The Political Compass

The concept of the political compass is familiar to many people. On the compass I fall in the left libertarian quadrant.

PoliticalCompass

As you can see the political compass has 2 axis, a left/right axis and a libertarian/authoritarian axis. Political positions are described as falling into one quadrant.

The authoritarian right quadrant would describe the position of right wing ideologies like Nazis, fascists, conservative religious and neocons. They share a desire for controlling the behaviour of other people on social issues but with minimum control in business and economic matters. They group as controlling groups wishing to police the behaviour of others for their own benefit, however differently they define that benefit.

The libertarian right represents Ayn Rand types who eschew any state of government control in the lives of people, either in the social arena or the economic one. Rand Paul best exemplifies this position. They desire the dismemberment of government and the total deregulation of the economy.

The libertarian left values freedom and individual autonomy in social and personal matters but favour government intervention in the market economy. They do not advocate adherence to positions contrary to one’s conscience. They believe that run away economic freedom results in a diminished opportunities for most people to exercise any autonomy in their lives. They believe in social programs to promote such.

The authoritarian left includes Marxists, feminists and most identity politics. I have not included white nationalists in with the identity politics because they are very much right authoritarians with equal, but opposite, instincts. It will become obvious in this post why I fear identity politics of the left as much as I fear that of the right.  Tomorrow’s repressive racists are to be found with the vehement anti-racists of today.

We hear of Nazi apparatchiks in Eastern Europe readily becoming Stalinist apparatchiks without missing a heartbeat. How could someone switch allegiances between 2 diametrically opposed world ideologies?

Robert A Heinlein started off on the left side of politics working for the Southern Poverty Law Centre but switched to the right supporting the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign. He practised nudity. Clearly he was a right libertarian. How could someone switch allegiances between 2 diametrically opposed world ideologies?

Most neocons who ascended to power under G W Bush started out their political lives as Marxists before they became neocons. How could someone switch allegiances between 2 diametrically opposed world ideologies?

The Youtuber T J Kirk (better known as The Amazing Atheist) described himself as originally being a libertarian, meaning a right libertarian but would today clearly identify as a left libertarian. How could someone switch allegiances between 2 diametrically opposed world ideologies?

What is going on here with all these people changing their ideologies? I think the change within these people is not as deep as at first it may seem. My hypothesis is that the left/right axis is mainly cerebral cortex centred, consisting of ideas which are malleable with time and experience but I believe the libertarian/authoritarian axis is rooted deeper in the lymbric system of the brain, a part of the brain we inherited from pre-human ancestors. This is a disposition which does not readily change but seems hard wired. Some people have a more libertarian temperament and other people have a more authoritarian temperament. We do not become authoritarian or libertarian with considered thought. We are one or the other and the cerebral cortex goes to work to “ennoble” our instincts, to spin doctor with “reasons” and that becomes “what we think”. Thus a Nazi apparatchik can reason his way to becoming a Stalinist apparatchik but he does not lose his authoritarian bent. Similarly a Marxist can reason his way to becoming a neocon but he doesn’t lose his authoritarian bent. Both of these types have “ennobled” their basic instinct on the libertarian/authoritarian axis.

Similarly Heinlein reasoned his way to the right end of libertarianism but did not lose his libertarian bent. He was libertine in his lifestyle choices. T J Kirk started out as a typical right libertarian but with reasons moved to a left libertarian position. He kept his libertarian bent.

It is easy to see why I fear feminism and other forms of identity politics even though they oppose the authoritarian right. It is their inherent authoritarianism and in the future they could become the very people they fear because in truth they are not very different. There are almost no libertarian feminists other than the usual NAFALT (not all feminists are like that) who have no voice or choose not to raise it if they do, having seen what happens to others. This is a big reason for my blog; to counter the faux activism of authoritarian leftists who used disenfranchised groups as their shield and their cover while indulge the darker angels of their nature. They are like the neocons who tout the “freedom” of people oppressed by dictators while they themselves would become dictator in a blink, given a chance.

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