After some deliberation, I decided that my previous attempt at extending the Nolan Chart was not particularly useful.
The discriminatory vs. meritocratic axis can be completely represented on the other two axes as lack of both economic and social freedom (a nation that is, say, (1/2, 1/2) libertarian on socio-economic freedom for 50% the population but no liberty at all (-1, -1) for the other 50%, would in my books count as a (-1/4, -1/4), which is still totalitarian), and the economic freedom axis was not particularly useful, because the people on the left of that (like the Aam Aadmi Party): “anticapitalists”, who support negative discrimination against the rich, are complete batshit crazy and don’t deserve a place on the axis at all, for the same reason that people who believe that the government’s primary duty is to smear toothpaste on people’s arms do not deserve a place on the Nolan Chart.
And then there were environmental concerns. I think that I was wrong to list them as a restriction of economic freedom: if anything, they’re a restriction on social freedom, but I think it’s best to represent it on a separate axis, because in a sense, unrestricted capitalism is a strain on natural resources in the same way as socialism is a strain on economic resources (roughly speaking, natural resources are processed into economic resources, which are processed into social resources, the ultimate goal but definitely not the direct one).
I also think that the decentralised vs. centralised government argument needs representation in the Nolan Chart. The main argument for decentralism (power to the states) is that on the “grey” areas (meaning areas in which one has no choice but to trust the wisdom of the government (like education policy, funding for scientific research, infrastructural planning, etc.), if one state gets it wrong, it is penalised by people moving to states that get it relatively right, forcing it to emulate the better states and try to get it better. This way there is to some extent a “free market” of states, and one can still tap on the law of the jungle/Linus’s law to some extent. This is also an argument for having smaller, more numerous states, especially in diverse countries like India and the U.S. What is essential, though, is completely free migration and trade between these states and certain nation-wide standards (like GST and the less grey areas like free speech, generally free markets, free societies, etc.).
Plus, I don’t think I was right in saying that the nationalist-pacifist scale “depends” on the situation. Ideally such an axis should include the situation, e.g. “strengthen your military if you’re stuck in the midst of crazy terrorist states”.
So here you go, a new, 5-dimensional Nolan chart with 32 dotriacontahedrants (5-dimensional orthant). In all cases, left is for authority and right is liberty. Call it the Socio-Econo-Externa-Politico-Xenotic Liberties (SEEPX-l) chart.
- SOCIAL FREEDOM – This includes all social freedoms, including free speech, LGBT rights, abortion rights, and so on. Of course, the further right you go, the greater liberty one has to oppress other people’s liberties, but this is rather settled by the axis of external freedom, more on this later.
- ECONOMIC FREEDOM – The “liberty to oppress other people’s liberty” argument is much more constrained here, because money doesn’t have the power to kill. However, issues like net neutrality and some minimal IP protectionism are, in my opinion, covered by the “external freedom” axis.
- EXTERNAL FREEDOM – The freedom of those affected by the externalities, that is, how much you take externalities into account. This allows things like environmental regulation to exist within libertarianism. An externalist libertarian would support carbon taxes, while an externalist leftist or externalist statist would support industrial regulation as the means to achieve this. Note that things like protecting natural resources do not come into this axis, because they are usually best regulated by a free market. I’m talking more of pollution, climate change, destruction of stuff with medicinal etc. value (like due to deforestation or poaching), etc. here. Also note that a lot of the self-proclaimed environmentalists are really on the left (“internalists”) here, because their short-term environmentalism leads to long-term environmental destruction. This is more than just environmental regulations; it allows for surveillance cameras, gun control, taxes, criminal justice, public police, tax breaks on marriage, eminent domain, tax-based subsidies for education and healthcare and for social mobility and so on.
- POLITICAL FREEDOM – Includes freedom to vote, freedom to politically associate, freedom of the states, and “freedom to see what’s going on behind the curtains” (transparency in the government). There is again a line of maximum utility somewhere here, that is repubilican democracy as opposed to direct voting, basic constitutional requirements for political parties, and certain nation-wide standards and laws for the non-grey areas (regarding freedom of states).
- XENOTIC FREEDOM – Freedom of alien nations/freedom from war. There is nationalism on the left and pacifisim on the right, with non-interventionism at the cente-right. On the far left is plans for world domination, while the centre left would be things like intervention in totalitarian etc. regimes. The line of maximum utility, I think, lies at the centre here – intervene only if the regime is worse than any damage incurred from the war.
(fonts: Calbir Light, Andalus, Batang, Chiller, Bradley Hand HTC, Brush Script MT)
Now let’s have a look at where our favourite positions lie.
Right-wing: Right – economic, political; Left – social, external, xenotic.
Left-wing: Right – social; Left – economic, external, political; xenotic.
Up-wing (libertarian): Right – social, economic, political, xenotic; Left – external.
Down-wing (totalitarian): Left – social, economic, external, federal, xenotic
I, being a utilitarian, am right on all issues except xenotic freedom, on which I’m centre.
Okay, okay, that isn’t how Godwin’s law is written. I get it.
The Nolan Chart, also known as the Political Compass has proven to be a better alternative to the standard left-right spectrum of political views. I am myself a big fan of the Nolan Chart, mainly because I definitely do not fit into the left-wing, but I don’t really fit into the right-wing either. However, I find the Nolan Chart to be a little lacking too, to fit my utilitarian views. Not only that, but I find a huge number of differences within the libertarians, within the rightists, within the leftists, within the populists.
I figured that in a similiar way to how the right-left labelling distorted a lot of people’s opinions (libertarians being labelled as rightists, populists as leftists, etc.), the political Compass too, distorts a lot of people’s opinions. For instance, pro-meritocracy people are being labelled as pro-discrimination (and sometimes vice versa), nationalists being labelled as religious, the authoritarians being labelled as religious or nationalist, the religious being labelled as authoritative or nationalist, etc. The problem here is not the wrong labelling – the problem is that this wrong labelling influences people’s opinions.
The pro-merit people got clubbed along with the pro-discrimination people due to the communists’ loud right-left shouts, and such a trend continues. Atheists become communists, capitalists become authoritarian, liberals become socialists, nationalists become religious, capitalists become anti-scientific, pro-merit people become pro-discrimination, and so on. We need to update the political compass philosophy further – let’s first have a look at the different types of axes we could draw. In an axis “A-B”, A will be the left, and B will be the right. Right, my intentions are to prove myself right : )
- Religious – Irreligious: Religion here doesn’t just mean belief in the mainstream religious faiths, but rather an irrational religious adherence to any ideology, be it a mainstream faith such as Catholicism, Sunni Islam, or Vedism, or a faith such as Marxism, Maoism, or Anarchism. The problem with this axis is that it’s extremely arbitrary – why the hell do we care why the party or individual supports a certain cause? The results of this faith should reflect in the other axes. If Marxism a communist religion, this will reflect in the economic and social indicators, for instance. If another religion were a discriminatory religion, this will reflect in the meritocratic indicator.
- Discriminatory – Meritocratic: On the left would be those advocating for a negative discrimination – chavunists, feminazis, racists, meat-eaters, etc. At the centre we would have those advocating for a positive discrimination, the equal outcome guys – feminsts, communists, and all those people. On the right, you have people who support equal opportunities – the meritocrats like myself – however, the centre right tries to restrict private entities from discriminating. This axis is about as important now as it ever was, given the dangers of positive discrimination. This is somewhat a special indicator, because it talks about how equally the other indicators are applied. Also, people on the same spot on this spectrum need not agree with each other. Put a chavunist and a feminazi in a room, and there is a non-zero chance of you getting two corpses at the end of the day.
- Activist – Utilitarian: The left would advocate for a rights-based legal system, while the right would advocate for a more utilitarian one. This indicator can be discarded, however, as the only point of the indicator is to influence the other indicators. Somewhat similiar to the religious indicator in this regard.
- Pacifist – Nationalist: The left here would tend to support a disinvestment in the military, while the right would tend to support unwarranted attacks and invasions against other nations. The centre here would keep call the military a defence force instead, and treat it as one. The centre-right would act on an unconfirmed warning of aggression from the other side, the centre-left will minimise its military and sign deals with other nations to use their military. Naturally, neither is right (no pun intended) in general on this regard, as it depends on the situation and the geographical area of the nation we’re talking about. Naturally, Israel would need to be more nationalist than Norway, for example.
- Culturist – Modernist: The left here would tend to agree with the idea of investment in cultural programs, etc. and would be against immigration. The right would tend to agree with a rational formulation of the legal system, and an ignorance of culture, and would be for unrestricted immigration. The centre would be for restricted immigration and limited state involvement in cultural activities, the centre-left would be selective immigration and significant state sponsorship in cultural activities. The centre-right, which includes yours arrogantly, would believe in liberal immigration laws, and very limited, and rationally-thought state sponorship of cultural activities. However, this axis is arbitrary, as the sole point is to influence the other axes. If the culture is a (p)(m)atriarchial one, it will go left on the meritocracy scale; if it’s a capitalistic one, it will go right on the economic indicator (because migration is a trade – immigrants are exports, emigrants are imports), and so on. Liberal immigration laws will make it go right on the economic axis, Now for our favourites…
- Socialist – Capitalist: I’ll prefer to not use the word “communist” because it’s a set of ideologies, ideologies that relate to economic, social, cultural etc. indicators. This is more accomodating than the standard right-left economic axis, as you’ll see. We know the right side of this axis very well – on the centre of the whole axis, we have the socialists who believe in completely centralised business, no private ownership of land, an artifically made, absolutely egalitarian (in outcome) money distribution, subsidy frenzies, and similiar schemes. On the far-right, we have people who believe in extremely limited government intervention in businesses – meaning no educational or healthcare subsidies, no control at all over issues like net neutrality, and so on. The right-centre-right would want some limited control over corporations, and useful subsidies on things like education and healthcare. They might want the state to take up “flagship” projects into unexplored industries, before they are disinvested from/privatised, and so on. The centre-rights would be in favour of a naive Keynesian money distribution and some subsidies here and there – search e.g. for silly things like “non-bureaucratic socialism” (it’s a real thing, this oxymoronic joke!). The centre-centre-right would be India’s Indian National Congress – a frenzy of subsidies, but well, not the economic projection of communism ; ) On the left side of things, you have the exact inverse of things – the main idea is that the more productive you are, the less well-off you should be. Such people are common, but luckily politics tends to be free of them. In India, though, we have the dipshit Aam Admi Party, which is about centre-centre-left. We’ll call the left here anticapitalist. It is to be noted that this axis is different from the standard economic axis, which is only the right hand of this axis.
- Authoritarian – Liberal: On the left you have those who believe in extreme government control over a citizen’s life. No democracy, nothing. On the centre-left, you have things like Lee’s model of governance in Singapore. At the centre, you have people who support a reasonable amount of control, as much as is necessary – freedom of speech exists, but knowingly incorrect propaganda and criminal threats are not allowed. The centre-right is still more liberal, and I think this is generally useful for stability. The far right is for extreme liberalism, to the extent it starts getting dangerous (gun rights, no death sentence, etc.).
Naturally, some of these will be interlinked. For instance, a capitalist is more likely to be pro-merit, and in a developing country, a bit less liberal than otherwise. A capitalist can also afford to be nationalist, because their good economic policies save money for defence. A nationalist is likely to be authortiarian, because liberalism doesn’t work at wartime. To summarise, we have the:
- Economic axis: Anticapitalist – Capitalist.
- Social axis: Authoritarian – Liberal.
- Egalitarian axis: Discriminatory – Meritocratic.
- Aggressive axis: Pacifist – Nationalist.
The last two are special in their own ways, which is probably why they are not included in the Nolan Chart – the egalitarian axis is a “meta-axis” in that it decides how equally the other indicators are applied. Two people with the same standing here might as well completely detest each other (e.g. feminazis and mascunazis, two mutual racists, homophobes and heterophobes, etc.). The aggressive axis is a more subjective one, in that, it’s quite context-dependent. Israel needs to go to the centre-right, while Norway can afford to be in a more pacifist, say centre-left state. A utilitarian point of view, such as that of your arrogant correspondent, would naturally be right-centre-right:centre-right:centre-right:context-dependent. The fourth one, the aggression indicator, would for instance need to be (from a utilitarian point of view) centre-centre-right for India, centre-right for Israel, centre-left for Norway, and so on. Now that was an introduction to a region called “90% of the world”. On the outside of this region, you have a dangerous regime, where things seriously contradict each other. Give people enough liberty, and they begin to infringe on other’s liberty (e.g. no crime management, no environmental protection). This regime, is known as Anarchy.
As regular readers of fwmd would know, I am an (agnostic) atheist, and am completely irreligious. I was born a Hindu, though, and I like some aspects of Jainism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Protestant Christianity. To be specific, I like the capitalist natures of all these religions (in stark contrast to say, Catholicism, Buddhism, and most Pagan faiths). I also like the non-violence of Jainism (it’s pretty unmatched, even Buddhist king Ashoka ordered the slaughter of some 20,000 Jain monks for one of them having drawn a painting of Buddha bowing down to Mahavira), the tolerance, unity, and more recently the lack of care for authority of Judaism, the creativity, tolerance, and scientific tolerance of Hinduism, the scientific tolerance and relative lack of care for authority in Protestant Christianity. To be clear, I dislike most of the things about these religions, the superstitions, the violence in some of them, the discriminatory practices, the excessive care for authority, and so on. I don’t expect any of this to be used as a justification for religion or religious practices, the only reason for me to highlight them, is because they’ve shaped the societies that have arisen with them.
Now, now – I said “Protestant Christianity” separately, rather than just “Christianity”, while I put all of Hinduism in a single bucket, separating only the Jain and Buddhist faiths. I can already see the fumes arising from the ears of some religious Hindus here. Guess what? I agree with you guys! Our current prime minister, Narendra Modi, in his election campaigns, once endorsed the statement that “Hinduism is not a religion, but a way of life”. I’m a Modi supporter, but anyway – he’s only partially right. Hinduism is not a religion, true. But it’s definitely not a way of life, either.
Rather, what it is, is a huge class of religions. Hinduism is as vast as Ancient and modern Judaism, Catholic, Methodist, and Protestant Christianity, all branches of Sunni and Shia Islam, all kinds Pagan faiths, and tribal faiths in Africa, put together.
If you read all the Indological evidences, it’s not too far from obvious how Hinduism evolved.
Jainism and the IVC
I think that an early form of Jainism was practised in the Indus Valley Civilisation. The people of the IVC were those who eventually became the Dravidians – when a massive drought (a massive climate change) arrived in 1300 BCE, which is 2 droughts before Christianity,a and 4 droughts before Islam, and around the same time that Judaism came into being, this Jain civilisation moved away from North-Western India and into Northern India.
Eventually, they moved Southwards too (where there were already some tribes living), but most of their cities were in the fertile Indo-Gangetic plains. This period also saw the emergence of Shaivitism as an alternative religion to Jainism. Shaivitism was, like Jainism, a fairly egalitarian religion, and they worshipped Shiva and Durga with about equal importance.
Vedism and the early Puranas
As the Aryans arrived from Persia, there was an invasion, then cultural intermixing until the Aryans and Dravidians became quite indistinguishable. Religiously, though, they were still quite separate. The Aryans believed in Vedism, which some Dravidians took up. Some Aryans took up Jainism, and a few Shaivitism. Vedism was basically a polytheistic Pagan-like faith where supreme importance was given to natural elements like the sun, rain, the wind, fire, the Earth, some planets, some stars, and so on. India continued to trade with the West, and with trade came a lot of similiar features. The early Puranas were to a large extent highly similiar to Judaism of the West – especially the story of Mathsya and Noah’s ark, Brahma-Saraswati and Abram-Sarai, and so on.
Krishna and Vaishanavitism
Then came Krishna – Krishna was never one person, but one name, assigned to a number of people. Among these people was Jesus Christ from Israel. You can see this in the defiance of Vedism, similiarly to Christianity’s defiance of Paganism, and also very similiar descriptions. It’s not too clear why the Aryans took up Vaishnavitism, perhaps there was some similiar sort of draconian leadership analogous to the pagan Roman empire – not much is known of this era, for it happened between the IVC and the rise of the Hindu empires. A lot of historical figures from the Puranas and otherwise, were considered to be incarnations of their new lord, Vishnu. Unlike Paganism vs Christianity, however, the Aryans continued to embrace the Vedas, which lead to a lot of internal inconsistency, but also less religious tensions. Many Vedic figures, like Indra, Agni, etc. were considered to be manifestations of the new lord Vishnu. Vishnu was named after the Vedic Vishnu, the sun god, who got renamed to Surya afterwards, in practice at least. Vaishnavitism was, like Vedism, a highly patriarchial religion.
This was the time when the matriarchial cultures of the North-East were exposed to the cultures of mainland India. They maintained their matriarchial identity, while their stories and religious structure was influenced by Shaivitism and Vaishanavitism. They worshipped Shakti.
Buddha and Mahavira
Then arose Buddhism, from complete disobedience to Vedic practices. This forms an important milestone in the history of Hinduism, because it threatens the very foundation of Vedic religions, even Vaishnavitism, by calling for egalitarianism. While a number of Vedic or Vaishnavitic traditions such as the caste system and the dowry system had arisen for good reasons, they resulted in a very dangerous and inequal system. Those who were oppressed, or those who felt empathy for the oppressed, decided to join in the Buddhist bandwagon. Buddhism later obtained support from Ashoka, who spread the religion all over the globe. Around the same time, actually a bit before, came Mahavira, who led a resurgence of Jainism, and in two sects – the Svetambaras (those clad in a white cloth) and the Digambaras (those clad in nothing).
Reconcilation and the era of reforms: Smartism
Vaishnavitism and Shaktiism, and even Shaivitism, needed to respond quick. This was done with reformers such as Adi Shankara, who founded Smartism, a faith that reconciled Vaishanavitism, Shaivitism, and Shaktiism, portraying these gods as relatives, and equals who knew to correct one another. This resulted in the two trimurtis of creator-preserver-destroyer (Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva) and knowledge-wealth-power (Saraswati-Lakshmi-Parvati). Parvati, Vishnu’s sister and Shiva’s wife, was the Shaivite Durga/Kaali, and also the Shaktiite Shakti. Hinduism was a polytheistic religion again. Adi Shankara brought with him a ton of religious reforms as well, to make the religion more egalitarian, more non-violent, and so on. This quickly killed the Buddhist movement – while Buddhism was thriving all over the globe, back in India, people preferred to stay with a reformed version of what was familiar. Jainism lost prominence again, but still let the small Jain community thrive, thanks to their better economic policies.
Madhavacharya and the re-emergence of sects
Then came along Madhavacharya from the same town as Shankaracharya (Adi Shankara). He brought with him other reforms, said “no” to orthodoxity, and gave importance to Vishnu again. The reforms and stuff were quickly taken by the Smartites too, and they became even less orthodox than the Madhavites. However, the importance to Vishnu angered the Smartites a bit, especially those who were descendents of the Shaivites, and they began to place more importance to Shiva. Eventually, Madhavism became a reformed Vaishnavitism, and Smartism a reformed Shaivitism. Shakti-ism was weaker, but still present. The re-emergence of Vaishnavitism with Madhavacharya meant that Vaishnavitism, or the “Madhava” sects, penetrated the South more deeply, because Madhavacharya was from a South Indian town (Udupi).
A renaissance period?
There seems to have been a kind of renaissance period after this, with a ton of new schools emerging. You could see some Vaishnavites who believed that Vishnu is nirguna, meaning without qualities, and his incarnations were saguna, meaning with qualities, good or bad – they believed that Kali the demon (not to be confused with Kaali the goddess, who married Shiva) was also himself a manifestation of Vishnu, and so on. At the same time, there were Vaishnavites who couldn’t get along with this, and for good reasons too, so they believed that Vishnu is good, constructing a couple of stories around him. Most important were the nastika (atheistic) schools, such as Carvaka (pronounced Chaar-vaaka), named so because their opponents considered them to be sinners. This was a great era to be a scientist.
North-western invasions and the dark ages
1300 AD, and it’s the fourth episode of large-scale climate change since the residents of the IVC treaded towards mainland India. Invasions came from the North-West as Islam rose. Fighting against them required physical strength. This lead to all the reforms going down the drain, a huge amount of disrespect for women, the re-arisal of patriarchial traditions. All the schools that arose during the renaissance era, died out. There were only three schools now, and they were not too different. This was truly a dark age for India, especially North-West India where all the invasions came from. The Sikhs arose out of defiance to the Islamic rulers. The Mughal era was pretty bad, too. Finally, the Marathas arose and decimated the Mughal empire. Islam in India took reforms, and the Sufi movement was raging. People expected Indian Islam to become a Hindu sect. You could expect huge religious reforms, massive advances in science and technology any time now. And then…
The British invaded. Despite the rising nationalism from Maratha rule, India was still divided on basis of caste, language, kingdom, and with a series of knee-jerk betrayals and India’s ill luck at the hands of nature, India came under the rule of a single corporation – the East India company. A couple of educated Indians did strive and made some religious reforms, but… After the rebellion of 1857, India came under the direct rule of the British crown. Then came along Gandhi, who instigated a number of religious reforms. Post-independenceHinduism is quite reformed again, thanks to the efforts of Gandhi et al, but still is very supersitious and so on. The differences between the three sects, Shaivitism, Shaktiism, Vaishanvitism, is slowly diminishing, and is basically gone in urban India. Buddhism and Jainism are considered separate, but have de facto come under Hinduism. So has Sikhism, to some extent.
The superstitions are dying out, but now, there’s no need for religious reforms anymore. It’s too late for religious reforms. Religion is nearly dead now, atheism is on the rise, thanks to the internet among other things. It would be unfortunate should Hinduism must die unreformed, at least it could have a better reputation before its death (along with all other religions in this world), but well, it’s adherents still have a more glorious era to boast of. It’s also very likely that Hinduism won’t die like the other religions will, with people saying “what the hell is this? Nah, I don’t like this religion of mine any longer”, because all the turbulence has made Hinduism a rather flexible religion. Hinduism will go away with diminishing religiousity, and eventually people saying “wait a minute? what exactly are we doing as religious people? I think we’re atheists actually.”. This is already happening now. So the future’s bright!
I’m an ardent user and supporter of Firefox, but have never liked Mozilla the organisation. My political respect for them as an organisation dropped to zero the day they kicked out Brendan Eich for his irrelevant political views (for the record, I completely support gay marriage and LGBT rights in general), and am suspicious that they have funding from the democrats. And they’ve only proven me right about them with their latest shitty move: banning the “Men kampf” extension from the Firefox add-ons store.
Look, Mozilla, it’s a joke. It’s neither pro-Nazi, nor pro-patriarchy. It is anti-feminist, but anyone with a non-zero IQ should be anti-feminist, assuming that by feminist we don’t mean “people fighting for equal rights and opportunities for the genders and combating sexual prejudice” but rather “people who want a holocaust of all men thanks to their vested interests or psychopathic attitude.
You see, even if they were pro-Nazi, banning it isn’t helping your cause. If you’d like to stop Nazis from taking over the world, give them freedom. By denying them freedom, you only let people sympathise with them. But by giving them freedom, and also their opponents, you inevitably destroy the liars, misguided, and idiots, because in a free society, truth always prevails. But by censoring one side, you achieve nothing – in fact, you might achieve the opposite of what you intended.
The U.S. has full freedom of speech. The E.U. does not. Guess where neo-Nazis are more politically influential?
The Men Kampf guys aren’t even trying to be neo-Nazi, nor pro-patriarchy. They’re just trying to be funny, and if you ask me, they’re doing a good job at it.
I do not, however, encourage the viewers of this blog to boycott, stop using, spread lies about, etc. Firefox, because then you’ll be doing no better than what Mozilla did with Brendan Eich, kicking them out for a totally unrelated opinion of theirs.