The Political Spectrum

The Political Spectrum

The Political Spectrum

The Political Spectrum

Synopsis

The Political Spectrum' sets out to identify the timeless, universal principles of political philosophy that shape how we live as a society, from democracy in Ancient Greece and the aristocracies of the Enlightenment to the tribal lands of Pakistan and the modern state that is the United States of America.Unlike most political philosophies that rest on traditional foundations such as rights, private property, or human nature, The Political Spectrum focuses on the fundamental ideas dividing the left and the right today to identify a rational middle ground.Tracing the most insightful ideas from great thinkers in the Western tradition, The Political Spectrum identifies two fundamental institutions that all societies must manage in a rational way in order to survive.Along the way, the book explores the tension between liberty and the individual's duty to society and the proper roles of family and state. Basing the analysis on the four pillars of political philosophy--human nature, institutions, wealth, and justice--The Political Spectrum offers a vision for resolving the political divide in a way that promotes liberty and prosperity.

Excerpt

The inspiration for writing this book was the incessant fighting we see today between Democrats and Republicans in the usa. I am always surprised by how apparently normal people who live similar lives—they put their pants on one leg at a time, go to work, eat food, listen to music, pay the bills, etc.—can have such radically different political beliefs. People who otherwise would probably be good neighbors might choke each other during an argument about abortion or guns. Nations go to war, with tens of millions of people killed in the name of communism and fascism during the twentieth century. People brandish terms like left wing and right wing, communist and fascist, or liberal and conservative, Democrat or Republican, often without sufficient clarity to explain the differences. Thus, I set out to better understand how we arrived at this point of political divide by studying political philosophy with the goal of identifying any fundamental, universal principles that would allow us to better assess and correct our current trajectory.

We know what it means to pass a budget or change marginal income tax rates, but does anyone really agree on how to define left or right in politics, aside from vague intuitions? We believe the left-to-right divide implies a continuum of beliefs, with people on the opposite ends of the political spectrum having often contradictory beliefs (regarding . How do we know where a set of beliefs can be situated along the political spectrum? What are the key markers along the political spectrum to tell us where we are and to define our own beliefs? Where is the correct place to be on the political spectrum? Is there a correct place? Can all societies be at the same place, or does the ideal place along the spectrum depend on the stage . . .

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