Saturday, January 4, 2014

US politics by quadrants

Sometimes a stranger does you a great favor and enunciates what's been swimming around in your back brain for a very long time but never quite had the chops to make it to the forebrain. "The goal is to learn and once you have enough learning, the product becomes obvious."

It's not just product but political action that has the same dynamic. If you learn that, as a rule, government action is more efficient than private action, you default to doing everything via government. If the opposite, the default is to solve problems via private action. If you find that your rule (government/private) is strong, you won't look too hard for exceptions. If it is weak, you'll be more careful to do exception checking. These two questions underlie a lot of the political back and forth we have in the US. The hard, few exceptions pro-government solutions quadrant is discredited. This is where communism is as well as the no hopers of the Democrat party. The soft, many exceptions to the rule pro-government solutions quadrant is where you find a great deal of the Democrat party and a relatively small number of Republicans. The soft, pro-private action many exceptions quadrant is where you find the GOP establishment and the hard, pro-private action with little exceptions checking is where you find both the libertarians and the TEA party. Independents aren't committed to any particular quadrant but drift between the soft variants of government vs private provision.

Depending on the actual shape of reality, more information will strengthen one quadrant over the others but we haven't actually gathered enough information to be sure which quadrant works better. After the collapse of the USSR, we're only pretty sure that it's not the hard pro-government quadrant.

The actual confidence of adherents to each quadrant will emerge as metadata in fundraising for Citizen Intelligence because the entire purpose of the enterprise is to raise the information available to everybody along the spectrum. Those who are confident that their quadrant will benefit will support and are convinced the project will execute well will tend to support. Those with low confidence will not.