So tell me, Gwen, am I on the "left" or on the "right"?


3 comments posted
One Dimension = Too Restrictive

I am very fond of the dual-axis approach found at It makes a bit more sense than the old left/right definitions.

A single continuum approach is too restricted and leads to confusion and errors in categorization (as you have noticed).

Hope you and your readers find the site entertaining and/or educational. :)

Moira's picture
Posted by Moira (not verified) on 10 July 2006 - 12:48pm
We're familiar with the compass

I think you're right, one dimension is not enough and the political compas does come a little bit closer.

Here's a variant offered up here a few months ago:

To my mind, it still doesn't quite cut it as it does not really address governmental power directly -- how controlling, to what purpose, with what checks and balances -- and still tries to place economic and social values on linear scales, when each of those could benefit from two axes as well, don't you think?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 10 July 2006 - 1:31pm
True enough

But the compass is a logical next step on the way to additional dimensions.

As humans, we do tend to want to simplify things for easy understanding and rapid absorbtion. This is one of our serious flaws in the political arena.

I would love to think that the compass would be simple enough to gain understanding and recognition among a significant portion of the population and be usable in discussions the way people try to use left/right. However, I also expect that, if it does ever make it into general usage, it will be a long time coming.

That left/right tag can be used to blur an awful lot of boundaries and so has been useful to many folks in their rises to power or ratings. As such, anything that helps to clarify those boundaries will be actively squashed until either the climate changes or enough people start talking about it and using it independently.

We don't need perfection out of the gate. It's nice to anticipate and work towards 'perfect' but I'd be happy enough with 'better' - at least until something even better comes along. :)

Moira's picture
Posted by Moira (not verified) on 11 July 2006 - 4:41pm