Original Thread: Understanding the Politcal Spectrum
Understanding the Politcal Spectrum
I have seen alot of people who often confuse what the left and the right are all about, so I am writing this in hope to clarify what the "left" and "right" are exactly. Hopefully this will clear up some confusion in our debates.
The first thing we must do is understand exactly what Liberal and Conservative mean. Despite what dictionary definitions this words may have, as debators of politics we must only use the definitions that have been applied to them for the political spectrum. In simplicity the left wants change, the right wants to keep things as they are. Often these words are associated with certain values, however that is an error. Different cultures are at different places, so in each culture(and time) the definition of what a Liberal wants and what a conservative wants varies, however in all cases the above definition is what defines the conservative and the liberal.
With the definitions clear it is vital to understand the sides arent dots on a plane, they are linear, meaning liberal and conservatives are simply groupings on a variety of beliefs. Lets start at the center and then work our way out to understand more precise definitions. At the center, commonly called the moderates we have people who want change and want to keep some things the same. The true middle is hard to define, however, we can group people in a certain range and label them moderates. After moderates we have what is commonly called Liberal on the left and conservative on the right. The more liberal the more change you want and the more right the less you want. However, when you get so far right the Conservatives do want change. This change is in an complete opposite direction of the Liberals. The far right wants to go back to how things used to be. The extreme right is called reactionaries and can often be confused for Liberals by those who don't properly understand the political spectrum. Conversly on the extreme left we have the radicals. These people want complete change and are willing to use force to do it. An example would be the French Revolution in which the radical revolutionaries brought about complete social upheavel and had no bone about using violence to achieve their ends. The far right and far left are truly mirror images of eachother and can be easliy mistaken. In practice they do much of the same things, yet their views are often in direct opposition of eachother(Or they could have the same views but come from different cultures in which the current and past satus were different.) These definitions are still limited so it is imperative to remember people fall somewhere along the line, not exclusivly to one group definition.
There is one final obsticle to overcome here that many are confused by. People know the first two paragraphs and view the spectrum as linear. This is the traditional way of thinking, however it is flawed. It can be generally accepted that there are two political lines instead of one. The result is a coordinate plane in which can acount for anyones views. The two axis of this plane are the social and economic scales. One can be left/right on both or be left/right one and left/right on the other. This is a vast grid that people are scattered across. If you use this system it will be much easier to understand your and other's political views.
Now that we have our definitions set straight we can examine our own culture(western here, sorry if you feel left out, I am simply talking from my own perspective). In the ecomic scale we have capitalist on the right and communism on the left. On the far right we have free market, far left complete control, and socialism somewhere in the middle. The social scale is much more complicated so I wont detail, however Conservatives want the traditional small government, traditional morals values, and the same can be aplied to all social issues. Liberals are obviously the opposite.
Understanding all of this I only hope you can better understand where you lie on the political specturm.
Last edited by Acco; June 15, 2009 at 04:50 AM.
primus pater cunobelin erat; sum in patronicium imb39, domi wilpuri; Saint-Germain, MasterAdnin, Pnutmaster, Scorch, Blau&Gruen,
Ferrets54, Honeohvovohaestse, et Pallida Mors in patronicum meum sunt
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)