “Fairness” through regulation, social welfare programs, progressive taxation, affirmative action Group or collective perspective Sees History as a march toward progress Strong government regulation of the economy “ Big Government” Favor diplomacy over military force, unions over business, environmental concerns over private property rights, Gun control over gun ownership. For Abortion Rights but against the Death Penalty
  8. 8. MODERATES “ The vital center” - Arthur Schlesinger,Jr. Patriotic, Practical and Patient – not ideological or partisan Value civility, compromise and flexibility Focus on problem-solving & not abstract ideas or visions Consider both sides – values “common-sense” Easiest group to persuade – but dislikes conflict Controls neither political party but is the “Swing vote” to win elections “ Moderation in all things” -Aristotle
  9. 9. The Right
  10. 10. CONSERVATIVISM “ Society is a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born." -Edmund Burke Seeks to preserve the best aspects of society and is skeptical of change, human nature and the government More divided than are liberals – paleoconservatives, religious conservatives, neoconservatives, libertarians.... Value Liberty, Order,Tradition Human nature is unchanging. People with power are not to be trusted. Money is not to be wasted. Government should be small and limited. Strongly Anti-Communist Conservatives favor low taxes, a strong national defense, tough laws against crime, free market capitalism, traditional family values, are against abortion but favor the death penalty & the Right to Bear Arms
  11. 11. REACTIONARIES “ The truth is that men are tired of liberty” -Benito Mussolini Demand a return to mythic, past, “golden age” Value extreme Nationalism, Militarism, Religious Fundamentalism, Authority, Male Superiority Believe in Inequality & superiority of their group – Xenophobia, Racism, Elitism Extreme Violence - “Might makes Right! ” In Revolt against Modernity Irrational appeal to emotion, mythical visions, vengeance, ethnocentrism, tribal, racial or religious identity Against democracy, liberalism, capitalism, socialism, individualism, minorities, free speech, women's rights and most cultural changes