“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson
The Linear Political spectrum is based on modern terminology with the Right signifying the desire for limited government and the Left signifying a desire for expanded government. The foundational basis for this spectrum will be a scale ranging from zero (0) to one hundred (100) indicating this modern construct of the Right – Left paradigm. The placement of each ideological term will be determined by a numerical value in the context of this modern paradigm.
The Right end of the scale will begin with anarchism at zero (0) since this indicates an absence of government. The Left end of the scale will conclude with totalitarianism at one hundred (100) since this indicates total government. The middle of the scale will be set with center or moderate at fifty (50).
While it may be difficult to determine a specific numerical value for all the ideological terms, most can be set within a certain range for an accurate and rational placement on the scale. Thus the spectrum will be set on a foundation of facts instead of preconceived and emotional biases.
It should be noted that in general the political Right equates to Conservative or Conservatism defined as follows:
“The holding of political views that favour free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas.”
“a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs”
Thus the initial numerical value between fifty (50) and zero (0) can be set on the Right wing of the scale.
[Since the factual dictionary definitions have Conservatism closely associated with the Right the term Conservative Right will be utilized]
The Left wing of the scale is defined as follows:
The radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system.
“the part of a political group that consists of people who support liberal or socialist ideas and policies”
Therefore a numerical range of fifty (50) to one hundred (100) can be set for this term.
[Given that the dictionary definition closely associates Socialism with the Left the term Socialist-Left will be utilized]
These are the general set points for the two ends of the spectrum. Working in from the right, the various ideological terms will be defined and numerical value ranges assigned.
The Oxford English dictionary defines the term libertarianism as:
“An extreme laissez-faire political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of citizens.”
“a person who believes that people should be allowed to do and say what they want without any interference from the government”
Clearly this should be placed at the right end of the scale next to anarchy such that there is a linear and logical progression from in essence zero (0) government to ‘minimal’ government.
Comparing the definitional data with the scale places Conservatism next to libertarianism. This correlates to the overlap of Conservatism with libertarianism.