Anarchism: A total lack of governance. No one holds any sway nor power over anyone else. True anarchism can not exist in this world.
On the chart this is bounded by Anarcho Communism to the left and Anarcho Capitalism to the right.
Liberalism: This a where a small state begins to govern the people. It can come in many forms, but it is a state of limited control being held through law. Classical liberalism in other words.
This is where I put small ‘l’ libertariansim as well as many other forms of government. I put Constitutional Property Rights Minarchism slowly skewing a bit more into statism because certain powers of government under the system could become a little larger than some libertarians may like, but is still limited in scope and size and is used for the protection of rights, not enforcement of ideals.
*Statism: The state governs more and enforces morality and populist ideals. Towards the leftward boundary of statism, the state also interferes in the economy to a greater extent. It is the transition of state power from protecting citizens to controlling them.
This seems to be where the swath American government has slowly waded through since the founding.
Fascism: The state controls the economy through excessive regulation, and enforces strict cultural norms through force of law. Property rights are still present, but become meaningless with state intrusion and control.
Socialism: The state owns the means of production. Human behavior is heavily controlled through force of law to fit the designs of those in power. There is no free market, but citizens are given the pretense of having rights when they do not conflict with the preferred outcomes.
Communism: All within the state. There is no private property. All human action is governed and controlled to best suit the preferred outcomes. Rights are abolished in favor of proclaimed equality. Complete governance. There is no avenue of human behavior that is not within the purview of the state.
Anarcho Communism: This is the end state that Marx believed would follow Communism. Because in his view once the glorious and equal world was created, the state would whither away like the petals of a dying flower. In reality it would only fall into lawlessness and savagery, but hey ANTIFA has to dream of something!
*A note on why I used Statism this way, when this definition is a bit outside of the average one and why certain ‘isms’ are not used. I did not want to use capitalism, because that is more a definition of a monetary system, not about governance and this spectrum is based on governance (ie how much power is held by the government over the people) and respect of rights. I couldn’t think of any other currently used ‘isms’ that fit this transition from liberalism to fascism, so re-purposing the broad statism seemed a workable answer. As for other ‘isms’ like republicanism and monarchism, those are about how the government is formed, but not about what the government does. Indeed you can have a good king or a tyrannical republic.
This is how I see the political spectrum. It comes from the late 90’s and early 00’s when ‘socially liberal and fiscally conservative’ was the way libertarianism was described. Back when the left pretended to be for social freedom and the right pretended to be about fiscal freedom I would tell people “I’m so far right that I’m left.” Meaning I was for such small government I would often align with hippies about issues such a drug legalization. Also, this helps keep the ‘left/right’ idea of thinking everyone is used to and explains how yes, to Socialists Fascism is indeed ‘right wing’ and to us, it is indeed of the left.