The Political Compass and Why Libertarianism is Not Right-Wing

Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 27 No. 2 Fall 1996, 176-86

9 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019

Date Written: 1996

Abstract

The political distinction between left and right remains ideologically muddled. This was not always so, but an immediate return to the pristine usage is impractical. Putting a theory of social liberty to one side, this essay defends the interpretation of left-wing as personal-choice and right-wing as property-choice. This allows an axis that is north/choice (or state-free) and south/control (or state-ruled). This Political Compass clarifies matters without being tendentious or too complicated. It shows that what is called ‘libertarianism’ is north-wing. A quiz gives the reader’s Political Compass reading.

Keywords: libertarianism, left-wing, right-wing, north-wing, personal-choice, property-choice, political compass, quiz

Suggested Citation

Lester, J. C., The Political Compass and Why Libertarianism is Not Right-Wing (1996). Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 27 No. 2 Fall 1996, 176-86, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3471899

J. C. Lester (Contact Author)

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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