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Geometry Of Politics

 
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I was thinking of where to put the libertarians on the political axis that goes from the "left" to the "right" and realized that the libertarian spot is actually off the axis. In other words, a one dimensional line doesn't describe the various political affiliations well. After some deliberations with myself, I came up with this:

The scaling may subjective on this chart, but I think I may have captured the topology of the entire spectrum.
 
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What is a libertarian? What are their politics?
 
John Smith
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What is a libertarian? What are their politics?
The Libertarian Party on Today's Issues
 
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Hi Eugene. Interesting idea. I'm not sure what some of these positions mean, so I'll try some questions to get a better idea.
Who are these "centrists" who want less govenrnment control of morality than either democrats or republicans? Can you give an example, maybe a person representative of this group? Perhaps this is "centrist" as viewed from a libertarian perspective, while democrats and republicans might use a different definition?
What are some examples of ways in which democrats support stronger government control of morality than conservative democrats? For that matter, I'm not sure I know what sort of government morality control you're referring to with respect to socialists and communists, either. Can you elaborate a bit?
Similarly on the other end of the curve, what are some ways that compassionate republicans support less econonomic control than regular republicans?
I agree that putting all parties on a simple left-right spectrum is an oversimplification, particularly with respect to libertarians and anarchists, compared to republicans and democrats. But I'm not sure it makes sense to show centrists, conservative democrats, and compassionate republicans as being part of a wide curve drawn to meet up with libertarians and anarchists. Wouldn't centrists tend to be more towards, well, the center?
[ January 18, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
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Conflicting visions.
 
John Smith
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Who are these "centrists" who want less govenrnment control of morality than either democrats or republicans? Can you give an example, maybe a person representative of this group?
Joe Liberman falls somewhere between a conservative democrat and a compassionate republican, although probably closer to the former. This is what I was defining as a "centrist", -- just a point in between. However, I misplaced the location of the centrist on the scatter chart. In the control of morality, the centrists should be to the right of the democrats and to the left of the republicans. I will make adjustments.
What are some examples of ways in which democrats support stronger government control of morality than conservative democrats? For that matter, I'm not sure I know what sort of government morality control you're referring to with respect to socialists and communists, either. Can you elaborate a bit?
Control of morality involves regulation and legistation of drug use, abortion, war on terror, war on sexual orientation, etc. For example, both nazis and communists took a strong anti-drug, anti-gay, anti-dissedend positions, which places them about the same on the X-axis. Comparing the democrats with the conservative democrats, the former advocate a less restrictive moral control. For example, the democrats will argue for the woman absolute right of abortion, while the conservative democrats will say that right doesn't applies when pregnancy is in the third trimester. The chart is wrong here, again, -- the conservative democrats should be to the right of the democrats on the X-axis.
Similarly on the other end of the curve, what are some ways that compassionate republicans support less econonomic control than regular republicans?
That should be the other way around, I already fixed that on the chart. The true republicans will argue for more or less flat tax system, while the compassionate republicans will advocate a slight progression in the tax rates, so they should be placed higher on the Y-axis.
Wouldn't centrists tend to be more towards, well, the center?
Yes, they would be in the center on a one dimentional line between the far left (communists) and the far right (fascists). But the center of the scatter plot doesn't fit the traditional definition of the centrist (such as Joe Liberman).
Thanks for your comments, Jim, -- I will rethink it over.
 
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I'm confused as to why the two major U.S. political parties are drawn so as to be comparable on the "government control of morality" issue. All flavors of Republicans belong at significantly larger values than most flavors of Democrats here (excepting, perhaps, the Southern Democrats -- the "Dixiecrats" or "Republicrats.") Otherwise how do you explain the whole abortion issue, gay rights issues, and other hot buttons that clearly distinguish the two parties?
 
John Smith
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EFH: I'm confused as to why the two major U.S. political parties are drawn so as to be comparable on the "government control of morality" issue.
I agree, the scaling is off. There should be a larger X-distance between the democrats and the republicans. The reason it came out this way is because I wanted to place the republicans to the right of the democrats, but to the left of the socialists, fascists, and communists. The question then becomes, how does the distance between the democrats and the republicans compares with the distance between the republicans and the fascists, on the "control of morality" axis. If you take this in consideration, the distance between the dems and the reps may not be that large.
 
Jim Yingst
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I'm thinking that trying to link everyone on that big blue curve may be limiting your thinking here, pulling some points off in directions that don't really make much sense. (E.g. the original position of Compassionate Republicans, as well as the current-but-about-to-be-corrected postions of the Conservative Democrats and the Centrists.) I'd abandon the curve and just try to put the individual points where they make sense - or the curve is going to end up looking seriously distorted. Well, it does already, I think.
 
John Smith
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Map: Conflicting visions.
Thanks for the link, Map. The problem that I see in their decomposition is that the "authoriarian" and the "right" dimensions are not orthogonal, which skews the topology of the political phase space. I was struggling to find the truly independent X and Y under which all the issues can be defined, and the control of morality and control of economics is my best shot so far.
 
John Smith
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Jim: I'd abandon the curve and just try to put the individual points where they make sense - or the curve is going to end up looking seriously distorted.
Indeed, the shape of the blue line doesn't convey much meaning, -- it will be completely different if I change the sequence of entries in my spreadsheet, even without changing the entries themselves. However, the Pythagorian distances between the different points in the shown phase space do reflect the proximity of political affiliations, -- and that was my primary goal, -- the visualization of the political phase space.
 
John Smith
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Ok, I took all the criticism seriously, -- the original chart was flawed. Here is a new one, -- I checked the weights for all the points in both directions, -- they seem right.
 
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