Political spectrum

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"Political compass" redirects here. Political spectrum_sentence_0

For the website, see The Political Compass. Political spectrum_sentence_1

A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different political positions in relation to one another. Political spectrum_sentence_2

These positions sit upon one or more geometric axes that represent independent political dimensions. Political spectrum_sentence_3

The expressions political compass and political map are used to refer to the political spectrum as well, especially to popular two-dimensional models of it. Political spectrum_sentence_4

Most long-standing spectra include the left–right dimension which originally referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament after the Revolution (1789–1799), with radicals on the left and aristocrats on the right. Political spectrum_sentence_5

While communism and socialism are usually regarded internationally as being on the left, conservatism and fascism are regarded internationally as being on the right. Political spectrum_sentence_6

Liberalism can mean different things in different contexts, being sometimes on the left (social liberalism) and other times on the right (conservative liberalism). Political spectrum_sentence_7

Those with an intermediate outlook are sometimes classified as centrists. Political spectrum_sentence_8

Politics that rejects the conventional left–right spectrum is often known as syncretic politics, although the label tends to mischaracterize positions that have a logical location on a two-axis spectrum because they seem randomly brought together on a one-axis left–right spectrum. Political spectrum_sentence_9

Political scientists have frequently noted that a single left–right axis is too simplistic and insufficient for describing the existing variation in political beliefs and included other axes. Political spectrum_sentence_10

Although the descriptive words at polar opposites may vary, the axes of popular biaxial spectra are usually split between economic issues (on a left–right dimension) and socio-cultural issues (on an authority–liberty dimension). Political spectrum_sentence_11

Historical origin of the terms Political spectrum_section_0

The terms right and left refer to political affiliations originating early in the French Revolutionary era of 1789–1799 and referred originally to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France. Political spectrum_sentence_12

As seen from the Speaker's seat at the front of the Assembly, the aristocracy sat on the right (traditionally the seat of honor) and the commoners sat on the left, hence the terms right-wing politics and left-wing politics. Political spectrum_sentence_13

Originally, the defining point on the ideological spectrum was the Ancien Régime ("old order"). Political spectrum_sentence_14

"The Right" thus implied support for aristocratic or royal interests and the church, while "The Left" implied support for republicanism, secularism and civil liberties. Political spectrum_sentence_15

Because the political franchise at the start of the revolution was relatively narrow, the original "Left" represented mainly the interests of the bourgeoisie, the rising capitalist class (with notable exceptions such as the proto-communist Gracchus Babeuf). Political spectrum_sentence_16

Support for laissez-faire commerce and free markets were expressed by politicians sitting on the left because these represented policies favorable to capitalists rather than to the aristocracy, but outside parliamentary politics these views are often characterized as being on the Right. Political spectrum_sentence_17

The reason for this apparent contradiction lies in the fact that those "to the left" of the parliamentary left, outside official parliamentary structures (such as the sans-culottes of the French Revolution), typically represent much of the working class, poor peasantry and the unemployed. Political spectrum_sentence_18

Their political interests in the French Revolution lay with opposition to the aristocracy and so they found themselves allied with the early capitalists. Political spectrum_sentence_19

However, this did not mean that their economic interests lay with the laissez-faire policies of those representing them politically. Political spectrum_sentence_20

As capitalist economies developed, the aristocracy became less relevant and were mostly replaced by capitalist representatives. Political spectrum_sentence_21

The size of the working class increased as capitalism expanded and began to find expression partly through trade unionist, socialist, anarchist and communist politics rather than being confined to the capitalist policies expressed by the original "left". Political spectrum_sentence_22

This evolution has often pulled parliamentary politicians away from laissez-faire economic policies, although this has happened to different degrees in different countries, especially those with a history of issues with more authoritarian-left countries, such as the Soviet Union or China under Mao Zedong. Political spectrum_sentence_23

Thus, the word "Left" in American political parlance may refer to "liberalism" and be identified with the Democratic Party, whereas in a country such as France these positions would be regarded as relatively more right-wing, or centrist overall, and "left" is more likely to refer to "socialist" or "social-democratic" positioned rather than "liberal" ones. Political spectrum_sentence_24

Academic investigation Political spectrum_section_1

For almost a century, social scientists have considered the problem of how best to describe political variation. Political spectrum_sentence_25

Leonard W. Ferguson Political spectrum_section_2

In 1950, Leonard W. Ferguson analyzed political values using ten scales measuring attitudes toward: birth control, capital punishment, censorship, communism, evolution, law, patriotism, theism, treatment of criminals and war. Political spectrum_sentence_26

Submitting the results to factor analysis, he was able to identify three factors, which he named religionism, humanitarianism and nationalism. Political spectrum_sentence_27

He defined religionism as belief in God and negative attitudes toward evolution and birth control; humanitarianism as being related to attitudes opposing war, capital punishment and harsh treatment of criminals; and nationalism as describing variation in opinions on censorship, law, patriotism and communism. Political spectrum_sentence_28

This system was derived empirically, as rather than devising a political model on purely theoretical grounds and testing it, Ferguson's research was exploratory. Political spectrum_sentence_29

As a result of this method, care must be taken in the interpretation of Ferguson's three factors, as factor analysis will output an abstract factor whether an objectively real factor exists or not. Political spectrum_sentence_30

Although replication of the nationalism factor was inconsistent, the finding of religionism and humanitarianism had a number of replications by Ferguson and others. Political spectrum_sentence_31

Hans Eysenck Political spectrum_section_3

Shortly afterward, Hans Eysenck began researching political attitudes in Great Britain. Political spectrum_sentence_32

He believed that there was something essentially similar about the National Socialists (Nazis) on the one hand and the communists on the other, despite their opposite positions on the left–right axis. Political spectrum_sentence_33

As Hans Eysenck described in his 1956 book Sense and Nonsense in Psychology, Eysenck compiled a list of political statements found in newspapers and political tracts and asked subjects to rate their agreement or disagreement with each. Political spectrum_sentence_34

Submitting this value questionnaire to the same process of factor analysis used by Ferguson, Eysenck drew out two factors, which he named "Radicalism" (R-factor) and "Tender-Mindedness" (T-factor). Political spectrum_sentence_35

Such analysis produces a factor whether or not it corresponds to a real-world phenomenon and so caution must be exercised in its interpretation. Political spectrum_sentence_36

While Eysenck's R-factor is easily identified as the classical "left–right" dimension, the T-factor (representing a factor drawn at right angles to the R-factor) is less intuitive, as high-scorers favored pacifism, racial equality, religious education and restrictions on abortion, while low-scorers had attitudes more friendly to militarism, harsh punishment, easier divorce laws and companionate marriage. Political spectrum_sentence_37

Despite the difference in methodology, location and theory, the results attained by Eysenck and Ferguson matched. Political spectrum_sentence_38

Simply rotating Eysenck's two factors 45 degrees renders the same factors of religionism and humanitarianism identified by Ferguson in America. Political spectrum_sentence_39

Eysenck's dimensions of R and T were found by factor analyses of values in Germany and Sweden, France and Japan. Political spectrum_sentence_40

One interesting result Eysenck noted in his 1956 work was that in the United States and Great Britain, most of the political variance was subsumed by the left/right axis, while in France the T-axis was larger and in the Middle East the only dimension to be found was the T-axis: "Among mid-Eastern Arabs it has been found that while the tough-minded/tender-minded dimension is still clearly expressed in the relationships observed between different attitudes, there is nothing that corresponds to the radical-conservative continuum". Political spectrum_sentence_41

Relationship between Eysenck's political views and political research Political spectrum_section_4

Eysenck's political views related to his research: Eysenck was an outspoken opponent of what he perceived as the authoritarian abuses of the left and right and accordingly he believed that with this T axis he had found the link between nazism and communism. Political spectrum_sentence_42

According to Eysenck, members of both ideologies were tough-minded. Political spectrum_sentence_43

Central to Eysenck's thesis was the claim that tender-minded ideologies were democratic and friendly to human freedoms, while tough-minded ideologies were aggressive and authoritarian, a claim that is open to political criticism. Political spectrum_sentence_44

In this context, Eysenck carried out studies on nazism and communist groups, claiming to find members of both groups to be more "dominant" and more "aggressive" than control groups. Political spectrum_sentence_45

Eysenck left Nazi Germany to live in Britain and was not shy in attacking Stalinism, noting the anti-Semitic prejudices of the Russian government, the luxurious lifestyles of the Soviet Union leadership and the Orwellian "doublethink" of East Germany's naming itself the German Democratic Republic despite being "one of the most undemocratic regimes in the world today". Political spectrum_sentence_46

While Eysenck was an opponent of Nazism, his relationship with fascist organizations was more complex. Political spectrum_sentence_47

Eysenck himself lent theoretical support to the English National Party (which also opposed "Hitlerite" Nazism) and was interviewed in the first issue of their journal The Beacon in relation to his controversial views on relative intelligence between different races. Political spectrum_sentence_48

At one point during the interview, Eysenck was asked whether or not he was of Jewish origin before the interviewer proceeded. Political spectrum_sentence_49

His political allegiances were called into question by other researchers, notably Steven Rose, who alleged that his scientific research was used for political purposes. Political spectrum_sentence_50

Subsequent criticism of Eysenck's research Political spectrum_section_5

Eysenck's conception of tough-mindedness has been criticized for a number of reasons. Political spectrum_sentence_51

Political spectrum_unordered_list_0

  • Virtually no values were found to load only on the tough/tender dimension.Political spectrum_item_0_0
  • The interpretation of tough-mindedness as a manifestation of "authoritarian" versus tender-minded "democratic" values was incompatible with the Frankfurt School's single-axis model, which conceptualized authoritarianism as being a fundamental manifestation of conservatism and many researchers took issue with the idea of "left-wing authoritarianism".Political spectrum_item_0_1
  • The theory which Eysenck developed to explain individual variation in the observed dimensions, relating tough-mindedness to extroversion and psychoticism, returned ambiguous research results.Political spectrum_item_0_2
  • Eysenck's finding that Nazis and communists were more tough-minded than members of mainstream political movements was criticised on technical grounds by Milton Rokeach.Political spectrum_item_0_3
  • Eysenck's method of analysis involves the finding of an abstract dimension (a factor) that explains the spread of a given set of data (in this case, scores on a political survey). This abstract dimension may or may not correspond to a real material phenomenon and obvious problems arise when it is applied to human psychology. The second factor in such an analysis (such as Eysenck's T-factor) is the second best explanation for the spread of the data, which is by definition drawn at right angles to the first factor. While the first factor, which describes the bulk of the variation in a set of data, is more likely to represent something objectively real, subsequent factors become more and more abstract. Thus one would expect to find a factor that roughly corresponds to "left" and "right", as this is the dominant framing for politics in our society, but the basis of Eysenck's "tough/tender-minded" thesis (the second, T-factor) may well represent nothing beyond an abstract mathematical construct. Such a construct would be expected to appear in factor analysis whether or not it corresponded to something real, thus rendering Eysenck's thesis unfalsifiable through factor analysis.Political spectrum_item_0_4

Milton Rokeach Political spectrum_section_6

Dissatisfied with Hans J. Eysenck's work, Milton Rokeach developed his own two-axis model of political values in 1973, basing this on the ideas of freedom and equality, which he described in his book, The Nature of Human Values. Political spectrum_sentence_52

Milton Rokeach claimed that the defining difference between the left and right was that the left stressed the importance of equality more than the right. Political spectrum_sentence_53

Despite his criticisms of Eysenck's tough-tender axis, Rokeach also postulated a basic similarity between communism and nazism, claiming that these groups would not value freedom as greatly as more conventional social democratics, democratic socialists and capitalists would and he wrote that "the two value model presented here most resembles Eysenck's hypothesis". Political spectrum_sentence_54

To test this model, Milton Rokeach and his colleagues used content analysis on works exemplifying nazism (written by Adolf Hitler), communism (written by Vladimir Lenin), capitalism (by Barry Goldwater) and socialism (written by various socialist authors). Political spectrum_sentence_55

This method has been criticized for its reliance on the experimenter's familiarity with the content under analysis and its dependence on the researcher's particular political outlooks. Political spectrum_sentence_56

Multiple raters made frequency counts of sentences containing synonyms for a number of values identified by Rokeach—including freedom and equality—and Rokeach analyzed these results by comparing the relative frequency rankings of all the values for each of the four texts: Political spectrum_sentence_57

Political spectrum_unordered_list_1

  • Socialists (socialism) — freedom ranked 1st, equality ranked 2ndPolitical spectrum_item_1_5
  • Hitler (Nazism) – freedom ranked 16th, equality ranked 17thPolitical spectrum_item_1_6
  • Goldwater (capitalism) — freedom ranked 1st, equality ranked 16thPolitical spectrum_item_1_7
  • Lenin (communism) — freedom ranked 17th, equality ranked 1stPolitical spectrum_item_1_8

Later studies using samples of American ideologues and American presidential inaugural addresses attempted to apply this model. Political spectrum_sentence_58

Later research Political spectrum_section_7

In further research, Hans J. Eysenck refined his methodology to include more questions on economic issues. Political spectrum_sentence_59

Doing this, he revealed a split in the left–right axis between social policy and economic policy, with a previously undiscovered dimension of socialism-capitalism (S-factor). Political spectrum_sentence_60

While factorially distinct from Eysenck's previous R factor, the S-factor did positively correlate with the R-factor, indicating that a basic left–right or right–left tendency underlies both social values and economic values, although S tapped more into items discussing economic inequality and big business, while R relates more to the treatment of criminals and to sexual issues and military issues. Political spectrum_sentence_61

Most research and political theory since this time has replicated the factors shown above. Political spectrum_sentence_62

Another replication came from Ronald Inglehart's research into national opinions based on the World Values Survey, although Inglehart's research described the values of countries rather than individuals or groups of individuals within nations. Political spectrum_sentence_63

Inglehart's two-factor solution took the form of Ferguson's original religionism and humanitarianism dimensions; Inglehart labelled them "secularism–traditionalism", which covered issues of tradition and religion, like patriotism, abortion, euthanasia and the importance of obeying the law and authority figures, and "survivalism – self expression", which measured issues like everyday conduct and dress, acceptance of diversity (including foreigners) and innovation and attitudes towards people with specific controversial lifestyles such as homosexuality and vegetarianism, as well as willingness to engage in political activism. Political spectrum_sentence_64

See for Inglehart's national chart. Political spectrum_sentence_65

Other double-axis models Political spectrum_section_8

Greenberg and Jonas: left–right, ideological rigidity Political spectrum_section_9

In a 2003 Psychological Bulletin paper, Jeff Greenberg and Eva Jonas posit a model comprising the standard left–right axis and an axis representing ideological rigidity. Political spectrum_sentence_66

For Greenberg and Jonas, ideological rigidity has "much in common with the related concepts of dogmatism and authoritarianism" and is characterized by "believing in strong leaders and submission, preferring one’s own in-group, ethnocentrism and nationalism, aggression against dissidents, and control with the help of police and military". Political spectrum_sentence_67

Greenberg and Jonas posit that high ideological rigidity can be motivated by "particularly strong needs to reduce fear and uncertainty" and is a primary shared characteristic of "people who subscribe to any extreme government or ideology, whether it is right-wing or left-wing". Political spectrum_sentence_68

Inglehart: traditionalist–secular and self expressionist–survivalist Political spectrum_section_10

In its 4 January 2003 issue, The Economist discussed a chart, proposed by Ronald Inglehart and supported by the World Values Survey (associated with the University of Michigan), to plot cultural ideology onto two dimensions. Political spectrum_sentence_69

On the y-axis it covered issues of tradition and religion, like patriotism, abortion, euthanasia and the importance of obeying the law and authority figures. Political spectrum_sentence_70

At the bottom of the chart is the traditionalist position on issues like these (with loyalty to country and family and respect for life considered important), while at the top is the secular position. Political spectrum_sentence_71

The x-axis deals with self-expression, issues like everyday conduct and dress, acceptance of diversity (including foreigners) and innovation, and attitudes towards people with specific controversial lifestyles such as vegetarianism, as well as willingness to engage in political activism. Political spectrum_sentence_72

At the right of the chart is the open self-expressionist position, while at the left is its opposite position, which Inglehart calls survivalist. Political spectrum_sentence_73

This chart not only has the power to map the values of individuals, but also to compare the values of people in different countries. Political spectrum_sentence_74

Placed on this chart, European Union countries in continental Europe come out on the top right, Anglophone countries on the middle right, Latin American countries on the bottom right, African, Middle Eastern and South Asian countries on the bottom left and ex-Communist countries on the top left. Political spectrum_sentence_75

Pournelle: liberty–control, irrationalism–rationalism Political spectrum_section_11

Main article: Pournelle chart Political spectrum_sentence_76

This very distinct two-axis model was created by Jerry Pournelle in 1963 for his doctoral dissertation in political science. Political spectrum_sentence_77

The Pournelle chart has liberty on one axis, with those on the left seeking freedom from control or protections for social deviance and those on the right emphasizing state authority or protections for norm enforcement (farthest right being state worship, farthest left being the idea of a state as the "ultimate evil"). Political spectrum_sentence_78

The other axis is rationalism, defined here as the belief in planned social progress, with those higher up believing that there are problems with society that can be rationally solved and those lower down skeptical of such approaches. Political spectrum_sentence_79

Mitchell: Eight Ways to Run the Country Political spectrum_section_12

In 2006, Brian Patrick Mitchell identified four main political traditions in Anglo-American history based on their regard for kratos (defined as the use of force) and archē or "archy" (defined as the recognition of rank). Political spectrum_sentence_80

Mitchell grounded the distinction of archy and kratos in the West's historical experience of church and state, crediting the collapse of the Christian consensus on church and state with the appearance of four main divergent traditions in Western political thought: Political spectrum_sentence_81

Political spectrum_unordered_list_2

Mitchell charts these traditions graphically using a vertical axis as a scale of kratos/akrateia and a horizontal axis as a scale of archy/anarchy. Political spectrum_sentence_82

He places democratic progressivism in the lower left, plutocratic nationalism in the lower right, republican constitutionalism in the upper right, and libertarian individualism in the upper left. Political spectrum_sentence_83

The political left is therefore distinguished by its rejection of archy, while the political right is distinguished by its acceptance of archy. Political spectrum_sentence_84

For Mitchell, anarchy is not the absence of government but the rejection of rank. Political spectrum_sentence_85

Thus there can be both anti-government anarchists (Mitchell's "libertarian individualists") and pro-government anarchists (Mitchell's "democratic progressives", who favor the use of government force against social hierarchies such as patriarchy). Political spectrum_sentence_86

Mitchell also distinguishes between left-wing anarchists and right-wing anarchists, whom Mitchell renames "akratists" for their opposition to the government's use of force. Political spectrum_sentence_87

From the four main political traditions, Mitchell identifies eight distinct political perspectives diverging from a populist center. Political spectrum_sentence_88

Four of these perspectives (Progressive, Individualist, Paleoconservative, and Neoconservative) fit squarely within the four traditions; four others (Paleolibertarian, Theoconservative, Communitarian, and Radical) fit between the traditions, being defined by their singular focus on rank or force. Political spectrum_sentence_89

Nolan: economic freedom, personal freedom Political spectrum_section_13

Main article: Nolan Chart Political spectrum_sentence_90

The Nolan Chart was created by libertarian David Nolan. Political spectrum_sentence_91

This chart shows what he considers as "economic freedom" (issues like taxation, free trade and free enterprise) on the horizontal axis and what he considers as "personal freedom" (issues like drug legalization, abortion and the draft) on the vertical axis. Political spectrum_sentence_92

This puts left-wingers in the left quadrant, libertarians in the top, centrists in the middle, right-wingers in the right and what Nolan originally named populists in the bottom. Political spectrum_sentence_93

Several popular online tests, where individuals can self-identify their political values, utilize the same two axes as the Nolan Chart, including The Political Compass and iSideWith.com. Political spectrum_sentence_94

Spatial model Political spectrum_section_14

The spatial model of voting plots voters and candidates in a multi-dimensional space where each dimension represents a single political issue sub-component of an issue, or candidate attribute. Political spectrum_sentence_95

Voters are then modeled as having an "ideal point" in this space and voting for the nearest candidates to that point. Political spectrum_sentence_96

The dimensions of this model can also be assigned to non-political properties of the candidates, such as perceived corruption, health, etc. Political spectrum_sentence_97

Most of the other spectra in this article can then be considered projections of this multi-dimensional space onto a smaller number of dimensions. Political spectrum_sentence_98

For example, a study of German voters found that at least four dimensions were required to adequately represent all political parties. Political spectrum_sentence_99

See also: Issue voting and Models of issue voting Political spectrum_sentence_100

Other proposed dimensions Political spectrum_section_15

In 1998, political author Virginia Postrel, in her book The Future and Its Enemies, offered another single-axis spectrum that measures views of the future, contrasting stasists, who allegedly fear the future and wish to control it, and dynamists, who want the future to unfold naturally and without attempts to plan and control. Political spectrum_sentence_101

The distinction corresponds to the utopian versus dystopian spectrum used in some theoretical assessments of liberalism and the book's title is borrowed from the work of the anti-utopian classic-liberal theorist Karl Popper. Political spectrum_sentence_102

It could also be seen as simply another name for conservatism versus progressivism. Political spectrum_sentence_103

Other proposed axes include: Political spectrum_sentence_104

Political spectrum_unordered_list_3

  • Focus of political concern: communitarianism vs. individualism. These labels are preferred to the loaded language of "totalitarianism" (anti-freedom) vs. "libertarianism" (pro-freedom), because one can have a political focus on the community without being totalitarian and undemocratic. Council communism is a political philosophy that would be counted as communitarian on this axis, but is not totalitarian or undemocratic.Political spectrum_item_3_13
  • Responses to conflict: according to the political philosopher Charles Blattberg, those who would respond to conflict with conversation should be considered as on the left, with negotiation as in the centre, and with force as on the right. See his essay "Political Philosophies and Political Ideologies".Political spectrum_item_3_14
  • Role of the church: clericalism vs. anti-clericalism. This axis is less significant in the United States (where views of the role of religion tend to be subsumed into the general left–right axis) than in Europe (where clericalism versus anti-clericalism is much less correlated with the left–right spectrum).Political spectrum_item_3_15
  • Urban vs. rural: this axis is significant today in the politics of Europe, Australia and Canada. The urban vs. rural axis was equally prominent in the United States' political past, but its importance is debatable at present. In the late 18th century and early 19th century in the United States, it would have been described as the conflict between Hamiltonian Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans.Political spectrum_item_3_16
  • Foreign policy: interventionism (the nation should exert power abroad to implement its policy) vs. non-interventionism (the nation should keep to its own affairs). Similarly, multilateralism (coordination of policies with other countries) vs. isolationism and unilateralismPolitical spectrum_item_3_17
  • Geopolitics: relations with individual states or groups of states may also be vital to party politics. During the Cold War, parties often had to choose a position on a scale between pro-American and pro-Soviet Union, although this could at times closely match a left–right spectrum. At other times in history relations with other powerful states has been important. In early Canadian history relations with Great Britain were a central theme, although this was not "foreign policy" but a debate over the proper place of Canada within the British Empire.Political spectrum_item_3_18
  • International action: multilateralism (states should cooperate and compromise) versus unilateralism (states have a strong, even unconditional, right to make their own decisions).Political spectrum_item_3_19
  • Political violence: pacifism (political views should not be imposed by violent force) vs. militancy (violence is a legitimate or necessary means of political expression). In North America, particularly in the United States, holders of these views are often referred to as "doves" and "hawks", respectively.Political spectrum_item_3_20
  • Foreign trade: globalization (world economic markets should become integrated and interdependent) vs. autarky (the nation or polity should strive for economic independence). During the early history of the Commonwealth of Australia, this was the major political continuum. At that time it was called free trade vs. protectionism.Political spectrum_item_3_21
  • Trade freedom vs. trade equity: free trade (businesses should be able trade across borders without regulations) vs. fair trade (international trade should be regulated on behalf of social justice).Political spectrum_item_3_22
  • Diversity: multiculturalism (the nation should represent a diversity of cultural ideas) vs. assimilationism or nationalism (the nation should primarily represent, or forge, a majority culture).Political spectrum_item_3_23
  • Participation: democracy (rule of the majority) vs. aristocracy (rule by the enlightened, elitism) vs. tyranny (total degradation of Aristocracy). Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle recognized tyranny as a state in which the tyrant is ruled by utter passion, and not reason like the philosopher, resulting in the tyrant pursuing his own desires rather than the common good.Political spectrum_item_3_24
  • Freedom: positive liberty (having rights which impose an obligation on others) vs. negative liberty (having rights which prohibit interference by others).Political spectrum_item_3_25
  • Social power: totalitarianism vs. anarchism (control vs. no control) Analyzes the fundamental political interaction among people, and between individuals and their environment. Often posits the existence of a moderate system as existing between the two extremes.Political spectrum_item_3_26
  • Change: radicals (who believe in rapid change) and progressives (who believe in measured, incremental change) vs. conservatives (who believe in preserving the status quo) vs. reactionaries (who believe in changing things to a previous state).Political spectrum_item_3_27
  • Origin of state authority: popular sovereignty (the state as a creation of the people, with enumerated, delegated powers) vs. various forms of absolutism and organic state philosophy (the state as an original and essential authority) vs. the view held in anarcho-primitivism that "civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home".Political spectrum_item_3_28
  • Levels of sovereignty: unionism vs. federalism vs. separatism; or centralism vs. regionalism. Especially important in societies where strong regional or ethnic identities are political issues.Political spectrum_item_3_29
  • Openness: closed (culturally conservative and protectionist) vs. open (socially liberal and globalist). Popularised as a concept by Tony Blair in 2007 and increasingly dominant in 21st century European and North American politics.Political spectrum_item_3_32

Political-spectrum-based forecasts Political spectrum_section_16

As shown by Russian political scientist Stepan S. Sulakshin, political spectra can be used as a forecasting tool. Political spectrum_sentence_105

Sulakshin offered mathematical evidence that stable development (positive dynamics of the vast number of statistic indices) depends on the width of the political spectrum: if it is too narrow or too wide, stagnation or political disasters will result. Political spectrum_sentence_106

Sulakshin also showed that in the short run the political spectrum determines the statistic indices dynamic and not vice versa. Political spectrum_sentence_107

Biological variables Political spectrum_section_17

Main article: Biology and political orientation Political spectrum_sentence_108

A number of studies have found that biology can be linked with political orientation. Political spectrum_sentence_109

This means that biology is a possible factor in political orientation but may also mean that the ideology a person identifies with changes a person's ability to perform certain tasks. Political spectrum_sentence_110

Many of the studies linking biology to politics remain controversial and unreplicated, although the overall body of evidence is growing. Political spectrum_sentence_111

Studies have found that subjects with conservative political views have larger amygdalae and are more prone to feeling disgust. Political spectrum_sentence_112

Liberals have larger volume of grey matter in the anterior cingulate cortex and are better at detecting errors in recurring patterns. Political spectrum_sentence_113

The anterior cingulate cortex is used when dealing with conflicting information. Political spectrum_sentence_114

A study done by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and New York University (NYU) had participants sort through a deck of cards. Political spectrum_sentence_115

The letter M was 4x more likely to be in the deck than the letter W. Participants had to press a button everytime a M came up in the deck. Political spectrum_sentence_116

Liberals were shown to make less errors in mistaking the W for the M. This behavioral study supported the notion that liberals are better with dealing with conflicting information. Political spectrum_sentence_117

Conservatives have a stronger sympathetic nervous system response to threatening images and are more likely to interpret ambiguous facial expressions as threatening. Political spectrum_sentence_118

In general, conservatives are more likely to report larger social networks, more happiness and better self-esteem than liberals. Political spectrum_sentence_119

Liberals are more likely to report greater emotional distress, relationship dissatisfaction and experiential hardship and are more open to experience and tolerate uncertainty and disorder better. Political spectrum_sentence_120

Genetic factors account for at least some of the variation of political views. Political spectrum_sentence_121

From the perspective of evolutionary psychology, conflicts regarding redistribution of wealth may have been common in the ancestral environment and humans may have developed psychological mechanisms for judging their own chances of succeeding in such conflicts. Political spectrum_sentence_122

These mechanisms affect political views. Political spectrum_sentence_123

See also Political spectrum_section_18

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political spectrum.