Three political axis

April 28, 2010 | By | 1 Reply More

At the Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan presents Noah Millman’s 3-axis political taxonomy system:

liberal vs. conservative (attitudes toward the individual and authority)

left vs. right (attitudes toward social/economic winners and losers)

progressive vs. reactionary (attitude toward past and future)

My reaction? We need something like this. We need better labels (than “right” versus “left”), to enable better dialogue.


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Category: Language, Politics, Uncategorized

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Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Mike Lux suggests the following divide between liberals and conservatives:

    "Conservatives believe that the rich and powerful got that way because they deserve to be, that society owes its prosperity to the prosperous, and that government's job when they have to make choices is to side with those businesspeople who are doing well, because all good things trickle down from them. Progressives, on the other hand, believe it is the poor and those who are ill-treated who need the most help from their government, and that prosperity comes from all of us — the worker as well as the employer, the consumer as well as the seller, the struggling entrepreneur trying to make it as well as the wealthy who already have."

    He makes a strong case for Jesus as a man who sought widespread social justice rather than being the way he is often portrayed by conservatives:

    "Conservative Christians' primary argument regarding Jesus and politics is that all he cared about was spiritual matters and an individual's relationship with God. As a result, they say, all those references from Jesus about helping the poor relate only to private charity, not to society as a whole. Their belief is that Jesus, and the New Testament in general, is focused on one thing and one thing only: how do people get into heaven."

    Lux further notes that the Jesus of the New Testament never used the rhetoric of the American political right wing:

    "There is no virtue of selfishness here, there is no "greed is good," there is no invisible hand of the market or looking out for Number One first. There is nothing about poor people being lazy, nothing about the undeserving poor being leeches on society, nothing about how I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps so everyone else should, too. There is nothing about how in nature, "the lions eat the weak," and therefore we shouldn't help the poor because it weakens them. There is nothing about charity or welfare corrupting a person's spirit."

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