The one true political spectrum

Three poles

  • anarchist communism
  • anarchist capitalism
  • totalitarianism
  • two of the poles are mirror images of each other
    • anarchist communism and anarchist capitalism
    • and the "lite" versions of the above: libertarianism and libertarian socialism
    • Marxism of the Right | The American Conservative (this article gets a lot wrong, but the basic idea is right)
    • "Libertarianism is like Leninism: a fascinating, internally consistent political theory with some good underlying points that, regrettably, makes prescriptions about how to run human society that can only work if we replace real messy human beings with frictionless spherical humanoids of uniform density." - Charles Stross, "Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire"

Two axes

  • horizontal axis: left / right (unconditional / conditional)…..the positions on this axis measure the same kind of things: political systems
  • link to two modes: unconditional and conditional
  • vertical axis: ideology / power (principled / practical)…..the positions on this axis measure different kinds of things: brutal power at the bottom, utopian concepts at the top

What's left out

  • squishy stuff like
    • specific countries
    • squishy things like how we think about and act on our conceptions of:
      • authority
      • identification commitments
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