Three Telos Model

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The Three Telos Model or "Triangle Political Map" or "Political Trichotomy" is an alternative to the standard two-dimensional political spectrum. It's a way to to describe political beliefs based on the core axiom of the philosophy. It is based on the concept of a ternary plot where the different underlying philosophies can be mixed but must sum up to the totality of the of the persons ideological position.

Politics map triangle1.png

There are several slight variations of this. A sample of various implementations are in the following videos:

  • "ShortFatOtaku"[1]
  • "Academic Agent"[2]
  • "The Symposium"[3]
  • "francis chow"[4]

Decomposition[edit | edit source]

Many familiar concepts can be decomposed to align with each other within this concept.

Equity/Equality of outcome Freedom/Liberty Tradition
Justification It is fair and reduces harm People have a need for self-determination Traditions have evolved over a long period of time through trial and error to prove practical effectiveness
Philosophical Foundation Young Hegelians, Critical theory and Marxism Liberalism and Enlightenment Humanism Ancient philosophy and Right Hegelians
Prestige Identifier Victim Culture Dignity culture Honour Culture
Economics Marxism/Socialism Free Market Capitalism Mercantilism / Feudalism
Structure Flat Meritocratic / competence hierarchy Inherited Caste / Class Hierarchy
Power holder Government Worthy Caste/ Class
Basic unit Group / Collective individual Family / Tribe
Truth source Postmodern denial of truth scientific method Divine Knowledge, Traditional knowledge
World view Power Structures Materialism Idealism
Moral Foundation [5] Care Liberty Loyalty/Authority/Sanctity
Vision of Nature[6][7][8] [9] Unconstrained Utopian Constrained Emergent Constrained Structured

Ideology Placement[edit | edit source]

As in the two dimensional maps like the political compass, the differing ideologies can be put onto this map.


Nonlinear spaces[edit | edit source]

Not all ways of classifying a political ideology need map to a cube or use the standard p-norm distances.[10]

What is often called horseshoe theory claims that the extreme authoritarian economic left (Communism) is adjacent or close to extreme authoritarian economic right (neo-reactionism/fascism). A classification that follows this thought must then place these two close by or next to each other: either by using dimensions where they naturally fit next to each other, or by making opinion space curved so that going in the direction of fascism leads to Communism.

Different political philosophers also argue that a good political ideology must also incorporate additional constraints. For instance, from the liberal economic position, Milton Friedman advocated for the necessity of putting one of two desired values ahead of the other by stating "A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both". From the economic collectivist position, anarchist Mikhail Bakunin argued that a good political ideology must have both significant amounts of freedom and equality, stating that "Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice; socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality". These positions are not incompatible since both argue for the same result however the difference lies in what is controlled and what is expected to arise naturally.

Such additional constraints would impose further structure on a political classification chart; however, it may still be useful to represent political ideologies that violate the constraints. Even if they are in some way suboptimal or are inherently self-contradictory, people may still hold them.

Calculations[edit | edit source]

Statistics that can be computed from a political spectrum and a set of candidates include:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ShortFatOtaku. "Liberty, Fraternity, Equality". Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  2. Academic Agent. "The Triangle (TM), or Infinite Horseshoe Theory". Retrieved 2021-02-11. External link in |website= (help)
  3. The Symposium. "The Great Triad of the Enlightenment". Retrieved 2021-02-11. External link in |website= (help)
  4. chow, francis. "Turd Flinging Monkey The Political Trichotomy (mirror)". Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  5. Most people are sensitive to the fairness foundation
  6. W:A Conflict of Visions
  7. "Book sources", Wikipedia, retrieved 2021-01-14
  8. Sowell, Thomas (1987). A conflict of visions (1st ed. ed.). New York: W. Morrow. ISBN 978-0-688-06912-4.CS1 maint: extra text (link)