The five worldviews that define American politics
Michael Lind - Jan 11, 2011
Does it often seem that many American politicians and pundits are talking past each other? That is because they really are. The frustrating nature of public debate arises in large part from the fact that Americans do not share a single worldview.
A worldview is a more or less coherent understanding of the nature of reality, which permits its holders to interpret new information in light of their preconceptions. Clashes among worldviews cannot be ended by a simple appeal to facts. Even if rival sides agree on the facts, people may disagree on conclusions because of their different premises.
Both the conservative and liberal camps include people with different and sometimes incompatible worldviews. American public debate is arguably dominated by five significant political worldviews: neoliberal globalism, social democratic liberalism, populist nationalism, libertarian isolationism and Green Malthusianism.