eUS Department of Education
If you're not a political science major, choosing a party might be hard based on only the descriptions on a party page. Deciphering between what it means to be center-right vs far-left and authoritarian vs libertarian maybe a challenge. That's why, we at the DoE are issuing a guide on what each of these terms mean.
The following article is written by Ashot, the newest member of the Department of Education. The Department of Education also plans on writing an articles explaining the positions of each major US party (as well as a few smaller ones) in the future. Look for those articles soon. And now, the DoE's guide to the buzz words surrounding parties.
Economical Orientation: Also known as Left-right political spectrum is a common way of classifying political positions, political ideologies, or political parties along a one-dimensional political spectrum. "The Left" and "The Right" are usually understood to represent polar opposites for each determinant, though a particular individual or party may take a "left" stance on one matter and a "right" stance on another.
Differences between Far-Left and Far-Right:
Far-Left: more economic interventionism; workers' self-management; Equality of outcome; progressivism; secular government; law dictates culture; human nature and society are mostly malleable.
Far-Right: more laissez-faire; right to work; Equality of opportunity; conservatism; religious government; culture dictates law; human nature and society are mostly fixed.
* Far-Left - Radical
* Center-Left - Liberal
* Center - 1/2 Liberal 1/2 Conservative
* Center-Right - Conservative
* Far-Right - Reactionary
Social Orientation: A political system, is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the law system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems. It is different from them, and can be generally defined on a spectrum from left to the right. However, this is a very simplified view of a much more complex system of categories involving i.e. the view on who will have the authority, the view of religious questions and the government's influence on its people and economy.
* Totalitarian: Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a concept used to describe political systems whereby a state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private life. Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain themselves in political power by means of an official all-embracing ideology and propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that controls the state, personality cults, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror tactics.
* Authoritarian: Authoritarianism describes a form of government characterized by an emphasis on the authority of the state in a republic or union. It is a political system controlled by non elected rulers who usually permit some degree of individual freedom.
* Libertarian: Libertarianism is a term used by a spectrum of political philosophies which seek to promote individual liberty and seek to minimize or even abolish the state. The extent to which government may be necessary may be evaluated on ethical and/or economic grounds. "What it means to be a libertarian in a political sense is a contentious issue, especially among libertarians themselves. There is no single theory that can be reliably identified as the libertarian theory, and no single principle or set of principles on which all libertarians would agree."
* Anarchist: Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which support the elimination of all forms of compulsory government. Specific anarchists may have additional criteria for what constitutes anarchism, and they often disagree with each other on what these criteria are. According to The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, "there is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance."
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