Although since the post-Rawlsian boom in discussion of the concept of justice the focus, at least in the academic literature, has shifted slightly, I think it's probably still true that if there was one concept that had to be picked to define the sphere of the political, it would be freedom. There are undoubtedly good reasons for this: the powers of governments, of those who set the rules by which the distribution of the goods of social cooperation are distributed, not only constitute the greatest threat to, but also potentially a significant guarantee of, freedom, however it is defined. Rousseau's unfairly maligned claim that people needed to be 'forced to be free' is, after all, just a re-working of the Hobbesian observation that in the absence of generally enforced rules, some of the most important goods of human life, including freedom, are incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to secure.
The typical starting point, at least for undergraduates, of any discussion and analysis of the concept of freedom is often Isaiah Berlin's 'Two Concepts of Liberty'. It offers a much criticised but still influential and widely disseminated distinction between negative and positive liberty as the key to understanding any particular understanding of the concept of freedom, and so, presumably, politics more generally. It goes further than that, of course, arguing not only for the distinction as decisive, but also that positive theories of freedom are fundamentally wrong-headed, depending on worryingly thick accounts of human nature to sustain them. As a neutral typology of ideas of freedom then, it suffers, since it seeks to rule out some such ideas as not being about freedom at all.
A better way of categorising concepts of freedom would not have or at least seek to reduce this evaluative character. It would attempt to discover whether there were any similarities, beyond the claim that they were about freedom, between claims about freedom made by Mill and Marx, or Hayek and Hegel. It would seek to find whether there was anything that was required of a statement about freedom which did not rule out claims about freedom associated with particular kinds of politics: whether there was some kind of logical core of statements about freedom, a kind of form they had to take which transcended disagreements about their content.
Indeed, one of the better-known critiques of Berlin offers exactly this kind of typology. Gerald MacCallum claimed that all comprehensible claims about freedom could be understood as a triadic relation between freedom, a constraint and an end, regardless of whether in Berlin's typology they fell into the positive or negative camp. For example, an archetypally negative account of freedom like Hobbes', which claims that unfreedom consists in being physically restrained, as by being chained up, would be understood in MacCallum's terms as pointing to physical restraint and physical restraint only as a constraint, and free movement within one's physical powers as an end. Likewise, an archetypally positive account of freedom like Hegel's would, in this case, be cashed out by seeing various unsatisfactory social relations as constraints and the arrival of synthesis in human life as an end.
Given the connection between politics and freedom, MacCallum's avowedly non-evaluative account seems to offer not only a way of breaking down and understanding concepts of freedom, but also politics more generally. After all, if politics is both the first hope of and the eternal threat to freedom, the idea of using a typology of freedom to understand the spectrum of political ideologies would seem to have promise. Rather than talking in over-used, confused and heavily contested terms like left and right, or individualist and collectivist, political attitudes could be categorised in terms of what was seen as a threat or barrier to freedom, and the ends towards which freedom was directed. Inspired by and taking some of my leads from this excellent post of Phil's, that is what I am now going to attempt to do.
For three reasons, the location of the dividing lines in this typology will be different from that in Phil's. Half of Phil's typology is based on attitudes towards political and social change, whereas this one, for better or worse, will cover attitudes towards history only implicitly. This is because, firstly, I have a background in quite a different tradition of thinking about the political to Phil's: to put it crudely, and to imply as little as possible about either, philosophical in the analytical sense, rather than in the social theoretic one. Consequently, I am ahistorical. Such is life.
It also flows, to some extent, though from taking claims about freedom as definitional, because when we make a claim about a person being free, we make a claim about a state they are in, not a process they are undergoing. Although states may be parts of processes, we don't tend to talk about them as such, and so discussing political attitudes in terms of understandings of freedom will tend to leave out processes and so history and change. It is also a conscious decision on my part to make this a compliment, rather than an alternative, to Phil's typology. I hope, although it may not turn out to be the case, that they are cross-cutting, mutually informative, partly because apart from missing out something Phil includes, they include something roughly similar to something Phil apparently regrets not being able to include.
To begin then. I could have used a different structure from Phil, but I'm lazy and it is a very good structure, so I've just stolen, or better, borrowed, it. A four-by-four matrix, with two sets of oppositions each for constraints and ends. First the constraints. Careful experimentation, such as can be conducted by a man in his bedroom over the course of a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, has determined that there are two fundamental divisions over what counts as a constraint when talking about political freedom, those related to economics and those related the existence of society.
Either, roughly, you believe that the set of property rights associated with laissez-faire capitalism are a gross impediment to freedom, in which case you are broadly in agreement with a doubtless simplistic interpretation of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's claim that 'all property is theft', or you believe that any departure from that set of property rights is a gross impediment to freedom, in which case you are broadly in agreement with Robert Nozick's claim that 'income tax is slavery'. This, I think, is broadly equivalent to Phil's absent rich-poor distinction.
The existence of society:
Either, roughly, you believe that in the absence of people living in relatively large, settled groups, with their various instruments of control, including but not limited to the law, social disapprobation, and the shaping of personality, people would be much freer, in which case you have much sympathy for Jean-Jacques Rousseau's valorisation of the noble savage, or you believe that in the absence of effective mechanisms of social control, the lives of men would be 'nasty, brutish and short', and agree with Thomas Hobbes that government of some form is essential.
This isn't entirely satisfactory, because it has nothing to say about who rules, which Phil's Digger/Jacobin distinction deals with, rather than what they do it for. It also seems to contradict what I said about these two members of the canon in the first paragraph of this piece, but it only seems to, and even if it did, I assure you that's much less important than you might think. However, it does get to how rules generally matter in terms of freedom, and that's what I wanted to capture. It's supposed to be complimentary to Phil's piece, after all, so the absence of a 'who rules' question should be expected.
This gives four combinations:
Nozick and Hobbes: this makes you a Thatcherite. You, like the Iron Lady, believe in what the classical liberals called a nightwatchman state, and with good reason: it's there to protect people's property against robbers, and there are plenty of them about.
Nozick and Rousseau: this makes you a Millian. You, like John Stuart in 'On Liberty', aren't really that bothered about poverty, as long as neither the state nor society at large prevent you from exercising your right to be as eccentric as you like.
Proudhon and Hobbes: this makes you a Lockean. You, like the apologist for the Glorious Revolution, worry that in the absence of enforcement, people's rights to enough property to be fruitful and multiply will be compromised by a variety of collective action problems and just plain evil.
Proudhon and Rousseau: this makes you, for want of a better term, a Communist. You, like Marx and his mates, think that not only are actually existing property relations deeply unjust but that society, with its rules, perhaps those that sustain the regimes of property rights, perhaps some others, perhaps both, is also a location of profound unfreedom, and needs to be got rid of.
Similarly careful experimentation has determined that, with regard to ends, there are likewise two fundamental divisions, over the role of groups in ethical ends, and that of truth. Groups first.
Either, roughly, you believe that strongly identifying with a traditional, solidaristic and ethically homogeneous community is best for people, in which case you are a Tory, or you believe that variety is the spice of life, that not being able to do something different from your parents is a serious loss, in which case you are a Pluralist.
Either, roughly, you believe that there is no real question of right or wrong beyond what someone feels like, in which case you are a Libertine, or you believe that we mean something substanially more than 'yah boo sucks to murder' when we say murder is wrong, in which case you are a Moralist.
Neither of these are perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. Charles Taylor, the Canadian political theorist - as opposed to the mass-murdering ex-President of Liberia - would certainly have something to say about the Tory/Pluralist distinction, as a pluralist who emphasises the role of groups and their ethical traditions in providing large option sets. I think I would want someone like him to class themselves a Pluralist, though, if that's any help. Equally, Libertines may well feel that some minimal set of moral standards - preventing the violation of a core of rights, for example, which could obviously be cashed out in a variety of ways - are mandated: think of them as those who understand Mill's harm principle in its usual, restrictive sense.
Anyway, that gives another four combinations:
A Tory Libertine is a Cultural Relativist. They believe people should live in the traditional, ethically homogeneous community they grew up, because that's what they know. Forced marriage ago-go.
A Tory Moralist is a Nationalist. They believe people should live in one particular traditional, ethically homogeneous community, the one they imagine their homeland was about fifty years ago, before all the foreigners arrived, and women were allowed to go into bars by themselves.
A Pluralist Libertine is, for want of a better term again, a Hippie. They believe you should really do want you want, as long as it involves taking liberally from half-arsed interpretations of exotic Oriental cultures and bringing shame upon your parents.
A Pluralist Moralist is a Perfectionist. They believe that, whilst there may well be more than one path to ethical truth, the road is definitely crooked and beset on all sides with false idols. Just because you don't have to live like everyone else, it doesn't mean you can get away with anything. They've got their eye on you.
I come out as PHPM or a Lockean Perfectionist. This is actually less different than one might think from a typical Blairite, who I'd argue is probably either a NHPL or a NHCL, a Thatcherite Hippie or Cultural Relativist. One of the reasons for this is that because of the way the typology collapses the powers of the state into those of society, my disagreements with the present government about civil liberties disappear. Phil's gets it perfectly though, and they are meant to be complimentary.