Steven Den Beste Weighs in on the Dimensions of Political Belief

In another excellent logical analysis, Den Beste disassembles an essay by Michael Totten that expounds on the “Left/Right” divide, by explaining that Mr. Totten’s linear scale is erroneous. Political beliefs are multidimensional, and in Steven’s piece he tries to analyse just how many degrees-of-freedom (ain’t that an accurate term) describe the space of political belief.

Money quote:

This is where Michael’s argument, based on a single axis, breaks down. The people he refers to as “liberals” aren’t liberal. For lack of a better term, we’ll have to call them “leftists” for the moment. The vocal leftist movement which has been revealed in the last year in the US manifests as being elitist (i.e. not liberal), idealistic (not realistic) and conformist (not tolerant). There’s a lesser dedication to equality (over inequality) but it’s not totally consistent because it is a side effect of a basic choice of groups over individuals and to some extent of socialism over capitalism. And within the US right now, they’re revolutionaries because they strongly disagree with the status quo. It is because they are revolutionaries that we tend to categorize them as being “leftist”; it has nothing to do with liberalism as such (especially since they aren’t liberal).

Excellent piece. Go read.

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