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Encyclopedia > Nolan chart
The Nolan chart, with the traditional left-right policial spectrum on the dashed diagonal

The Nolan Chart is a political diagram popularized by the American libertarian David Nolan. He created it to illustrate the claim that libertarianism stands for both economic freedom and personal freedom (as he defined the terms), in graphic contrast to left-wing "liberalism", which, according to Nolan, advocates only personal freedom, and right-wing "conservatism", which, according to Nolan, advocates only economic freedom. Image File history File links Nolan-chart. ... Politics is the process by which groups make decisions. ... In English-speaking countries, libertarianism usually refers to a political philosophy maintaining that every person is the absolute owner of their own life and should be free to do whatever they wish with their person or property, as long as they respect the liberty of others. ... David Fraser Nolan founded the Libertarian Party in 1971. ... Leftism redirects here. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Left-Right politics. ... Conservatism is a political philosophy that usually favors traditional values and strong foreign defense. ...

Contents

Development

While its exact origins appear to be unclear, the chart and its concept are commonly attributed to David Nolan. A similar chart appeared in Floodgates of Anarchy by Stuart Christie and Albert Meltzer (1st Edition published in 1970). Its two axes are: one from individualism to totalitarianism, the other from capitalism to collectivism. Its corners are capitalist individualism, anarchism, state communism and fascism. Stuart Christie is a Scottish Anarchist most well-known for his part in the Spanish resistance to the dictator Franco: he was arrested in 1964 while carrying explosives to assassinate El Caudillo. He was sentenced to twenty years in prison but only served three, being released due to international pressure. ... Albert Meltzer (born January 7, 1920 _ died May 7, 1996) was an anarchist activist and writer. ...


David Nolan first published the current version of the chart in an article called "The Case for a Libertarian Political Party" in the August 1971 issue of The Individualist, the monthly magazine of the Society for Individual Liberty (SIL). In December of 1971, he helped to start the group that would become the Libertarian Party. [1], [2] 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... Categories: Todd Rundgren albums | 1995 albums ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... The Libertarian Party is an American political party founded in 1971. ...


Anarchist Review published a different version where the economic axis has a subtler meaning: degree of hierarchy in economic decision-making. At the anarchist end, there is no hierarchy, or just one level. At the capitalist end, hierarchies allow some to utilize the work of others. This version stretches various sorts of liberals from the corner of "left radicalism" to the corner of "free marketeers". Somewhat outside the square lies the anarchist position, next to the corner of left radicalism. State communism and fascism are the two other corners, and conservatism lies towards centrism next to fascism.


Positions

Differing from the traditional left/right distinction and other political taxonomies, the Nolan Chart in its original form has two dimensions, with a horizontal x-axis labeled "economic freedom" and a vertical y-axis labeled "personal freedom". It resembles a square divided into four quadrants, with each sample in the population assigned to one of the quadrants.


The upper left quadrant represents the political Left — favoring government that taxes more and spends more for activities such as welfare, healthcare, education, Social Security and funding for the arts and that encourages more barriers on trade and business regulations (which David Nolan labeled "low economic freedom"), but supporting personal freedoms such as abortion, homosexuality and illegality of the draft (which he labeled "high personal freedom"). At the bottom right is its converse, the political Right, whose coordinates place it as supporting high economic freedom and low personal freedom. Those on the Right want lower taxes and fewer social programs but support regulation by the government of cultural issues and personal behavior. The Nolan Chart places David Nolan's own ideology, libertarianism, at the top right, corresponding with high freedom in both economic and social matters. The fourth quadrant at the bottom left represents the antithesis of libertarianism. David Nolan originally called this philosophy populism, but many later renditions of the chart have used the label authoritarianism or totalitarianism instead. Some critics have argued that this was an attempt to popularize the image of libertarianism as the "opposite" of ideologies with a rather negative public image, thus putting libertarianism itself in a good light. Communitarianism also exists within the fourth quadrant. Leftism redirects here. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Health care or healthcare is one of the worlds largest and fastest growing professions. ... Social Security, in the United States, refers to the Federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. ... The arts is a broad subdivision of culture, composed of many expressive disciplines. ... A sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as sex crimes. ... For other uses, see Conscript (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Left-Right politics. ... In English-speaking countries, libertarianism usually refers to a political philosophy maintaining that every person is the absolute owner of their own life and should be free to do whatever they wish with their person or property, as long as they respect the liberty of others. ... Bold text:This article applies to political ideologies. ... Totalitarianism is a term employed by political scientists, especially those in the field of comparative politics, to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. ... Communitarianism as a group of related but distinct philosophies began in the late 20th century, opposing aspects of liberalism and capitalism while advocating phenomena such as civil society. ...


Variations

Many variations of the Nolan Chart have been developed, with some rotating the chart area 45 degrees in a rhomboid form to allow representation of left/liberal and right/conservative along a single axis in the manner they are typically charted. Many use different labels to describe the various types of government that would be placed in the quadrants. For other uses of the word rhombus, see Rhombus (disambiguation) This shape is a rhombus In geometry, a rhombus (or rhomb; plural rhombi) is a quadrilateral in which all of the sides are of equal length, i. ...


Uses of the chart

Members of the Auburn University Libertarian campus group use a version of the Nolan Chart created by the Advocates for Self-Government to show a quiz-taker his position on the political spectrum.

The chart has inspired many political self-quizzes available on the Internet. (see [3]) Image File history File linksMetadata Nolan_chart-quiz. ... Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a state university located in Auburn, Alabama, in the United States. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ...


The advocates and writers of these quizzes are most often libertarian, and a common remark by them about their tests is that people who are libertarians inside and didn't know it will discover their true political leanings. The detractors of the Nolan Chart are most often people who accuse people with libertarian beliefs of using it to further their agenda and gain converts to their party and political movement. One specific accusation is that libertarian "recruiters" try to convince people that, because they hold several libertarian positions, they should consider making all their positions libertarian in order to achieve consistency in advocating "liberty".


Criticism

Critics of this diagram (and this kind of chart in general) claim that it represents at best a pseudoscientific illustration of a political point of view. The essential premise of the diagram is for many an oversimplified generalization, one that is no real improvement over the unidimensional left-right or liberal-conservative scales; economic freedom and personal freedom are often inextricable, and both left-wing (Bakunin) and right-wing philosophers draw the same connection, though they have radically different views on the actual meaning of these types of "freedom". Corporate welfare, for example, is listed as a Leftist stance (since it falls under "low economic freedom"), yet it is often supported by the Right. Many libertarians would claim that this actually indicates that the political Left and Right are, in fact, very similar to each other despite their seemingly highly different positions. Critics argue that the libertarian views on personal and economic freedom may be a useful way of classifying libertarianism in relation to other ideologies, but they do not apply to the classification of those other ideologies in relation to each other. Phrenology is regarded today as a classic example of pseudoscience. ... Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Russian — Михаил Александрович Бакунин), (May 30, 1814–June 13, 1876) was a well-known Russian anarchist contemporaneous to Karl Marx. ... Corporate welfare is a pejorative term, first coined by Ralph Nader in 1956, describing a governments bestowal of grants and/or tax breaks on corporations or other special favorable treatment from the government. ...


The libertarian conception of freedom is perceived by some as tending toward anarchy. Others see it as driven by excessive individualism that actually detracts from social freedom. In essence, they claim the "chart" exists only to distance the term "libertarianism" from the older terms of anarchism and socialism, the latter of which draws polemic connections to communism, which itself draws polemic connections to totalitarianism. It has been suggested that Origins of anarchism and History of anarchism be merged into this article or section. ... Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control. ... Look up Polemic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Polemic is the art or practice of inciting disputation or causing controversy, for example in religious, philosophical, or political matters. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... Totalitarianism is a term employed by political scientists, especially those in the field of comparative politics, to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. ...


A similar criticism of the chart is that the terms "authoritarianism" and "liberalism", as used to describe opposing stances on the y-axis of "personal freedom", do not easily apply to some prominent contemporary social issues (although these terms were not originally used by Nolan, they have become popular with followers of his chart system). For example, proponents of strict gun control are generally social liberals, who see fewer guns on the streets as promoting individual safety and thus individual liberty. At the same time, opponents of gun control see restrictions on certain firearms as an infringement on their personal liberties. Similar problems emerge from other social issues such as abortion, where the debate centers on whether the "right" to have an abortion is more or less important than the "rights" of the unborn child. In both of these examples, both sides tend to argue that their stance on the issue maximises total liberty. Thus the division between "liberal" and "authoritarian" is of little use on these issues, and the debate instead often divides people in terms of other exogenous factors such as their religious beliefs. This, some argue, leaves the effectiveness of the chart somewhat compromised.


Other critics argue that the libertarian definition of economic and personal "freedom" is incorrect or flawed, and that non-libertarian ideologies actually give people more freedom than libertarianism does. One such argument is that freedom from government intervention in the economy does not assure individual freedom within the private sector, and that government may preserve individual freedom against non-governmental powers. (This is the case Noam Chomsky makes when he refers to "private tyranny". [4], [5]) Nolan's usage of "populism" shows that he rejects this argument. Avram Noam Chomsky, Ph. ...


The x-axis of "economic freedom" assumes a choice between a strongly state-regulated economy ("low economic freedom") and free-market capitalism ("high economic freedom"). This completely ignores the existence of libertarian socialism and most branches of anarchism, who are opposed both to the state and to capitalism. Anarchists and libertarian socialists do not want any kind of state intervention in the economy, yet they are also vehemently opposed to private property over the means of production and wish to give the workers direct collective control over the economy. They see themselves as promoting economic freedom, but certainly not in the capitalist sense that is used in the Nolan chart. Libertarian socialism includes a group of political philosophies that aims to create a society without political, economic or social hierarchies - a society within which individuals freely co-operate together as equals. ... It has been suggested that Origins of anarchism and History of anarchism be merged into this article or section. ... This page deals with property as ownership rights. ... Means of production (abbreviated MoP; German: Produktionsmittel), also called means of labour are the materials, tools and other instruments used by workers to make products. ...


A few of the people who oppose the use of the Nolan Chart are strong libertarians, Objectivists or other advocates of laissez-faire capitalism who believe that the political spectrum need be portrayed only through one dimension, but not the traditional Left/Right one. They propose an axis with totalitarianism/authoritarianism (statism) at one end, and libertarianism at the other end—something similar to the first diagonal of the Nolan Chart. They insist that all types of government intervention, in any areas, are the same. Objectivism is the philosophical system developed by Russian-American philosopher and writer Ayn Rand. ... Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ... Statism (or Etatism) is a very loose and often derogatory term that is used to describe: Specific instances of state intervention in personal, social or economic matters. ...


See also

The chart proposed by the Political Compass Organization A political compass or political diamond is a multi-axis model used to label or organize political thought on several dimensions. ... A political spectrum is a way of visualizing different political positions. ... The Pournelle chart, developed by Jerry Pournelle (in his 1963 political science Ph. ... Worlds Smallest Political Quiz The Worlds Smallest Political Quiz is a 10-question quiz designed as an outreach and educational tool by the Advocates for Self-Government, created by Marshall Fritz. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
David Nolan (Libertarian Party) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (199 words)
He subsequently served the party in a number of roles including National Chair, editor of the party newsletter, chairman of the By-laws Committee, chairman of the Judicial Committee, and Chairman of the Platform Committee.
Nolan was born in Washington, D.C. and spent his earliest years growing up in Maryland.
Nolan is also known as the inventor of the Nolan chart which purports to render obsolete the simple left vs. right political taxonomy by separating the issues of economic freedom and social freedom.
Nolan Chart - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1268 words)
The detractors of the Nolan Chart are most often people who accuse people with libertarian beliefs of using it to further their agenda and gain converts to their party and political movement.
A similar criticism of the chart is that the terms "authoritarianism" and "liberalism", as used to describe opposing stances on the y-axis of "personal freedom", do not easily apply to some prominent contemporary social issues (although these terms were not originally used by Nolan, they have become popular with followers of his chart system).
A few of the people who oppose the use of the Nolan Chart are strong libertarians, Objectivists or other advocates of laissez-faire capitalism who believe that the political spectrum need be portrayed only through one dimension, but not the traditional Left/Right one.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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