The traditional terms "liberal" and "conservative" are very loaded terms, and suggest that there are only two main poles... either "left" or "right". If you don't side with one extreme, you're generally considered wishy-washy, a centrist, a moderate... someone who is borrowing from both sides to form their opinion. But are there really only two extremes?
Historically, the tendency for a diverse conversation to collapse into two opposing positions is known as a "dialectic". But the political conversation is wider and more complex than two views. The Political Spectrum offers a way to model the difference between views without using loaded terms like "liberal" and "conservative". It also provides a consistent metric for comparing politicians and policy, and how they change over time. The metric itself is rooted in democracy, but also allows for the breadth of political ideologies, from Fascism to Pacifism. This approach moves away from a 2-dimensional dialectic between the "left" and the "right", to a 3-dimensional "polylectic".
Political Spectrum should not be confused with a "third view", which both Fascists and American Independents have claimed to hold. In fact, there are many possible views that are based on three "poles". The 1st pole is Fiscal, from Fiscally Bearish (small government) to Fiscally Bullish (big government). The 2nd pole is from Social freedom to Social Control. The 3rd pole is a new metric that addresses Use Of Force in the military and law enforcement, ranging from Minimal Use Of Force (pacifist) to Strong Use Of Force (totalitarian empiricist). Imagine that Fiscal is a horizontal measurement, the Use Of Force is vertical, and Social is measured in "depth"... and you have a 3-dimensional model for graphing and quickly comparing political ideologies. Where the 3 poles intersect shows the political position of a politician, policy, or person.
In the Political Spectrum, political ideology is mapped, not political party affiliation. For example, "Dialectical Materialism" is the political ideology Karl Marx formulated by taking the "dialectic of Hegel" and joining it to the "Materialism" of Feuerbach. The Political Spectrum can be used to map the relationship between Dialectical Materialism and the original ideologies Marx drew from. In this way it can model how ideologies change over time.
The graph at the following link shows a model of two opposing views: Fascist and Politan.
Fascism comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology and a corporatist economic ideology. Fascists advocate the creation of a single-party state. Fascists believe that nations and/or races are in perpetual conflict whereby only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and by asserting themselves in combat against the weak.
A Politan believes the best government is a small government that allows for many social freedoms, and maintains a strong military without being imperialistic. Politans believe the government should be efficient, support free enterprise through capitalism, and allow freedom for private groups to address solutions for social issues.View a comparison of Fascist vs. Politan
NOTE: Neither Fascist or Politan are political parties... they are ideologies, and represent examples of diverse ideologies that can be mapped through the Political Spectrum modeling system, SpectraPlural™.
The Political Spectrum Project:
The project seeks to promote integration of the SpectraPlural™ modeling system with all media, starting with blogs and social media, and eventually into broadcast, print and film. For example, someone can take a 36 question test to determine their position in the political spectrum. Then they can see what ideology they are closest to, as well as politicians and legislation that echo their views. Content on websites can also be sorted according to SpectaPlural when authors take the same 36 question test. At a simplistic popular level the test results in a "political color" that allows someone to quickly identify writers they would agree with as well as opposing opinions.
The following two screen-shots show the social-network version of the test. Other versions of the test are in development for blog integration, and political news sites.View "Take the test" >