Join 3,439 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


A concept-map exploring the Left vs Right political spectrum.
October 21, 2009 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Left vs. Right, the Infographic
posted by blue_beetle (70 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
(bigger version)
posted by blue_beetle at 10:55 AM on October 21, 2009


wow. great.
posted by fightoplankton at 11:00 AM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm getting a "503" error...
posted by intrigued at 11:01 AM on October 21, 2009


I think we (or everyone) are borking the server.

flickr image

It's a cute image, but sorta simplistic.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:01 AM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


503 service unavailable. That didn't last long.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:01 AM on October 21, 2009


It sure is a good thing there aren't people who are economically conservative and socially liberal to make this chart a false dichotomy.
posted by signalnine at 11:04 AM on October 21, 2009 [18 favorites]


What Right Wing asshole drew that bullshit up?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:05 AM on October 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


It's missing a cross on steeple on the right there.
posted by NiteMayr at 11:06 AM on October 21, 2009


I stopped at the part where the Right doesn't want to interfere with society or social lives.
posted by DU at 11:06 AM on October 21, 2009 [54 favorites]


And if you want to be really simplistic (and perhaps more accurate, since the "Right" in the U.S. definitely wants to "meddle" in Society and Social Lives), I'd go much simpler.

Right = Patriarchal Control
Left = Street Rules

I mean, the image says the "Right" doesn't "tax and spend" but the "U.S. Right" taxes and spends much more on corporate welfare and military spending than the "U.S. Left" would ever tax and spend on social welfare and non-military conflict resolution. Imo.

Or even simpler.

Right = Traditionalism
Left = Egalitarianism

What are some other 1-2 word descriptors more accurate than this chart?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:07 AM on October 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Why have Blue and Red been reversed?
posted by adamvasco at 11:07 AM on October 21, 2009


Democrats are "leftists".

Fail.
posted by Zambrano at 11:07 AM on October 21, 2009


Where by "exploring" we mean "taking an already over-simplified one-dimensional representation of multidimensional opinion, and dumbing it down further into a binary pair of clip art/sound bite collages".
posted by roystgnr at 11:08 AM on October 21, 2009 [10 favorites]


At least we all agree that unmarried sex is a good thing.
posted by brundlefly at 11:09 AM on October 21, 2009 [10 favorites]


This is simpler:

Right = wrong
Left = right

but right = wrong so left = right = wrong (WTF ?!?)
posted by mazola at 11:09 AM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


The left/right binary division of the political system is clearly a false dilemma, even though this chart is a nice, succinct presentation of classical positions.

The Political Compass is better.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:09 AM on October 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is the diagrammer working on a sequel that illustrates the differences between white people and black people?
posted by Joe Beese at 11:09 AM on October 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ha ha ha ha ha

Right
Don't Interfere With Society And Social Lives
posted by Damn That Television at 11:10 AM on October 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


Why have Blue and Red been reversed?

According to the description on Flickr: "THIS IS THE EUROPEAN & UK VERSION WHERE RED=LEFT WING. BLUE=RIGHT WING."
posted by brundlefly at 11:11 AM on October 21, 2009


Pretty nice graphic work, though.
posted by Damn That Television at 11:11 AM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


It appears to be from a British perspective.

"There are two versions with different colours: a US and a World version. This is because the US and Switzerland are the only countries in the world where red = right wing and blue = left wing. Grrr!"
posted by rocketpup at 11:12 AM on October 21, 2009


Why have Blue and Red been reversed?

Because that's how it is in every country except the US & Switzerland.

Also, one-dimensional thinking, mmmm. That will take us places.

It sure is a good thing there aren't people who are economically conservative and socially liberal to make this chart a false dichotomy.

Indeed.
posted by GuyZero at 11:13 AM on October 21, 2009


I saw the graphic hosted on flickr, but The InformationIsBeautiful.net site seems to be MeFi'ed right now. Am I to understand that it's a website full of these sorts of "innovative" visualizations?

I've seen these sorts of things embedded in powerpoint presentations: they manage to be completely unreadable.
posted by deanc at 11:14 AM on October 21, 2009


Ok, but it doesn't tell me their characteristic nose shape so I can identify them in public.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:15 AM on October 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I lean left and by left, I mean right.
posted by chillmost at 11:15 AM on October 21, 2009


This infographic inexplicably fails to accurately represent the full spectrum of every conceivable opinion on every political and social issue in existence in the world.
posted by brain_drain at 11:15 AM on October 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


Joe Beese: Is the diagrammer working on a sequel that illustrates the differences between white people and black people?

The art style's different, but didn't someone already make one using Flash?

Not that that's particularly funny, just...
posted by qcubed at 11:19 AM on October 21, 2009


This infographic inexplicably fails to accurately represent the full spectrum of every conceivable opinion on every political and social issue in existence in the world.

It fails on very basic things, such as the point that DU already mentioned: I stopped at the part where the Right doesn't want to interfere with society or social lives.

This is demonstrably false a simple examination of the goals and results of legislation passed by Republicans shows. Republicans are in fact obsessed with meddling in social lives at the most intimate levels.
posted by odinsdream at 11:21 AM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


what
posted by zoomorphic at 11:23 AM on October 21, 2009 [18 favorites]


Where is the infographic on false dichotomies? Or is this it?
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:23 AM on October 21, 2009


This chart is super impressive, but I think in order to really do it right, it needs to be 3-dimensional. And about 3.5 million square miles.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:30 AM on October 21, 2009


Also, someone put Gilles Ducieppe and the right honourable Jean Chretien on this thing somewhere. Go on, try.
posted by GuyZero at 11:34 AM on October 21, 2009


RIGHT
Government

Parties, Neoconservative, Reaganite, Talk Radio Host

CONSERVATIVE
Paleolithic - "Things Were Better Under Tiberius"

Pillars: "Apologizing for your opponents getting offended" "Loving survival of the fittest except as it relates to Origins of Species" "Basically not liking non-white people" "Basically not liking music" "Basically not liking books"

Focus: ON THE FAMILY
Goal: HIS SECOND OF THE PERIOD
Support: SCRAPPY, UNDERDOG MULTINATIONALS
Trade: ARMS FOR HOSTAGES

Don't Interfere With:
Cells
Entropy

ECONOMY: none
Social Progress = fewer poor people allowed to ask for change outside of California Pizza Kitchen

Society And Culture:
"I've never really understood why people bother writing books about things that didn't happen, or aren't predicted to happen."

CRUSH SMASH HULK

COMMUNITY based on LITERALLY BEING UNABLE TO GET ANYWHERE WITHOUT A CAR

Adult Vocation:

-Televangelist
-Blackwater Contractor
-Angry Letter Writer To Local Newspaper
-Dittohead
-Drunken Denouncer Of The Sport Of Soccer

SELF-DELUDED ABOUT SELF-RELIANCE

FAMILY:
Not "Urban"
Relationship Built On Absolute Refusal To Express Emotion, Use Adverbs
Atmosphere Of Randian Competition For Food, Air, Sunlight

Skills:
Knows A Lot About Why The Car You Just Talked About Liking Is For Fags
Promoting Individualism While Violently Rejecting Any Person With Different Individual Characteristics
Secretly Liking Cirque De Soleil

Beliefs:
Religion: God In Heaven
Rights: Guns In Holsters
Criminals: Gangs In Holding
Homeless: Get A Home
Society: Go To Hell
posted by Damn That Television at 11:38 AM on October 21, 2009 [58 favorites]


A view of the political "spectrum", in binary? Wow, way to go.
posted by Sova at 11:41 AM on October 21, 2009


Damn, Damn That Television! I think this infographic moved you. Very impressive.
posted by glaucon at 11:42 AM on October 21, 2009


our value system is either seriously flawed or increasingly meaningless...
posted by kliuless at 11:42 AM on October 21, 2009


What is meant by equity in the Right Winger column?
posted by tarvuz at 11:44 AM on October 21, 2009


"Conservatives" are red.
"Liberals" are blue.
Real people are purple
and a mix of the two.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:47 AM on October 21, 2009


kliuless: "36our value system is either seriously flawed or increasingly meaningless..."

Your proposition is a 'cake or death' level of difficulty. Except that there is no cake and death is not an option.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:47 AM on October 21, 2009


A map of how crazy people think by a crazy person is useful for understanding how crazy people think crazy people think. I think.
posted by srboisvert at 11:58 AM on October 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, this seems very much a Labour-Tory/Blair+Brown-Cameron binary versus the binary (such as it is, an awful and ultimately false and illusory binary) presented by US Democrats versus Republicans. It kind of reminds me of the twee book I read a couple years back by the two Economist journalists who spent a few days drinking liquor and slapping backs in Arlington and Fairfax Counties and concluded that Bush's GOP was indeed a bunch of hail fellows well met.

I like Damn That Television's version a lot better.
posted by blucevalo at 11:59 AM on October 21, 2009


At least both sides are overwhelmingly for unmarried sex.
posted by papercake at 12:04 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


did anybody else think the graphic on the right side was a little... rose colored?
posted by shmegegge at 12:06 PM on October 21, 2009


There seems to be a bizarre need among otherwise educated people at Metafilter to conflate "conservative" with "Republican" when the two are barely even tangentially related.

Just because retarded Republicans call themselves "conservative" doesn't mean you have to do it to. Just like when they call themselves "moral" or "Real Americans (tm)".
posted by coolguymichael at 12:08 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ouch! to => too
posted by coolguymichael at 12:09 PM on October 21, 2009


Given that the 2D model doesn't plot much reality on either the NW or SE square, a 1D model is a useful and valid tool.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:18 PM on October 21, 2009


Is that the same political compass that makes just about everyone into a lefty libertarian?
posted by sciurus at 12:29 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a remarkably beautiful crock of shit.
posted by regicide is good for you at 12:32 PM on October 21, 2009


They lost me at "TAX AND SPEND" vs "DON'T TAX AND SPEND"
posted by briank at 12:36 PM on October 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


Where's the axis between "people who choose in advance what one or two or five or twenty political axes they believe in, then assign answers to questions per their predetermined belief" and "people who think you should ask individual policy questions first then use established statistical principles to determine what the axes actually are?"

Despite an extensive Wikipedia article which discusses various proposed axes, it appears to list only two cases where the latter empirical approach was taken. One revealed three axes, and the other (done in the UK) revealed two, but not the "economic freedom"/"social freedom" ones that recent two-dimensional quizzes have tried to promote.

On a separate note, in the US the red/Republican blue/Democrat association has only been standard for the past nine years or so.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:59 PM on October 21, 2009


You parsed it wrong. Read as (don't tax) and spend.
posted by qvantamon at 1:01 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


"conservative" with "Republican" when the two are barely even tangentially related

If you have timeslipped from the early 1970s, welcome to the 21st century!

If you are just mentally defective and thus unable to form an accurate mental model of the status quo as it has been consolidated from the Republican electoral shifts of 1994, 2000, 2002, and 2004, my condolences.

Take a look at Republican representation of the liberal northeast. We're left with *two* old-guard non-conservative Republican Senators, plus that dick Lieberman who is Republican in drag.

The conservatives largely bailed on the Dems with Nixon's Southern Strategy. The overlap is not 100%, but it's greater than 50% -- most certainly more than "tangentially" correlated.
posted by mokuba at 1:04 PM on October 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think he might be saying they aren't fiscally conservative.
posted by stavrogin at 1:26 PM on October 21, 2009


What are some other 1-2 word descriptors more accurate than this chart?

Right: Fascists
Left: Communists

or

Right: Missionary
Left: Doggy Style

or

Right: Pills
Left: Pot

or my preferred Molluscs analogy:

Right: Clams
Left: Octopus
posted by quin at 1:28 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


This chart bugs me because it's beautiful and wrong.
posted by chairface at 1:32 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right
Don't Interfere With Society And Social Lives


...needs to add Of White Dudes. Women and brown people, that's a whole 'nother thing.
posted by emjaybee at 1:35 PM on October 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


There seems to be a bizarre need among otherwise educated people at Metafilter to conflate "conservative" with "Republican" when the two are barely even tangentially related.

You mean sorta like the bizarre need among the right to conflate "liberal" and/or "left" with "goddamn nation-destroying horrific socialists" when the two are not even close to tangentially related?
posted by blucevalo at 1:47 PM on October 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


This chart bugs me because it's beautiful and wrong.

It's not even beautiful.
posted by clarknova at 1:48 PM on October 21, 2009


Screw the image tag, I just want to attach a thirty second loop of derisive laughter.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:35 PM on October 21, 2009


They lost me at "TAX AND SPEND" vs "DON'T TAX AND SPEND"

It really should be:

TAX PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD IT AND SPEND ON USEFUL THINGS AND CREATE ENOUGH PROSPERITY THAT TAX REALLY IS OKAY

and

DON'T TAX RICH PEOPLE AND DON'T SPEND ON POOR PEOPLE BUT SPEND LOTS OF MONEY ON MY BUDDIES AT HALIBURTON AND BLACKWATER, THEN LET A DEMOCRAT FIX THE ECONOMY WHILE BLAMING THEM FOR IT.

But that's just not as catchy.
posted by Foosnark at 2:42 PM on October 21, 2009


No, the Republicans are not conservative in any traditional sense. So if you believe in prescriptive grammar then yes, it's eronious to call them conservative.

But given that the effort they've put into dragging the Overton window all over hell and gone for the past 30 years, one then has to ask, what do we call the Republicans? Also, how do you describe the editorial policy of "The Economist" and get people to know what you mean?

The word conservative is pretty much broken and it's going to take more than editorial policy at Metafilter (pauses for laughter) to fix it.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:29 PM on October 21, 2009


Aparently they're going after the term self-reliant now too!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:32 PM on October 21, 2009


Hahaha, as if there were any such thing as self-reliance.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:47 PM on October 21, 2009


Congress is almost one-dimensional. Doesn't mean the rest of us are, of course, but I thought this was a cute use of SVD.
posted by jewzilla at 5:42 PM on October 21, 2009


what do we call the Republicans?

Losers.
posted by empath at 7:38 PM on October 21, 2009


The word conservative is pretty much broken and it's going to take more than editorial policy at Metafilter (pauses for laughter) to fix it.

Also broken: the phrase 'at war'.
posted by odinsdream at 7:58 PM on October 21, 2009


I stopped at the part where the Right doesn't want to interfere with society or social lives.

You got a bit further than me. I stopped right at the top, when the left side included "Communist" but not "Socialist", while the right included "Nationalist" but not "Fascist".

Everything after that is a trickle-down of fuckeduppedness.

I do applaud the proper use of red and blue, though, which has been true in the whole world forever, at least until Letterman.
posted by rokusan at 8:02 AM on October 22, 2009


Wait, what did Letterman (David?) have to do with the red/blue convention?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:08 AM on October 22, 2009


DA: Why Elephants Are Red and Donkeys are Blue.

Discussed somewhere else on MeFi once before, but I'm waaaay too lazy to find that.
posted by rokusan at 8:59 AM on October 22, 2009


Thanks, rokusan, I hadn't seen that before.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:21 AM on October 22, 2009


« Older Getting serious about a sport can mean doing the p...  |  The Last Crack Hipster... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments