Chapter 11: How They Govern

Footnote: The Vector-Space of Politics

The vector-space of society, economics and politics. [PDF]

Hi Deanna

You said that you are more centre right politically. The concepts of left and right in politics are difficult for me. Conservatives are said to be on the right but so was Hitler, Mussolini and now Bolsonaro. If Hitler had been British, would he have sat on the right of the Speaker? I don't think his politics were Conservative. Stalin and Mau are said to have been on the left but to me they don't appear to be socialist or Labour.

I think the right-left confusion comes from people failing to separate two entirely different concepts, which can vary independently of each other. The first is the concept of how people relate with each other. The second is how possession and control of generative resources is concentrated or distributed among people.

To me, 'right and left' refers to the first concept: how people relate to each other. On the extreme left, everybody is equally included within a single-status society, irrespective of their needs or abilities. On the extreme right, people polarise into social, economic, educational, cultural and racial groups and classes. As centre right, I imagine that you prefer a society that is polarised into social, economic and enterprise classes but perhaps not educational, cultural or racial classes. I, on the other hand, would prefer a society in which all people have the same value or worth, irrespective of their level of education and skill or economic wealth. So I am at the extreme left. Notwithstanding, that does not make me what people generally perceive as a socialist. Quite the opposite. I think everybody should be a capitalist.

To be able to compare this with the second concept; namely, of the concentration or distribution of generative resources, it is necessary to use a vertical scale, which I think of as the up-down axis. A generative resources is essentially an area of habitable land and what is above it, on it and beneath it. In a modern economy, it is a capital asset of the kind that can enable a human being to transform his physical or mental labour into his needs and luxuries of life.

At the top of the up-down axis, all such assets [within a national jurisdiction] are under the possession and control of the State. Individuals own none of it. It excludes freehold land on which one's house lies because that land is economically unproductive. Thus, the regimes of Stalin and Mau would be at the top. They are the ultimate of extreme capitalism. Below them (coming downwards on the up-down axis) are the the great transnationals like the mining, oil , telecoms and Internet companies. Down further are the small companies and below them even smaller "working director" firms.

In the lower half of the up-down axis, generative resource become ever more distributed under the possession and control of ever-smaller groups of people. At the very bottom, every human being (adult and child) has full allodial possession and control of his fair share of the planet, which works out at just over 2 hectares (5 acres) of habitable land and 42 hectares of ocean. My personal ideal would be for each to have half that for their own economic use and half for common use by everybody. So I am about half way down the lower half of the vertical axis.

Of course, in reality, there are many other variables involved: not just two. The third dimension is distribution of political control. This ranges from total authoritarinism at one end of the scale to total elalitarianism at the other end of the scale. The first extreme is where all direction and control comes from the person at the top; namely, the dictator. Proceeding along the scale, authority is increasingly devolved to levels of control further and further down the hierarchy. At the egalitarian extreme, all control is distributed to the individual. At this extreme, every person is his own policeman and society is governed by a universal protocol, which specifies the principles by which an individual must bind himself to interact with his fellows. Peer judgement is still required in the event that an individual fails to follow or violates the principles of the universal protocol.

I have included a diagram giving a view of all this with YOU and ME marked in the positions I think. I've also put where I think BOZO is. That's what people here call Bolsonaro. What do you think?

Rob X

Expand the article /chap11/politics.html to include my right-left/up-down/exclusive-inclusive representation of the policical spectrum in 3-dimensional vector space.


Parent Document | © Nov 2018 Robert John Morton