Saturday, July 14, 2012

Economic Freedom and Personal Freedom

In politics, views are usually divided into right-wing and left-wing politics. However, this 1-dimentional division does overlook some critical differences in political views. One important distinction is economic freedom and personal freedom.

The general trend is that the right-wingers (conservatives) usually support economic freedom, but suppress personal freedom. On the other hand, left-wingers (social liberals) usually support personal freedom, but suppress economic freedom. However, this left-right dichotomy makes people unaware of the existence of those distinctions.

Instead of a 1-dimentional political spectrum, a 2-dimentional political spectrum is usually used. Some people have devised 3-dimentional political spectrum, but that is beyond this post. What this political spectrum shows is the distinction of the classical liberals (usually called "libertarians" to avoid confusion with the more widespread social liberals). Classical liberals support BOTH economic freedom and personal freedom; That is because classical liberalism is based on the idea of least government control in people's lives.

Take this short test to see where you fall on the political spectrum.

On this diagram, notice the personal freedom score and the economic freedom score. In this diagram, going from right-to-left measures how much your views oppose tradition. Right being most traditional, and Left being most opposed to tradition. On the other hand, going from bottom-to-top measures how much you believe that government should control people's lives. The bottom means you believe government should take complete control in people's lives, and top means you believe government should not control people's lives.

To learn more, check those two YouTube videos:
Economic Vs. Civil Liberties
Who favors more freedom, liberals or conservatives?

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