An Incorrect Venn Diagram of Liberal and Conservative Progressivism
Update 2 (see below)–Due to Conor’s recent posts on Progressivism and Conservative rhetoric, as well as comments arguing in favor of the existence of (or possibility of) Conservative Progressives, as well as a call for some guesses as to how these labels breakdown, I’ve come up with the following:
Two things to note. First, the coffee rings are for the purpose of not only appealing to my hipster aesthetic, but also to indicate that the barriers between labels, philosophies, and methods are not so hard and fast as to be deserving of the determinacy associated with black ink.
Second, I hardly claim the above diagram to be accurate. I’ve thrown around a lot of loaded terms with only an hour’s thought and little actual research into the long and harrowing traditions from which each has been forcibly derived.
So consider it a jumping off point; an exercise; a compliment to Conor’s discussion about Progressive values and the rhetoric employed by Conservatives to reject them. It’s been too long since we played around with labels and titles. Plus, Conor’s emphasis on progressivism might help to inspire discussion beyond the statist/liberaltarian debates of old.
[UPDATE] – A revised Venn Diagram, in which “Social Republican” is a place holder:
Commneter Marchmaine sent me his own revised illustration of political labels. He explains:
“Y axis = Philosophical habits – I expect this will be severely savaged, as Philosophical taxonomies are a cottage industry in themselves – but is required to make sense of what we mean by Progressive and Traditional (both are rational, but have different philosophical and epistemological approaches)… the specific philosophers/philosophies are not meant as equivalencies, but schools of thought. Primarily I disagree with your assessment that Progressive = Empiricist. That Progressives are somewhere on the empiricist continuum? Sure… but Enlightenment Lockean Pragmatism belongs to the center (in this taxonomy).
X axis = movement from minimalist “collective action” to Increased “collective action” – but movement is from center, not linear from zero. This answers the other problem that both Liberals and Conservatives can have extremes of Collective action resulting in twin “heresies” of Fascism and Communism (whether they are traditionalist vs. progressive heresies, I think we would differ).
So, dead center is a pure “Classical Liberal” of a Lockean stripe that favors minimal collective (state) action…everything else is downhill.”