Politics can be a deep subject. However, many associate politics with toxic discorse, which is as accurate as it is sad.

The Problem of Categorization

Political beliefs can range from basic & predictable to being deviously difficult to categorize.

The Left-Right Axis

The simplest and easiest to understand schema is the left-right axis. It has it's origins in the French Revolution, where conservatives gathered on the right side and the more radical revolutionaries gathered on the left. Since then, the left has remained associated with sweeping changes and the right with cautious reactionaries. Either side can indulge in extremism, which becomes common during bad times. During good times, moderation becomes more reasonable, as most people wouldn't want to mess up the greatness they already have. As times get bad, moderation turns into centrism as their stance becomes a coping mechanism.
While this lens of viewing politics is effective at gauging western democracies, it has limits. For example, it sometimes includes anarchism as adjacent to communism, which is unfair for the state-hating anarchists, and the centralized planning communists support. Conservatives, and reactionary ideologies such as fascism are put next to each other. There's too much nuance that's lost, and may be why the right tends to demonize the left and vice versa. We need something better.

The Political Compass[1]

The political compass provides another way of viewing politics that's honestly refreshing by comparison. The left-right axis is labeled the "economic scale" and a new axis is added: the libertarian-authoritarian axis. This is the "social scale", and it mainly serves to gauge an individual's views on society that aren't related to economics. This includes social issues that the culture war revolves around, as well as matters that are determined by one's religion. Such issues overlap, making them hotly controversial; be mindful and tread carefully, but don't tread on the freedom-loving libertarians. The social and economic axes together form a plane which is divided into four quadrants:

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