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Clearing Up the Mass Confusion About the Political Spectrum

Conservatives often confess to being totally dumfounded by leftist ideas or behavior, whether it concerns a specific event or the whole body of their thoughts and deeds. I too have found leftists perplexing and figuring them out has been a difficult task. Fortunately, I have had more success in fathoming leftist thought and behavior than Bill Clinton did in looking for the middle class tax cut he had promised the American people in his first election campaign.

The fundamental problem is that conservatives and leftists see the world from different and, in many cases, directly opposed points of view. These points of view are, of course part of each group’s Social Thinking box. Each side is looking at the same real world but they see it in very different ways. One of the main reasons each group sees the world in its own special way is that they do not have a common understanding of how to categorize objects in the world. It is as though the very languages of the two groups have lost vital common understanding of important words for categories of things they need to talk about.

When two groups of people look upon the same realities but see different things, it creates a profound failure to communicate. This failure of communication leads to the groups continued diversion in understanding of each other and the world around them. The inevitable result of each group moving on a path that is broadly divergent from the other is that they will physically separate, one group will fail on its own, or the two groups will resolve the conflict through violence.

From the conservative point of view, this problem is getting much worse because many conservatives have inadvertently adopted some of the left’s categorizations of things. Due to the success of the left’s “long march through the institutions of Western civilization” conservatives are exposed to a continuous barrage of leftist ideas from all quarters. To the extent that leftist ideas are accepted by conservatives, it weakens the conservative position and makes them especially vulnerable to more leftist ideas.

On the most basic level, it is necessary to clarify the terms that are used to categorize the two groups. The majority of conservatives habitually but incorrectly refer to leftists as “liberals.” The term liberal refers to liberty and was first applied in the 18th century to men like John Locke. These 18th century liberals were lovers of liberty. In their view the use of human reason in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, was the greatest good for mankind. To them, happiness was defined largely as the right to private property ownership. A logical condition of being a believer in reason was that one was open to understanding and evaluating any new idea.

The original understanding of the term ‘liberal’ persisted through the 19th century but it gradually became less commonly used as the novelty of the concept wore off. Though the origin of modern leftism can be traced to the Jacobins of the French Revolution, it was not until near the middle of the 19th century that various forms of socialism became all the rage and fashion. By their nature, true liberals were perfectly willing to consider the relative merits and problems of the various forms of socialism. Some liberals became socialists and some retained their original identity. In some cases, a liberal who had become a socialist would still tend to identify himself as a liberal.

In the early decades of the 20th century, various forms of socialism gained many adherents and detractors in America while the use of the term liberal was rapidly declining. By the time FDR came to power, many people in America were beginning to fear socialism in general, and particularly one of its most virulent forms, communism. Many members of FDR’s administration were considered to be socialists, fascist or communist sympathizers, some were open communists.

To help stifle the stigma of being called socialists and communists the Roosevelt New Dealers began calling themselves liberals. The term stuck because few people thought it worth correcting the error, or those who thought it was important were too polite to insist on accuracy. We will see this pattern of changing the name of something for political purposes and conservatives being too polite to correct the error many times as we go forward. Losing control of the definitions of words has been one of the major errors of conservatives and has handed a tremendous advantage to leftists.

All of this is necessary background for making the case of why the people who are now called liberals should properly be called leftists.

The first use of the term “left” in terms of a political group was to describe the people who sat on the left in assemblies during the French Revolution. People with their kind of political thoughts were the modern intellectual ancestors of the groups we now call liberals but should correctly still call leftists. They are the Jacobins, socialists, communists, fascists, NAZIS, Islamists or Islamofascists, tribalists, secular progressives, and Theocrats. All were and are still properly called leftists. Conservatives were already known by the time of the French Revolution and they are definitely opposed to anything socialistic. Thus they can properly be called rightists since they are the political opposite of leftists.

Historically, there have been several varieties of conservatives or rightists but none of them have tried to appropriate a false identity as did the leftists when they misappropriated the term liberal. Adding insult and confusion to intellectual injury, the fact is that a traditional 17th and 18th century liberal is clearly in the conservative or right-wing line of political categorization.

This diagram shows the proper location of various political groups relative to each other in terms of the important philosophical oppositions of political ideas.

Another very important instance of miss categorization, corrected on this diagram, is the proper placement of NAZIs and fascists in the leftist camp. Before World War II, the deep involvement and leadership roles of Hitler and Mussolini in socialist organizations was widely recognized. After Hitler turned against Stalin, and especially after the horrors of the NAZI slaughters were revealed to the world, it became necessary for the remaining leftists to distance themselves politically from the NAZIs and fascists.

Conceptually, NAZIs and fascists are slightly to the right of communists because while communism is a universal ideology, the other two are highly nationalistic. The NAZIs and fascists believed in applying their collective ideology to their people and killing or subjugating the others. Communists believed in converting all the people of the world to communism and killing or subjugating those who got in the way. As a practical matter, the hundreds of millions killed by any of these leftist ideologies are just as dead regardless of the relative ideological purity of their murders.

There is another reason that socialists and communists have to act like they are completely different from the NAZIs and that the NAZIs are the worst monsters in history. The simple fact is that the NAZIs were piker monsters compared to the communists. The combined death count for the various forms of communism is over 200 million while the NAZIs only managed to kill about 50 million. Significantly, there are no historical instances of modern conservatives or right-wingers slaughtering large numbers of innocent members of their own population.

Islamists or Islamofascists are the direct political descendants of people who sided with and were widely influenced by NAZIs and fascists during World War II. They come by the fascist name honestly and are leftists in the extreme sense because they openly and notoriously advocate the imposition of their beliefs on all mankind by any means necessary. They are properly in the terror and mass slaughter traditions of all leftists.

It is also important to note for clarification the proper location of theocrats on the left of the political spectrum. American socialists and Democrat leftists cannot get enough of warning about the vast dangers of America becoming a right-wing theocracy. In fact, there is no such thing as a right-wing theocracy. Any group that wants to use the power of government on all the people is by definition leftist. The desire to control people as a single collective or an assemblage of collective groups using the power of the state is what it means at the most fundamental level to be a leftist.

Historically, the period of the history of the Catholic Church, when it sought to impose itself on Europeans and others through violent means, can properly be called theocratic and hence leftist. The modern Catholic Church is now well past that period and has moved ever toward the right side of the continuum. John Paul II was a famous enemy of communism and supporter of freedom and liberty for all mankind. Pope Benedict has continued that trend politically but has lately backslidden into some leftist economic and social sympathies.

The American left is constantly trying to portray fascists, NAZIs and theocrats as right-wing extremists. This is for the purpose of smearing conservatives and right-wingers with a horrible rhetorical brush. As can be seen in the chart, a right-wing extremist who believes in government at all is a Libertarian. They are strongly opposed to imposing any views, including their own, on anyone. Libertarians are such extreme individualist freedom advocates that they do not even believe in defending America against enemies except those who are actively in the process of attacking America.

The remaining group not yet discussed is the anarchists. They believe in no government at all. Though their belief in no government technically places them on the right, their strong desire to force their views on others through violence if necessary is leftist. Anarchists are not supported by or considered part of any conservative group. They are a strange political hybrid and small minority who serve only as additional “useful idiots” for leftists.

Some people say that the political spectrum is in fact a loop rather than a continuum because the extreme left and right curl back to meet each other in similar points of view about the negative value of government. While anarchists want no government, and Libertarians want little or no government, the key distinction remains that Libertarians are for individual freedom and liberty while anarchists are all for violently imposing their nihilistic ideas on all mankind.

Though there were ancient Greek, Roman, Jewish and other sparks of freedom and liberty in the past, the first country founded on the principles of conservatism and properly called right-wing was the United States of America. The United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution are profoundly right-wing documents and America is a traditional 18th century or Lockean liberal nation.

That is why you will wait until hell freezes over to hear a modern leftist of any stripe praise those documents or call America by its correct political categorization as a constitutional republic or simply, the American Republic. Leftist love the word “democracy” which appears in none of our founding documents because a pure democracy is three wolves and two sheep deciding, “What’s for dinner?” Leftist politicians want to be the wolves and are happy for you to occupy the position of sheep.

Simply having a correct model of the political spectrum in mind is strongly empowering as the truth always is. Confusion about the true distribution of political camps and beliefs is, like all confusion, debilitating. Leftist leaders want to keep you confused so that you do not realize that they are the wolves leading you to the slaughter while dressed like Little Red Riding Hood.

33 comments to Clearing Up the Mass Confusion About the Political Spectrum

  • Anonymous

    Ugh you crazy bastard. I’m not mad, I just feel bad you wasted the time.

  • If you have an intelligent comment, it is welcome.

  • William Crago

    You placed Democrats into the same category as Islamists, Nazis, and Communists? This is an absurd distortion of political ideology. This assessment of the political spectrum lacks any credibility and is nothing more than a right-wing rant intent on linking 20th century liberalism with political extremism. The reality is that fascism and Nazism were “conservative” ideologies, as is modern Islamism. It is also interesting that you made an attempt to hijack Locke to the Neo-con side. The Enlightenment thinkers were largely opposed to clinging to tradition and favored governments that expanded participation, not limited it. Liberty for the philosophes meant rights expressed through and upheld by law, which is a view held by both political parties in America today. The extent of the reach of law is debated as is the content and intent of law. Essentially, your entire argument is based on a false premise and an egregious failure to understand the historical development of political thought.

  • Don P. Dickinson III

    You devote the first four sentences of your comment to telling me how wrong I am but you offer not refutation of my argument. I get it that you do not agree with me but if you want a discussion you have to provide specifics of why I am wrong.

    I never called Locke a Neo-con and never used the word in the article so it is irrational to say that I hijacked him to something I never mentioned.

    I agree with your statement about Enlightenment thinkers but you seem to be implying that expanding participation in government is a leftist and not a rightist or conservative idea. In fact, modern leftists (post French Revolution) tend to use participatory rhetoric (the general will, social justice, justice) while actually moving in the direction of oligarchy and oppression. In recent times, it was Republicans who freed slaves, expanded the voting franchise, and voted in civil rights. Meanwhile the Democrats were opposing all of that, founded the KKK, lynched blacks across the South, ran the Jim Crow governments of the South, and now maintain the Leftist Plantation that keeps blacks across America enthrall to their Democrat masters for votes.

    I emphatically reject your assertion that “rights expressed through and upheld by law, … is a view held by both political parties in America today.” The Democrat party and the institutions and individuals who adhere to it are now actively opposing the founding laws of America. Just a few examples include: opposition to the freedoms contained in the First and Second Amendments, greatly expanding presidential powers beyond anything contained in law, national level dictation, without benefit of law, of requirements all the way down to the content of school lunches, leftist governed cities directing the acceptable size of drinks and proscribing the sale of single cigarettes, and leftist individuals calling for the imprisonment and death of conservatives who want to live without being required by their government to commit what they view as mortal sins.

    You conclude that my, “entire argument is based on a false premise and an egregious failure to understand the historical development of political thought.” What was my false premise? If you think my false premise was placing the Democrats on the far left, please provide some actual evidence for your assertion that you believe is at least as good as the evidence I have provided in my article and diagram. If my failure to understand the historical development of political thought was so egregious, I am anxiously awaiting your provision of facts and evidence that will correct my thinking.

  • Tobias

    A perfect example of circular reasoning. You started with a completely false premise that left = big government and right = small government. This is not the correct definition of left and right within the political sphere, and is a common and deliberate misunderstanding among, in particular, American Republicans.

    You used the example of the French revolution, where the use of “left and right” in reference to political ideologies begins. In this instance, it was the leftists who were generally in opposition to monarchy, and in favour of secularisation, revolution and republic whilst the rightists were traditionalists for preservation of the aristocracy, monarchy and religious values.

    Leftism has traditionally been about opposing social hierarchy and inequality, which usually happens to be the status quo. Republicanism during the French Revolution is a perfect example of leftism, as much as you might attempt to redefine it to suit your own goals. Those who were for preservation of autocratic rule, throughout Europe, were always monarchists and conservatives, terms which usually go hand in hand.

    Your whole article is essentially you attempting to reinvent the political concepts of left and right, assigning anything you do not like to the left, and what you do to the right. Is Islamic Fundamentalism actually similar politically to Secular Progressivism? Any honest comparison, and you would find that they are the opposite on virtually every single issue, although Christian Conseravtives and Islamic Fundamentalists do have a great deal of similarities.

    Evidently, you also lack any understanding of what anarchism is beyond the common error made by the uninformed that it is merely lack of governance, and I advise you to read up on it!

  • Don P. Dickinson III

    Tobias, you would do much better in your arguments if you actually read what you are commenting on. The phases “big government” and “small government” do not appear in my article.

    Your comment about the French revolution is generally correct but you miss the point. Yes, the left was against the monarchy because they wanted to seize power from the monarchy. Yes, they were for secularization because the Church was another great power they wanted to put down in favor of their own assumption of total power over the people. Revolution as a means to power? Yes. Favor of republic? No. Any talk of a republic by leftists just rhetoric to fool the dumb masses. The French revolution produced no true republic. A republic is an inherently conservative form of government–the rule of law over the rule of men.

    You are correct that at the time of the French revolution the right was for the preservation of aristocracy, monarchy and religious values. They were to the right of the hard left revolutionaries but not right conservatives in any modern sense because aristocracy and monarchy are inherently leftist.

    You comment about leftism traditionally opposing hierarchy and inequality is true in terms of leftist rhetoric but not in terms of actual leftist government outcomes. Leftist governments always produce great hierarchy in favor of the leftist elites and the largest degradation and slaughter of the masses in history. Being, impoverished, imprisoned, starved, and worked to death is not equality. I have already pointed out that the right in the French revolution was very left in my modern American conservative sense of the term. The use of the word “conservative” by Europeans has always been different in that way than the American use of the term.

    In fact, Islamic Fundamentalism is actually politically very similar to Secular Progressivism. Both openly favor; total power over all the people; abolition of capitalism; degradation, imprisonment and killing of their opponents; denying any power greater than their particular ideology/theology; encouragement of ignorance and alarm among the masses to control them; and produce no actual economic progress. That is why the two are now allies against Western civilization, capitalism, and America.

    You say that the Islamic Fundamentalists and Secular Progressives are the opposite on virtually every singles issue. Please give examples. You will have a hard time of it. For example, if you say that Islamic Fundamentalists kill homosexuals while Secular Progressives laud them, you are missing the larger point. Both strongly advocate the suppression and punishment of those who do not agree with their point of view. This is raw advocacy and frequently implementation of their will to power and total control. Conversely, Christian Conservatives believe that homosexuals are sinners but they neither advocate nor support any abuse of homosexuals or the leftists who favor homosexuals. Leftists of all types are all about imposing their view and will on others. Conservatives are all about being left alone or helping others to see the superiority of their philosophy of life.

    I cannot tell from your comment on anarchism what you are talking about. Please provide examples of what you think I have missed.

  • Tobias

    “A republic is an inherently conservative form of government”
    “Aristocracy and monarchy are inherently leftist.”

    Republics were created by the radicals and reformers of old, against conservatives who sought to preserve the monarchic rule. Being a radical against monarchic institutions is inherently leftist. Monarchic rule usually creates huge disparities in wealth, power and status. It is the differences in these three areas which societies must seek to reduce according to leftist thought. The creation of a Republic helps to do this – you can no longer be born into an aristocratic class with more rights under the law, for example, in addition to the democratic process which gives everyone an equal say over who governs them.

    “Leftists claim that human development flourishes when individuals engage in cooperative, mutually respectful relations that can thrive only when excessive differences in status, power, and wealth are eliminated”

    I don’t think I should have to explain any of this, given the academic consensus on what left wing and right wing generally refers to. You have quite literally made the non-debatable, debatable.

    I don’t understand why you are attempting to re-define what left and right is, other than to straw man your political opponents into being similar to every oppressive regime from history. There is far, far more nuance in what the Democrat Party, and indeed the Republican party is, than simply left or right.

    Do you honestly believe that Democrats believe in dictatorship?

    If so, why is there another election in 2016, after two terms of Barack Obama? Surely, he has had plenty of time to install his non-democratic regime. Why has there not been a mass nationalization of industry?

    You see, the political spectrum you invented is false. I’m not going to criticize it based on the fact that it is contradictory virtually every other political map, including those devised by political scientists. Perhaps they are brainwashed and you enlightened.

    That said, both Democrats and Republicans are FOR a hybrid system of socialism and capitalism. No Democrat politician or supporter wants everything to be nationalized and the elimination of capitalism. Surely, this should go with out saying but again you have made something like this into a debate. Western Europe is another example of capitalism and socialism side by side, with state provided healthcare, education, and other public goods, but the majority of GDP made up of private goods.

    Take a look at this

    If Obama is a socialist, explain why public spending is increasing at the slowest rate, far slower than even your beloved Reagan. Does this make Reagan a socialist?

    If Democrats are authoritarian, then why are they in favor of legaization of marijuana and an end to the drug war? Why are conservatives in favor of controlling what substances people use, even if, say Alcohol is proven to be far more dangerous than marijuana? Isn’t that authoritarian and inherently leftist? Why are conservatives pro-police militarization? Increasing military spending? The death penalty? Restriting contraception and banning abortion? Again, highly authoritarian, and bearing much similarity to the authoritarian and “leftist” regimes of the past.

    I’d actually like to know what aspect of the Democrats, and or leftists, is more authoritarian than conservatives. Socialized medicine, for example, is highly UN-authoritarian. Citizens can still choose to take out private health insurance if they wish to, as is the case in European countries. In the USA at present, you are forced to take out private health insurance plans, or else, should you fall ill, you will not get an acceptable standard of medical treatment. That doesn’t sound like freedom to me. Again, as long as socialized medicine were to be installed by a democratically-elected government, it would be a non-authoritarian policy.

    Now, please tell me again, how Democrats are authoritarian and oppressive.

  • Don P. Dickinson III

    With your comments about conservatives of old seeking to preserve the monarchic rule you are using a European conception of the word conservative which I have already said at least twice is not my conception. Leftists often try to define conservatism as holding to the status quo or conserving the old order. That is certainly not what, the conception of the American Founders or, my conception of modern conservatism, amounts to. To me conservatism is a philosophy or world view that looks upon the universe and human nature as it really is and strives to provide each individual with the greatest opportunity possible to have a flourishing life.

    Call the American Founders radical and reformers if you like but the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are profoundly conservative documents. To support this, I will site a leftist of impeccable leftist credentials:

    Unlike liberalism, Marxism, and fascism, conservatism is basically similar to the military ethic. Indeed, it was found appropriate to designate the military ethic as one of conservative realism. In its theories of man, society, and history, its recognition of the role of power in human relations, its acceptance of existing institutions, its limited goals, and its distrust of grand designs, conservatism is at one with the military ethic. Most importantly, conservatism, unlike the other three ideologies, is not monistic and universalistic. It does not attempt to apply the same ideas to all problems and all human institutions. It permits a variety of goals and values. Consequently, conservatism alone of the four ideologies is not driven by its own logic to an inevitable conflict with the military values which stem from the demands of the military function. It alone has no political-ideological pattern to impose on military institutions. While inherent contrast and conflict exist between the military ethic and liberalism, fascism, and Marxism, inherent similarity and compatibility exist between the military ethic and conservatism.
    – Samuel P. Huntington, 1957, The Soldier and the State

    Liberalism has always been the dominant ideology in the United States. The American Constitution, on the other hand, is fundamentally conservative, the product of men who feared concentrated political power and who provided for the widespread dispersion of that power among numerous governmental units.
    – Samuel P. Huntington, 1957, The Soldier and the State

    You say that, “It is the differences in these three areas [wealth, power and status] which societies must seek to reduce according to leftist thought.” Yes, leftists say that and avow it as their intention but they invariably achieve the opposite results. Leftist governments; destroy existing wealth and prevent its creation; concentrate all power in a small oligarchy while denying power to the people and; create equal status by bring all except the powerful leftist oligarchs to the same general level of misery or equality by death. If you do not believe this to be true, please provide examples of leftist governments that have actually provided what they say they seek.

    “I don’t think I should have to explain any of this, given the academic consensus on what left wing and right wing generally refers to. You have quite literally made the non-debatable, debatable.” I think that is a misunderstanding on your part. There may well be such a consensus in the academic left and right but in my view, the leftist corruption of many whom the leftists call right wing is a large part of the problem. Just as with the Global Warming/Climate Change, the true issue is not consensus but who is correct. Consensus is a valid concept in politics but has nothing to do with science or philosophy.

    I am not redefining left and right. I am showing their true characteristics. I did not “straw man…[my] political opponents into being similar to every oppressive regime from history.” That is where they fit when you analyze their characteristics. My article and the accompanying diagram is merely and exercise in Aristotelian and Linnaeusian categorization. I looked at the characteristics that each political system had in common and then placed them accordingly. Just as with Linnaeus, I make no apologies to the vultures who object to being lumped with the buzzards or the leftist mind parasites who object to being lumped with the liver flukes.

    You say there is far more nuance in our political parties than left or right. I agree, although I think I have in the article covered several nuances. Which other nuances would you like to discuss?

    If the Democrats do not believe in dictatorship, they certainly have admired it for a very long time. Democrats have expressed admiration and love for Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Hugo Chávez and many other dictators. They only fell out with Hitler after he attacked their greatest favorite, Stalin. Many American Democrats express great joy in Obama promulgating unconstitutional executive orders which is clearly a dictatorial trait. Most of the Democrats and other leftists who are mad at Obama are upset because he has not, in their view, been dictatorial enough.

    The fact that Obama has not yet been fully dictatorial is no argument against him having those desires or tendencies. Few tyrants in history have achieved all their desires. Perhaps it is the fact that Americans are overwhelmingly the best armed population in history that has given him pause? He has clearly stated many times that he would like to reduce that offensive individualism.

    You say my political spectrum is false and contradictory to maps devised by political scientists. Actually, it is an extension and modernization of the political map used by the American Founders. I would say they have been orders of magnitude more successful using it than any leftist political scientist or theorist who used their own. “Perhaps they are brainwashed and you enlightened.” I am in total agreement!

    “No Democrat politician or supporter wants everything to be nationalized and the elimination of capitalism.” Ah, I see you are joking with me now. Sanders is a life-long, unabashed socialist. Obama has already nationalized health care as Hillary wanted to do years before. With the pathetic exception of Webb, the Democrat Debate sounded like the nationalization and hate capitalism chorus.

    I am not going to respond to the spending graphic because it does not provide enough information. Please provide a citation of the backup document.

    Democrats are “in favor of legaization of marijuana and an end to the drug war” because they believe it helps them build a bigger political constituency. As with other leftist regimes, they will use authoritarian means to suppress such activities once they think they have consolidated total control.

    I do not accept the premise that alcohol is worse than marijuana. Mankind has over ten thousand years of experience with alcohol but we really do not know all the effects of marijuana–especially long-term. That being said, the libertarian part of me finds little objection to marijuana. The devil is in some of the other drugs such as strong opiates and meth. What do you think about legalizing them?

    The notion that conservatives are pro-police militarization is news to me. Not this conservative or any of the many who I know. Please provide examples.

    Conservatives are generally in favor of increasing military spending because they prefer to live in peace while not being dominated or abused by foreign powers. The only time peace has ever endured any significant periods in history is when some political organization, such as Rome, had sufficient military power to make it inadvisable for enemies to attack.

    The death penalty is good because it saves money and results in zero recidivism. Do you think it is a good thing to keep evil people alive at government expense or to release them back into society to horribly abuse and kill more innocents?

    The main issue with most conservatives on contraception and abortion is that they do not think that the government should be either promoting them or using their tax dollars to finance them. Do you think it is a good thing for you to pay for such for people you do not know? Do you think it is a good thing that the overwhelmingly disproportionate number of babies aborted are black?

    “Socialized medicine, for example, is highly UN-authoritarian. Citizens can still choose to take out private health insurance if they wish to, as is the case in European countries.” Once again, you must be joking. It is very authoritarian to force, using the IRS and the police power of government, everyone to either participate in socialized medicine, at much higher premiums on average, or pay a penalty. Do you not think the blatant lies that Obama used to falsely sell his socialized medicine to the public are authoritarian? How can the poor you leftists so fervently say you love, respect, and fight for, afford to “take out private health insurance if they wish to?”

    “In the USA at present, you are forced to take out private health insurance plans, or else, should you fall ill, you will not get an acceptable standard of medical treatment. That doesn’t sound like freedom to me.” That is not now, under ObamaCare, nor ever has been true. You seem to equate freedom with the government providing goods and services. That is no definition of freedom. It is socialism and nowhere on earth ever has it provided as high a standard of living for all as in our American Constitutional Republic. At least before leftist largely destroyed it.

    “Again, as long as socialized medicine were to be installed by a democratically-elected government, it would be a non-authoritarian policy.” You really do not know what a democracy is in terms of outcomes do you? Simply put, a democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. In a democracy, the masses are free to vote any kind of tyranny to include death that they wish upon minorities. In a constitutional republic such a vote can be made illegal and thus the rights of a minority preserved. In a democracy, the people are free to vote in a Hitler, as they did, but then find it impossible to get rid of him.

  • Mike

    Brilliant, one of the few spectrums that actually makes sense.

    What’s your working definition for the current American leftist and the current American conservative?

    Where would you put Trump on this chart?

    Thanks –

  • Don P. Dickinson III

    Mike, thanks very much for the compliment. The current American leftist, (Democrat, socialist, and Communist)is much more toward the extreme left side of the spectrum than any leftist in our history. The evidence is in the violence they now openly promote and engage in.
    If leftists had better ideas, they would tell us what they are but all their ideas have led only to increased degradation, destruction and death. Leftism promises Utopia and delivers nothing but bad outcomes. Throughout history this has been the unvarying pattern.
    What we are seeing with the Trump phenomenon is that millions of Americans are finally seeing not only the lies of the left, but that it is possible to resist them intellectually and politically. The left is now mentally unhinged because the awakening of the masses is the very worst thing that could happen to them. A few Examples:

    I have spent the last five days (sic) meditating on Trump’s election. Upon consideration, I believe this is a call to violence. I felt the call to violence in the 60’s and I feel it now again. This attack on liberty and tolerance will not be solved by appeasement. Obama tried that for eight years. We should finance those who support violence resistance. We should be willing to take arms. Like Old John Brown, I am willing to battle with my children. Alt right nut jobs swagger violence. It’s time to actualize that violence, Like by Civil War Michigan predecessors I choose to stand with the black, the brown and the oppressed.
    – Paul Schrader, 11 Nov 2016, film director and writer, Facebook post

    Yeah, I’ll tell you how to make sense of it [how Trump was elected]: This country’s filled with ignorant jackasses. The big red dildo running through the middle of our country needs to be annexed to be its own country of moronic assholes. You can call it the United States of Moronic Fucking Assholes.
    – Michael Shannon, 15 Nov 2016, actor,

    There’s a lot of old people who need to realize they’ve had a nice life, and it’s time for them to move on. Because they’re the ones who go out and vote for these assholes. If you look at the young people, between 18 and 25, if it was up to them Hillary would have been president. No offense to the seniors out there. My mom’s a senior citizen. But if you’re voting for Trump, it’s time for the urn.
    – Michael Shannon, 16 Nov 2016, actor,—pejocmaXnpaXY/

    On the chart, Trump is clearly a Moderate. In his long career, has expressed both moderately left and right leaning ideas but he clearly looks at all ideas through the standard of what is best for America.
    Having spent the last many decades telling us how terrible America is, the left cannot fathom why Trump’s message is so popular. The left is in shock. They have drunk so much of their own poison leftist Kool-Aide that they are now unable to comprehend the reality before them. Blind and impotent, all they have remaining to them is to cry, scream hatred of their fellow Americans, and strike out like the mad beasts they have made of themselves.

  • Amy Wentzel

    Found your chart today and shared it on facebook. Brilliant article and brilliant reasoning for the chart. I plan to visit your site often.

  • Don P. Dickinson III

    Thanks very much Amy. After a long period of reading and research, I plan to get more active again in my postings. Also, feel free to ask any questions that may come to mind. There is a lot more to the chart than I have already covered.

  • Chuck Ashford

    Please include me in the distribution of your materials.

  • Aggie Miles

    Loved this article……so clear……well reasoned……………then I red the comments and felt like my brain would explode. I admire your, again, well reasoned replies. Can’t wait to read more.

  • BA

    Clearly biased. Nice try. Left much to be desired.

  • JD

    When a narrative such as this begins to describe the situation as accurately as it does, it become something of a “thought” weapon! Empowering people and providing the tools to resist oppressions as it ever arises. Thank you for the lssons on history, and the importance it holds to our current situations! Are you still active?

  • Anonymous


    Thanks very much. Unfortunately, this site never got as much traffic as we had hoped. Also, in the contest between reason and leftist irrationality, the leftist are winning over the dumb masses. Current trends can only end in collapse, civil war, or most likely both. I am most active on e-mail and if you would like to have my occasional distributions contact me at

  • Carl Walter

    “On the chart, Trump is clearly a Moderate. In his long career, has expressed both moderately left and right leaning ideas but he clearly looks at all ideas through the standard of what is best for America.” Sorry, but those two sentences tell me your contact with reality is as tenuous as any hardcore Trump supporter. The idea that Trump’s ideas are based on what he believes “is best for America,” is ludicrous. William Crago (April 30, 2015? and Tobias (October 24, 2015), did well with their criticisms. Crago got it right when he wrote, “This assessment of the political spectrum lacks any credibility and is nothing more than a right-wing rant intent on linking 20th century liberalism with political extremism.” As with Trump, I’m sure there are plenty of people who think it’s great stuff. It puts me in mind of how, during my youthful undergrad years, a fellow described philosophy as a form of “verbal masturbation.”

  • Don Dickinson


    The point of this entire site is to use facts and evidence which are arranged using logic and reason. You begin with a quote from me and then say that the sentences indicate I have lost touch with reality. Without evidence, that is simply a groundless rhetorical and emotional assertion on your part. It is intellectually worthless. Then you support and quote Crago who has previously made the same mistakes you have made. The fact that you two make the same kinds of thinking errors may indicate the same kinds of flaws in your thinking but it is not evidence of anything wrong with my model or subsequent comments. Finally, you end with a Freudian slip. It is clear from the weakness of your argumentative techniques that about all you got out of your education was mental masturbation. Perhaps if you calm down and objectively read the page from the top, you can begin the long process of learning to make arguments based on fact, evidence, logic and reason rather than emotion, rhetoric, and sophistry.


  • Carl Walter

    I’ve come across those kinds of arguments before. They may be convincing to some, but when two people debate, there must be some basis for mutual agreement on what is an isn’t true. and historically you can find a lot of facts to choose from. I had a calculus instructor who once remarked that it’s possible to pull together sets of facts to prove whatever you want. Reality doesn’t always agree with logic and reason, and truth often gets confused with opinion.

  • Don Dickinson


    By your previous statements and this latest it is clear that you long ago renounced the use of reason. Sadly for you, that puts you beyond the bounds of communicating with those who use reason.

    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    – Thomas Paine


  • Carl Walter

    I have nothing against “logic and reason.” But to be valid, someone using those tools must be aware of the flaws I mentioned and be willing and able to avoid them. And again, for a reasonable, valid debate, both sides should have common ground from which to start. You are too invested in “winning” to do any of those things.

  • JD


    I’m afraid Walter has followed me from a different site – I posted a link and this is how he came to be here. It is nice to see your take on his position as I have often felt the same way in past discussions with him. However, your responses are much more patient and eloquent. I will likely be quoting you in them!

    Thanks again, and I will be requesting your periodic updates!

  • Don Dickinson


    You seem to be very confused. You came to my website and opened the discussion by telling me that my contact with reality is tenuous and that at least one of my ideas is ludicrous. Then you agreed with Crago that my assessment lacked credibility and was nothing more than a right wing rant. Next you said it put you in the mind of verbal masturbation. Why would you come here and tell me those things if you did not want to win me over to your point of view? If I am too invested in winning, what is the proper investment in winning? Do you not want to win arguments? If so, why are you arguing?

    Some believe that an alternative to winning or losing arguments is to reach a mutual agreement. But, your style of piling on groundless criticisms does not seem to lend itself to that approach either. If you were looking to seek agreement, you would ask me questions or perhaps provide a discussion of your position for my evaluation.

    You talk about the flaws in using logic and reason and say that you have mentioned them but I cannot find that mention of their flaws. You say that for a reasonable, valid debate both sides should have common ground from which to start. While awaiting your proposal for that common ground, I will propose the history of Western civilization.


  • Anonymous3

    Is Nazi an acronym?

  • Don Dickinson

    No. The official name of the party was: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) which in English is: National-Socialist German Workers’ Party.

  • J

    Let us say for example that for my AP Government class I chose to create this diagram in 3D, how would I do so? I was thinking a design with a flat surface with different bubbles coming out. I can tell you are a truth seeker intellectual like I am. Thanks for saying what everyone thinks, but they’re too scared to say

  • Don Dickisnon

    I wish you well in your project and would love to see the 3D diagram. One of the problems of 2D is it is hard to show how clustered the various leftists are on the left side of the 2D diagram.

  • J

    Thanks Don. I’m thinking maybe balloons to show the cluster, but I’m not sure how I would go about that. Maybe I would fill up balloons to a certain degree depending on where they are on the spectrum.

  • Don Dickisnon

    Perhaps you can use the Z axis to vertically show the various forms of leftism through time.

  • Jimbo

    Liberals admire dictators? By that standard, Donald Trump would be the most liberal US president ever. In fact, liberals detest abuse of power and therefore authoritarian leaders.

    Your ability to produce reams of well-crafted prose that’s nonetheless filled with right-wing claptrap reminds me greatly of a certain well-known YouTube personality. That you, Ben?

  • Anonymous

    I find your prose condescending. I’ll stick to my own research, thank you.

  • Anonymous

    God awful. Ever heard of Anarcho syndicalism or Revolutionary catalonia?

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