Several well known ways of looking at this complexity. This one (from Jerry Pournelle’s doctoral thesis in poly sci at Cal Berkeley) is flipped on the X axis (it has the leftist philosophies on the right) but you get the drift.

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Another way of looking at it:

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However you draw your diagram, the point is that in both “dictator is bad” (whether or not the dictator is a person or the state) and “dictator is good” philosophies, there is a conservative and a liberal manifestation.

If you believe in state-based authoritarianism, then that can manifest itself as Naziism (authoritarianism because the world is evil and the government must protect you from them — or “enemy without”) or Communism/Socialism (authoritarianism because the wealthy are evil and the government must protect you from them — or “enemy within”).

Complicating the matter in the US is that the political parties are both; the democrats advocate social libertarianism under a framework of constitutional rights, while the republicans advocate social authoritarianism under the same framework. OTOH, economically, the Democrats are more authoritarian, believing in a strongly regulated economic environment, while the GOP are economically libertarian.

Hope that helps, but I probably just gave you a headache. I know all this gives me one. :-)

Written by

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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