The Political Triangle diagram

Ed Thompson's picture
Submitted by Ed Thompson on Thu, 2016-02-11 21:20

Doug posted a Political Triangle diagram ( ) and, as there is no "Politics" forum, I thought this was the best place to comment--because one's politics (one's rationalization for the use of force among humans) is directly tied to one's economics. Another way to say this is that economic theories indirectly "presume" political theories.

Anyway, the diagram looks pretty good but I would like to offer a potential improvement of it. If it were to be tilted clockwise so that the Capitalism, Invdividualism, Freedom corner pointed exactly to the right, then it can be envisioned that the collectivisms, by insinuated "gravity" would fall into dictatorship. That's because collectivisms, by nature, fall into dictatorship--and that is because lop-sided power structure (required for implementing collectivisms in societies) creates what I call the King-of-the-Hill phenomenon (power attracts societies' worst people).

Early communists bemoaned the fact of strong "personalities" like Stalin. What they do not yet understand is that it could not have turned out any other way. If you design a funnel and put water into it, eventually the water pours out the little spout that you designed. That is because of physical laws, or "strictures" of reality. Humans also relate to one another under certain strictures of reality. It is going to take some time for a critical mass of people to understand this, though.

And, in the meantime, there will be people who advocate collectivism while mistakenly thinking that it can be performed well by individuals who have "big-enough hearts" so that they will not be corrupted by the lure of a "cult of personality." James Buchanon's work in Public Choice Theory goes a long way to improve our understanding of how collectivism is unsustainable.

Game Theory, if my prediction is correct (and my predictions are often the correct ones), will be the nail-in-the-coffin of the upcoming, widely-disbursed human understanding of this fact of reality.


( categories: )

A more Capitalist kind of Manifesto platform

Ed Thompson's picture

If Marx' 10-point party platform underwent transformation to reflect capitalist principles--it would act as a guidepost for a capitalist society. It might look something like this:

1. All land privately owned (except for a spot 10 square-miles in area, out East somewhere).
2. The Fair Tax (flat, national consumption tax; enacted after repeal of the 16th Amendment--or, in case the 16th Amendment is not repealed, a flat tax)
3. Full inheritance (no death tax)
4. No confiscation of the property of people trying to escape the country (let these people go)
5. No central bank (no lender of last resort)
6. No government control of communication and transportation (let people talk and travel as they please)
7. No fingerprint of government influence in factories
8. No armed labor unions shaking down any innocent business-owners
9. Vertical pluralism in government (ward, county, state, federal) instead of this "national" government nonsense
10. Home-schooling option for everyone and private schools competing with each other to lower their tuition rates for innocent children who just want to be able to learn some life skills and trades



Ed Thompson's picture

I agree that there is a pre-meditated culture war that is a product of the 'petty tyrant' thinking of arrogant, liberal, elites. In such a war, there will be organized, synthetic "communities" of rioters or other tribal factions--duped into being stooges for Big Power. If you look at East Germany after WWII, one in every four people was indirectly in the tank for the Stasi (secret police of the government), and the government kept files on one in every 2 or 3 people.

In such situations, where there is lopsided information asymmetry (government knows about the people, but the people do not have meaningful information about their own government), you can get away with a lot of "loot & grab" ethics--amassing personal wealth while the economy of the country tanks. On this view, the left-liberal plan to engage in culture war is a deliberate decoy away from capitalism. A decoy away from economic truth.

Gangs of duped stooges can be used in order to silence the dissent of truth-tellers, instead of having to put up with them while you are raping and pillaging the American populace. But the end-game is "loot & grab." Kings had moats around their castles, to keep the public from stealing back their stolen goods. Washington D.C. and Brussels, Belgium have their own kind of demographic "moats." But the end-game is "loot & grab."

These guys use tribalism to prevent the dissemination of the truth of capitalism.

Further reading:
Rand's Ford Hall Forum in April of 1977 was on Global Balkanization. It ends with an unapologetic defense of the morality of capitalism against the mastermind-perpetuated insanity of tribalism.


Doug Bandler The Second's picture

That is a very informative post. And as regards economics it is an excellent way to categorize today's politicians. However, it ignores the cultural element. I think all left-liberals are at least middle-of-the-roaders and more and more of them are becoming totalitarian command socialists. Republicans usually stop at despotic inroads socialists.

But it seems to me that the Left is waging a cultural war; ie "Cultural Marxism". They are engaging in a war against, what amounts to, white heterosexual males especially if they are associated with traditional sex roles or pre 1960s mores. While economics is certainly a factor, it seems that the Left is waging a war against traditional Euro society using Muslims in Europe and blacks and hispanics in America.

I think that Trump's popularity is due to the fact that he is tapping into a frustration and a fear among white middle and lower class voters who are starting to see the Balkanized mess America has turned into and also see that whites are being attacked as a group (and that may very well worsen when whites become a minority which is the Left's ultimate aim). So while Trump is somewhere between middle of the road and inroads socialist, he is outside the Overton Window on immigration and Islam (and he is hates the Republican donor class which can be thought of as a bunch of crony capitalists). I don't know if he represents a willingness on the part of the American right to experiment with a more limited government or if he represents an outright populist authoritarian nationalism. But the Trump phenomenon seems to transcend the economic classifications that you have given, as awesome as they are.

4 Kinds of Political Types

Ed Thompson's picture

Reagan once quipped that he wasn't fighting against the New Deal, but against the Great Society. Folks who, with Mises, go all the way to fighting against the New Deal are rightly called capitalists. Folks wanting the New Deal but not LBJ's Bismarckian revolution in America might be called middle-of-the-roaders. Folks who want Bismarckian welfare statism (as embodied by LBJ), are "despotic inroad" socialists. Folks who want to go farther than LBJ did, are totalitarians (command socialists).

(1) capitalists (e.g., Mises, Ayn Rand, etc.)
(2) middle-of-the-roaders (Reagan, Thatcher, Hayek, etc.)
(3) "despotic inroad" socialists (over 50% of current politicians)
(4) totalitarians (somewhat less than 50% of current politicians)

Note: The "despotic inroad" qualification comes from the Communist Manifesto. Marx gave 10 tasks to these kind of socialists, tasks which he knew would never actually work, but would send the country into a crippling socialism ruled by a bureaucratic elite. He called them despotic inroads against property rights. You do them if you want totalitarianism to happen incrementally. The 10 tasks which make a politician socialist are support of:

(1) eminent domain of all land
(2) progressive income taxes (where the rich pay more than the poor do)
(3) death tax (taxing inheritances)
(4) outright confiscation/expropriation of property from people trying to escape the country
(5) a central bank
(6) central oversight of (federal regulation of) all communications and of all transportation
(7) state-owned factories (or permanent public-private partnerships)
(Cool industrial labor armies, especially for agriculture
(9) abolition of federalism (states' rights; local rights)
(10) free education for all children (public education)

If you support these 10 things, you are 100% socialist. If you support half, you are about 50% socialist. No capitalist is a socialist (because they are opposites).

There are 4 clear political positions based on positions relative to 2 dividing line goal-posts: the New Deal and the Great Society. The 4 positions are pre-New Deal (capitalist); New Deal, pre-Great Society (middle-of-the-roaders); Great Society, pre-communist hell-hole ("despotic inroads" socialists); and post-Great Society, communist hell-hole (totalitarian command socialists).

Marx went from stage 3 to stage 4 (he became a "Leninist" nationalizer/expropriator) in the 19 years in between writing the Manifesto (where he was an "inroad" socialist) and writing Das Kapital. The outright expropriators are supposed to leave capitalism completely unfettered until wealth accrues immensely--and then they swoop in to engage in "loot and grab" ethics. That's total, unregulated capitalism for several decades, followed by nationalization of all industry and expropriation of all wealth.

I predict that most "politicals" will resent getting placed into one of the 4 clear categories which are relatively easy to place people into.


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