Study their behaviors. Observe their territorial boundaries. Leave their habitat as you found it. Report any signs of intelligence.

Loading Table of Contents...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Extra Nolan Chart Dimensions

Not all political issues can be mapped onto the Nolan Chart's dimensions of economic self-determination and personal/civil self-determination.  Fundamental questions about the nature of property are largely orthogonal to these two dimensions.  It might make more sense to identify a separate dimension that measures how much one allows privatization/privilege in:
  • private (rival excludable) products: agriculture, artifacts (esp. capital)
  • monopolization of spatial resources (rival, often excludable): land, orbits, spectrum, rights-of-way
  • spoiling/consumption of natural resources (i.e. rival non-excludable goods): atmosphere, water, carbon sinks, sunlight, wind, game, underground oil pools
  • "intellectual property" (non-rival, largely non-excludable): copyright, patents, genetic info, blackmail, trademarks, "private" personal data
  • alienability of one's body parts (e.g. organ sales)
  • alienability of one's will (e.g. very-long-term contracts, indentured servitude)
Left would generally correlate with less privilege and Right with more, but many of us who reject the hard Right stance would also reject the hard Left stance as well.  I don't see a non-ad-hoc way to make geolibertarianism be the obvious happy medium; many of these seem to be free variables.

Property is not the only area where the Nolan Chart is incomplete.  Another candidate dimension is inclusiveness vs. exclusiveness (i.e. enfranchisement) according to attributes such as property ownership, religion, race, gender, citizenship, age, intelligence, sentience, sexual orientation, cryonic suspension, and computational substrate.  Who gets enfranchised is a logically separate question from what rights franchisees should enjoy. In the context of statism, enfranchisement of non-citizens suggests support not only for for liberal immigration, foreign aid, and human rights abroad, but also for free trade and humanitarian interventionism (as opposed to isolationism or imperialism).  Leftists are generally inclusivist, but they see fetal enfranchisement as an threat to women's enfranchisement, and often oppose even humanitarian interventionism.

An increasingly interesting possible dimension is futurephilia vs. futurephobia. Historically, rightists feared the future, while leftists and progressives believed history was on their side. Lately, leftists fear technological development even more than rightists.

At I have a javascript Nolan quiz that is higher-precision than the WSPQ, and that adds an extra question to distinguish ecolibertarians from royal/right libertarians.


Ayn R. Key said...

It is actually easy to divide the economic spectrum up into many different economic spectrums. It is so because of all the different ways economic liberty can be violated.

essaress said...

I think Nolan's intent was to unify libertarians, not to divide them.

Brian Holtz said...

I wouldn't agree it's divisive to acknowledge, understand, and celebrate the diversity of the principled schools within libertarianism (cf. Nor should we welcome a faux "unity" built on shared obeisance to the idea of an anarcholibertarian "plumbline" that can measure the degrees, minutes, and seconds of the "deviation" of any particular non-anarchist libertarian.

That is why I say the LP's mission should be to "unite all the voters who seek both more personal liberty and more economic liberty behind the choices available to them (or their representatives) that will most move public policy in a libertarian direction." It's also why I oppose dividing libertarians into multiple parties:

Anonymous said...

The problem I see with political identifications is conflation of factors.

A major confusion is that few people seem interested in the connection between political views and personality traits. There has been a lot of psychological research. There are three models that have been used for political research: MBTI, FFM, and Hartmann's Boundary Types. All of those models have been correlated to varying degrees.

When I read many political descriptions, I immediately notice that personality traits and types are being described. Let me use some examples.

MBTI Intuition is correlated with Openness to Experience and Hartmann's Thin Boundary Type. This psychological characteristic correlates to many liberal tendencies: more open and less fearful of the new experience, more hopeful/optimistic about future possibilities, more willingness to experiment, more accepting of those who are different. Et Cetera.

Boundary types are particularly helpful. Thick Boundary types prefer clear rules and principles, strong hierarchies and established lines of authority. Thick boundary types separate imagination from reality, subjectivity from objectivity. Thick Boundary types want to keep things the same, want to maintain the familiar and known.

The main issue is separating out the psychological elements from the ideological elements... if it is possible. I wonder what would be left of a political chart if the psychological elements were entirely removed.