Constructing the Linear Political Spectrum/Compass Part I

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” John Adams

Introduction.
As with many academic endeavours, there has to be a balance between the competing requirements of clarity and comprehensiveness. An accounting of how the various political ideologies relate to each on a single scale also has to logical despite any emotional tendencies or preconceived biases.

This will be done by logically and systematically setting forth a set of rules for constructing this spectrum so that it is based on these constraints instead of the passions of the day. The end result will be based on modern day ideological definitions logically related to each other on a coherent and comprehensive scale.

1. A consistent overall metric in relating the ideologies to each other.

It should be clear that the political Right and the political Left have vastly different principles and goals. In general terms, it is aphoristic the political Right favours limited governance with an emphasis on individual rights, while the political Left favours extended governance and an emphasis on collective rights. In colloquial terms the political Right desires small government and the political Left desires big government. This can be seen in the modern and unbiased definitions of the various ideologies that will be discussed later on.

Given that it is axiomatic that the political Right favours decreased government control while the political Left favours it’s increase this will be the basic tenet in constructing the spectrum. While it may not comprehensively describe every nuance and facet of the political spectrum, it is a good starting point of setting forth an accounting of how the various ideologies relate to each other.

The scale of the spectrum will be numerically based to factor out biases and provide a consistent placement of the ideologies. In general terms, since the political Right prefers minimal governance the right end of the scale will be set at zero (0). And since the political Left prefers maximal governance, the left end of the scale will be set at one hundred (100).

This numerical metric will relate to the amount of government control is exerted on the populace. It will take into account the close interrelation between social and economic factors to yield a coherent and understandable product while providing an unbiased arrangement of the various political ideologies.

2. Modern and unbiased definitions of the political terminology.

In order to properly frame the spectrum, modern definitions and terminology will be used instead of outdated, politically biased and logically deficient terms. This is to be a political spectrum based on the factual data of modern times as opposed to a mélange of politically motivated factoids.

There are those who prefer to avoid the real world facts of an unbiased dictionary definitions free of internal contradictions. Unfortunately for them, the results of these constructs fail to meet the rigors factual reality and logic.

3. Utilisation of numerical rules and logic to properly construct the spectrum basing it on a factual linear progression instead of emotional preconceptions.

This is to insure that the resulting political spectrum makes logical sense. This will be done by assigning numerical certainty to some of the ideologies and testing the placement of the rest by the precepts of basic mathematics.

Having set this as the most logical and comprehensive metric the rules of mathematics should inform us as to the proper placement of the ideologies on the scale. A placement that fails to make mathematical sense should be rejected no matter it’s preconceived bias. In order to have clarity and be logically understandable a political spectrum must follow a mathematical progression from one end to the other.

The random placement of certain ideologies based on preconceived political biases only serves to discredit the results of such analysis.

4. Specific political terms can have a logical numerical value assigned to them based on their modern dictionary definitions.

These specific and factual data points will serve as a framework for the proper placement of other political ideologies within a certain logical range. As well as a test of the validity of the politely biased placements.

The ideological term anarchy, totalitarian and centre/moderate are based on definitions that can be easily quantified for placement on the political spectrum.

The Oxford English dictionary defines anarchy as:

“a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority”

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines anarchy as:

“Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal”

Therefor we can assign a numerical value of zero (0) to this ideological term and place it on the right end of the spectrum based on the previously detailed rules.

The same process can be utilised for the other two terms.

The Oxford English dictionary defines totalitarian as:

“a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state”

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines totalitarian as:

“a political regime based on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all aspects of the life and productive capacity of the nation especially by coercive measures (as censorship and terrorism)”

Thus we can assign a numerical value of one hundred (100) to this ideological term and place it on the Left end of the spectrum based on the previously detailed rules.

Finally, we can examine the terms centre and moderate and assign a logically numeric value to these terms.

The Oxford English dictionary defines the centre as:

“A point or part that is equally distant from all sides, ends, or surfaces”

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the center as

“a grouping of political figures holding moderate views especially between those of conservatives and liberals”

It is therefore logical to set this data point in the middle of the scale with the numerical value of fifty (50) based on the previously detailed rules.

It also follows that with the political Right being right of centre, it should have a numerical values less than fifty ( < 50) but less than one hundred ( <100)

And it logically follows that with the political Left being left of centre, it should have a numerical value greater than fifty on the linear political scale ( > 50) but less than one hundred ( <100)

To summarise, a linear political spectrum scale based on the generic placements of Right and Left has been established. It will be constructed utilising the modern factual definitions on a numeric scale tested with mathematical precepts. Finally, the ends and middle of the spectrum have been set forth by the modern definitions for those positions on the scale.

In Part II the rest of primary political ideologies will be placed on the spectrum based on the their modern, unbiased definitions and based on where they relate to the already established data points.

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Author: Torcer

Differential equations teaches us that one can use the initial conditions of the present to extrapolate events in the near term balanced with the knowledge of the past. The interaction of technological advances and the march of history is fascinating. History can inform those willing to listen as to what will happen in the future because the laws of human natural are as immutable as the elegant equations of Newtonian physics.

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