Monday, November 15, 2010

A New Paradigm

The current conception of the political spectrum as a left/right continuum is wholly inadequate.  Listen to almost any man try to describe his own views on politics, economics, even morality and the shortcomings become obvious at once.  This latest version of the left/right line is said to come down to us from the time of the French Revolution and, at the time, probably sufficed very nicely.  My proposition is that the situation and the terminology  have changed enough since then to warrant a new conception of these matters: a new paradigm, if you will.

In the late MDCCC century, the right represented the interests of those who wanted to conserve the traditions of the past, namely a monarchical form of government.  The left represented the interests of those who wanted to liberate the common man from his feudal duties.  These are, admittedly, broad brush-stroke characterizations but, I think, not far from the mark.  This does not, in any way reflect, the situation in the MMI century nor the nuances that the times demand in our thought and speech.  The MCM century introduced the modern version of Socialism.  The MM century unveiled Fascism, and the very notion of monarchy was almost entirely eclipsed.

May I suggest a triangular concept for this discussion.  Building on the left/ right spectrum, updating the terminology to our needs: right would represent the interests those with a predilection for Democracy and/or Republicanism.  Left would represent the interests of those who value State-ism: Socialism/Fascism.  Above this spectrum line, let us return Monarchy to the discussion, thus forming our triangle.  These three polities are really the only forms of government man has ever devised for himself; everything else is simply shading.

How does it work?  Let us use the UK as an example.  At the time of the Stuarts, the UK was firmly placed at the top of our triangle.  As Parliament seized more and more control, the government moved closer to the center and right of our triangle.  Today we find a UK that has shifted to the lower left, with government involved in every aspect of the private man's life.  A similar situation is at play in the United States.  In the course of the XX century there has been a gradual crawl toward the left and a new State-ist way of doing business introduced.

Why return monarchy to the discussion?  Because even if it is currently out of fashion, it is one of only three ways man has devised to govern himself.  I ask, is it wise to take one third of the options off of the table.  The recent fascination with the bottom of our triangle has brought little more that death, instability and terror to the world.  Perhaps it is time to look afresh at the wisdom that governed brilliantly for millennia.

No comments:

Post a Comment