I find politics and political philosophy highly interesting,
but sometimes it is easy to be misled or confused. I'm going
to publish my guide right here.
These are all of the main factions I can think of. (If you have
any more, please post them in the comments and I'll discuss them.
And please no local or regional factions.)-Anarchists
Ok, I'm gonna tell a bit about each section. The Left-Right bar
should give you an idea of where each section stands in relation
to the political Left and Right. 0 is most Leftist, 10 is most Rightist.
Here's my definition of Left and Right, in general:
The Left likes more government, while the Right likes less government.
Of course other factors emerge in various areas, like race, morals,
etc., but my definition covers it best. If you disagree, please comment.
One question that still remains is what faction holds the political
center, and so calibrates the others? I will use "Moderates".
Left-Right rating: 1 or 10?
Anarchism is one of the strangest and most politically diverse factions.
One would think that anarchy would be an extreme Right position
(no government), but it's often paired with communism, which puts it
on the extreme Left. It can be most bizarre there, since communism
demands government enforcement or people won't work like they're
supposed to. Similarly, many anarcho-syndicalists want to tear down
capitalism, which is the natural human economy (other than war).
Left-Right rating: 8
When I refer to capitalism here, I refer to Lassez-Faire capitalism,
not the type we have today.
Capitalists believe that the government (especially the central
governments) should stay out of all economics, and believe that a
contract between two people should be enforced, but not tampered
with. They also believe in low tarrifs, no subsidization of any kind,
and little regulation (especially by bureaucratic institutions).
In fact, they see little in common with true capitalism and today's
watered down variety. Often allied with Libertarians, Localists,
and to a lesser extent, Conservatives.
Left-Right rating: 1
In theory Communism is supposed to be a voluntary association of
workers, which may work at tiny levels (families, religous
compounds), where everyone has many things in common, but on
larger levels it has been an abismal failure, because at every
larger-than-village level there is too big a divergence of opinions,
goals, work ethic, etc. to work effectively. Thus government
enforcement must begin to crack the whip and keep everyone
in line. Then the masters of these whips come to power and
enjoy the fruit of the workers labors. And finally, the workers starve
via corruption and inefficiency.
Left-Right rating: 6
Consevatism is a somewhat confusing term that means different
things in different places. Here I am refering to American
Consevatives strive to conserve the Constitution, morals, and a semi-
capitalist government and economy. However, they do not always
seek or advocate a strict interpretation of the constitution, like
when it comes to declaring war, often do not go as far as to
condemn presidents percieved as great, such as Lincoln and Roosevelt,
who installed the systems they seek to merely reduce, not eliminate.
Of course, some conservatives should be ranked 7 when they do these
things. Many, if not most, consevatives also are not Lassez Faire, and
condone certain subsidies and programs, regional or specialized tax
breaks, advocate certain business regulations especially when it comes
to "immoral" trades like gambling and organ sale, and very rarely
advocate the complete dismantlement of Social Security and other
large programs. They are often in fact political moderates.
Left-Right rating: vary
Contrary to popular belief, Fundamentalists are not on the political
right, because they endorse government enforcement of religion.
There are few western Fundamentalists nowadays, but most large
Fundamentalist governments are patterned on Islamic law. Some
Fundamentalist government are milder than others. The more
severe ones have to be called Leftist, however, because they clamp
down hard on economic and personal activities. Iran and
Taliban Afghanistan are two examples.
Left Right rating: 2
Interestingly, many Jihadists endorse communism, following
Marxist ideology and going one step further: after Communism
comes a Leftist Islamic government.
Left Right rating: 4
Liberals are moderate Leftists who do battle with Conservatives.
They tend to endorse a view of the Constitution which allows
personal interpretation, and view a large central government as
beneficial. They believe that they government should take care of
"the poor", and sometimes everyone else too (universal health care).
Some of the more Left leaning Liberals may earn a 3.
Debates with conservatives tend to focus on the scope of government
care, not its existence; on morals; on gun control (also usually on its
scope, not existence), on abortion (one thing conservatives take a
solid no position on); on amounts of regulation; and finally,
the current political scandals and events, which offer the most exciting
and heated debates. It is a fact that the great American political
conflicts are lead by political moderates who differ by degrees,
Left-Right rating: 8-9
Libertarians believe in even less government than the Capitalists
often do, and are closely aligned with Localists and afore
Libertarians believe that all personal decisions, including morality
related ones, should stay out of the government's hands. They also
tend to agree with Lassez-Faire Capitalists, except they disagree
on patents and other minor issues. They sometimes agree with
Localists, except that Localists believe that it is okay for local
governments to make laws intruding upon personal decisions. Some
conservatives show disdain for Libertarian voting habits
(The Libertarian ballot), while Libertarians have the same disdain
for Conservative voters (The Republican ballot).
Left-Right rating: no rating
Localitarianism is a term I coined. Localitarianism is similar to
Federalism, in that lower governments make decisions.
Localitarians can be Libertarians, Capitalists, Consevatives and even
some Leftists. Localitarianism is more of a political structural ideology
than a Left or Right wing one. They believe in a sort of pyramid
structure of power, with local and state governments having the most
powers and the federal or central government having less domestic
powers. They believe that local and state governments are better
equiped to make decisions, because:1) They are smaller and more responsive to their populations.
2) They cannot force their moralities or ideologies on other states or
localities, and as a result less internal strife takes place in a country.
3) They are less cumbersome and bureaucratic than larger central governments.
4) People can move to whichever state or municipality that best suits them.
Nowadays states are states in name only, they are more like
regional districts. But at one time, states were considered to be
equals of the federal government, and able to nullify and even secede.
The phrase United States
was plural, (The United States are
not today's singular (The United States is
willing...). Some localists
long for states' and municipal powers being restored.
Localitarians point to the U.N., Soviet Russia, and even the U.S. as
examples of the futility and evil of forced unification. Once the Soviet
grip on it's various regions and satellites collapsed, the USSR flew apart
with mostly better than before results. Even America is full of tension
between the Left and Right, various regions and ethnicities, especially
near election time, when the balance of total power is decided. If one
side lost enough, it could lead to civil war or oppression, or so
localitarians argue. And, they point out, what if the U.N. becomes
a real United Nations, centralized and armed?
Left-Right rating: 5
Moderates can perhaps best be summed up as wishy-washy, not
picking stances on (or fights over) many issues, rather going with
whatever is popular or feel-good at the moment. There are some
solid moderates who, with a backbone, stand with the Right on
some issues and with the Left on others, but most fit the other
description. And we all know the joke about those who stand in the
middle of the road or battlefield.
Left-Right rating: 2
Contrary to popular belief, Nazis were not rightists because
Nazis endorsed government control and regulation of industry
and personal decisions.
Nazi stands for "Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei",
German Workers Party. They are basically
Socialists who take a nationalist stance, as opposed to a
fundamentalist-, internationalist-, communist-, or
Left-Right rating 3
Socialists can be nationalists, internationalists, moderates, etc.
However, here we refer to the variety that is more Leftist than
Liberals but less Leftist than Communists or Nazis.
Socialists believe in centralized control of major-to-moderate
sized industries, government care of the poor, an expanded welfare
state, high taxes for "rich" individuals, but still would allow private
ownership of property.
I hope this guide has been interesting reading and perhaps informative.