Political Ideology Scales

There are three main scales on which ideology can be represented. The economic spectrum, the social spectrum, and the governmental scope spectrum.


The economic scale compares the amount of regulation that an economy should have. It ranges from an UNRESTRICTIVE system is based on the idea of "live and let live" which entails fewer taxes and regulations, at the very end of the spectrum is no government interference with the economy at all. A RESTRICTIVE system is the opposite, it includes high taxes and regulations and at the end of the spectrum is state ownership of all business.


The Social scale compares what one would normally think of politically when Democrats and Republicans are mentioned. CONSERVATIVES usually are in favor of small government, religiousness, individualism, assimilationism, and patriotism. PROGRESSIVES are usually in favor of big government, secularism, intersectionality, collectivism, environmentalism, politically correctness, and multiculturalism.

Governmental Scope

The Governmental Scope scale compares to what extent governmental control should be exerted. LIBERTARIANS prefer less interference since they see the government as having no place in matters that don't hurt anyone. They are usually opposed to gun control and in favor of same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana. AUTHORITARIANS view the government as the guardian of society and therefore view its role to include promoting values they see as good. They are usually more likely to impose their social values on the rest of society whatever they may be. People on both the left and the right could identify in either of these categories because this scale has to do with enforcement of values, not on those values themselves.