political ideology in one sentence

I’ve come to the conclusion that political beliefs aren’t logically coherent things. Instead, the things you believe signal who you are rather than a judicious application of abstract principals. That’s why we get angry when we talk about politics. A person who disagrees with me isn’t saying that I have misapplied an abstract idea. They are directly attacking my identity.

If you believe that, then political ideologies reflect how we see ourselves, which leads me to one sentence summaries of political theories:

  • Conservatives: I’m tough.
  • Liberals: I’m a nice person.
  • Green: I like turtles.
  • Marxists: I want your stuff.
  • Libertarians: Get your hands off my stuff!

Add your own pithy summaries in the comments.

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Written by fabiorojas

November 1, 2011 at 12:03 am

Posted in fabio, philosophy

14 Responses

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  1. As one-sentence summaries go, “To each according to his needs; from each according to his abilities” has a somewhat more elegant ring to it than “I want your stuff”. Same goes for “Don’t tread on me”, and “Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”



    November 1, 2011 at 12:20 am

  2. What about Anarchists ?
    “Let me get out of here” would be my first thought, but it is maybe contextual.

    For conservatives I’d propose: I’m rational (vs you are an ideologist)
    and for marxists, I would say that the person would not express any willing but rather a “fact”: I’am/We’re gonna take their stuff.

    To conclude, no need to say also that most of “Greens” wouldn’t agree this summary… I’d rather say: Turtles are dying, we’re next.



    November 1, 2011 at 12:24 am

  3. “As an anarchist, I cannot reconcile myself to any government” (Kropotkin).



    November 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

  4. My other candidate for conservatives is: “We’re #1”

    For anarchists, I might go with “don’t you dare tell me what to do.”



    November 1, 2011 at 2:35 am

  5. Well, I think that we’re staying too general. Lets get more in depth. I don’t think it’s so much conservatives that say “we’re #1!” as Nationalists. There are many different types of conservative, after all.

    How about one-summaries for social democrats, neoliberal institutionalists, Catholic unionist,
    etc.? Or am I ruining the game now?



    November 1, 2011 at 3:58 am

  6. @andy: Please, give us more. But, basically, a lot of “mom and pop” conservatism is really about “we’re #1.” Geez, any mention that America (or your country) isn’t absolutely perfect brings fire and brimstone from many quarters. More intellectual types of conservatives are less common.



    November 1, 2011 at 4:21 am

  7. Conservatives: He who dies with the most toys wins.



    November 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

  8. That’s the conservative libertarian. The more liberal libertarians would be “Leave him alone, maaaaaan!”



    November 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

  9. In retrospect, anarchists might be: “Ok, then – it’ll be the highway!”



    November 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm

  10. Marxists don’t want other people’s stuff. They want their rightful share of the surplus.

    So “Gimme that – I made it!” would be a better one-sentence summary.



    November 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm

  11. Better/longer Fabio: “Your world frightens and confuses me – sometimes when I get a message on my iphone, I wonder: ‘Did little demons get inside and type it?’ I don’t know! My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts – but there is one thing that I do know: We’re #1!”



    November 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm

  12. Your one liners for conservatives and liberals aren’t far from what they say/feel. The others are characitures:
    Green: “People don’t realize what we’re doing to the environment”
    Marxists: “I’m one of the few who really understands the way the political/economic system currently works and it requires radical change.”
    Libertarians: “I’m cynical about government”


    Michael Bishop

    November 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm

  13. @Prof. Rojas. Very well! Blue Dog Democrat – “We’re Very Serious indeed!”

    And I do think that there are intellectual conservatives out there, but they tend to be kinda drowned out and bewildered by the direction their movement is taking them. (my cousin pointed out that Blue Dogs are basically Republicans who were figuratively purged)

    so how about: Intellectual Eisenhower Conservative – (shaking head) “How did it come to this?!?!”



    November 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

  14. […] political ideology in one sentence ( […]


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