The Political Spectrum, Explained

In Episode 1 of The Deadly Isms, Matt Kibbe explains how the political spectrum doesn’t go from left to right, it goes from top to bottom. Here is his political spectrum, with some definitions attached. Watch Episode 1.

Libertarianism — Free people acting voluntarily to solve problems and help one another.
Totalitarianism — The state has total control over every aspect of people’s lives.


Classical Liberalism — The state respects individual rights and only exists to protect them from aggressors.
Constitutional Conservatism — Individual rights are spelled out in a constitution, which constrains government action.
Representative Democracy — The people elect representatives to make and execute laws for them. Republicanism.
Nationalism — Devotion to national greatness and a common identity. Demonization of “the other.”
Fascism — Industry remains nominally private, but is actually directed by the state.
Theocracy — Rule by the church, in which obedience and worship are prized over personal freedom.
Islamo-Fascism — Islamic theocracy that puts fealty to the religion ahead of individual rights, and demands violence against infidels.
Nazism — Hitler’s version of fascism, including a state directed economy, heavy militarism, and genocide.


Civil Libertarianism — Personal freedoms are virtually unlimited, although there may still be some economic controls.
Localism — Communities determine their own laws and regulations without interference from a higher authority.
Direct Democracy — The people vote directly for every policy they want to see enacted.
Democratic Socialism — Markets and elections are generally maintained within a system of large-scale redistribution of wealth and heavy regulations.
Social Engineering — The state encourages people to behave in certain ways through incentive programs.
Progressivism — The state actively directs society and the economy through the supposedly objective lens of science.
Scientism (Eugenics) — Science is used to engineer humanity itself through selective breeding.
Dictatorship of the Proletariat — Workers seize control of factories. Capitalistic ownership is outlawed.
Socialism — The government owns the means of production and decides how they should be employed.
Marxism — Marx’s vision was of a transition from capitalism, to socialism, and finally to communism, a transition that explicitly relied on violence.
Communism — Private property is abolished and the state directs all economic production.

Subscribe on YouTube

Free the People publishes opinion-based articles from contributing writers. The opinions and ideas expressed do not always reflect the opinions and ideas that Free the People endorses. We believe in free speech, and in providing a platform for open dialog. Feel free to leave a comment!

Logan Albright

Logan Albright is the Head Writer and Sound Engineer at Free the People. He is the author of Conform or Be Cast Out: The (Literal) Demonization of Nonconformists and Our Servants, Our Masters: How Control Masquerades as Assistance.

View Full Bio

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Product

Join Us