What good is a compass that only shows east and west? What about north and south and the other 356 points on a useful positioning device?
Can all your cultural, societal, political, moral and personal beliefs and opinions be accurately described as a single point on a straight economic axis between communism and capitalism?
I’ve worked in politics and I’ve worked in journalism, and I’ve never been happy with the old left↔right spectrum as our frame of reference for understanding individual and collective ideologies.
People, polities and politics are far too complex and complicated to be described or understood accurately as a single point on a line between liberal and conservative, somewhere left or right of a shifting centre.
Ten years ago, I would introduce journalism students to the idea of multi-axis political description by asking them to take the short online survey at this Web 1.0-ish site that evaluates political beliefs by adding a vertical social axis between total individual freedom and complete state control — adding north & south to the Political Compass, as it were.
It’s not political science, but it is a fun way to see which ideological quadrant you might fall into…and which world leaders are plotted nearby.