The Big Four: Which One Are You Really?
A key part of what we do at Killing The Breeze is provide perspective from many different types of people. This is not difficult to do by race, religion, gender or sexual orientation as we are a minority owned business based in Brooklyn with one principal from their, and the other two principals hailing from the urban enclaves of Baltimore and St. Louis. I don’t think this makes us unique as much as it makes us indicative of what media companies will look like in the future as citizens take control of what they want to see, read and hear from traditional outlets.
What does make us unique is our willingness to approach stories from the angles of the “big four”. Killing The Breeze is actually wedded in some way to all or parts of the big four (progressive, liberal, conservative and libertarian political philosophy.) I would posit all people are in some way, yet the coverage of events seems to be slanted towards profiting from intended audiences by confirming biases instead of informing people no matter the bend of the information. While this is understandable because media is a business (Killing The Breeze is for making money), when it comes to disseminating news, information, opinion, and commentary Killing The Breeze will cover everything from the “big four” political philosophical points of view.
What do those views look like though? It’s easy to label ourselves according to political party, but do we really know what the underlying political philosophy the parties claim to represent looks like? In other words, Do you believe what you think you believe? Does the way you vote match what you really believe? Margaret E. Raymond helps give clarity to commonly used labels.
Progressives stress the opportunity and necessity of social progress, usually driven by an empirical foundation. Through gradual reform of social and welfare policies, progressives seek a democratic society that reduces inequality, poverty, and discrimination, which are viewed as negative byproducts of capitalism. Much of the effort to reform policies and institutions necessarily involves an active central role of government.
Liberals share the ideal of equality, but seek to couple it with a wide range of personal freedoms, including voting rights, freedom of religion, property rights, and other choices of personal value. Support of personal development and opportunity are central to the liberal notion of government.
Conservatives are harder to peg, as their positions and precepts are in flux, but it would be fair to say that more contemporary conservatives stress education and culture as important tools for illuminating a strong social order grounded in morality and fealty to community, country, and a higher power. They prefer government in a minimal role and advocate rights and obligations of self-determinism.
Libertarians favor the policy of choice advocated by Milton Friedman. They believe in direct citizen control of the allocation of public funding. In the libertarian view, robust markets are ultimately the most responsive to citizen demands; citizens will reject options that fail to provide a sufficient use or role, and ultimately those options will disappear.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States. Since the 1930s, the party has promoted a social-liberal platform (belief that liberalism should include a social foundation). Until the late 20th century the party had a powerful conservative and populist wing based in the rural South, which over time has greatly diminished. Today its Congressional caucus is composed mostly of progressives and centrists.
The Republican Party, also commonly called the GOP (abbreviation for Grand Old Party), is the other major contemporary political parties in the United States. The party’s platform is generally based upon American conservatism, in contrast to the Democratic Party, which supports contemporary American liberalism.
The American conservatism of the Republican Party is not wholly based upon rejection of the political ideology of liberalism; some principles of American conservatism are based on classical liberalism (political philosophy and ideology belonging to liberalism in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government), and a significant portion of the Republican base is made up of neoliberals (economic liberalism supporting greater economic liberalization, privatization, free trade, open markets, deregulation, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy) and other free market, pro-capitalism factions. Rather, the Republican Party’s conservatism is largely based upon its support of classical liberal principles against the social liberalism and Keynesian economics of the Democratic Party that is considered liberalism in contemporary American political discourse.
The Libertarian Party is an American national political party that reflects, represents and promotes the ideas and philosophies of libertarianism (freedom as a political end) and free-market, laissez-faire capitalism (no government interference in economy). The party has generally promoted a classical liberal platform, in contrast to the social liberal and progressive platform of the Democrats and the more conservative platform of the Republicans.
The Libertarian Party is the third-largest party by membership in the United States and it is the third-largest political party in the United States in terms of the popular vote in the country’s elections and number of candidates run per election. Due to this, it has been labelled by some as the United States’ third-largest political party. It is also identified by many as the nation’s fastest growing political party.
So which philosophy are you? To help you even more, I have attached this political philosophy chart for greater clarity on the philosophies and parties. The dot is where I so happened to be (left-leaning libertarian) valuing personal freedoms at 80% and economic freedom at 22%. You can take the quiz and find out where you stand here.