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DaphneT's avatar

Are there only 4 types of political theory?

Asked by DaphneT (5681 points ) September 3rd, 2012

I came across a listing of political theories and thought they might be to few. They are as follows: Marxism, Gandhism, Secularism and Welfare State.
What marks these 4 as unique or interesting? Can you name any others?

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9 Answers

Nullo's avatar

Very unlikely. Check the Wiki.

Aethelflaed's avatar

There are way, way more. This has a good, though not exhaustive, list.

wundayatta's avatar

There are political theories of almost infinite sorts. There are types of political theories. There are types of types of political theories. There is really no end to it. We are human. We categorize things because it is useful to helping us understand. Keep looking. You’ll find more.

LostInParadise's avatar

There is a comparatively new theory, as described in this book, which I have not gotten around to reading. The basic idea is a hybrid of socialism and capitalism. Companies compete as in capitalism, but the workers vote on salary scale and choose management. The government is structured, as are all governments, to support the economic system.

Paradox25's avatar

Despite so many different political ideologies out there, there seem to only be two that really stand out to me, libertarianism and communitarianism. Here is the communitarian perspective on things. Here is a unique perspective on both ideologies. Like others have said, there are many types of political ideologies out there, and many people even try to hybrid by calling themselves communitarian libertarians (or vice versa).

Personally I think the Republican Party is going to fall apart before the next century, and it will likely be divided into two different facets, the libertarian conservatives and the communitarian conservatives. I’m not sure what will happen with the Democratic Party at this point, but I think that at least America’s political future will highlight communitarianism vs libertarianism without the current traditional Republican/conservative vs the Democrat/liberal paradigm. In fact this trend has already started.

LostInParadise's avatar

Could you give examples of Republicans who are communitarians? I thought the party was completely dominated by Tea Party libertarians.

Paradox25's avatar

@LostInParadise Most Republicans are communitarians, not libertarians. George W Bush even called himself a communitarian under his ‘compassionate’ conservatism platform. Most conservative politicians do support legislation that they feel will benefit the community with their antidrug, antiabortion and antigay stances. Conservative politicians also tend to support an interventionalist stance when it comes to foreign affairs, and claim to be promilitary (to the extreme). These are all communitarian ideas to me, not libertarian. The major difference between those who classify themselves as liberals or conservatives is that while they’re both essentially communitarian in nature, they go about their ideas of communitarianism differently.

Communitarianism means community before individual rights, while libertarianism is pretty much about objectivism. Communitarianism does not by itself mean socialism, communism, collectivism, etc but it does mean community first. In theory you could be a dictator in a right wing aristocracy, and still be a communitarian. The term Tea Party ‘libertarian’ is a political misnomer. Basically the Tea Party was made up of frustrated Republicans, which made up about 65% of their membership, and conservative independents who were angry that a Democrat got elected. It was the same thing when Clinton got elected, when many right wing militias started popping up out of the woodwork. In fact some researchers had predicted a Tea Party (or similar right wing element) type of scenerio if Obama got elected, and bingo it did.

One note on the Tea Party, there are different factions where some are more libertarian while others are made up of hardcore conservatives. The Tea Party is not a centralized movement either, so who knows what the agenda is of each particular movement. When I was on sodahead I got into a nasty debate with one vocal Tea Partier, but this guy was a hardcore conservative. I told him that if he wasn’t just another frustrated Republican who joined the Tea Party out of hatred for the Democrats, than why don’t you just support Ron Paul. He told me he would never support a closet liberal.

LostInParadise's avatar

That was George H W Bush who talked about compassionate conservatism. George W Bush would choke on those words.

Republicans are pretty much all economic conservatives. The split is over whether they should also be social conservatives. Libertarians emphasize individuality and are not interested in imposing their moral beliefs on others. However, I do not see how imposing one’s moral restrictions on others in areas like gay rights and anti-abortion counts as bringing about communal benefits.

Paradox25's avatar

@LostInParadise W used the term compassionate conservatism during his first election bid. As far as the rest of your statements go, well you’ve just repeated what I’ve already said?!

Everyone thinks that they stand for what is right, and just because you disagree with that person it doesn’t make an opinion a universal truth. As far as communal benefits go, what one may think is best for the community may be different from another communitarian. I’m not here to argue about which policies are best, but to just state what communitarianism and libertarianism is.

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