Logical Fallacy Man II

His mother is actually Emily from xkcd:276 (Fixed Width). Stocholm syndrome, I guess.

Nolan Chart 5

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.