The website Political Compass offers a two-dimensional template for charting political ideology that promises to improve on the standard 'liberal vs. conservative' binary model that saturates contemporary discourse. Here's a glimpse of the visual design from their website:
The X-axis is representative of the economic spectrum, while the Y-axis indicates social issues. The website, the developers of which remain anonymous, correlates the far left with collectivism, or communism, and the far right with neo-liberalism, or libertarianism; this is the proposed spectrum in terms of statist intervention per the economy. The top of the chart is analogous to fascism, and the bottom with anarchism; this would be the breakdown of social issues with respect to personal liberties.
One interesting feature of this model is the potential classification of political attitudes by quadrant location. Nearly all contemporary political discourse, for instance, seems to be firmly rooted in the blue quadrant.
I'm not, however, satisfied with the axial distinctions, since the X-axis implies relative readings of state authority despite vested executive state power being the major focus of the Y-axis. To ameliorate possible confusion, I would like to propose an alternate schema to amend this.
We'll keep the authoritarian designation at the top of the chart, and pair it with individualism at the bottom. I intend this distinction to better express the central question of power centralization. Are individuals empowered to actualize their natural freedoms for good or ill? Or is that something arbitrated by an instituted state?
Since the Y-axis incorporates a degree of government intervention, we can do our best to eliminate that from the X-axis altogether. We can instead reference the philosophical underpinnings of economic theory. The far right is represented by propertarian-libertarianism, in which sovereignty of private property is assumed, and its pursuit considered beneficial through competition and innovation. Opposite, on the far left, I have put economic-egalitarianism as the opponent doctrine, in which emphasis is placed on an entropic ordering of resource distribution where uniformity, guaranteeing relative security, is preferred.
An alternate way of framing the X-axis dynamic is through a discussion of alterity. The far right and far left are thus self-regarding and other-regarding, respectively.
I believe this is comprehensive enough to begin identifying political ideology by quadrant.
The red quadrant above, in the Northwest, I have as tending toward state socialism. The communism of Stalin, for instance, would fall into this category.
The purple Southeast quadrant, opposite state socialism, corresponds with market anarchism, in which the functions of the state are privately operated on a contractual basis.
The blue sector, in the Northeast, represents a tendency toward corporate capitalism. As mentioned previously, most governments appear to be moving toward this outcome, including the United States. Under corporate capitalism, state policy considerations are subsumed by large business interests propped by a populace whom, it is presumed, participate as "trickle-down" beneficiaries through willful perpetuation of those interests.
The green sector, in the Southwest, represents something rather enigmatic, as it does not seem amenable to either the idea of government or preoccupation with economic growth. It is this sector I tentatively intuit as tending toward neo-potlatchism, or radical liberality. The idea is an other-regarding economic model based on voluntary associations wherein the individual is empowered to express freedom through volitional acts of shared generosity. Understanding this particular quadrant may pose some difficulty since it seems to lie opposite our current trajectory.
It does, however, seem to be the one most interesting to me. Even taking the Political Compass test online exposed a predilection for this particular sector (though the questions themselves may be phrased and/or weighted sub-optimally--it's not entirely clear):
Expect me to commentate further on the ideological implications of radical liberality in the near future. But for now, I would advise a middle path. The center of this chart is most certainly representative of the position of the skeptic.