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Going Back to Square One: Getting Political Labels Right.

Columbusite

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All over this site people, myself included, have to varying degrees improperly used certain adjectives incorrectly to describe others political beliefs. I think we need to come to some sort of common ground on this before moving on to any further topics to avoid confusion. So many labels have baggage attached that really shouldn't be there. Whether it be "liberal" or "conservative". Before we start stamping all sorts of labels on one another, we should decide what the labels we use should be centered upon. I think we should center them around how much freedom one supports in their society.

On the one end of the spectrum there is anarchism and the other totalitarianism. This is the context I am using when I describe myself as a liberal. For me, I want as much freedom as possible without going as far as anarchy. The term "conservative" doesn't mean anything in this context without detailing what it is that is being conserved. If you think the government should be able to liberally execute anyone they want, you're not a liberal. If you seek to conserve the idea that "all men are created equal" by supporting the equal treatment of all citizens by the government I would say that is liberal, so long as that equality guarantees lots of freedom for everyone. If you want to conserve an idea that makes some citizens 2nd class-citizens under the government, that is authoritiran. So what do you all think? Is it possible to come to some sort of agreement on what we should base our labelling on? Or are we going to have to clarify each and every time we post what we mean when we say "___" in this or that context? This should be interesting nontheless.
 

Skip

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I think these definitions are subjective, and each individual person holds those definitions in their own mind, along with strong connotations associated with those words. "Neocon" holds a strong negative connotation in my mind, but that is probably not the case with other DP users such as Navy Pride, CurrentAffairs, aquapub, and other neoconservatives.
 

Columbusite

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I think these definitions are subjective, and each individual person holds those definitions in their own mind, along with strong connotations associated with those words. "Neocon" holds a strong negative connotation in my mind, but that is probably not the case with other DP users such as Navy Pride, CurrentAffairs, aquapub, and other neoconservatives.

Whether one sees neo-conservatism as a good or bad thing that is indeed subjective. However, I'd have to disagree that there is much subjectivity on what the term itself means.
 

Thelost1

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there are definitions somewhere, wikipedia has some. But I don't think that you'll ever convince some neocons that liberal mans anything but cowardly. unamerican, jesus-hating idiot. Likewise, for many liberals, "conservative" means greedy, bigoted, middle-american jesus-freak. it's all in perceptives.
 

Southern Belle

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I always thought conservatives TRY to conserve morals and decency and Right and Wrong and Liberals don't actually believe in Right and Wrong and they just say morals are whatever people feel like they are.
 

jfuh

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Here's a better idea, instead of using conservative or liberal swishing it around and framing each other in a negative light judge the persona on the person it is.
 

Real Korimyr #9

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I think we should center them around how much freedom one supports in their society. ... On the one end of the spectrum there is anarchism and the other totalitarianism.

I think you are making the same mistake as the old Left vs. Right political model, and much for the same reason-- you wish to emphasize freedom as the primary political value and the conflict between freedom and authority as the primary political conflict.

While there's only really one kind of anarchy, there are many different kinds of authoritarianism-- and far, far more kinds of society that fall in-between.

For instance, I would call myself "progressive". There are a set of values-- moral and material alike-- that I believe society should seek to improve itself in, and I believe that the government has a legitimate role in encouraging this pursuit. Ideally, a government pursuing those values would probably be more authoritarian than the mainstream members of either the Republican or the Democratic Party, yet I have little in common with the more authoritarian members of either. (And they certainly have very little in common with each other.)

On the other hand, other people just use this label as a synonym for "liberal", which you would certainly never accuse me of.

Colombusite said:
So what do you all think? Is it possible to come to some sort of agreement on what we should base our labelling on?

I think it's possible, if we defaulted to dictionary definitions and classical political science and then discussed how they applied. That's a thread I would love to participate in. We would certainly benefit from distinguishing between all the various ideologies that our political discourse has attempted to conflate into "conservative" and "liberal"-- especially considering how many of those ideologies are mutually exclusive and how many of them bear no resemblance to the camps they've been assigned.

And for my own personal axe to grind, I'd love to see more people understand how Classical Liberalism developed into Modern Liberalism-- and how the former is not related to Libertarianism and the latter not related to Socialism. (This is a historical nitpick due to my hatred of revisionism.)
 

rathi

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True, the classical liberal has little to do with the modern day liberal. I'd suggest that we use the 2 axis political graph with social/economic axises and post your coordinate numbers instead. However, since this forum is mostly filled with social wedge issues, economic debate is kinda slim. Still, its more accurate than blanket numbers.
 

RightinNYC

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Neocon" holds a strong negative connotation in my mind, but that is probably not the case with other DP users such as Navy Pride, CurrentAffairs, aquapub, and other neoconservatives.

there are definitions somewhere, wikipedia has some. But I don't think that you'll ever convince some neocons that liberal mans anything but cowardly. unamerican, jesus-hating idiot.

Anyone else find it ironic that in a thread dedicated to clearing up misconceptions about political labels, two posters completely misconstrue the meaning of "neocon?":lol:
 

RightinNYC

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All over this site people, myself included, have to varying degrees improperly used certain adjectives incorrectly to describe others political beliefs. I think we need to come to some sort of common ground on this before moving on to any further topics to avoid confusion. So many labels have baggage attached that really shouldn't be there. Whether it be "liberal" or "conservative". Before we start stamping all sorts of labels on one another, we should decide what the labels we use should be centered upon. I think we should center them around how much freedom one supports in their society.

On the one end of the spectrum there is anarchism and the other totalitarianism. This is the context I am using when I describe myself as a liberal. For me, I want as much freedom as possible without going as far as anarchy. The term "conservative" doesn't mean anything in this context without detailing what it is that is being conserved. If you think the government should be able to liberally execute anyone they want, you're not a liberal. If you seek to conserve the idea that "all men are created equal" by supporting the equal treatment of all citizens by the government I would say that is liberal, so long as that equality guarantees lots of freedom for everyone. If you want to conserve an idea that makes some citizens 2nd class-citizens under the government, that is authoritiran. So what do you all think? Is it possible to come to some sort of agreement on what we should base our labelling on? Or are we going to have to clarify each and every time we post what we mean when we say "___" in this or that context? This should be interesting nontheless.

Your analysis has some flaws. For example, let's say that I opposed federal legislation that would allow gay marriage, and instead supported allowing each state to decide the issue. By your standard, that would make me "authoritarian," because it would be creating the possibility of allowing for citizens to not to be treated "equally." However, it is demonstrably LESS authoritarian to support devolving power to the states.

Political leaning is not something that can be classified on any one spectrum, be it conservative-liberal, authoritarian-libertarian, or totalitarian-anarchic.
 

Real Korimyr #9

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For reference:

Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.36

I do not believe this is accurate, since I am not nearly as hostile to private enterprise as Walt Brown-- and several of my "liberal" social answers are matters of accepting scientific evidence, not a laissez-faire attitude. The problem is, the desire to preserve moral order is usually paired with a stubborn insistence on using the wrong tools and ignoring the consequences of doing so.

I prefer the test offered at Moral Politics, which bases results on more philosophical questions than issue-by-issue analysis.

According to Moral Politics, I am:
Moral Order 2.5
Moral Rules 1

This places me as a Moderate Authoritarian or a Social Republican. Essentially, my problem with American politics is that our "liberals" are undisciplined, and our "conservatives" are either utterly selfish or religious tyrants.
 

jfuh

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For reference:

Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.36

I do not believe this is accurate, since I am not nearly as hostile to private enterprise as Walt Brown-- and several of my "liberal" social answers are matters of accepting scientific evidence, not a laissez-faire attitude. The problem is, the desire to preserve moral order is usually paired with a stubborn insistence on using the wrong tools and ignoring the consequences of doing so.

I prefer the test offered at Moral Politics, which bases results on more philosophical questions than issue-by-issue analysis.

According to Moral Politics, I am:
Moral Order 2.5
Moral Rules 1

This places me as a Moderate Authoritarian or a Social Republican. Essentially, my problem with American politics is that our "liberals" are undisciplined, and our "conservatives" are either utterly selfish or religious tyrants.
Cool.
Myself
Pol_600d9efe4bd14e9fa2bc269bdf0d3846.png

Moral Rules 2.5
Moral Order 0
So that would be for matches:
Matches
The following items best match your score:
  1. System: Socialism, Liberalism
  2. Variation: Moderate Socialism, Moderate Liberalism
  3. Ideologies: Social Democratism, Capital Democratism
  4. US Parties: Democratic Party
  5. Presidents: Jimmy Carter (93.37%)
  6. 2004 Election Candidates: John Kerry (90.89%), Ralph Nader (83.91%), George W. Bush (60.16%)
As to the response of liberals being "undisciplined" Could you tell me what you mean by that?
 

RightinNYC

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That was a pretty interesting test.

Pol_50f6d50d51b54f67b89f7fccdfec6dbf.png


Matches

The following items best match your score:

1. System: Conservatism
2. Variation: Moderate Conservatism
3. Ideologies: Capital Republicanism
4. US Parties: Republican Party
5. Presidents: Gerald Ford (92.03%)
6. 2004 Election Candidates: John Kerry (80.11%), George W. Bush (79.63%), Ralph Nader (64.30%)

I'm not sure that they had a very accurate analysis of Bush's positions though, as they claimed he was the most conservative president since WWII.
 

RightinNYC

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For comparison...

American Parties:

Pol_af4902c5b94a4c0484b5b61923482c0d.png


British Parties:

Pol_9c12982ece8f4135a6058b90bbfc68f9.png


French Parties:

Pol_ddecdf5a8b0946fa840de6e11aaf6ad9.png


G8 Countries:

Pol_1be737ae2f594da9a147a0087ea46efd.png


And for a lark, Religions:

Pol_cc8dfdf4525c49e2afe2357bbd6103cd.png


By that measure, France and Germany are practically Buddhist, Italy isn't Catholic, Japan is a cross between Catholicism and Islam, and the UK and the US are just a bunch of Protestants and Jews.
 

Adrian

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Holy hell, I landed drop dead in the center of the moral matrix.


Your Score

Your scored 0 on the Moral Order axis and 0 on the Moral Rules axis.

Matches

The following items best match your score:

1. System: Socialism, Authoritarianism, Conservatism, Liberalism
2. Variation: Moderate Socialism, Moderate Authoritarianism, Moderate Conservatism, Moderate Liberalism
3. Ideologies: Social Democratism, Social Republicanism, Capital Republicanism, Capital Democratism
4. US Parties: Democratic Party
5. Presidents: Gerald Ford (86.74%)
6. 2004 Election Candidates: John Kerry (84.07%), Ralph Nader (73.12%), George W. Bush (68.75%)

Statistics

Of the 266996 people who took the test:

1. 2.3% had the same score as you.
2. 36.8% were above you on the chart.
3. 51.8% were below you on the chart.
4. 28.5% were to your right on the chart.
5. 59.6% were to your left on the chart.
 

jfuh

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For comparison...

American Parties:

Pol_af4902c5b94a4c0484b5b61923482c0d.png


British Parties:

Pol_9c12982ece8f4135a6058b90bbfc68f9.png


French Parties:

Pol_ddecdf5a8b0946fa840de6e11aaf6ad9.png


G8 Countries:

Pol_1be737ae2f594da9a147a0087ea46efd.png


And for a lark, Religions:

Pol_cc8dfdf4525c49e2afe2357bbd6103cd.png


By that measure, France and Germany are practically Buddhist, Italy isn't Catholic, Japan is a cross between Catholicism and Islam, and the UK and the US are just a bunch of Protestants and Jews.
By this, seems the british has the most balanced of parties. the Us has shifted to the right some what and the French - well they're just crazy.

The Religion post though is most interesting - Buddhism hmmm sure explains my leanings some what hahahaha.
 

RightinNYC

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By this, seems the british has the most balanced of parties. the Us has shifted to the right some what and the French - well they're just crazy.

The Religion post though is most interesting - Buddhism hmmm sure explains my leanings some what hahahaha.

Yea, it is pretty interesting that in France, the "Parti Liberal" is the closest thing they have to brownshirts.:lol:

And Britain does seem to be the most balanced, closely followed by....religion. It'd be interesting to see a country actually governed by candidates from all the various religious parties.
 

jfuh

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Yea, it is pretty interesting that in France, the "Parti Liberal" is the closest thing they have to brownshirts.:lol:

And Britain does seem to be the most balanced, closely followed by....religion. It'd be interesting to see a country actually governed by candidates from all the various religious parties.
Actually I'd find a country governed by no religious authorities more interesting - just for the sole purpose of.
The closest would be china today, but one party is hardly interesting at all.
 

Real Korimyr #9

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As to the response of liberals being "undisciplined" Could you tell me what you mean by that?

I believe that they are overly concerned with whether or not people are allowed to do something, and not enough concerned with whether or not they ought to.

You see this most in all the social wedge issues-- which, for the most part, I tend to agree with them upon-- but it shows up on the financial side as well. They speak of homosexuals' right to marry and adopt, but not the importance of marriage and family to society and why, regardless of who we allow to participate in them, these institutions must be preserved. They speak of peoples' right to healthcare and education, good jobs and the necessities of life, but not of our duty to provide for ourselves and our families, and to reach out to our neighbors before they have cause to call upon the government.

I do not disagree with any of these things. But I believe that to have them-- for everyone to have them-- we have to deserve them. We have to teach our children the moral values that make these things possible, and we have to learn to uphold them ourselves.

Government can provide many services in an organized, consistent, and efficient manner, but it requires the citizens to actively support them. Schools cannot teach students disinterested in learning, and hospitals cannot treat patients unwilling to take care of themselves.

I'm not sure that they had a very accurate analysis of Bush's positions though, as they claimed he was the most conservative president since WWII.

By their criteria-- high value in Moral Rules and low value in Moral Order-- do you have suggestions for who might be moreso? He's not "conservative" by my understanding of the word, but he's certainly closer to the lower right-hand corner than any other President I can think of.
 
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RightinNYC

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By their criteria-- high value in Moral Rules and low value in Moral Order-- do you have suggestions for who might be moreso? He's not "conservative" by my understanding of the word, but he's certainly closer to the lower right-hand corner than any other President I can think of.

Well, first, even if we take their placements as true on their face, then based on their own graph and description its not necessarily true:

Pol_af9aa8fe002540f8baf26202173d4ef5.png


On this page, they say that Carter is the most liberal. Now, Carter had two presidents to the left of him (on the graph), but he's the highest, so for that statement to be true, it must mean that up/down is more translatable to liberal/conservative. By that measure, Reagan would be considered more conservative than Bush.

But to look more at the actual measuring mechanism, the left/right (on the chart) measurement is based on Moral Order and is called "conformance" on the right side.

Their description:

Conformance is the notion of a structured moral order. People who like Conformance tend to have many steps on their moral order ladder. For instance, they may believe that:

1. God ranks above people
2. Men rank above women
3. Some cultures rank above others
4. Some countries rank above others
5. Some lifestyles rank above others
6. Some social classes rank above others...

A structured moral order brings uniformity of thought and behavior across society. It encourages each individual to respect the established moral order.

People on this side of the Matrix may support:

1. Integration of church and state
2. Family values
3. Military programs
4. Abortion-Control

I would argue that other presidents such as Eisenhower/GHWB/Reagan were probably more conservative than Bush on issues such as family values, abortion, military programs, and especially the valuation of certain societies/groups/cultures over others.
 

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I believe that they are overly concerned with whether or not people are allowed to do something, and not enough concerned with whether or not they ought to.

You see this most in all the social wedge issues-- which, for the most part, I tend to agree with them upon-- but it shows up on the financial side as well. They speak of homosexuals' right to marry and adopt, but not the importance of marriage and family to society and why, regardless of who we allow to participate in them, these institutions must be preserved. They speak of peoples' right to healthcare and education, good jobs and the necessities of life, but not of our duty to provide for ourselves and our families, and to reach out to our neighbors before they have cause to call upon the government.

I do not disagree with any of these things. But I believe that to have them-- for everyone to have them-- we have to deserve them. We have to teach our children the moral values that make these things possible, and we have to learn to uphold them ourselves.

Government can provide many services in an organized, consistent, and efficient manner, but it requires the citizens to actively support them. Schools cannot teach students disinterested in learning, and hospitals cannot treat patients unwilling to take care of themselves.
I'm not quite sure I understand what you're saying so let me try my best here. And I say so because I don't understand how this is limited to liberals alone.
I assume what you are saying goes down to the sense of entitlement and responsibility. And while I kind of see where you're going with it, I simply don't see it restricted to liberals only but to American's overall. A sense of entitlement to everything without the effort put in to get it. And when the going gets thought it's time for finger pointing at whomever other then themselves.
 

jfuh

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Well, first, even if we take their placements as true on their face, then based on their own graph and description its not necessarily true:

Pol_af9aa8fe002540f8baf26202173d4ef5.png


On this page, they say that Carter is the most liberal. Now, Carter had two presidents to the left of him (on the graph), but he's the highest, so for that statement to be true, it must mean that up/down is more translatable to liberal/conservative. By that measure, Reagan would be considered more conservative than Bush.

But to look more at the actual measuring mechanism, the left/right (on the chart) measurement is based on Moral Order and is called "conformance" on the right side.

Their description:



I would argue that other presidents such as Eisenhower/GHWB/Reagan were probably more conservative than Bush on issues such as family values, abortion, military programs, and especially the valuation of certain societies/groups/cultures over others.
Yes, that would hold true unless you were looking at their slopes and the degree of those slopes from the center. To which then the values and postulations hold true. Carter would be the most liberal while Bush the most conservative.
 

Real Korimyr #9

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On this page, they say that Carter is the most liberal. Now, Carter had two presidents to the left of him (on the graph), but he's the highest, so for that statement to be true, it must mean that up/down is more translatable to liberal/conservative.

Instead of comparing them to the (0,0) point of the graph, I think it's more telling to measure from the center of American politics-- at or near Ford's position on the chart.

That makes Carter farther away from the center than JFK or LBJ, and Bush farther than Reagan.

RightatNYU said:
I would argue that other presidents such as Eisenhower/GHWB/Reagan were probably more conservative than Bush on issues such as family values, abortion, military programs, and especially the valuation of certain societies/groups/cultures over others.

I might give you Reagan on stratification by social class and quite possibly race. (I'm not in a position to argue Reagan's racial politics, but Bush's are respectably egalitarian.)

I'd argue that if Bush isn't more extreme on "family values", he has at least managed to go farther in support. Reagan spent more on military programs, but Bush has spent more on actual wars. And I believe that Bush is a far stronger proponent of the valuation of different social groups on the basis of religion.

Either way, I can't argue that it's a tight race.
 

Real Korimyr #9

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I assume what you are saying goes down to the sense of entitlement and responsibility. And while I kind of see where you're going with it, I simply don't see it restricted to liberals only but to Americans overall.

Not quite. As I see it, the problem is that liberals lack a proper sense of responsibility for individual conduct-- they don't expect people to act right-- whereas the conservatives lack a proper sense of responsibility to society.

By way of analogy, let us say there is a starving man on your couch. There are two problems: he does not have food to eat, and he is not contributing to society. Conservatives will tell him to go get a job, but they won't feed him-- despite the fact that a starving man can't work very well. Liberals will feed him, but they won't make him get off the couch.

jfuh said:
A sense of entitlement to everything without the effort put in to get it. And when the going gets thought it's time for finger pointing at whomever other then themselves.

I agree that this attitude is rampant in our society. We have forgotten that everything worth acheiving has a cost.
 

Skip

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What the hell? I'm a freaking socialist! :shock:

Pol_5a38ec1ef5dc4ef687b8bffebc74170b.png


Your Score

Your scored -3.5 on the Moral Order axis and 3 on the Moral Rules axis.

Matches

The following items best match your score:

1. System: Socialism
2. Variation: Moderate Socialism
3. Ideologies: Social Democratism
4. US Parties: No match.
5. Presidents: Jimmy Carter (86.56%)
6. 2004 Election Candidates: Ralph Nader (85.85%), John Kerry (77.79%), George W. Bush (48.41%)

Statistics

Of the 267110 people who took the test:

1. 0.8% had the same score as you.
2. 12.7% were above you on the chart.
3. 82.7% were below you on the chart.
4. 69.4% were to your right on the chart.
5. 22.5% were to your left on the chart.


I don't like this test. This is the first test that I've gotten something so extreme. It seems pretty thorough, however.
 
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