The Political Spectrum

1. Read the following rhetorical questions. Rhetorical questions are questions you just have to think about, but not answer!

a) What does the term 'political spectrum' refer to or mean?

b) What do people mean when they talk about 'the far right'?

c) Are NAZIS on the far ' left wing' or ' right wing'?

d) What  are 'right wing extremists'?

e) Who are the COMMUNISTS? Where do you place them? 
    On the far left or right of the political spectrum?


Study the following diagrams and then do the activity that follows.

The 'political spectrum' usually means a way of comparing or visualizing peoples different political views or positions.

It does this by placing them along a line or geometric axis.
For example:










     When you see people placed on a political spectrum diagram, this is just one person's opinion.
     Another person could place the people in a different position, depending on their opinion.

On the following diagram find where Adolf  Hitler has been placed. He is represented by the letter A



Turn to a new A4 page and turn it sideways. Design your own diagram of the political spectrum. Use a pen and coloured pencils or MS Word. (File /Page Setup/Landscape - to make your page turn sideways. 
Place the diagram in the middle of the page so you can fit on it the following:

    - Terms like ' center, conservative, far right extremists etc.'
    - Place on your political spectrum diagram all of the following political types, and a brief explanation of each.
(Draw or paste in small cartoon drawings if you wish.)
    - Also place on the diagram, any well known characters from History.


Though political humour is usually neither, there will often be a need for the cartoonist to draw various types of people from the political spectrum. Here are some guidelines.

LIBERALS Sandals and glasses (they're nearsighted from reading all those pamphlets and manifestos) are all that is required to identify a Liberal. However, if the Liberal is a religious figure, all bets are off. Add a little lapel ribbon (pink, red, or purple) and there will be no doubt.

CONSERVATIVES Conservatives wear flags, either United States or Confederate. Many carry bibles to thump. Use any or all of these devices; the laughs are built in.

COMMUNISTS [Remember they believe in a social system in which property and goods are owned in common, by everyone. Also that everyone should earn the same amount of money, wether you are a factory worker, a farm worker on a big collective farm, or working in an office as a manager  or in administration.  Also they believe the workers should rule the country, not a government made up of rich capitalists. Therefore their cartoons should be dressed as workers or peasants, or in old suits.] 

They should always look serious and heroic no matter how absurd they really are. Imagine someone who has decided to drive his head through a brick wall and is about to do it.

[CAPITALISTS - Like a system where if you work hard and build up a big business or factory, you can become as rich as you want. In the 1800s, the very rich capitalist factory and mine owners, underpaid or exploited the poor  workers. This was also in the days before the governments gave free welfare help, like free education, health care, unemployment or old age or sickness pensions.  

So these capitalists are historically drawn to be very fat with fat cheeks and holding a fat cigar. Also wearing expensive looking suits with top hats, and a gold chain across their suit vest to a gold fob watch.]

NAZIS The comic possibilities here are seemingly endless: funny moustaches, armbands with silly symbols, goofy hats, sam brown belts, overly decorated uniforms, shaved heads, skull and bones festoonery. Go wild: Everybody hates a Nazi.

SOCIALISTS They drive Volvos. Try to set any scene with a Socialist in a car or near one. Or just draw a Liberal wearing socks as well as sandals.

ANARCHISTS/REVOLUTIONARIES Wild, swirly eyes; a beard; and a beret are musts. All three are funny, especially on a feminist.

FAR-RIGHT REACTIONARIES A long, white robe and a tall pointed hat. If that can't be funny, what can?

From 2000/09/29/4.html School of comic art.