To some extent, I like what he’s trying to do, but I think some of his direction is misguided. First, we don’t need yet another definition for some of these words, particularly liberal/conservative; while I can see why he might choose those alignments, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone use them like that, and it makes the discussion confusing. I do, however, like his reuse of reactionary/progressive, since that fits well with their actual uses (other than the currently existing ties between progressive and liberal) and it makes sense. Still, especially in the political realm, he’s not going to gain any traction trying to reuse words that have the kind of history that these words do. Hell, trying to convince someone that would use the words liberal or conservative as a pejorative that it now describes them in this context… good luck.
Second, I’d like to see a better way of describing politics than the one-dimensional spectrum we’ve grown accustomed to that doesn’t translate well from one culture to another, but I’m not sure I can agree with the dimensions he’s extracted. I’d agree with the first one, which strikes more more as authoritarian vs. libertarian than liberal vs. conservative, but it seems like it’s a point that comes up a lot in various areas, about whether it makes sense to decentralize authority, either to lower governmnents or the individuals or to do the opposite.
I don’t really agree with the other ones being fundamental dimensions though. He says the political compass dimension of economic regulation is too idealistic, but it isn’t about siding with winners and losers either, that seems like how each side paints the other side to look bad. Rather, I see it as an idea of where the balance lies between personal and social property. That is, on one side, the “low regulation” “winners” side would argue that property is an essential right, it’s what drives us to succeed, and no one else has any claim to something that belongs to someone. On the other side the “high regulation” “losers” side would argue that social well-fare and some degree of collaboration are important, that providing a social safety net and common needs for all trumps an absolute property right.
And for his third spectrum, I somewhat agree, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say the one side says the future is better and the other says the past is better, but rather one is striving to always improve things and make the world a better place, whereas the other side is concerned that change for the sake of change, without purpose, can be disastrous and they want to make sure it makes sense and that they minimize the harm it can do.
So, I guess I’d go more with authoritarian/libertarian, left/right, and progressive/reactionary, but with some revised views on it all. Even still, I think some people will vary on where they’d fall on whatever spectrum depending on the issue, and it’s really more about clarity of language. I think part of the reason politics has gotten to be so toxic is because everyone just gets shoved into one of two boxes, and it forces that polarization, when the actual landscape is much more interesting.