I'd look online for a place that sells used college books and first a first year book on political science or philosophy.
That said - start with this: www.politicalcompass.org
It's a very well done (not perfect, but well done) quiz that puts you on a chart against different gradients of political systems. I'll explain the four basics:
DISTRIBUTION OF POWER:
Authoritarianism: The farther up you go, the fewer people have power. Authoritarian means a very strong government and a small number of people or only one person (at the very top) runs the country with no votes or rights for anyone.
Libertarianism: The farther down you go, the more people have power and the weaker government is. At the very bottom there is nobody in charge, and things are decided by individuals or the group - everyone is as free as you can get.
The middle tend to mean you have a strong government that answers to the people.
WHERE THE MONEY IS AT:
Right (capitalist): The farther right you go, the more money there is in the hands of individuals, the less here is in the group. The more right you go you have lower taxes, fewer programs like welfare, and a bigger gap between rich and poor. At the extreme you have no government control over money.
Left (socialist): The more left you go means the money is more and more distributed. At the extreme left everyone makes the same money - no rich or poor.
So let's look at some political ideologies!
Neo-liberal: This is the current political state of the United States and most major world powers. It's halfway authoritarian and very right wing. It means a very powerful government and very little government involvement in the economy.
Authoritarian communism: This is what Russia was. No freedom for the people, but nearly everyone made the same money except for a powerful ruling class who were very rich. It would be all the way at the top, and halfway to the left. North Korea is also like this.
Libertarian communism (anarchism): This is me! Anarchy says that there is no rich or poor (or even money), and that all decisions are democratic done by vote. So leaders are temporary and there is no ruling class. People work for the common good, not for greed.
Democratic socialism: Sweden used to be like this, but it keeps going further right. Very high taxes, but you can stil get rich - just not billionaire rich. Lots of social programs and nobody is poor. Most people are middle class.
There are tons more, but I think if you play with this quiz and read what they have it will really help you understand this kinda stuff. Have fun and remember - I'm biased!
Try "Animal Farm" for the best desc
It's actually a commentary on Stalinism and how Stalin and people like him took over the movements. Orwell was as socialist as they get. Read Homage to Catalonia.
Yep, that was the contradiction of the man.
Yes, I read his essays, a long time ago though. Very complex man, and very full of contradictions. As to socialism, it ALWAYS ends in totalitarianism because it runs contrary to human nature.
Yes, totalitarian, and soft tyrannies. Don't worry, the hard tyranny comes later, it always does.
At the top of your computer go to view and click on that a window will open up and go to explorer bars another window will open up go to reseach a side bar will open up with all the reference you could ever need good luck researching your every whim :)
Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal, 6th edition
Wouldn't that be a good book to have?.... But it would be written by someone who subscribed to one of those 'isms'!
You don't need a book; the online dictionary and wikipedia will give you more info than you need. They aren't terribly complicated ideas. The problem is people misuse the terms because they are politically "loaded." This means when people talk about these ideas you have to listen closely to determine what they might mean and if they are talking out of their a$$.
No idea--ask at a library or book store. Wouldn't surprise me if there was something like POLITICAL/ECONOMIC SYSTEMS FOR DUMMIES out there---they seem to have about everything in that series.