Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Political Spectrum

Welcome to the Political Spectrum, a work in progress. I made it when it occurred to me that there were more dimensions to political ideology than mere conservatism and liberalism. In an effort to map this out, I decided adding the spectrum of radicalism versus conventionalism, which measures how much a person's ideas would change the status quo.

You'll notice that as one becomes more radical, the harder it is to identify them as either liberal or conservative. For example, Joseph Stalin's dictatorial rule can hardly be called liberal, however, he rose in power under a leftist Communist political system. Stalin's placement on the liberal side of the board shows tells us more about the rhetoric of this administration than about his policies. I also had to view everyone through the lens of history, which is why Ronald Reagan now looks like a conventionalist. This was harder to do than it looks.

As I put names in, I also noticed a V-shaped pattern appear. Perhaps because it's hard to be a radical moderate, just as it's hard to hold strong political views if you think everything is fine. Most of the American population, I believe, lies in a soft triangle between John Stewart, George Bush, and Barack Obama.

Of course, this is very far from done. This is the work of one man, and in order to fine-tune it, I need input. Let me know where you think people on the chart should be. Let me know where you think other figures from history, media, or politics should be. Let me know where you should be.

Let's spread the world. The more nuanced our understanding of the Political Spectrum, the smarter this country becomes.

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