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Liberalism vs conservatism vs libertarianism false dichotomy

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LimaUniformNovemberAlpha
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Liberalism vs conservatism vs libertarianism false dichotomy

Postby LimaUniformNovemberAlpha » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:57 pm

So the political compass is based on the idea that "right and left" on economics were distinct from "right and left" on everything else.

But this is only slightly better than the traditional political compass. It fails to establish a basis on which everything else is lumped into one category.

The usual cliche is to invoke tradition; which, were it invoked consistently, would also include the extent to which you defer to a "traditional" level of capitalism. But that's the thing; you can reject tradition in the sense of having an above-average level of capitalism, OR below-average. Or, depending on what you interpret as "tradition" or whose traditions count, (which really goes to show how meaningless the political spectrum is) it could either call for more capitalism or or less. Hence not really being as definable as its made out to be.

When I conflate two separate opinions; like, let's say, conflating the opinion that religion is a "good" thing with the opinion that Trump is a "good" President; even when correlating both these opinions with the deep south, and in turn, with each other; (or to say nothing of the parallels between Trump and the Old Testament) then otherwise progressive people who happen to think of religion as a good thing object to this. Even though these opinions are correlated based on something real.

But some of these same people can then turn around and conflate my fear of cancel culture, or of the prominent role of China in the modern world, or of the ill effects of Islam on countries where it is popular, with the ridiculous notion that I support Donald Trump, on account for these things all being "right wing," without having to ever define what, if anything, "right wing" even means.

The political compass website in particular references authoritarianism. But in so doing, it conflates it with nationalism, (when patriots could give their country's freedom credit for their country's greatness, while authoritarians can admire foreign dictators) or with childhood discipline, (despite people's insistence the state has no right to tell them how to discipline their child; who gets to say which is the more authoritarian option then?) and with everything else under the sun that could be just as distinct from authoritarianism as it is from capitalism vs. socialism.

So is the "political compass" based on anything any more real than the "political spectrum?" If so, what is it?
Last edited by LimaUniformNovemberAlpha on Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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New Bremerton
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Postby New Bremerton » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:40 pm

I take exception to being labeled "right-wing". I'm a liberal and a centrist at heart. Authoritarianism vs libertarianism exist on a separate y-axis, although authoritarianism tends to predominate on the far-left and far-right in practice.

If liberalism/progressivism is the polar opposite of conservatism/traditionalism, then how do you define the belief that centuries-old liberal principles such as individual liberty and collective self-determination, democracy, the rule of law, due process, freedom of expression, etc., ought to be preserved at all costs?

And if liberalism is the polar opposite of conservatism, then where does socialism/communism/leftism/cultural Marxism fit into all of this, because I'm definitely not of the woke, far-left persuasion either.
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Postby Vistulange » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:40 am

New Bremerton wrote:cultural Marxism

Nah, my man, you're pretty damn right-wing.
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Postby Deltia- » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:00 am

Frankly, I would say I am right-leaning on some aspects, such as the death penalty, but mostly progressive in others, such as weed legalization and immigration reform.
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Postby Anurial » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:17 am

It's almost as if using models to determine political opinion is just a spicy Buzzfeed quiz for white teenage guys to take and feel special about. It does nothing but dilute the discourse and make people believe in meme ideologies and make any political discussion in particular online circles completely ridiculous.
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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:42 am

Intuitively I've always felt that socialism and conservatism should be on one side of the compass and liberalism and libertarianism on the other.
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Postby New Bremerton » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:57 am

Vistulange wrote:
New Bremerton wrote:cultural Marxism

Nah, my man, you're pretty damn right-wing.


Nah, not really, at least not compared with actual conservatives.

For starters, I support universal healthcare, unfettered access to abortion on demand for all women and transmen, LGBT rights, and decisive action to combat climate change and eliminate the coronavirus pandemic, unlike many on the Right. I lean left on livelihood and economic issues. The divide between the haves and have-nots is a perennial and pressing issue that needs to be addressed and remedied, especially now more urgently than ever before. The kind of traditional snobbery, utter contempt and hyperinflated, smug sense of superiority and nose-thumbing entitlement that some people, whom I assume are filthy rich, have for the poor sickens me to no end, and I've witnessed such entitlement firsthand on this very forum at the expense of my brain cells. I'm also a staunch secularist. I believe these are all left-leaning positions at least by American standards. Actual, American conservatives don't typically hold any of these positions and regard all of them as "far-left", "socialist", and indeed, "cultural Marxist" in the more nebulous sense of the term.

I stand with LGBT+ people around the world who continue to endure sustained and systematic persecution simply for who they are and who they love, particularly in Chechnya, Uganda, Malaysia, and across the Muslim world. I stand with women across the developing world who remain second-class citizens in their own, deeply misogynistic, conservative, and patriarchal societies. I condemn religious intolerance, religious nationalism and theocratic fascism, and religiously-inspired social and political persecution in all its forms. This applies to Christianity, Islam, and even Hinduism in this day and age.

I abhor and have roundly criticized and lambasted a number of illiberal, right-wing to far-right governments and dictatorships around the world, particularly the Malaysian, Chinese, and HK governments, for their litany of human rights abuses against pro-democracy, anti-government critics, LGBT+ people, women (especially Muslim women), and minorities.

I detest the unelected, right-wing to far-right, Malay supremacist, radical Islamist, highly corrupt, semi-authoritarian government that's currently running the show here in Malaysia. I absolutely despise Carrie Lam in all her disgusting smugness. The increasingly totalitarian HK government, itself a puppet of the far-right, racist, fascist, genocidal, imperialist, homophobic, xenophobic, Muslim-phobic, organ-harvesting, ex-communist, totalitarian CCP, deserves to be overthrown alongside the CCP itself with a view to achieving full independence for Hong Kong.

I thoroughly condemn right-wing, authoritarian cancel culture and political repression in my corner of the world. I condemn any government that seeks to legally harass and prosecute journalists for implying that said government is racist and xenophobic, and I condemn any private citizen who would seek to dox, threaten, harass, and cancel journalists, bloggers, and private citizens for merely insinuating that those on the Right are in any way racist or bigoted, which is exactly what's happening in my country right now as I type this.

Western and American conservatives are considerably more right-wing than I am, and quite a few of them, including a handful of players on this forum, hold some pretty dodgy views on certain topics. But the ones that really stir my hatred and animosity tend to reside in illiberal, non-Western, developing countries such as my own, many of which aren't even democracies or weren't real democracies until very recently.

You want right-wing? The kind of crazy shit I just called out in this post qualifies as right-wing. Please don't lump me in with these people. I condemn cultural fascism on the Right as much as I condemn cultural Marxism on the Left.
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Postby Picairn » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:06 am

New Bremerton wrote:Nah, not really, at least not compared with actual conservatives.

For starters, I support universal healthcare, unfettered access to abortion on demand for all women and transmen, LGBT rights, and decisive action to combat climate change and eliminate the coronavirus pandemic, unlike many on the Right. I lean left on livelihood and economic issues. The divide between the haves and have-nots is a perennial and pressing issue that needs to be addressed and remedied, especially now more urgently than ever before. The kind of traditional snobbery, utter contempt and hyperinflated, smug sense of superiority and nose-thumbing entitlement that some people, whom I assume are filthy rich, have for the poor sickens me to no end, and I've witnessed such entitlement firsthand on this very forum at the expense of my brain cells. I'm also a staunch secularist. I believe these are all left-leaning positions at least by American standards. Actual, American conservatives don't typically hold any of these positions and regard all of them as "far-left", "socialist", and indeed, "cultural Marxist" in the more nebulous sense of the term.

I stand with LGBT+ people around the world who continue to endure sustained and systematic persecution simply for who they are and who they love, particularly in Chechnya, Uganda, Malaysia, and across the Muslim world. I stand with women across the developing world who remain second-class citizens in their own, deeply misogynistic, conservative, and patriarchal societies. I condemn religious intolerance, religious nationalism and theocratic fascism, and religiously-inspired social and political persecution in all its forms. This applies to Christianity, Islam, and even Hinduism in this day and age.

I abhor and have roundly criticized and lambasted a number of illiberal, right-wing to far-right governments and dictatorships around the world, particularly the Malaysian, Chinese, and HK governments, for their litany of human rights abuses against pro-democracy, anti-government critics, LGBT+ people, women (especially Muslim women), and minorities.

I detest the unelected, right-wing to far-right, Malay supremacist, radical Islamist, highly corrupt, semi-authoritarian government that's currently running the show here in Malaysia. I absolutely despise Carrie Lam in all her disgusting smugness. The increasingly totalitarian HK government, itself a puppet of the far-right, racist, fascist, genocidal, imperialist, homophobic, xenophobic, Muslim-phobic, organ-harvesting, ex-communist, totalitarian CCP, deserves to be overthrown alongside the CCP itself with a view to achieving full independence for Hong Kong.

I thoroughly condemn right-wing, authoritarian cancel culture and political repression in my corner of the world. I condemn any government that seeks to legally harass and prosecute journalists for implying that said government is racist and xenophobic, and I condemn any private citizen who would seek to dox, threaten, harass, and cancel journalists, bloggers, and private citizens for merely insinuating that those on the Right are in any way racist or bigoted, which is exactly what's happening in my country right now as I type this.

Western and American conservatives are considerably more right-wing than I am, and quite a few of them, including a handful of players on this forum, hold some pretty dodgy views on certain topics. But the ones that really stir my hatred and animosity tend to reside in illiberal, non-Western, developing countries such as my own, many of which aren't even democracies or weren't real democracies until very recently.

You want right-wing? The kind of crazy shit I just called out in this post qualifies as right-wing. Please don't lump me in with these people. I condemn cultural fascism on the Right as much as I condemn cultural Marxism on the Left.

Damn, your thought-provoking essay just demonstrated why this test and many others with the same oversimplified and out-of-context questions are useless in defining who we really are. There are too many positions to be clarified and too few questions to fulfill the gaps.
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Nuroblav
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Postby Nuroblav » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:58 am

While the Political Compass does have more detail than the simple left-right spectrum, there's a lot that gets, missed out. For instance, here on the left you still have some who are still quite conservative, or pro-life, or not concerned with the environment, or don't want a centralised economy, or support reform, etc. I could go on and on and on. Some ideologies seem to transcend the spectrum/compass entirely (Third Pos, Anarcho-Egoism, Anti-Centrism). Even people that share ideologies can still disagree on issues.
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New Rogernomics
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Postby New Rogernomics » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:01 pm

Well, there are many different types of 'liberalism' and 'conservatism', and so many in fact that is pretty hard to not generalize.

You can try and approach it from an authoritarian vs permissive scale i.e. what freedoms are permitted, and what freedoms are denied, which can work for a lot of issues, when those issues aren't nuanced. Nuances would be over specifics of policy and whether or not they are effectively implemented. Technically China permits political free speech and political opposition, but it never implements those aspects of their constitution, and while some nations might permit political free speech in theory, they might still have hate speech or lese majeste laws.

Political compass wouldn't also look into the geo-political implications and issues of each region of the globe, as some regions are less restrictive than others on particular rights and more permissive on others, and might face conflicts that might not exist anywhere else. What might be quite liberal compared to other nations in the region, might be heavily socially conservative and authoritarian in another region of the globe. Plenty of organizations write reports by region, as they want to avoid nation to nation comparisons that don't fit with their neighbors.

If you go for 'liberal' parties, then they have pretty big differences of what is 'liberal' and what is 'extreme' in terms of policy, and different nations have different political climates around issues that might make an issue a neutral issue that all political parties may generally support without issue. For a lot of nations in Europe and Australasia, universal healthcare is not an issue - it is accepted as a necessity by 'conservative' and 'liberal' voters, but in the United States it is made into a political minefield, and painted as purely a 'socialist' policy of 'the left'. When I heard of Bernie Sanders' plans on universal healthcare they looked pretty right-wing compared to some systems that already exist, even though 'conservatives' in America were painting it otherwise.

As for 'conservatism', for many years New Zealand was ruled by a conservative National government, but it was socially-liberal on many issues, and was heavily supportive of free trade and immigration. The opposition Labor party was equally fine with free trade and immigration, though was more supportive of social welfare, abortion rights, and wanted more control over foreign ownership. If we placed the NZ National Party in America though, they'd be called 'socialist extremists' or whatever because they are fine with same-sex marriage and a joint public-private partnership healthcare system.

Then with 'libertarianism' things also get complex, as there are social-libertarians and economic-libertarians, among many, and they don't agree on a lot of issues. I have been mentioning US politics a lot, though probably because it is a good example of how messy and confusing politics can get. Ron Paul as a US libertarian is socially-conservative, yet is permissive on drugs, and is an economic-libertarian as he wants free trade and free markets. You won't see him supporting same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, and a lot of issues that would technically put him the social-libertarian category. Though really where would you draw the line, as it becomes a bit difficult making a line that supporting one strain of policy rules you out of being a social-libertarian or economic-libertarian category entirely.

With my own politics, I don't really see political compass as useful, as tend to view my own positions in basis of whether I want them implemented, see them as an ideal to maybe be implemented, and a pipe dream that is just fine to think about - as it doesn't hurt anyone really advocating for it. I would like to live in a Star Trek utopia without money, but you don't see me protesting to close the banks and set up a Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism, even if on principle I'd think it sounds fun.

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Punished UMN
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Postby Punished UMN » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:22 am

Stop relying on tests to determine what your political views are and start reading political theory.
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Nakena
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Postby Nakena » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:33 am

Most online tests, and most importantly and above the "politicalcompass" are nonsense.

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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:39 am

Punished UMN wrote:Stop relying on tests to determine what your political views are and start reading political theory.


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Postby Nuroblav » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:53 am

Punished UMN wrote:Stop relying on tests to determine what your political views are and start reading political theory.

While I do agree that reading political theory is probably a better choice, I think some of the tests can help give someone a vague idea of what they stand for, although as you say actual political theory helps strengthen someone's knowledge of what they stand for.
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Unless we end up in anarcho-primitivism. In that case we'll be relying on spiritually communicating with trees to absorb ourselves in theory.

Unless they let us keep our robot arms...
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Postby Kowani » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:01 am

…How is it a false dichotomy is you’ve presented us with 3 options?
read your own damn sources
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Diopolis
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Postby Diopolis » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:09 am

The political compass is an attempt to quantify leftness v rightness, but it falls apart for a number of reasons. Most people vote based on their cultural views, and adjust their economics to match. This makes it a poor choice to use economics as the main way to measure left/right. The libertarian/authoritarian dynamic doesn't tell us much, either. Ron Paul is more libertarian than Hillary Clinton, but Hillary is the social liberal. It seems to be based on the idea that "conservatives support economic freedom and liberals support social freedom", but that's not really true. Gun control, homeschooling, Covid lockdowns, these are issues where the right supports social freedom and the left opposes it(or, the people supporting social freedom are on the right and the people opposing are on the left). Vice versa, the left can get into economic freedom whenever it benefits them.
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Plzen
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Postby Plzen » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:33 pm

Dimensionality reduction is a well-established mathematical technique for making a sensible and workable model of a complex world. I see the one-dimensional political spectrum, a two-dimensional political compass, or the three-dimensional political space that NationStates uses as a primitive approximation of this technique.

If there are a hundred different issues on which a range of opinions exist, then to model the distribution of opinions on those issues you need a coordinate system with a hundred different dimensions. While this will no doubt make a data scientist or a machine learning algorithm very happy, in terms of giving a layman a functional understanding of popular politics it is entirely useless. But since opinions on different issues tend to be strongly correlated - people who believe that schools should receive more public funding, for example, will tend to also believe that healthcare should receive more public funding - you can model this space with fewer dimensions by having each dimension represent sets of correlated issues. Sure, dimensionality reduction inevitably results in a loss of information; there will be oddballs that have strange combinations of opinions whose uniqueness is suppressed in a simplified model. But in terms of giving human beings an intuitive understanding of political ideologies, a political space with one or two dimensions is much more useful than one with a hundred.
Last edited by Plzen on Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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