. Fred Koschara - Rationality, Liberty, Responsibility Fred Koschara - Rationality, Liberty, Responsibility US President Fred Organization - Rationality, Liberty, Responsibility  

A project of USA Political Action

This is what I stand for:

Some of the things I plan to change:

A few of my opinions:

My political philosophy:

Dr. Jerry Pournelle's political spectrum

In 2000, while reading a science fiction magazine, I came across a piece in which Dr. Jerry Pournelle presented his view of the political spectrum - a plane, rather than the simplistic left-right linear scale most frequenly cited. His diagram, a version of which is shown at right, is described in a manner remarkably like what I remember reading on a page entitled The Pournelle Political Axes.

Quoting Dr. Pournelle from that page:

Some years ago I set out to replace the old model with one that made more sense. I studied a number of political philosophies and tried to see what underlying concepts separated them from their political enemies. Eventually I came up with two variables. ... my two have this property: they map every major political philosophy and movement onto one unique place.

The two I chose are "Attitude toward the State," and "Attitude toward planned social progress".

The first is easy to understand: what think you of government? Is it an object of idolatry, a positive good, necessary evil, or unmitigated evil? Obviously that forms a spectrum, with various anarchists at the left end and reactionary monarchists at the right. The American political parties tend to fall toward the middle.


That variable works; but it doesn't pull all the political theories each into a unique place. They overlap. Which means we need another variable.

"Attitude toward planned social progress" can be translated "rationalism"; it is the belief that society has "problems," and these can be "solved"; we can take arms against a sea of troubles.

Given this planar view of the political landscape, it's easy to identify where my philosophy falls: The upper left corner can be called "Rational Anarchy" - the best form of government is no government, but that can only work if everyone thinks about what they are doing, assumes responsibility for their own actions, support of their own existence, and defense of their rights, and takes care to avoid intruding on the rights of others.

Obviously, expecting the world to actually work like that would be a seriously flawed presumption: Everyone, to some degree or another, falls short of those ideals. How much government is required to make society work is a measure of how far from the mark the "average" person falls.

I would like to live in a world where governments are unnecessary, and therefore don't exist. However, since that isn't possible, I believe that government should be kept to the minimum required to realize a peaceful, healthy and growing society.

In his editorial remarks on the above-cited page, Jim Baen notes:

one can define "reasonable" as any position no farther from 3/3' than one's own: those farther out in one's own quadrant are pleasantly dotty; those farther out in another, unpleasantly so . . .

I also remember a similar postulate put forth stating that one's tolerance of other political opinions can be measured by the distance between one's own map position and that of the "other" party: The closer you are to the center of the diagram, the lower your acceptance of other views as being valid ideologies, and vice versa. Where Democrats and Republicans are nearly on top of each other in the center of the scale, neither party is willing to accept other views of the world. Being in one of the far corners, I can at least understand different opinions and where they are coming from, even when I vehemently disagree with them.

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