Left vs Right

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

NEW: Limited edition signed prints of this image now available the Left vs Right political spectrum. A collaboration between David McCandless and information artist Stefanie Posavec, taken from my book The Visual Miscellaneum (out Nov 10th).

Of course, the political spectrum is not quite so polarised. Actually, it’s more of a diamond shape, apparently. But this is how it’s mostly presented via the media – left wing vs. right wing, liberal vs. conservative, Labour vs Tory. And perhaps in our minds too…

Well, certainly in my mind. Researching this showed me that, despite my inevitable journalistic lean to the ‘left’, I am actually a bit more ‘right’ than I suspected.

This kind of visual approach to mapping concepts really excites me. I like the way it coaxes me to entertain two apparently contradictory value systems at the same time. Or, in other words, I like the way it f**ks with my head.

I’ve got a few more of these coming from my book. They do a similar act of mind-flossing. Stay tuned.

Oh and if there’s enough demand, we’re going to do a signed, limited edition poster run of this image before Christmas. Email informationisbeautiful [at] gmail [dot] com if you’re interested

design notes

The original design concept was “something like a rosette”. But Stefanie did an amazing job taking it way further.

(I’ll be doing a ‘Great Visualizers’ piece on her in the future. But you can see some of her work here: My particular favourite are her literary organisms. Truly beautiful and very informational. Yum.)

There are two versions with different colours: a US and a World version. This is because the US and Switzerland are the only countries in the world where red = right wing and blue = left wing. Grrr!


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Show Comments ( )

  • Matt

    First I would like to say that this was a very good diagram. I thought it stayed away from the pitfall of judging either side based on personal bias.
    Dave, your aberration for republicans clearly shows which way you lean. Your statement that republicans are feudalistic and give money only to the wealthiest is misleading. All of your comments are based on a naive understanding of the economics of party policies. The republicans support tax cuts which means the money you put in you get back; it just seems like they are for the rich because the rich pay all of the taxes. If you cut taxes then they are going to get the biggest benefit(nominally but overall most tax cuts are based on percentages). If the poor got the most then that would be the government redistributing wealth. They are in effect taxing the wealthy to give to the poor. It doesn’t matter to me which way you lean but you need to get some facts and come back and see me. Before you right me off as a disgruntled republican, I would classify myself more as a classical liberal, so I have some arguments with both sides

    • Tony

      “I thought it stayed away from the pitfall of judging either side based on personal bias.”

      WHAT??? Good Lord Man. Maybe you should go back and look a little closer. It was COMPLETELY biased and, for the most part, COMPLETE BULLSH*T. Everything written about the Left was from a positive viewpoint and everything written about the Right is designed to leave a negative impression, and, more importantly, it is WRONG!!

      First, communism or socialism is not now, nor has it ever been, for the benefit of the “workers”, or the “poor”, or the “oppressed”. It is now, and has always been, for the enrichment of the “elitists” in power at the expense of the workers. Check history. Every government ever controlled by the Left has two classes, the UBER RICH who are in authority and power, and the UBER POOR, who slave away for the benefit of their masters. Which ALWAYS leads to the rebellion of the “workers” which requires the government to down those rebellions by murder and oppression of its own citizens so that the “elites” can remain in power.

      Second, if the Right is so full of greed and warmongers, why is it a proven fact that the most philanthropic people in America are the conservatives, and the most stingy people are the liberals?

      The entire diagram is nothing more than Leftist propaganda and HATE SPEECH which isn’t even worth the time I’ve spent writing this rebuttal, much less an American dollar.

      • Rob Field

        Ok, so the only fair and balanced approach to the left-right divide is one that adopts right-wing attitudes and terminology? That is unbalanced by definition.

        The graph is actually insightful because it connects self-conception with social and political philosophy.

        As a syndicalist who was was once a Libertarian, I can say that the diagram is actually quite fair. Conservative parents would very much say that their objective is to raise self-reliant kids who become self-reliant adults. How is that a propaganda line?

        If anything, it doesn’t give Liberals enough credit for balancing beliefs about authenticity and self-realization with economic common sense.

      • Elf M. Sternberg

        This only shows that whoever’s ox is being gored is going to object. Calling the right “pragmatic” only shows just how many drugs the designer was on when he came up with this list.

      • theresa helliband

        i agree that the whole thing is very biased towards the left, but seriously..before you go bashing socialism and communism, and claiming that all it causes is über rich and über poor, maybe you ought to look at some socialist countries (such as austria) where not even bank CEO’s make a tremendous amount of money (and if they do its a huge media scandal)..and where every single person, no matter what social status, has social security etc. Maybe your country and people would be better off if people like you actually understood the works of socialism and communism, and not just spat all over them, cause you dont know any better.

  • David

    Hi, I’d like to share some of what I learned from the web-based, non-corporate alternative media. The dual political system with communists on one side and fascists on another is wrong. The system with four sides is also wrong and was designed with a Libertarian bias by a Libertarian. The truth is a dual spectrum system that displays the degree of power held by the government from highest to lowest. On the far left is very powerful government, such as a monarchy, in the middle we have a republic, which is government under rule of law, and on the far right there is no government, also known as anarchy, where no government exists and people have to protect themselves. Please watch this educational video on youtube to further understand this scale and how important it is to The United States of America and its citizens. The quote in the beginning of the video by Benjamin franklin is especially revelant these days.

    • Alle

      That video is quite lame and very supericial. If one wants to understand the different kind of goverments there are, I would not recommend that link

  • Scott

    Isn’t it just two wings of the same bird? They blame eachother for their own problems. They play off eachother to hide the corruption on the left if your a “conservative” or on the right if your a “liberal.” Get over it America! Both sides are corrupt. It’s like professional wrestling. It’s really the new world order people against the freedom people.

  • Mark

    First off: Amazing chart, and like yours, my opinions come from both sides (sometimes on the same topic!) which just goes to show…

    And thanks for telling me that apparently in Switzerland red is associated with the right… I honestly didn’t notice and here I was thinking I am a politcally interested Swiss… For me, red associates more closely with communism and socialism and therefore the left. Especially as our Social Democratic Party is almost truly socialist.

  • John

    Nice artwork, but totally flawed. The reality is the chart should be labeled “Statist” vs “Individualist.” The Left are elitists and Statists who think that they should be in charge of an enlightened State that can perfect human nature. They are utopian and backwards looking (proceeding Forward into the Past towards the next socialist dictatorship, with the best of intentions in their hearts), trying to create something that can never be. They believe in communitarianism and shallow egalitarianism (aka “some animals are more equal than others”). Their vision is as old as Plato’s Republic.

    The Individualists are meritocrats who think that human nature is flawed and cannot be perfected, so the best form of government is that which governs least yet empowers the individual. They believe in individual responsibility, equal opportunity and meritocracy.
    How’s that for some counter stereotypes??

    • ThisAintKyle


      Well put. This ‘beautiful’ information is simply the same old stereotypes regurgitated. What’s worse is that it was done by one person – someone who admits they are on the left – instead of each side representing itself. The correct information presented with a bitter tinge can be distasteful indeed.

      I would actually spend money on the poster you’re describing – at least people who saw it may discover an idea worth sharing – that of liberty and the natural rights of free men and women.

  • MattM

    Brilliant diagram, but do 78% of European lefties believe in God? I find that astonishing.

  • Vinny

    I’d agree that the interference in social lives is much heavier on the conservative side…I understand that liberals tend toward regulation and public programs that may affect the individual, but the conservatives are much more invasive. Controlling elections, wiretapping, filling up prisons…that seems like a fairly steep influence on a citizen’s life. They want total control over what people can say, what they can do (i.e. victimless crimes), what they can believe (church/state not so separate), what they can achieve (keeping the rich rich and the poor poor), and the list goes on. I don’t see how liberals, with a live and let live philosophy, can hardly be said to interfere in our social lives more than the average conservative.

    • Tony

      “I understand that liberals tend toward regulation and public programs that may affect the individual, but the conservatives are much more invasive. Controlling elections, wiretapping, filling up prisons…”

      “Invasive” depends on your point of view. Liberals say Conservatives can’t make any laws that affect the practice of the homosexuals or the pro-abortionists, because that would be “invasive” on their lifestyle. But then they force their belief system on the Conservatives by promoting homosexuality and abortion in the judicial system, in the schools, in the news media, and through movies and television shows, which is an “Invasion” into the Conservatives lives.

      There are only two choices that we can make. Either we will live by the moral values laid out by our creator, or we will live by the moral values of the enemy of our creator, Lucifer. Looking at our current society it is obvious that most people have chosen the latter.

      • Gavin

        Tony: I don’t think it’s fair to say that liberals are “promoting homosexuality and abortion” – they are promoting people’s right to be homosexual or to have an abortion, all of which is laid out in the founding documents of the USA. The country is based on a very simple idea: you get to choose your lifestyle, but you have to let other people choose theirs, even if you don’t agree with their choices. That is what freedom means, and why freedom of religion, speech, assembly etc. is protected in the Constitution, and why Church and State are separated – the Founding Fathers knew the dangers of having a moral majority because that’s exactly what they were running away from in Europe – lots of zealots persecuting one another (read up on Henry VIII and the Tudor dynasty of England if you want some good context for why the US was created in this way).

        The upshot is, leave the judging to God, and let other people do their own thing. If you don’t agree with abortion, don’t get one. If you think homosexuality is wrong, don’t have sex with someone of the same gender as you. If you think the media is liberally biased, watch Fox (I’m sure you already do). If you don’t like the subject of a movie, watch something else – the whole point is that you are free to make that choice. But to push your personal beliefs onto other people is to deny them the rights that you yourself are exercising, essentially saying “my beliefs and opinions are more important than yours”, which is the exact opposite of what this nation was created to be. If it isn’t a choice you can make, because you’ve banned the thing you don’t like, then you’re not free to make the choice anymore, and neither is anyone else, and that is definitely not freedom.

        • Elenor

          “I don’t think it’s fair to say that liberals are “promoting homosexuality and abortion” – they are promoting people’s right to be homosexual or to have an abortion”

          So, teaching these things in elementary school to every child (whether their parents approve or not), and also punishing children, adults, businesses, everyone who does not support these things is somehow not “promoting” them? (You don’t punish them? Ever seen a firm sued for refusing to hire a homosexual? Ever seen a child get detention or expelled for being ‘anti-gay’? College-kid sent for “retraining” after calling someone a derogatory term? What do you think that sort of thing IS if not “promotion”?!) (More like a requirement!)

          “the whole point is that you are free to make that choice.”

          Ever try to *make* your “free choice” to get your children protected from learning about homosexuals and their lifestyle(s), or to keep them within the belief structures their families hold (whether or not you agree with those beliefs)? Even “forcing” religious children to learn evolution in school is an invasion. (But you’re okay with it, because you support it — you ‘freely’ choose it. What about the folks who don’t? Take away their freedom, do yah?)

          (And yes, I think not “believing” — or, rather, not accepting the science that supports evolution as the best-fit explanation — is flat-out asinine. But since when are people not allowed to be complete asse…err… completely asinine?)

          And, no I’m NOT religious (I’m a Nietzchean anti-modernist, if you must know) and I believe religion is a (disgusting) product of slave morality. I don’t see much (if any) difference between the sheep on the right and the sheep on the left — they’re both baa-ing their heads off at each other as they allow themselves to be herded toward the abattoir. And no, I’m not “conservative” either — I’m so far off the chart to the right/reactionary I consider conservatives to be too liberal for my tastes.

          But if you force people to ‘go along with’ your views, then who’s the dictator?

  • Rpeg

    The chart seems quite biased. It states that liberals vote for “fairness.”

    Was there ever a more vague use of the word? What a liberal would deem “fair,” a libertarian would deem outrageously unjust. Affirmative action is considered “fair” by liberals, but such preferential treatment violates the very core of Martin Luther King’s dream, doesn’t it? There is no such thing as “reverse-racism;” only racism.

    For instance, the new “hate crimes” legislation effectively creates thought-crimes. If you were to make a decision to randomly punch the next person who passed you, you had better hope they are not a minority, because, regardless of any intent, people’s rights and protections are NOT equal under the left. If the left truly wanted equality, they would be satisfied with the laws that punish attacks on all people, without regard to race, creed or gender. Such measures of TRUE fairness and parity do not interest those who only seek to construct a newer, smarter Big Brother.

  • Dan Mage

    I agree with the commenters who point out that “conservatives” interefere with the lives and rights of individuals in a more agressive and offensive way than “liberals” do. Both have their share of statist and interventionist behaviors. In America, the Republican Party lost all credibility whe claiming a philsophy of individual liberty and fiscal responsibility a very long time ago. The government gets bigger and more powerful regardless of the party nominally in power, but the largest deficits and most outrageous assaults on the constitution can be claimed by repuplican regimes.

    Conservatism was pronounced dead over forty years ago by none other than Ayn Rand, perhaps the only true philosopher the right in America has ever had. Conservatives still have the gall to quote her and claim her as their own.

    There is a more important axis, a “vertical” one if you will, authoritarian vs. libertarian. This axis cuts across the spectrum of nominally “leftist” and “right-wing” groups. The true dominant ideology Global Corporatism is a fusion of authoritarian right and left ideologies, and in the end has no ideology other than the memetic/viral pathology of power.

    “Left” and “Right” are illusory distinctions used for purposes of dividing and ruling:
    Industrial Psychology: A Global Control System
    I Live in a Totalitarian Socialist State

  • Katherine

    “Left-right” is an ILLUSION that was originally woven during the French revolutionary era. Democrats are NOT COMMUNISTS. That is why they’re called Democrats. There is a COMMUNIST PARTY.. Why the hell put that in there? This map is a total distortion. Seriously. left-right, only exist in your mind. You have a left hand and a right hand. As far as ideologies go, “left-right” is an abstract. You might as well say that Republicans believe in “God” and Democrats worship “Satan”.

    • Tony

      Which, for the most part, would be TRUE.

  • shedoon

    Inspired by its clarity I have set this as my desktop background and am organising my icons accordingly…so my tax return stuff – all to the left. My business stuff to the right. And consequently I’m going to let my desktop tell me what kind of person I am. If this is any sort of way of judging WHAT I DO rather than WHAT I THINK then it turns out I am more right than I thought even though my heart leaps to the left. Brilliant work!

  • B Pettersson

    Dont be afraid. The Maya and year 2012 is not thrue. I have study the problem and I have find that there is a question for the man who started this ideas – Calleman – said the he could find out the true by the sign that only he and his friende could translate. So now he is famous. In that very moment I am soon ready with the book I started to write in december 2009 about the lies for 2012

    Its all about evidens fabrication

    Professor Paul Gendrop, University de Paris (1998, s.3) has written a book called: What I know about Maya. And in this he give us very good reasons for not believe in the occult Maya trend.

    Even David Stuart på Mesoamerikanska centre i Austin, Texas till CNN said: There is no one serious university doctor that believe that MAYA says any important at all.

    If you go to this adresses – you will find how many so called profets – in the history – who has said that the end of the world is near: Jordens_undergang_2012/Jordens undergång 2012

  • Monifa

    It is beautiful diagram and the information share are eye openers. These are thing to take note of in electing a government into office. To preserve morality in society I would choose the right

  • Katie

    Conservatives are not necessary “rural” people.

  • Keith

    Beautiful. It’s easy to see the bias of almost every commenter and the piece itself. So I would say that this piece communicates an interesting point that many (myself included) forget: everyone has a bias. I think its part of what makes us who we are, and I wouldn’t want to live in a world where no one felt strongly about anything.

    Visually beautiful and strong message, even reaching beyond the image itself.

  • Ray

    Graphically beautiful. Mind-numbingly ignorant propaganda.

  • DarTAZ

    I concur with many of the comments here. There has been a major shift in American Politics. The Libertarians are the third largest party which is growing while the other two are shrinking. There are now more independents in many states than either party and in some more than both parties combined.

    You need to update this to include this change of course. At the current rate one of the two other parties could be dissolved in the next 5 to 10 years. The presentation is well done. It’s a comprehensive view of the two parties that have held power for the past century or so. We are on the cusp of a party shift; American is very disappointed with both parties today.

  • Zia

    Clearly the designers of this chart were members of the left. That inevitable journalistic leftward lean is very apparent.

    Sure, as everyone understands, this is a gross oversimplification and can’t be expected to be perfect – but various word choices could have been better. Also, like DarTAZ above alludes to immediately above, this map leaves me feeling angry at both sides.

  • Alex

    Awesome chart

  • Jack Kelly

    Oh. Wow.

    I’ve been casually checking out Information is Beautiful for a little while now and I’m a fan. But this poster has taken it to a whole new level. Very, very impressive approach to presenting information in a structured, rich, interesting way. Great work.

    Of course, there is no perfect way to present something as complex as political philosophy on a single A1 page. But this is a damn good attempt.

  • swan

    that’s good for men, but for women it is about 80/20 intuition/logic – that’s why if you want to talk about a job, ask a man, if you want a job to be done – ask a woman ;)

  • Pedro Fer. Duarte

    Dear sirs,

    Your graphic was very beautiful, but it’s content is highly tendencious against the right wing.

    Changes I would suggest:

    - The left does not support “one for all and all for one”, it’s rather “One for all. Period”.

    - Right wing doesn’t say the world is good as it is, we say that the things that are good about the world should be preserved rather than putting them at risk in order to get somethng nobody knows what it is just because it’s new. We think something is not good just because it is new.

    - It’s also rude to say the notions of progress of the right are the status quo. In fact, we don’t belive in progress, so the words should be completly changed. We think the most important thing is not the so called “social progress” but “familiar preservation”. If you have a line for progress to fit the left wing you shoud have one called Preservation. The left wing would have to have written there “nothing should be preserved, only progress matters”.

    - You say the left supports workers and the right employers. In fact, I think the right wing supports not the employers but the “independent workers”, where the left supports the “dependent workers”.

    Just some suggestions that would improve your work. For free.

  • Adam Hodgetts

    This is an excellent diagram. It can be a useful tool in helping people from both sides of the political spectrum understand each other, and, hopefully, have more compassion for each other too.

    Society has for centuries, and will continue to progress more to the left, to a more ethical, compassionate, and wise existence. Conservative behaviours are based more on primitive instinct and selfishness (similar to a two-year-old’s behaviour), while left-wing behaviours are centred more on the best for everyone, including yourself.

    The idea of survival of the fittest as a right-wing idea is debatable. Sure, in a basic sense, it’s correct. But the truly strong people out there, the people who are actually the real fittest in society, are those that are able to take the hard option, the more difficult option, which is being strong enough to care for yourself and others. Because it’s easy, and therefore weak, to take advantage of the vulnerable for personal gain. But it’s hard, and therefore takes a stronger person, to protect the weak, and be compassionate.

    Here is a simple example of a left-wing/right wing comparison on a diet sense. Is it easier to get dinner from a fast-food outlet drive through (perhaps more of a conservative behaviour), or buy organic vegetables and grains from a grocery store, prepare and cook it yourself, and clean your own dishes (perhaps a more left-wing behaviour?)

    The latter definitely takes a stronger, and wiser person.

  • Hughtwo

    I like what Adam Hodgetts said.
    I think this chart represents the extreme sides of the spectrum, most of us fall somewhere in the middle. Using what this chart as the foundational values/principles/descriptions for all folks who consider themselves either left or right wing is pretty silly, it is a chart of extremes.
    I’ve lately been thinking of political leanings as more of a 4-way “spectrum” of Liberty/Authority AND Left/Right (and maybe others?) rather than a 2-way red/blue (black & white) duality… There are just such diverse values and feelings that I feel uncomfortable lumping myself or others within one-or-the-other grouping.
    Still, a handy pic. Thanks!

  • Ellen

    The “parent” is a woman; the professional “adult” is a man. Just plain offensive.

  • Ray

    Beautiful chart. This chart can help both sides of the spectrum understand each other, and (hopefully) will help lessen the so called “right vs. left” media stereotype. Though the survival of the fittest remark is debatable, as is the “one for all all for one”.

    Over all, a very good guide to the left/right sides. Good work!

  • Inspector Fu

    perpetuating the fallacious mentality of “left v. right”. They’re both pro-government control, completely inconsistent and full of BS. There is only liberty vs. tyranny, anything else is a charade.

  • Pickman

    What I’m getting out of this is that everything that’s good or noble or beautiful or selfless or kind is left-wing, and everything that’s cruel and heartless and ignorant and fearful is on the right.

    The good qualities of people who are generally right-wing can then best be seen as islands of leftist thought in their generally right-wing attitude, rather than as actual merits of right-wing thought. “Whatever good is done in the name of Tash is done in the name of Aslan; and whatever evil is done in the name of Aslan is done in the name of Tash.”

    I second the people objecting to ‘state interference’ being placed on the left. Currently this is the only exception to the Aslan/Tash rule at work here: When generally right wing politicians deny basic rights to homosexuals or assign public funds to to help fight ‘goth culture’ they are according to the chart behaving in a left-wing manner, despite this behaviour being entirely consistent with the intolerance and evil depicted on the right hand of the chart.

    Some nay-sayers might question the value of a political delineation which is synonymous with ‘good vs evil’. You may agree.

    I couldn’t possibly comment.

  • girlygirliblahbla

    I love your charts, but I have to say this chart has much political bias. Negative things were attributed to the right, positive to the left.

    Most on the right hold the same ideals for society as those on the left.
    However, they do not think centralized government is the way to bring those ideals about.
    People and organizations independently and willingly organizing to bring about social justice do much more for the poor than homogenized welfare bureaucracies. The less scientific assumptions, (parenting, for example) feel like they were pulled from satirical stereotypes that might have had resonance 50 years ago.

    • Gavin

      In the USA, you’re right that volunteerism and social organizations do more to help out than government programs, but why is that? Other countries look at us and ask “why isn’t the government taking care of the people? Isn’t that their job?” Americans seem to have an institutionalized fear and distrust of government which ironically makes it very difficult for the government to help them.

      I’m not saying “trust the government”, I’m just commenting that America is unusual in this respect, and that there are a lot of examples of government-run programs that do function effectively in other countries (there are examples of bad ones too of course). My point is that it would be a mistake to draw a general conclusion like “government programs don’t help as much as social organizations” based solely on the dynamic here in the US, because the model here is far from typical on a global scale.

  • Ian G

    Ah… So much effort and the colors are wrong. :| The red and blue should be reversed.


  • nonimportant

    mhmmm… and these are the people that criticise religion for being too controlling?

  • gman

    The diagram is beautiful and the parts that are balanced are thought provoking.

    Fulfilled Adult vs Self-Reliant Adult
    Society vs Individual.
    Fair Trade vs Free Trade
    Champions of the Downtrodden vs Champions of Opportunity

    Small things like the % that support gay rights near 50% on both sides.

    But it’s sad there are so many parts that are not a balanced. Some are interpretations. Personal Freedom vs Economic Freedom. Many would argue that economic freedom is personal freedom.

    Support employers vs workers? First off I don’t think the right sees it like that. But even if they do, if there are no employers there are no workers so it supporting employers is supporting workers. As others have pointed out, the problem here is the left generally thinks of large corporations in the worker vs employer debate and yet the vast majority of employers are 2-3 person companies.

    Positive Role Models vs Strong Role Models? What’s the difference. I don’t think you’ll find any on the right that look up to negative but strong role models.

    Then there is the really blatant stuff. Parent-Child relationships trust vs fear? Really? You really think the average conservative raises their children based on fear?

    There’s a ton more. Based on your homeless labels and your “helping” labels you’d think the left helps the poor more then the right. That’s be proven false. The right gives 30% more than the left to the poor on average. Clearly it’s not as simple as it seems.

    Pacifism vs Militarism, Diplomacy vs Agression? I think the right would see it as “Put head in sand” vs “Fix the problem”. “Stay out of it” vs “Rescue the victims”. Not saying the those are any more balanced. Just saying the 2 words you currently have are not really fair or helpful.

    Here’s hoping you’ll make a version 2.0 and get some input from both sides to get a more balanced view on some of your more contentious issues.

  • Arbon

    This chart is not representative of Conservatives and liberals. It is a chart that compare democrats and republicans. there is a major difference. Democrats and Republicans are different views of progressivism. The both lead to an end that controls the individual in some way. There are Conservatives and liberals that want to do away with control and move toward freedom. The media is just too biased to show them.

  • Adam

    What the difference between “Community based on ethics” (left) and “Community based on morals” (right)?

    • jameskey

      Ethics is a community’s set of standards, morals is a more deeper idea of right and wrong. Broadly speaking, in any case.

  • unclesamurai

    What is amazing is the time spent analyzing 2 halves who fit like yin and yang.

  • Ollie

    Left Wingers!!!

    LABOUR LABOUR LABOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jonathan

    I’m a centrist. This diagram is so slanted to make the right look horrific and the left like saviors. In both cases completely unbalanced. Good job with the propaganda though.

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  • Marcel

    Why didn’t you wrote that this all is the theory/modell of George Lakoff?

  • Manny

    I laugh at idiots who say they’re right wing, look at this chart, and start a fuss because they can’t accept a fact and are strong in denial. The funny thing is, most real right wingers such as Bush or Hitler wouldn’t see any bias in this chart… they would plainly accept it, and proudly put post it on their wall.
    It’s like supporting Satan and backing up your reasons with Good vs Evil.

    • Tawny

      Ecominoes are in dire straits, but I can count on this!

  • Dan

    Is this mostly limited to the American system? I’m usually considered right-wing, but agree more with “the world can be improved” and strongly disagree with the beliefs section. It’s almost the exact opposite of what I see here in New Zealand. My experience here is that the right is more scientific and epistemological; the left more emotional thinkers, often religious, and short sighted when it comes to ideologies. The adult section also more flexible.

  • tjeerd

    As a contrast between left-right and liberal-conservative and progressive-traditional the picture gives much reason to comment. However, to visualize the difference between authoritarians and libertarians the picture is spot on. This difference is recently described by political psychologists Karen Stenner. Since authoritarianism is psychological distinction it does not say much about the economic contrasts in the visualization, so these do not fit.
    An intro into Stenner’s work and the difference between authoritarians and libertarians can be found here.

  • Dave

    This seems very American. I’m from New Zealand and this diagram would be an over simplification of society and politics. In New Zealand things are not deemed this black and white, we are more egalitarian while we maintain some of the aspects of the ‘right’ we are probably more left. Our government is MMP so you can have all parties at the table at once so all combinations are in the mix.

  • Lansingburger

    I don’t understand many parts of the diagram, and some parts of it on both sides strike me as quite wrong. Is there an explanation of it somewhere? What sources were used to justify the claims made in the diagram, if any?

  • sean

    its not leaning in the least its simply how republicans think. it not our fault your views and choices make you look bad.

  • tiny

    There are a lot of statistics and gross generalizations here but no citation of sources . . .
    On most of the visualizations on this website there are citations. Why not this one?
    Where is this information coming from???

  • Mike

    I agree with many of the posters. As said, the author’s left wing bias is clear and pronounced. In addition, this graph really generalizes left and right wing viewpoints. The left wing side of this graph is far-radical left, while the right wing side is at the edge of the radical right. I’d personally like to see the viewpoints displayed closer to the middle, as I believe most people who identify themselves as right or left wing would have many points to pick with either sides of this graph.

  • fastpathguru

    Re: the v2.0 diagram:

    You’re going to need to cleave the left’s “idealistic” vs. the right’s “pragmatic” along some different axis, because that’s clearly not correct.

    Suggest “idealistic” vs. “principlistic”.


  • fastpathguru

    Oops, make that the v1.5 diagram.

  • Tyler

    The Right doesn’t want to interfere with social lives?! Really? Reall?!