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This may be old hash but something I often think about is that the purported spectrum of political sensibilities doesn’t seem to be a linear gradient but rather a circular construct. This would place absolutists and the like, let’s say, from about 170 to 190 degrees on a compass, with the calm, reasonable, and flexible types sitting on the opposite bearings.
A ring has so many more practical applications when describing the infinite variations of thought the human race enjoys. It has the benefit of being infinitely divisible in that say a one-degree arc describing libertarianism also has built in a 360-degree cross arc that can explicate all the flavors of that one particular mindset. A bar, stick, or straight line could also be divided infinitely of course but lacks the critical nexus where absolutists on the The Left and The Right meet and commingle and make psychotic terrorist babies.
Our minds process our universe in at least four dimensions if we include time even though we physically live linearly. The political spectrum is a mental construct and so should not be described as a straight line.
Visualizations are important and a ring allows more mental visualization waggle room. How would you picture in your mind a person who favors strong central banking and a robust military but can’t stand the thought of some busybody on their block being able to invoke the power of The State to pick on their neighbors? Can a stick or bar diagram cut it? If we use a Hula Hoop or even a Water Weiner (the offspring of a stick and a torus) rather than a plain old stick we can more easily visualize and thus categorize and quantify the range of human ideology.
With a ring The Left won’t be allowed to further conflate all conservatism with Nazism while simultaneously proclaiming that socialism or communism is somehow the opposite. They are not. The two are forms of absolutism that, on a more logical political spectrum diagram, would be kissin’ cousins, as they say. A ring as the political spectrum explains why The Left has no problem covering for and enabling certain religious extremists who would typically be described as being “Far Right.”
I’m sure there are other logical political diagrams in existence but I think the simple and practical step of using a ring and not a cruller in normal discourse would go a long way to clarifying in the minds of all those misinformed and maleducated souls exactly whose politics stand where and what effect those views have on the march of civilization.
The rhetorical trick of somehow separating the far Left from the far Right is juvenile and cruel. Shouldn’t that be done away with?Published in