Upper Left Quadrant Details Upper Right Quadrant Details Lower Left Quadrant Details Lower Right Quadrant Details Details



Interests are different from mere opinions. Interest refers to far stronger convictions, rooted most often in rational selfishness but often extended outside the economic realm to include belief systems up to the symbolic if strongly felt.
The vertical axis is concerned with the degree to which interest are autonomous or are shared. Interests are thought to arise out of the condition of an individual's life. This was indeed the first outright recognition of the dignity of interest in political as well as economic thought, originating largely with Locke. It was only with mid nineteenth century, with Marxist theorizing and socialist ideology, that interest came to be interpreted as an offshoot of the aggregate dimension, with class becoming the modern catchword for social - and conflicting - interests. The horizontal axis incorporates the variety of means by which interests are accomodated and aggregated in the modern polity. The basic distinction refers here to procedural versus substantive mechanisms or processes to put interests forward.
The lower right quadrant is in a way the lassaize-faire quadrant, so antistate as to be anarchic in its purest form. Contract is the purest form through which individuals come to term with one another, the social contract describing the aggregate dimension -- and consequences - of this very process. In fact, this is the ultimate liberal vision of the polity. Interest thus becomes the fullfillment of the individual's natural capacity -- freedom of choice. The opposing ideal, during the three hundred years since Locke, recognizes that athere are means other than the purse for interest peaceful aggregation (LLQ). There is a strong emphasis here on process and procedures, allowing the substantive outcome of accomodation to rest upon the rules of fair play. Consequently, individuals are rarely seen in their pure form, but their interest is manifest in formal representation and in coalitions of interest groups. In the ULQ interest is no more an individual experience, but the result of the location of a person in the society. It is derivative rather than emergent. Class refers not only to conventional economic polarization, as burgeoise versus proletariat, but to all forms of social categorization. The assumption is that people born in the same social situation will share the same interest. The upper right quadrant is the classical radical-socialist quadrant. In contrast to the upper left quadrant zhere welfare was a compromise to be gained by political action, conflict is the principle that cannot be satisfied with any participatory solution by only by the elimination of competing class interests. This is why ideology and welfare are set up as antinomies, serving opposing strategies for political action.