Thursday, December 1, 2022

A different take on the political spectrum

The political spectrum is often thought of as a linear progression with extreme views at the far right, and extreme views at the far left. Moderates on each side are closer to the middle.

However, I see it as more of a curved continuum as shown in the diagram, modulated by a key factor: fear.

In my visualization, left and right meet in two places; low fear and high fear. Where left and right overlap in the absence of fear, is not necessarily a position of compromise, or even an apparent centre. It is a shared goal of prosperity and opportunity for all. This is where equality, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI) live. The map to get there is where the philosophical left/right differences lie.

Increasing fear increases distrust of “the other side”, increasing the extremity of viewpoints, eventually leading to internally rationalized hatred.

People experiencing intense fear will hate those they blame for the thing causing the fear. Left and right are indistinguishable here. They may fear different things, but they are equally prone to grasping a lifeline offered by opportunistic zealots. They are also open to subjugation, control, and manipulation by these so-called authorities. This is the sweet spot for mainstream and social media – the position of maximum outrage, whipping up the virtual mob. These are the ideal conditions for an alternative EDI: exclusivity, divisiveness, and intolerance.

Where do you place yourself on this spectrum? Where do you want to be? How can we reduce fear and suspicion, increase tolerance, and create the conditions for respectful, inclusive policies and dialogue at all levels of communication? In the world today, we are heading in the opposite direction.

I believe that we can all celebrate a new approach, based on intelligence, logic, and respect, with an outcome that results in prosperity and opportunity, not just for the western world, but everywhere. BIG Media wants to help, and it’s time to add your voice to the conversation.

Laurie Weston
Laurie Weston is a co-founder and scientific strategist for BIG Media, with a Bachelor of Science degree with honours in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Victoria in Canada. Laurie has more than 35 years of experience as a geophysicist in the oil and gas industry. She is president of Sound QI Solutions Ltd., a data analysis software and services company she founded in 2007.

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