Political matrix is actually 3D
Right/Left: who the power (or “spending”) serves (private or govt. enterprise)
Libertarian/Authoritarian: how much power wielded (less or more)
Populist/Corporatist: who holds the power (“the people” or an elite group)
In my recounting of the history of the race issue, based on Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, I had noted how there were always these same three approaches to progress, but that the middle ground, generally represented by a movement and party called “libertarianism” now, was held by a movement and party called “populism” during the end of slavery.
In actuality, you still hear the term “populist” today, and usually attributed to conservatives, in their anti-government sentiments. When you think anti-government, you think “libertarian” (anti-authoritarian), but it’s also anti-elitist.
The original Populists, recall from https://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/review-the-new-jim-crow, criticized large corporations and the wealthy elite, viewing the privileged as conspiring to keep poor whites and blacks locked into a subordinate political and economic position, and took aim at conservatives (known as a party of privilege) and pointed out the divide and conquer tactics of these powers. Causing alarm for the conservatives (favoring racial division), they were eventually forced to become conservative by various intimidation tactics. This sort of figured, as they were not as progressive as liberals, and thus agreed with conservatives to some extent, and so were apparently drawn along the lines of what they agreed were the excesses of progressivism.
To this day, they ideologically remain blended in with conservatives and/or libertarians on what’s largely the Right. Anti-government sentiment is based on the government supposedly taking hard earned resources and giving it to underserving minorities.
(The government wasn’t seen as bad when it served mostly whites, but when it opened up its services to blacks, then it became evil, and eventually associated with what became the nation’s number one enemy, the left/authoritarian/elitist “Communists”).
It seems the Republicans had always been the more fiscally conservative party, opposing the New Deal, and this shift of government assistance to minorities is what laid the groundwork for the eventual Southern Strategy. All that remained was the Democrats adopting Civil Rights platforms on top of the programs (with the “Great Society” superseding the New Deal), and the Civil Rights opposers then found refuge in the more fiscally conservative party, and the association of the issues: big bad government and black causes, was complete. (And so, current Republicans can also now even more easily claim continuity with the old party; in total denial of the Strategy).
So while you had the “paleo-cons” who were the “blue-collar Archie Bunker” types who favored limited government and even worker (union) protection, this gave way more to neo-cons, who on one hand lumped unions in with an “underserving” class (even if it included whites), and still favored a Republican “limited government” platform (“austerity”) in theory; but yet they were seen as compromising on this, to allow for certain interests, like legislation in favor of religious influence. Government power then was good, if it enforced moral “values”. Hence, actually taking on a measure of authoritarianism.
So then, both paleo-cons and a new “Libertarian” party would begin criticizing “neo-cons” for money-draining endeavors such as the drug war, militarism and the support of Israel. They even criticize corporatism, going as far as to acknowledge “cronyism” and “corporate welfare” as a drain on the economy, unlike the more mainstream conservatives who think business can do no wrong, as they deserve whatever they can get.
I find myself admiring a lot of what they say. But then they always end up joining the neocons in dog whistling, with the biggest focus regarding “big government” always coming back to the blacks on welfare (eventually, at least). I tried to give people like Ron Paul a chance, when they spoke of the drug war’s negative effects on blacks; and yet still having to wonder if this was a genuine concern, or if it was apart of a bit of a fixation on “blacks and their problems” (which is the backbone of dog-whistling), but that in this case simply takes a different tack from the others. Sure enough, I eventually read of the same old dog whistling from them. Basically, the evils of the “rich elite” pulling the strings is using the blacks, with their desire for “free stuff”, to tax and oppress everyone else. Same racist broad stereotypical blaming as everyone else, but couched in the language of some sort of “concern” for them.
These views also seem to be more likely to be antisemitic, which of course figures, given an anti-Zionist platform. They’re often part of the “it’s the Jews” crowd, holding them as the force pulling the strings in the financial and media worlds (areas blacks obviously do not have the power to be accused of controlling).
When I believed the spectrum was just a 1D line, I had always said that it was actually a circle, so that the further right or left you went, you came to the same point, which was marked by extreme authoritarianism. (What’s known as libertarianism was assumed to be dead center). Then, through Politopia and Political Compass, I realized authoritarianism and libertarianism was a separate factor of a 2D matrix. I wasn’t sure if the dimensions were still circles, with extreme right and left and extreme authoritarianism and libertarianism meeting at a point. (I figured extreme authoritarianism [totalitarianism] would lead to a revolt that would shatter the system, leading to anarchy, which was the libertarian extreme. Or from the other direction, anarchy would lead to chaos, which would cause a backlash and erection of an authoritarian system to gain control and maintain order. In the original right/left dimension; since in the extremes, the line between business and government becomes fuzzy ⦅like all the government appointees and consultants who still have their positions in private enterprise⦆, that scale definitely is a circle).
So the true shape of the matrix would be something called a “Clifford torus” or “flat”/”square” torus, or “duocylinder frame”, which is similar to a familiar torus or “donut”, but with one important twist. When one pair of opposite ends of the square field are brought together (forming a tube or hollow cylinder), then to avoid distorting the object when bringing together the other pair of opposite ends, this step must be done in higher dimensional space. (You turn the 2D square into a 3D cylinder in the first step, so the second step would add yet another dimension of rotation, making the overall shape 4D). This will create a square field bent around into a boundless surface (like a sphere, but still mapped with a square’s orthogonal grid and retaining it’s undistorted area, instead of geodesics). This is the “global” shape of a video game screen where going off one edge (vertical or horizontal) brings you to the other side.
But now, again, it seems populist-corporatist (or “elitist“) is really an additional dimension on top of those. The dimensions seem to collapse or fold on top of each other; sort of like when scientists use a 2D Minkowski diagram to measure the three dimensions of space, plus one of time. Vertical becomes time, so then horizontal ends up representing all three dimensions of space.
To prove they are separate dimensions, we should be able to factor them together, yielding a cube of eight combinations of the three sets of opposite poles:
Right-libertarian-populist (rhetorical US ideals; paleocon rhetoric)
Right-libertarian-elitist (“CEO’s deserve unlimited money/power”; neocon ideals)
Right-authoritarian-populist (“take back the country”; religious right)
Right-authoritarian-elitist (fascist state, conservative practice in lesser extent)
Left-libertarian-populist (hippies, etc.)
Left-authoritarian-populist (Marxist “worker” ideals; Bernie Sanders)
Left-authoritarian-elitist (socialist state, liberal practice in lesser extent)
The Rightists using populist and libertarian language are all operating from a “rugged individual” or “Wild West frontier” premise, where conquest over others isn’t really wrong in itself, if you are not weak or lazy. (Weakness, along with laziness, are character flaws that make one deserve to fall and be dominated!) So they don’t care about everyone‘s “liberty” or rights as individual “people”. Only for them, deemed “earning” liberty, which is “not free” as an old saying goes.
This is where the de-facto system ends up becoming both authoritarian and elitist (no matter who is elected, and how much this is decried in the political rhetoric), with the people suffering the most from it being blamed for their own plight.
Whoever feels lacking of power (even if still in power and trying to protect it) will appeal to libertarian and populist sentiments, but if power is gained or needing to be protected, these will always turn back into authoritarianism and corporatism, as rules and structures will need to be put in place to maintain the order of the ideals. (Like US conservatives criticizing the “statism” of Communism, in favor of “freedom”, which they believe is being taken from them here, yet when their ideal system was in place in the past, others’ freedom was suppressed using both the government and business.
It’s like kids whining because another kid is genuinely bullying them. He even taunts them for “whining” ⦅and being “victims”⦆, but then when the adults chastize him, he begins whining that he’s being “abused”.
In this case, whining doesn’t cease being “whining” because he thinks his complaint is “valid” and not the other kid’s).
So maybe the overall shape is a “Clifford 3-torus” (a cube bent around in 4, 5 and 6 dimensions so that its boundaries join each other. Can’t find much about this shape)?
From → Politics