Do You Know Who You Really Are? Socialist, Liberal, or Conservative? (modified 3-29-16)

IN TODAY'S POLITICAL RHETORIC the terms "Socialist", "Liberal", and "Conservative" are tossed around like so much confetti without much understanding by the user what those terms really mean today, or use to mean yesterday. I can guarantee you that 95% of you don't truly know which broad category to which you actually belong. Probably 98% of you don't really know which one of those three broad classifications of political thought your political opponent actually represents.

Are they distinct from each other, as night-and-day, or so the saying goes, until you start getting into sub-sets of each group; then, disctinctions become fuzzy very fast, as you will see later in this hub.

A WORK IN PROGRESS

BELOW ARE VARIOUS LABELS for political thought. Some think a few of these labels are economic philosophies, but, in fact, each is a political structure, most designed to serve economic ends, but one, Liberalism, is solely a political structure at its core. In other hubs, I delve, or will delve into many of these in some detail; even this hub I will get around to providing, at a minimum, comprehensive definitions.

For the moment, at least, I am still trying to gather material to help give me better structure to this hub, and that is where you come it. I fervently hope you will spend a little time to answer this poll and some following quizzes and then come back to see how things develop. For those of you who are politically inquisitive, I think you will find this interesting.

DEFINITIONS

The following definitions come from Wikipedia.

CONSERVATISM: (Latin: conservare, "to retain") is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative.

Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries, oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".[1][2] The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution.[3] The term, historically associated with right-wing politics ...

LIBERAL CONSERVATISM: The tradition in the United States often combines the economic individualism of the classical liberals with a Burkean form of conservatism that emphasizes the natural inequalities between men, the irrationality of human behavior as the basis for the embrace of traditional ethics, the human drive for order and stability, and the rejection of natural rights as the basis for government.[

CONSERVATIVE LIBERALISM: Conservative liberalism is a more positive and less radical version of classical liberalism.[6] Conservative liberal parties combine liberal policies with more traditional stances on social and ethical issues.[2] They are generally supporters of economic liberalism and they often identify themselves as law and order-parties...

LIBERALISM: a set of related political philosophies that uphold liberty as the highest political end.[1][2] This includes emphasis on the primacy of individual liberty,[3]political freedom, and voluntary association. Liberalism's core tenets are Individualism, Egalitarianism, Meliorism, Universalism, All forms of liberals think equality if a natural right, something comes with being a human being. It is the antonym to authoritarianism.[4] Libertarians advocate a society with a greatly reduced state or no state at all.[5]

LIBERTARIANISM, LAISSEZ-FAIRE or MINIMAL STATE LIBERALISM: a form of government in political philosophy where the state's only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from assault, theft, breach of contract, and fraud, and the only legitimate governmental institutions are the military, police, and courts. In the broadest sense, it also includes various civil service and emergency-rescue departments (such as the fire departments), prisons, the executive, the judiciary, and the legislatures as legitimate government function.

PROGRESSIVE or ACTIVE STATE LIBERALISM: a form of government in political philosophy, like its cousins libertarianism and minimal state liberalism where the highest political end is upholding liberty of the individual, Active-staters believe the governments must take an active role in promoting the liberty and freedom of citizens, and that real freedom can only exist when citizens are healthy, educated and free from dire poverty. [Active State] Liberals believe that this freedom can be ensured when governments not only guarantee the right to an education, health care and a living wage but ensures the guarantee is being kept. This is in addition to other responsibilities such as laws against discrimination in housing and employment, laws against pollution of the environment, and the provision of welfare [in addition to the legitimate functions assumed under minimal state liberalism]... (from http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_liberalism.html)

REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALISM: an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.[1] "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. [The purpose of which is to have

"A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow-men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society." - Albert Einstein, Why Socialism, 1949].

Revolutionary Socialists believe the only way to achieve this state is to violently take it away from the capitalists.

EVOLUTIONARY SOCIALISM: Evolutionary Socialists, aka Social Democrats, have the same end goal as their revolutionary counterparts, they believe socialism is, more or less, and end result of capitalism. They "evolutionary" because they believe capitalism will ultimately concentrate power and wealth in so few hands, the government, or other State appointed "supernumerary" for the People, can simply usurp their power and wealth without violence.

FACISM: a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in mid-20th century Europe. Fascists seek to unify their nation through a totalitarian state that promotes the mass mobilization of the national community,[3][4] relying on a vanguard party to initiate a revolution to organize the nation on fascist principles. Fascism borrowed theories and terminology from socialism but applied them to what it saw as the more significant conflict between nations and races rather than to class conflict, and focused on ending the divisions between classes within the nation.[10] It advocated a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky to secure national self-sufficiency and independence through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.

COMMUNISM: is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless[1][2] and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order

MONARCHISM: is a system based on the belief that political power should be concentrated in one person, who may rule by decree or through a constitutional system. A monarchist is an individual who supports this form of government, independent from the person, the monarch.

ANARCHISM: is defined as a political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful.[1][2] Proponents advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical free associations.[5][11][12][13][14]

CHARACTERISTIC
FASCISM
CONSERVATIVISM
LIBERAL CONSERVATISM
CONSERVATIVE LIBERALISM
LIBERATARIANISM
MINIMAL STATE LIBERAL
ACTIVE STATE LIBERAL
EVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST
REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST
COMMUNISM (theoretical)
MONARCHISM
ANARCHISM
Power of the Executive
Total
Strong
Strong
Weak
Weak
Weak
Balanced
Strong
Strong
Non-existant
Absolute
Non-existant
Natural Basis for Class Differences
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Derivation of Natural Rights
State
Monotheistic God, State, and Tradition
Monotheistic God, State, and Tradition
State of Nature, Natural God
State of Nature, Natural God
State of Nature, Natural God
State of Nature, Natural God
State
State
State
Monarch
State of Nature
Belief in Capitalism
Cautious
Some
Some
Laissez-Faire
Laissez-Faire
Laissez-Faire
Lots but Regulated
Mixed
None
None
Minimal
Laissez-Faire
Central Gov'ts Responsibility to Citizens
Minimal
None
Some
None
None
None
Basic Needs and Level Playing Field
Social Programs
Social Programs
Social Programs
Depends on Monarch
None
Religiousity
State First
Religion First
Religion First
Religion First
Religion First
Religion First
State First
 
 
 
Monarch First
Agnostic
TABLE 1

Thank You For All Those Who Have Participated In My Esoteric's Survey!

AND ALSO TO THOSE WHO SIMPLE READ THIS HUB. The response rate has been fantastic at 19%; much higher than most other polls I have offered. It makes me feel useful in my old age :-) and happy that that apathy has overcome this small corner of the world.

WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU FALL IN THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM?

Below are a list of various labels given to asundry different political philosophies; which do you think describes yours?

See results without voting

Distribution of Votes

N = 295

  • Don't Care - 6;
  • Fascism (conservative) - 3;
  • Conservatism - 27;
  • Liberal Conservatism (conservative) - 18;
  • Conservative Liberalism (minimal state liberal) - 17;
  • Libertarian (minimal state liberal) - 35;
  • Laissez-faire Liberalism-(minimal state liberal) - 18;
  • Progressive Liberalism (active state liberal) - 97;
  • Revolutionary Socialism (Socialist) - 9;
  • Evolutionary Socialism (Socialist) - 44;
  • Communism (Socialist) - 3;
  • Anarchism (anarchist) - 6;
  • Other - 9;

Grouping the fundamental types together you get (last number is % with Don't Care/Other/Anarchist removed):

  • Conservative - 48 (16%); 18%
  • Libertarian - 35 (12%); 13%
  • Other Minimal State Liberals - 35 (12%): 13%
  • Active State Liberal - 97 (33%); 35%
  • Socialist - 56 (18%); 20%
  • Other - 21

Thoughts On the Above Results

WITH OVER 209 RESPONSES, WE HAVE ENOUGH to be satisfied that this is near the distribution of the political spectrum from the population who read this Hub and chose to respond. I can tell you that this is definitely not a cross-section of the general population. For example, based on another Hub, I would bet most of the respondents to this hub are Introverts (who look into themselves) and Intuitors (they acquire information by letting it bubble up from inside their brain. The American population, however, is split roughly 50/50 Extrovert/Introvert while Sensors (those who only believe what their five senses tell them and are the opposite of Intuitors) make around 75% of the general population. To give you an idea what this means in the political world, see the table below.

Typical People and Professions Who Were Sensors and Intuitors

SENSORS
INTUITORS
 
George Washinton
Abraham Lincoln
 
Joseph Stalin
Adam Smith
 
Pablo Picasso
Adolf Hitler
 
20 (29) Presidents
Albert Einstein
 
Robert E. Lee
Aristotle
 
Rev. Billy Graham
Benjamin Franklin
 
Alan Shepard
Bill Gates
 
Michael Jordan
Galileo
 
Thomas (Jesus' Disciple)
Isaac Newton
 
Bruce Willis
Jesus
 
Barbara Streisand
Karl Marx
 
Queen Mary I
Napoleon Bonaparte
 
Queen Elizabeth II
Thomas Jefferson
 
Elliot Ness
19 (10) Presidents
 
Accountant
College Professor
 
Actor
Composer
 
Flight Attendant
Probation Officer
 
Legal Assistant
Reporter
 
Police Detective
Writer
 
Teacher
 
 
Corrections Officer
 
 
Film Producer
 
 
News Anchor
 
 
Real Estate Agent
 
 
Budget Analyst
 
 
Computer Analyst
 
 
Electrical Engineer
 
 
Pilot
 
 
Artist
 
 
Social Worker
 
 
Systems Analyst
 
 
Corporate Executive
 
 
Lawyer/Judge
 
 

The Making of Modern Liberalism takes a deep look into all aspects of what liberalism is in terms of the past and how it is applied today. It is not the easiest read in the world, but is choke full of things to think about.

Another Thought on the Meaning of Progressivism

PROGRESSIVE THOUGHT WAS BORN WITH THE ENLIGHTENMENT. "In his book On Liberty, John Stuart Mills, the 19th Century philosopher argues that man strives to be 'a progressive being'". That was a paraphrase of the opening line in a November 2013 Harper's article from the "Anti-Economist", Jeff Madrick, titled " The Future Progressive. He goes on to point out that not only does Mills think men need to be progressive, he must also realize that he can't do it without a community.

Built in to the definition of progressivism, as Mills, one of the foremost liberals of his time, sees it, are such ideas as individuality and personal freedom. It was clear to Mills and his counterparts of the day that to achieve personal freedom and individual development, it must be done with in the confines of a community. Madrick argues that this is the starting point of progressivism as a philosophy. This makes much sense to me and puts into a few words what I have written many Hubs about.

Progressivism = Liberty, Individuality, personal freedom, and community. To do progressive things is to advance all four of these concepts. Now, it seems to me, in today's vernacular of liberalism and conservatism, it is the idea of "community" that defines the two sides. Another major defining difference is the acceptance or rejection to the meaning of the root of progressivism - "progress", or, to say it another way, "change". Progressives (liberals) maintain the "change" is a way of life, conservatives of yesteryear and today deny that is the case and, if fact, argue forcefully that change (other than the very slow variety) is harmful to society.

The Anti-Economist refers to a statement by Oxford (now Princeton) professor Alan Ryan, a recognized authority on the development of modern liberalism. He posits something I thought was correct for a long time, that the community has a responsibility to the individual just as much as the individual has a responsibility to the community. And, according to Ryan, that would be to "emancipate individuals from the fear of hunger, unemployment, ill-health, and a miserable old age." and "... help members of the modern industrial society to live in the way Mill ... wanted them to." Further, given that "change is a way of life", that "that change is for the better [to move from a less civil to a more civil society], and that government is the most important way to accomplish this"; by the direction of the People, I might add.

Some, especially those who think of themselves as conservative, think the above sentiment smacks of socialism. While there are some parallels with the role of government helping people to live better lives, there is a decided difference between socialism (and conservatism) and liberalism. And, that is liberalism's focus on personal freedom and liberalism along with the idea that the government is a servant to the People; not the other way around which is the want of socialist and conservatives.

Every move the right makes, from not abandoning Sequestration to trying to defund Obamacare to not raising the debt ceiling to the Balanced Budget Amendment, are oriented toward stopping, or rolling back change. This is accomplished by hamstringing government to such a degree that it is non-functional and non-responsive to the changing needs of the world. Progressives, on the other hand, fight hard to keep the country moving forward to an ever more civil society. Almost by definition, those last two positions are true; Conservatives want to conserve, while Progressives want to progress.

BACK TO THE TASK AT HAND. THE QUIZ BELOW IS STILL IN BETA form at the moment, but I am almost satisfied with its structure. Unlike other questionnaires I have offered in other hubs, such as on Social Dominance tendencies, which were taken from well established sociological studies, this survey on political philosophies is of my own making. Most surveys have been tested, vetted, and put through rigorous validation; this one, however, is in the process of being born, so please help me with the delivery.

Conservatism, Liberalism, and Socialism, three broad categories of political philosophies, each have their own unique combination of characteristics. Of course, all have their own variants, as you can see from the list of political labels in the poll above. The survey I am attempting to put together, based on the answers given, is supposed to relatively accurately fit you into one of the broad categories. In order to make a realistic survey, however, I need feedback from you, the reader and survey taker, to let me know the quality of the questions being asked.

Each question contains a statement which, depending on what your philosophy is, should elicit a different response to the choices provided. For example, If I asserted that "Capitalism is a good thing", conservatives and most liberals will agree while some liberals and socialists will tend not to agree; there would be a response for each.

What I am interested from you at this point is whether statements and the responses offered 1) make sense, 2) are relatively clear (although the answer may be somewhat ambiguous because no one answer is exactly what you feel), 3) goes toward deciding between political philosophies, and 4) is not too redundant, although I do ask similar questions, hopefully each with a different nuance.

Finally, at the end of the survey, you will be presented my guesstimate as to your actual political philosophy, as opposed to what you think your philosophy may be. For now, however, don't pay any attention to it because I want to use your initial feedback to hone the answers. Anyway, below is my first go at this, so please, write me back with your thoughts.

DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHO YOU ARE?

SURVEY RESULTS

IF ANYONE WHO TOOK THE SURVEY thinks a question or questions were poorly worded, could be interpreted in multiple ways (a friend recently pointed one out), used terms which you didn't really know the meaning of, etc., I really would appreciate a comment pointing them out to me. At this point the survey is in Beta Testing and would certainly appreciate the help.

Also, for those who disagree with the result, it would be very helpful to know that as well along with the reason you feel it gave the wrong result. Thank you.

AND THE SURVEY NOW SAYS

The survey results said I was a ....

See results without voting

OLD SURVEY CLOSED

BECAUSE OF THE RESULTS THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN so far, I changed the result survey to include "Libertarian" as that seems to make a difference on how well the survey did in predicting your orientation. Consequently, I have closed the survey below.

OLD SURVEY RESULTS

[I didn't close the old survey, with 104 votes, properly and lost the graph results. However, they are reflected in the numbers below.]

In comparing the final results of the old survey (first %) with the initial survey (second %), the third is the percent difference, we find:

N = 104:

  • Conservative - 11% ( 11.4) vs 15% (30.6) ; (-4%)
  • Socialist - 17% (17.7) vs 21%; (-4%)
  • Active State Liberal - 55% (57.2) vs 38%; (17%)
  • Minimal State Liberal - 17% (17.7) vs 24%. (-7%)

COMBINED RESULTS

N = 139

  • Conservative - (11+2) 9% vs 18% ; (-9%)
  • Libertarian - (0+5) 4% vs 13% (-9%)
  • Minimal State Liberal: Other - (18+5) 17% vs 13%. (4%)
  • Minimal State Liberal: Total - (28) 20% vs 26%; (-6%)
  • Active State Liberal - (58+21) 57% vs 35%; (22%)
  • Socialist - (18+2) 14% vs 20%; (-6%)

(note: The Libertarian and Minimal State Liberal must be added together for a while, until we get a bunch of Libertarian results, to make sense.

A Pause To Thank You

For Your Participation. The response to the polls and quizzes in this hub, rel

ative to my other hubs, has been wonderful. I, and anyone else who puts surveys out there quickly realize readers frequently like to keep their opinions to themselves. But, nevertheless, there are enough who are willing to share that we keep at it to the benefit of all. Even more difficult is the kind of question above and that is for readers to self-report on the answer to a quiz (which is hard in and of itself). When enough do respond, however, the insights from these anonymous donors can be very enlightening. So, again, thank you.

At the moment, with 80 self-reports, these numbers are no longer simply interesting, as they are beginning, now they have a modicum of statistical validity. The next level of confidence can be reached when we pass 120 reports (that is allowing for an average of 30 reports per category). Consequently, when 'N' exceeds 60, one can start drawing some real inferences.. So, please let me add these next thoughts.

The "academic" meaning Conservative, Socialist, and Liberal bears little resemblance to the "lay" understanding of those terms in today's society; that is the reason for this hub, isn't it, to point this out. Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Madison were all proud Liberals; an idea to which most of today's self-described Conservatives strenuously object. Some were active state, such as Benjamin Franklin and some were minimal state,like James Madison. Some flipped between the two, depending on the issue, this would be Thomas Jefferson. Yet, in today's lay vernacular, those who rightly or wrongly think of themselves as conservatives want to think of these men as kindred spirits, yet they aren't,

That is why my expectation is the result of the self-reporting is going to show a lower percentage of conservatives and socialists than the initial survey predicted while the self-reporting will show a higher percentage of active or minimal state liberals. I believe this to be true because many minimal state liberals selected one of the conservative choices in the initial survey while some of the active state liberals picked one of the socialist choices.

Some Time Later: My expectation appears to only 1/2 right. Self-reporting Conservatives ARE coming in lower than the initial feelings while Active-state Liberals ARE coming in higher. However, Socialists appear, at this point in time, seem to have a good idea of who they are, but Limited-state Liberals self-reporting is surprisingly lower than their initial beliefs. It s going to be interesting to see how this develops as more results come in.

Some More Time Later (N = 80): The numbers seem to be sorting themselves out. Conservatives and Socialists are coming in below what their initial impressions of themselves were while Active-state Liberals are coming in much higher. What I think is going is this:

  • People who think of themselves as conservative test as limited-state liberals (mainly because, I am guessing, they don't believe in a class oriented society)
  • People who think of themselves as limited-state liberals are testing as active-state liberals
  • People who think of themselves as socialists are testing as active-state liberals (mainly because, I am guessing, they don't believe in a class oriented society)

DO YOU AGREE WITH THE RESULT?

See results without voting

SURVEY VALIDATION

EACH OF THOSE WHO HAVE ANSWERED THIS LAST QUESTION, answered the first question and also took the survey. Between the three, I can complete a basic validation of the political philosophy survey. With 125 responses at the moment, the validation is starting to take on a little bit of credibility, given the built-in limitations I have described elsewhere.

First consider what percentage of people agree with the results of the survey:

  • AGREE - 82% (102)
  • DISAGREE - 18% (23)

It is the DISAGREEs which I want to focus on now. After 123 reports, the individual results break down this way:

To Help Understand the Socialist Result Better

In The Previous Poll, If You Consider Yourself Socialist AND You Answered "NO"; Is That Because ...

See results without voting

SURVEY VALIDATION TABLE

N = 121
AGREE
DISAGREE
% DISAGREE
CONSERVATIVE
12
2
14%
LIBERTARIAN
9
5
38%
MINIMAL STATE LIBERAL
14
1
7%
[Libertarian + Minimal State]
[23]
[6]
[22%]
ACTIVE STATE LIBERAL
54
6
10%
SOCIALIST
12
9
40%
OVERALL
100
23
18%
TABLE 1

Analyzing the Validation Table

OF THE CATEGORIES, ONLY TWO ARE CLEAR IN THEIR DEFINITION - They are Active State Liberals and Minimal (Limited) State Liberals - in most people's minds using today's common definitions and not the ones I supplied earlier. Many Minimal State Liberals probably identify themselves as Conservatives, but not the other way around, while Libertarians like to think of themselves of just that Libertarians when, in fact, they are a sub-set of Minimal State Liberals.

Some people who like to think of themselves as Socialists don't actually believe society is Class-based, which throws them into the Active State Liberal category. Likewise, some Minimal State Liberals have the same issue, they don't really believe in Classes, a staple of true Conservatism ... even Liberal Conservatism. Libertarians, well, they are pretty clear as to what they are and it isn't Conservative, Active State Liberal, or Socialist.

As to how satisfied I am with how valid my survey is, that is still under consideration. I can easily live with a 5% negative response for Active State Liberals; I don't see that changing much as more results come in because there are 43 responses; which is sufficient to start being meaningful, the margin of error is +/- 9%. That means the negative response COULD be as high as 14% simply due to chance, but at this point, that's cool too. The same cannot be said of any of the others, so I will just sit back and wait.

© 2013 My Esoteric

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Comments 31 comments

HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Very interesting poll and excellent Hub, My Esoteric. I guess I am an active state Liberal...shocker shocker lol. It will be interesting to see the outcome from all of your poll. I hope everyone who reads it will take part. I will also be curious if most readers will actually know initially where they lie politically and if it equates with the poll results.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks HS, how did you find the statements/responses? There is a lot more to write once I get some feedback.


Doodlehead profile image

Doodlehead 3 years ago from Northern California

Says I am a conservative (knew this) but a "real" conservative would probably say I was a "liberal" conservative.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

The statements were quite interesting and I was usually confident in my responses but not always. It took some considering. I also am interested in your results.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for your input Doodlehead; check back if you can in awhile. There are fine lines between all of these sub-classifications but there are some bright lines between the three major philosophies that many people will probably refuse to accept.

Thanks again HS, I am glad they were at least understandable.


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

Hi MyEsoteric,

thanks for sharing this hub with me.

i remember back in my history class that we learned

about these terms and what they actually meant. thanks for

refreshing my memory. great info.

Voted up and shared.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks Torrilynn. I just added a few more statements and polls.


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

Took the quiz, and I'm exactly where I thought I'd be, but these questions really made me think about my positions. Voted up, interesting and useful.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Cool, thanks for taking it. I am hoping my statement-response questions were fairly unbiased. The trick is figure out my scoring system and unless I get some feedback on that, I am just going to have to wait to see the results that are reported to see if they are consistent among the three polls/quizes.


Daelyte 2 years ago

Active-State Liberalism should be split into (or replaced with) Social Liberalism (which split off from Classical Liberalism because of the welfare issue) and Social Democracy ("Progressives").

Both agree on the importance of democracy, social safety nets, and social justice but... they remain divided on issues such as worker's rights (unions/guilds), affirmative action, political correctness, and other "progressive" measures which give special treatment to some classes of people or reduce net liberty.

A few questions could better distinguish answers between the two.

Also, the abortion question is unclear for unamerican tourists. Perhaps you could provide a clue as to what the Supreme Court judgement said?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you very much for you insights, @Dailyte. While I will expand my explanation in the body to include the terms you provide let me say that Social Democracy is essentially what I have termed "Evolutionary Socialism". While they are definitely progressive in terms of wanting to move from a barbarous state to a civil state, they aren't the same as liberals of either mode which believe in individualism.

Social liberalism is another name for active-state liberalism which rejects the idea held by classic liberalist of social Darwinism and believes government has an important role to play in the social and economic well-being (not welfare) of the society. Both socialists and active-state liberals support unions

This differentiates from classical or minimal-state liberalism which wants government to stay out of everything except to protect society from the outside world but not each other.

Both socialists and active-state liberals support worker's rights (unions/guilds), affirmative action, and other progressive measures which give special treatment to some classes of people, e.g. slaves, in order to increase their liberty taken away by others or circumstances not of their own making. Minimal-state liberals and most conservatives do not support government programs to provide these progressive measures, e.g., woman's suffrage and civil rights.

I will expand on the Supreme Court decision a bit as you recommend.


Daelyte 2 years ago

Can you please clarify the difference between active-state liberals, and evolutionary socialists?

I identify as a social liberal, score as an active liberal on your test, and I don't support any of the things I listed as dividing social liberals from social democrats.

I see a difference between the right of workers to form unions and go on strike (no back-to-work laws), and laws that prevent non-union members from working (which creates a caste system and prevents competition). I certainly don't support laws forbidding people from painting their own fence, so that unionized workers can earn a living wage, and yes I've seen politicians seriously consider such a law.

I see a difference between anti-discrimination laws (equal rights for all), but not affirmative action (discrimination on the basis of race, gender, etc). There's a lot of work to be done reducing discrimination against minorities in the justice system, but affirmative action does nothing to help that.

Various classical liberals I've talked to do support women's suffrage and civil rights, in fact that sort of thing is what separates them from conservatives. They are also liberal on issues such as sex, drugs, immigration, and war. That said, I have yet to meet one who doesn't hate welfare, food stamps, and other such "handouts" with a vengeance.

Also, where do you put the religious left (such as catholics), who are traditional on social issues, but strongly left-leaning on poverty, environment, etc?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you for reading and asking questions, Daelyte. The difference is fundamental. Socialists, of any type, hold the rights of individuals secondary to the rights of class (Conservatives feel the same way, just different classes). while Liberals, on the other hand, believe in just the opposite - the rights of the individual are primary and the rights of class are secondary.

More formally and by definition, a socialist thinks the People via the government should own the means of production and distribution; a distinctly non-liberal idea for that crushes the rights of individuals to own those means.

Evolutionary socialists think socialism will evolve through the collapse of capitalism because the inevitable end will be wealth being owned by a very few due to the natural mechanisms of unregulated capitalism. At that point, someone will decide to simple take that wealth from those who have it and transfer it to the People, bloodlessly. Active-state Liberals, on the other hand, think all you have to do is appropriately regulate capitalism to prevent this wealth inequality but still let individuals control their own fate.

On the social side, socialists and active-state liberals believe in the same things; unions, safety-nets, etc but the means to those ends are different.

Those "classical liberals" are minimal-state liberals. They hate those things you mention IF they are provided by the government; they understand people need help but it should be provided only by friends, family, and social organizations such as the church. A classical liberal is a minimal-state liberal who also believes in a laizzez-faire relationship with business, which is most of them.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Interesting poll. I think of myself as a conservative liberal but your poll make me out as an active state liberal. Of course if different questions were asked, it might be a different outcome.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you for taking the poll Peggy, I appreciate it. If I set my questions up properly, which is why I am running this long validation phase, then the specifics shouldn't matter too much but what characteristic they illicit.

I think I may mentioned this earlier, but being as complex as it is, it always bears repeating.

While there are several different places along the philosophical-political spectrum one may fall, they can be grouped into two major groups, along with some outliers like anarchists.

Those groups are those who believe society is there to support the individual and those who think that it is the individuals who need to support society. In the first group are liberals and in the second are conservatives/socialists. So my first challenge is to ask questions which identify one of the two groups one favors.

Next, liberals are sub-divided into two main groups, one which thinks gov't has a role to play in helping its citizens (active-state liberals) and the other who doesn't (minimal-state liberals). Another set of questions try to separate these to philosophies apart.

Finally, I have to ask questions that of the conservative/socialists (polar opposites), which one is which. Now, a Conservative Liberal sort of falls between active-state and minimal-state and the outcome depended on how you answered questions related to the federal government's role in promoting progressive ideas.

If you think you answered that government shouldn't have a role yet came out active-state, then I have a problem with my questions and would certainly like to know.


Depwavid 2 years ago from Panama City Beach

Robert Heinlein had an aphorism to the effect that political labels do not matter, because people fall into one of two categories: those who want other people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. He went on to say that the controllers were generally idealists acting from the highest motives, and the latter were surly curmudgeons... but they made better neighbors.

The problem with the prevailing linear political spectrum is that it doesn't admit that both sides want people to be controlled--just in different spheres of their lives.

I like Heinlein's quote but it breaks down if you apply reducto ad absurdum. My house has a burglar alarm, security lights, and door locks. That means, in one sense, that I want people to be controlled in their ability to traipse through my house and thumb through my belongings at will. However, this is passive control; I am not insisting that everybody be fitted with GPS monitors and tracked just to keep them out of my house, which would be active control. Governments, over time, tend to prefer active control measures to passive ones. It's the same thing with the difference between putting good antivirus and antimalware programs on your computer and what NSA is trying to do with their data vacuum or what the intelligence community did with Stuxnet, or between a Patriot missile battery and an ICBM: reactive versus proactive.

As a libertarian minarchist, I recognize that some people are just such bad bastards that 'in order to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.' Where I draw the line is, as do most people who are real libertarians, is the initiation of force. Once force is initiated, whether one-on-one, by proxy, or by threat, force is an appropriate response.

The main division today in libertarian thought, as closely as I can sum it up, is between minarchal and anarchic libertarianism. I oscillate between minarchism and anarcho-capitalism, depending on how much I've had to drink.

Perhaps a little tweaking of the questions from the standpoint of reactive versus proactive measures might improve the quiz slightly. However, as it is currently constructed, it did accurately elucidate my political beliefs.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

A very enjoyable read, @Depwavid, thank you. And, I am glad you liked the quiz. I thought long and hard about including Libertarian as a specific category, but when push came to shove, when I would do any analysis of the results, I would have had to add them in with others who fell into the minimal-state liberal group since the matrix I am looking for is individual vs group and the degree of state involvement in individual affairs.


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

My Esoteric

I am not a fan of pigeon holing, although it seems popular as you have shown in this hub.

Should we look at all the issues with the same filter, or should we look at the best way to resolve the issue?

I look at the size and scope of the government and find it to be too big, and too ineffective. I don't care about the political ideology that puts me into for that opinion.

That leads to another issue that is a consequence of a large government, and that is the amount of revenue that has to be acquired to fund it. The only mechanism for the federal government to get revenue is to tax the people.

This then leads into the method of taxing the people, and the tax on income is the most troublesome.

This sequence may be labeled, but that would confuse the issue upon which they were based, because the label would make implications that may change how my opinion may be interpreted by other people. As I don't like labels, I don't factor them into my analysis and opinions on issues.

bradmaster


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

"Too big", "Too ineffective", are also labels, don't you think, that describe a perceived set of attributes about our gov't. But they are much more mushy than "conservative" or "liberal". These are labels put on people who hold relatively well defined, deep rooted beliefs about social society and politics.

For example,

- if you believe that all else being equal, the rights of the individual are more important than the rights of a class, then that is one indication that you are a liberal,

- If you believe in the reverse, then that is an indication you are a conservative.

- If you firmly believe the class of workers ought to benefit at the same level as as management, then you, like conservatives, believe in a class structure, but with the poor at the same level or higher and that is an indication of being a socialist.

- If you are a liberal and when artificial inequities, like slavery, are found, it is a duty of the government to resolve those inequities, that is a sign you are an active-state liberal.

- If, in the above case, you truly believe the federal government has no right to correct that social wrong, then you are leaning heavily toward being a limited-state liberal.

All a label does is make it easy to identify a certain set of common set of characteristics that make up a person's, in this case, political attitudes. In your case, I suspect that most of your beliefs are most closely related to limited-state liberal and possibly to some degree the subset Libertarian.

The survey I concocted for this hub seems to have, according to the survey takers, a pretty good success rate of predicting how they see themselves.


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

My Esoteric

"Too big", "Too ineffective", are also labels, don't you think, that describe a perceived set of attributes about our gov't. But they are much more mushy than "conservative" or "liberal". These are labels put on people who hold relatively well defined, deep rooted beliefs about social society and politics.

bm:

Too big, too expensive is not an ideology, it is an assessment of how the effectiveness of government.

Conservative and liberal is an ideology, and it cannot be translated into the effectiveness of the government. The effectiveness of the government versus the amount of revenue, and the size of the workforce can be translated into the measure of how effective was the government.

--------

For example,

- if you believe that all else being equal, the rights of the individual are more important than the rights of a class, then that is one indication that you are a liberal,

- If you believe in the reverse, then that is an indication you are a conservative.

- If you firmly believe the class of workers ought to benefit at the same level as as management, then you, like conservatives, believe in a class structure, but with the poor at the same level or higher and that is an indication of being a socialist.

- If you are a liberal and when artificial inequities, like slavery, are found, it is a duty of the government to resolve those inequities, that is a sign you are an active-state liberal.

bm:

I am none of these, and my opinions are bases on the issues. Being pigeonholed by labels serves no useful purpose. Although, I do like my label of sheeple for the majority of people in this country as evidenced by their herd instincts on politics and the government.

Does someone need a label to expect that the taxes paid to the government should be used to protect the people? That resource for an ever growing population should be at least keep pace with the population.

When the government keeps raising the taxes and these resources are stagnant, isn't that the duty of the government? Conservation is not a solution, it is only a temporary measure until a solution is implemented.

This function transcends the party, the political labeling, and the rhetoric of the government. It needs to be fact, and not supposition, or open for political interpretation.

-----

- If, in the above case, you truly believe the federal government has no right to correct that social wrong, then you are leaning heavily toward being a limited-state liberal.

bm:

I can say for a fact that the government has not been able to successfully implement any social issue. That is the province of religion, not government. The government can mandate laws concerning social issues, but they fail as badly as did prohibition did to stop people from drinking alcohol.

Roe v Wade didn't change the social aspect of abortion versus the right to life.

The Civil War, and the Civil Rights Amendments didn't change the concept of the slaves socially. It did however show the ineptness of the government to tackle social issues.

So, social issues is not the reason we have government.

The purpose of the government was to ensure a united states, but not to replace the need for the states. It was to resolve conflicts between the states, and to represent us as one nation to the rest of the world.

Otherwise, there is no need for the states, or states rights.

Thanks

bradmaster

All a label does is make it easy to identify a certain set of common set of characteristics that make up a person's, in this case, political attitudes. In your case, I suspect that most of your beliefs are most closely related to limited-state liberal and possibly to some degree the subset Libertarian.

The survey I concocted for this hub seems to have, according to the survey takers, a pretty good success rate of predicting how they see themselves.


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

My Esoteric

As my opinion of the country and the government is the cause of the decline of the US, I would also say how the people see themselves might be part of the problem.

I think that too much time and energy is being wasted trying to honor the labels. To make the country move forward the people and the government need to work outside their label box, and strive for accomplishments, and not partisan goals.

If you critique the country on accomplishments you come up short.

Work, and work in play is not the same thing as an actual accomplishment.

Thanks

bradmaster


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

That would certainly be nice if that did that, @Bradmaster, but few people have the capability of changing such fundamental beliefs such as social Darwinism, which is at the core of minimal-state liberalist's thought and social responsibility which is at the heart of how active-state liberals think how the government should work. Personally, I am a social responsibility kind of guy once a person has made more than a reasonable attempt to play by the rules. But when the rules are stacked against you, it is time for the gov't to step in and unstack them. A social Darwinist simply never things the rules are stacked against anybody; that people can always try harder to overcome any obstacle others might put in front of them to keep them down.

What does a fry-cook accomplish? But could the fast food industry get along without them? If the answer is no, then why don't they deserve a wage that pays for the bare necessities of life? What if starving to death were pleasant and dying was a legitimate choice to not having to really struggle to stay alive? I bet corporate greed would see fit to pay a living wage then because they can't make a profit without fry-cooks who accomplish nothing.


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

My Esoteric

That would certainly be nice if that did that, @Bradmaster, but few people have the capability of changing such fundamental beliefs such as social Darwinism, which is at the core of minimal-state liberalist's thought and social responsibility which is at the heart of how active-state liberals think how the government should work.

bm:

In electronics we have a theory called the black box, and using Norton's theorem we can analyze a complex electronic circuit for its components contributions to the output.

My point is that in life we look at the output, and if the output of the government has bad results, then the components within it are the contributing factors. You can list all the statistics about the economy, including the GDP but it won't tell you the affect on the average person.

So, in my opinion all the labels and the jargon just confuses the fact that the output is still bad. I don't believe that any of the core problems that contributed to the economic collapse in 2008, have been brought to light much less repaired.

000000

Personally, I am a social responsibility kind of guy once a person has made more than a reasonable attempt to play by the rules. But when the rules are stacked against you, it is time for the gov't to step in and unstack them.

bm:

When and how has the government done this with any success. In my opinion it is the government that initiates the problem, and that would mean that they would intervene on themselves.

SS has become a liability.

Medicare is also a liability

Obamacare has not been implemented, so for the last six years the country has been in flux on healthcare. Adding the targeted thirty two million people to healthcare doesn't improve the already pathetic medical care.

Credit has been stacked against the average person that is forced to use it, because they haven't the money to save, or spend. The government didn't even attempt to correct the biggest problem of credit cards, the very high rate of interest that is causing people to be unable to get out of debt.

Income tax is stacked up against the average person, and changing the tax code every year is unnecessary, as are the hundreds of loopholes found in the Internal Revenue Code.

The Supreme Court with its five to four simple majority decisions has become political and ineffective in resolving the issues of the country.

The Patriot Act takes away the rights of the people, and these rights should not be abridged unless we were in a state of war. We are not and have not been in a state of war since WWII.

The list goes on......

0000000000

A social Darwinist simply never things the rules are stacked against anybody; that people can always try harder to overcome any obstacle others might put in front of them to keep them down.

What does a fry-cook accomplish? But could the fast food industry get along without them? If the answer is no, then why don't they deserve a wage that pays for the bare necessities of life? What if starving to death were pleasant and dying was a legitimate choice to not having to really struggle to stay alive? I bet corporate greed would see fit to pay a living wage then because they can't make a profit without fry-cooks who accomplish nothing.

bm:

Unlike the US government, corporations have shareholders that demand the management to strive for making a profit. Unfortunately, the shareholders don't seem to hold the excessive wages of the top management as greed, especially when the corporation is having a RED bottom line.

Nevertheless, the Mergers and Acquisitions are one of the methods of staying in business and making a profit. However, there is a lot of blood let in this method, and the end result is a healthy surviving business, with less competition that works against the consumer.

This stacks up against the people, and yet the government didn't help them. This was also the prime cause of the economic meltdown in the financial industry.

As for the fry cook example, many menial jobs that don't require much if any education are not meant to support a family. These are first time jobs that students, and young people that are doing until they find a path to where they are going to get that better job.

In the sit down restaurant business, why is it the responsibility of the customer to augment the pay of the servers? It is not like the price of the food is cheaper. Tips were intended to insure personal service, but today it is expected without regard to the level of service. So, if we raise their minimum wage to ten or fifteen dollars an hour, should the customers still feel obligated to tip?

I still don't see how the increase in the size and scope of the federal government has been warranted, or even effective. I don't know of any example where the government has stepped in to unstack the people.

In addition, why should the American taxpayer have to pay for the cost of the politicians doing party work, such as fundraising and campaigning. First, as it did in 2007 to 2008, this widespread incumbent campaigning was detrimental to the American economy, and the well being of its citizens. These politicians were elected to do a job for the people, and not to be doing their personal, and party business on the company dime. The amount of money paid back to the government from these excursions are small compared to the cost to the taxpayer.

Yes, both parties do it, but neither party should be able to put the party in front of the people.

As for Homeland Security, its function just adds another layer of bureaucracy to the domestic protection of the country. It is like the TSA, it just looks like it helps, but the real help comes before any threat has reached the mass of people.

Most of the government agencies are there to give the people the impression that the government is protecting them. But, there is ample evidence that they serve the people they are monitoring better than the people in general.

I have previously given examples of these agencies.

So, I am at a loss to understand your viewpoint. To me there is a vast difference between trying to do something, and actually accomplishing it.

Thanks

bradmasterOC


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You said "...You can list all the statistics about the economy, including the GDP but it won't tell you the affect on the average person....", which is absolutely true; since the 1980s, minus the recessions, the stats have said the economy has perked along nicely, but by digging deeper into the same statistics, you would find it perked along only for a few and not the average American. Without the insight those more detailed statistics tell you, like the ones I have been throwing at @Landmark, you can't define the problem sufficiently well to come up with a solution.

For example, the unemployment rate says we are back to normal (normal is around 5.5% and not 4%); but so what if those who work are still living in poverty because labor income has transferred to the wealthy. The unregulated capitalistic system makes sure of that.

Here is the problem you talk about in statistical form rather than word form; % of people earning between -:

2010:

Less than $1.20/hr 6%

$1.20 and $7.35/hr: 24.4% (up to minimum wage but still true poverty)

$7.35 and $12.00/hr 17.6%

$12.00 and $16.84 13.2% (up to true poverty line)

$16.84 and $24.04/hr 13.9%

$24.04 and $36.06/hr 12.9%

$36.06 and $38.08/hr 5.3%

$38.08 and Up 6.6%

MEDIAN INCOME: $26,197

MEAN INCOME: $38,337

% Diff: 46%

1970:

Less than $1.20 /hr 6.1%

$1.20 and $7.35/hr: 17.6% (up to minimum wage but still true poverty)

$7.35 and $12.00/hr 11.8%

$12.00 and $16.84 9.8% (up to true poverty line)

$16.84 and $24.04/hr 15.1%

$24.04 and $36.06/hr 18.9%

$36.06 and $38.08/hr 7.8%

$38.08 and Up 7.2%

MEDIAN INCOME: $37,485

MEAN INCOME: $42,358

% Diff: 13%

Now, you may not believe it, but to someone who understands statistics there is a major story in the above set of numbers. Each year by itself tells you nothing; it is when you compare one period with another period does knowledge start appearing.

For example, take the % Diff between the Median and Mean incomes for 1970, when things were relatively good for most Americans, and compare it to 2010, things are terrible for the average American. Notice the former is 13% and the latter is a whopping 46%. What that says is in 2010 the wage distribution is highly skewed toward the wealthy while in 1970 there appears to be a reasonable distribution of wages. I can tell that because the less skewness there is, the closer the Mean and Median become to one another.

Another way I can tell this is by inspection. If you look at the distribution for 1970, the concentration of wages is around the $16.84 to $36.08 range while for 2010, it is between $1.20 and $12.00/hr.

This is further verified by the fact that the Median income fell 30% between 1970 and 2010 while the Mean income has fallen only 9%! This means there has been a huge transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich class.

Much more concrete knowledge can be obtained once you break it down by sex, age, race, education, and ethnicity. Bottom line is you can't live your life without statistics. Hell, you need statistics to describe the probability of where an electron is as it circles a nucleus at any given moment in time.

I'll read more of you comment later.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You said "... Unfortunately, the shareholders don't seem to hold the excessive wages of the top management as greed, ..." - That is an easy one. Except in extremely rare instances, it makes no difference what the shareholders think; those that run the business generally have controlling interest and can vote for anything they want.


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

My Esoteric

You said "...You can list all the statistics about the economy, including the GDP but it won't tell you the effect on the average person....", which is absolutely true; since the 1980s, minus the recessions, the stats have said the economy has perked along nicely, but by digging deeper into the same statistics, you would find it perked along only for a few and not the average American. Without the insight those more detailed statistics tell you, like the ones I have been throwing at @Landmark, you can't define the problem sufficiently well to come up with a solution.

bm:

Sounds logical

-----------------------

For example, the unemployment rate says we are back to normal (normal is around 5.5% and not 4%); but so what if those who work are still living in poverty because labor income has transferred to the wealthy. The unregulated capitalistic system makes sure of that.

bm:

US jobless rate decreased to 5.9 percent in September from 6.1 percent in August, the lowest rate since July of 2008. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million.

--------------------------------------

Here is the problem you talk about in statistical form rather than word form; % of people earning between -:

2010:

Less than $1.20/hr 6%

$1.20 and $7.35/hr: 24.4% (up to minimum wage but still true poverty)

$7.35 and $12.00/hr 17.6%

$12.00 and $16.84 13.2% (up to true poverty line)

$16.84 and $24.04/hr 13.9%

$24.04 and $36.06/hr 12.9%

$36.06 and $38.08/hr 5.3%

$38.08 and Up 6.6%

MEDIAN INCOME: $26,197

MEAN INCOME: $38,337

% Diff: 46%

1970:

Less than $1.20 /hr 6.1%

$1.20 and $7.35/hr: 17.6% (up to minimum wage but still true poverty)

$7.35 and $12.00/hr 11.8%

$12.00 and $16.84 9.8% (up to true poverty line)

$16.84 and $24.04/hr 15.1%

$24.04 and $36.06/hr 18.9%

$36.06 and $38.08/hr 7.8%

$38.08 and Up 7.2%

MEDIAN INCOME: $37,485

MEAN INCOME: $42,358

% Diff: 13%

Now, you may not believe it, but to someone who understands statistics there is a major story in the above set of numbers. Each year by itself tells you nothing; it is when you compare one period with another period does knowledge start appearing.

For example, take the % Diff between the Median and Mean incomes for 1970, when things were relatively good for most Americans, and compare it to 2010, things are terrible for the average American. Notice the former is 13% and the latter is a whopping 46%. What that says is in 2010 the wage distribution is highly skewed toward the wealthy while in 1970 there appears to be a reasonable distribution of wages. I can tell that because the less skewness there is, the closer the Mean and Median become to one another.

bm:

There are no variables in those figures for 1970 and 2010. In the seventies we had the artificial oil shortage, and in the late seventies is when the American Automaker lost their market to the foreign automakers.

In the early eighties, the prime interest rate was over twenty percent. This impacted the real estate market, causing only the profession real estate people to stay in the market.

In this century, the interest rates were held down to very low percentages, this was artificially set by the FRB to stimulate the anyone can own a home. The sub prime bubble, like the dot com bubble of the nineteen nineties creates a false economy.

So to compare the era of the non bubble to the bubble is like comparing x to y when there is no common answer.

x and y can only be solved if they are both factored to the same equation.

Also, the type of jobs between the two time periods changed radically. We went from the manufacturing country to a service country. Statistic can be interpreted by the person using the statistics to make a case from them, while another person can take the same basic data and show something else.

-----------------------------------------------------

Another way I can tell this is by inspection. If you look at the distribution for 1970, the concentration of wages is around the $16.84 to $36.08 range while for 2010, it is between $1.20 and $12.00/hr.

This is further verified by the fact that the Median income fell 30% between 1970 and 2010 while the Mean income has fallen only 9%! This means there has been a huge transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich class.

bm:

This is interesting, but it doesn't tell you what caused the transfer of wealth. To do that, you would need more of the variables that contributed to the difference. Was it taxes, imports, exports, the switch from manufacturing to service, the deregulation of banks, and the financial industry, or other factors that caused a difference.

Much more concrete knowledge can be obtained once you break it down by sex, age, race, education, and ethnicity. Bottom line is you can't live your life without statistics. Hell, you need statistics to describe the probability of where an electron is as it circles a nucleus at any given moment in time.

bm:

Statistics in general are ambiguous, such as 4 out of 5 doctors recommend brand x. This was used in advertising to sell product brand x, but it is misleading, and its only value was to the manufacturer of brand x.

The same thing in having 1200 people determine the viewing habits of over three hundred million people. The reason that it might be some what accurate is in my opinion due to sheeple. Many people are swayed by what they think is public opinion. Most people want to be popular and align themselves with trends.

Another change that happen between the two time periods is the creation of the online stock market, and other markets like the money market no longer need expensive broker tied costs. This allows anyone that has some extra money to play the market, like it was a horse race. These amateur investors are the trend followers, and they lack knowledge of the system.

In addition, this century produced a massive speculator market. This is probably an offshoot of all the information shown on TV, which is also different than the seventies.

TV is having a substantial influence on the average person. They think, if it is on TV than it must be true.

People will spend an hour waiting for the total weather report on TV, when in a couple of minutes they could find it out on the Internet.

These are just a few examples of what statistics don't tell you.

For example.

The current trend this century is a rapid increase in billionaires and the wealthy in general. Using statistics, how would you isolate the components that need to be identified, and then how would you implement counter measures to level the playing field. Which would be to reduce the continuing rapid increase of the wealthy, and putting these measures to also increase the number of people within the middle income.

Today, the fact is that either no one knows what is the cause of the rise of the wealthy, and the decline of the middle income, or they cannot implement any methods to make the change.

Thanks

bradmasterOC


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

My Esoteric

You said "... Unfortunately, the shareholders don't seem to hold the excessive wages of the top management as greed, ..." - That is an easy one. Except in extremely rare instances, it makes no difference what the shareholders think; those that run the business generally have controlling interest and can vote for anything they want.

bm:

There are so many large companies, monopolies, conglomerates, and global in scope that at best their might be influential ownership, but not controlling ownership. Some of these companies have billions of shares outstanding.

Many institutional and fund managers have a large number of shares in many companies, but they are not controlling shares. They do have the power to expect better earnings from the companies they invest in, and they can take measures to influence the management of the company, or they can sell their shares, and move it to another investment.

The stockholders also have the ability to adversely affect the stock price by selling their shares. And because of sheeple, once a trend has been established, the sheeple run scared.

Although, I must say that I find CEOs and upper management getting millions of dollars in bonuses for a company that is not doing well, strange.

Conversely, when a company lowers it dividends, share holders bail causing the market to be in a decline.

This further supports my opinion that the stock market of today no longer represents the strength of the economy, or the country. It is apparently too easy to manipulate by the wealthy.

company Ticker Shares outstanding (billions)

General Electric GE 10.1

Microsoft MSFT 9.3

Pfizer PFE 6.8

Cisco Systems CSCO 6.1

AT&T T 6.0

Intel INTC 5.8

Exxon Mobil XOM 5.4

Oracle ORCL 5.1

Citigroup C 5.0

Bank of America BAC 4.4

Thanks

bradmasterOC


Joao 23 months ago

Edis: that's where I picked it up from. Technorati sees all, Technorati knows all...As for the LibDems, they'd ceiartnly be "lefter" than Labour on human rights, much like our local Green party. Economically, it's difficult to tell. As I understand it, the LibDems are proposing tax increases on the wealthy to fund the abolition of student fees and better health care. In NZ, this would be a left-wing position; we had exactly that sort of tax increase when Labour took office in 1999, and our local center-right parties have been whining about it ever since. As for abolishing student fees, you need to go to the Greens or the Alliance to see that sort of policy; everyone else backs the idea of students paying significantly for their education (with the center-right wanting them to pay more, and Labour wanting to make it easier through a student loan scheme which isn't really a loan anymore). Things like reserve bank independence and a simpler tax system were done in the 80's, and pretty much the consensus in NZ now.The problem is that the LibDem's policies are very much a reaction to the particular circumstances of British politics (how could they not be), and as we have rather different circumstances (chiefly through having done most of the economic and public sector reform stuff Blair wants to do and wanting to recover from it), their position on the spectrum doesn't really translate well. I suspect that a party with similar principles would be in the "center", but to the left of where Peter Dunne is (he's very soft on human rights, unfortunately).


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 18 months ago from Yorktown NY

I read your hub and I couldn't find a match for my brand of Conservatism. So I wrote a hub -

http://hubpages.com/politics/Conservative-Principl...

Can you categorize my beliefs?


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 7 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

@MyEso: "Society is best served when the "rights" of certain classes of individuals trump an individuals right." " if you believe that all else being equal, the rights of the individual are more important than the rights of a class, then that is one indication that you are a liberal,

- If you believe in the reverse, then that is an indication you are a conservative.

I found this question to be a problem in that it's possible to be answered in both the positive and the negative and still be a liberal or a conservative.

It could be answered absolutely yes, in the case of the rights of a certain class of people; let's say slaves, to morally trump the individual who claims a right to ownership of that very class of people.

On the other hand, It could also be answered NO in the similar sense that a class of wealthy white plantation owners should trump the individual human rights of a single black slave. Would that make the person answering NO a conservative....or a liberal?

Both answers are opposites of the yes, or no options and yet both answers would indicate that the person answering the question is seeing both sides from a liberal position.

One persons individual right to serve a person of his choice at his restaurant, does not trump the rights of an entire class of people to eat at his restaurant. The currency is the same no matter what race or class you come from. On the other hand, one united group of some class majority should not trump the individual's right to eat at that restaurant or attend a public school or any other public facility based on some class or racial distinction. Which position is the Liberal position?


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My Esoteric 7 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You make great observations, Adagio, thanks for making them. Of course you are correct when down in the weeds, but these kinds of questions don't dig that far down; they are looking for general perceptions.

Further, no single question would determine one to lean conservative, liberal, or any of the others. It is the sum of the weights associated with all of them which point to one philosophy or another.

As to that particular question, it goes something like this. One of the defining differences between conservatives/socialists and liberals (active or minimal) is how they rank, as a rule, class vs individual rights. The gut reaction of a true conservative (not a minimal-state liberal whose outcomes appear to be the same) is that by-and-large the rights of the class should come before the rights of the individual. That is what made our Constitution unique in the world (although idea quickly was lost to real politik).

What defines a liberal, and its off-shoots, on the other hand is the focus on individual rights. So, their gut reaction would tend to be that individual rights most often trump class rights.

It goes without saying, of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.

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