About the Nolan Chart


Nolan believed that the terms liberal and conservative are too simplistic to form a basis for meaningful political discussion. The spectrum from right to left depicts the following:

· Economic conservatives favor unrestricted competition in a free market and less regulation in finances.

· Social conservatives favor individualism while social liberals favor collectivism or mutualism.

· Moral conservatives have a more traditional view of issues around marriage and sexual propriety.

A libertarian stance (top) favors less regulation on a variety of issues (less restrictive gun control, legalization of drugs), and in general favors less tax and smaller government. Conversely, an authoritarian stance (bottom) favors more regulation on a variety of issues (i.e., the right wants stricter regulation of drugs, the border, and voter ID, while the left wants anti-monopoly, public safety standards, and pollution control), which requires a larger government to define and enforce regulations.

The game board based on the Nolan chart shows how some values correlate or “hang together,” altho individuals often have a stance that doesn’t conform to a party line. For example, someone concerned about pollution may want stricter environmental laws and at the same time favor legalization of drugs. 


These files compare and contrast the political viewpoints and values represented by the four sides of the game board. You can use them as study guides. The "board center" can be glued to the game board as a cheat sheet.