2.28.2007

political compass

Long ago, with a very different readership, I blogged about political compass.

I haven't thought about it ages, but just yesterday MSS of Fruits & Votes mentioned it in comments. James, also in comments, re-took the test.

If you're not familiar with this tool, here's something about it from the website:
The old one-dimensional categories of 'right' and 'left', established for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, are overly simplistic for today's complex political landscape. For example, who are the 'conservatives' in today's Russia? Are they the unreconstructed Stalinists, or the reformers who have adopted the right-wing views of conservatives like Margaret Thatcher?

On the standard left-right scale, how do you distinguish leftists like Stalin and Gandhi? It's not sufficient to say that Stalin was simply more left than Gandhi. There are fundamental political differences between them that the old categories on their own can't explain. Similarly, we generally describe social reactionaries as 'right-wingers', yet that leaves left-wing reactionaries like Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot off the hook.

Political Compass doesn't want to say more until after you've taken the test, so I won't spoil it for them.

There are some fun categories on the site, showing the positions of the parties in the 2005 Canadian election and of the candidates in the 2004 US "election". Comparing the two graphs is particularly interesting - and, for me, reassuring.

Take the test here and tell us where you score on the quadrant. This is one time where it would be fun to have a few wingnuts around. Still, wmtc readers don't march in lockstep, so I'm curious to see where each of us fall.

My own results:
Economic left/right: -9.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.51
[far lower left quadrant]

37 comments:

orc said...

Oh, lord, I'm a raging right winger according to that test (-6.88 economic/-7.64 social.)

Of course the reason I'm calling myself a raging right winger is that I was _far_ more lefty when I was young and didn't have a six-figure income. These days I can actually argue that capitalism isn't necessarily evil without breaking out laughing.

But I took the test a couple of years ago, so it's possible that my views have slid leftwards fairly drastically since then.

orc said...

Yes, my views have slid leftwards: it's now -7.75 economic/-8.00 social. That's one thing to thank the B*sh junta for, I guess -- there's nothing like watching a conservative government in action to make me want to break out the hammer and sickle.

Anonymous said...

Econ L/R: -8.00
Social L/A: -7.03

There ya' have it!

Peregrinato said...

Economic Left/Right: -4.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.77

I'm not sure, but it looks like I'm hangin' out with the Dalai Lama....

loneprimate said...

Economic Left/Right: -7.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.74

Wow, I'm relatively conservative here. :)

James said...

Here's mine again, so they're all in one place:

Economic Left/Right: -6.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00

My attitude towards big corporations is summed up by an old Dilbert cartoon: "I think they'd kill us all and sell our organs if the return on investment was good". It's the gov't job to make sure the ROI isn't good. :)

M@ said...

Economic Left/Right: -4.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.69

I guess libertarian does describe me pretty well. It stuns me that in the USA, libertarians seem to identify with the GOP. I guess that's a historical remnant, not reflecting the current GOP...

impudent strumpet said...

Economic Left/Right: -7.63
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.49

Wow, I'm right-wing compared with other people here! Although I'm about the average of Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, so that makes me feel special.

I think that test would be better if there were seven choices for each question instead of four. I found myself craving greater nuance.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Economic L/R: -9.13
Social L/A: -6.72

Pretty close to you, actually. :-)

I'm a little surprised I'm not further upward on the authoritarian-libertarian axis, because despite my upbringing, I strongly believe in the positive role of government. I suppose the test doesn't ask any specific questions about that, though.

Jen said...

Economic Left/Right: -6.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian:
-7.44

Just a bit south and left of the Dalai Lama

Ferdzy said...

Economic L/R -8.50
Social Lib/Auth -9.49

Good thing I'm a mellow Capitalist these days, instead of the raging anarchist I used to be... seriously.

Scott M. said...

Economic Left/Right: -2.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.23

Excuse me, I think Hitler is calling me to dinner.

Anonymous said...

Economic Left/Right: -8.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.10

Interesting, but not bad for someone who was a die-hard Rush Limbaugh fan and Bush voter five short years ago. Agree with the previous comment about wanting to break out the hammer and sickle.

I think we've seen ample evidence that capitalism simply doesn't work as advertised. It even doesn't work for the things it's supposed to work for. It hasn't given the computer industry any incentive to come up with anything better than the execrable Windows. The pharmaceutical industry isn't developing life-saving medicines unless you count shyness.

It's an old right-wing shibboleth that government screws up anything it touches. Among so many other examples, the state of health care in the U.S. puts the lie to this claim.

L-girl said...

Scott M. said...
Economic Left/Right: -2.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.23

Excuse me, I think Hitler is calling me to dinner.


I just logged on to read comments, and this sent me into spasms of laughter. Thank you.

James, thanks for reposting. It appeals to my sense of order. (What?? The anarchist has a sense of order?)

Hi L/P, I knew you'd be a Tory around here. :)

ImpStrump, I agree, I could have used a little more nuance, too.

I/P, I believe in the positive role of government, too. (No surprise there.) I guess that doesn't figure into the questions much.

L-girl said...

Of course the reason I'm calling myself a raging right winger is that I was _far_ more lefty when I was young and didn't have a six-figure income.

So not becoming well off has helped my political view, eh? :)

I will say I went from poor to comfortable, and I continued on my leftward trend.

L-girl said...

not bad for someone who was a die-hard Rush Limbaugh fan and Bush voter five short years ago. Agree with the previous comment about wanting to break out the hammer and sickle.

Whoa, is this true?? And if I'm getting your handle right, you're now seriously considering the move to Canada. Well done!

L-girl said...

Thanks everybody, this is cool.

Where's David Cho? I want the former Reagan/Christian conservative to take this test.

* * * *

Do you know, this is the first thing in so many years that's made me miss my father? He would have been hanging out with Gandhi, too. It was the one thing we always had in common.

Ok, that's my nice memory of dad for the decade...

L-girl said...

Ferdzy the landlord has almost the same score as me. Jen and James are very close to that, too.

I think Allan is taking it now.

redsock said...

Economic Left/Right: -6.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.62

L-girl said...

I've just emailed a few more political refugees to invite them to take the quiz. I'm curious as to how we US-to-Canada defectors compare to one another.

West End Bound said...

Economic L/R: -2.13
Social L/A: -6.31

Looks like I'll be joining Scott M, Adolf and Eva for dinner this evening . . . . :)

Thanks for the exercise, L-girl!

L-girl said...

Thanks for playing, WEB!

Looks like I'll be joining Scott M, Adolf and Eva for dinner this evening . . . . :)

Tell the truth now - you're just moving to Canada so you can vote for Stephen Harper. Admit it! :)

Daniel wbc said...

Hanging with you in the lower left quadrant:

economic: -8.38
social: -7.59

That second score makes me feel conservative around here and I consider myself a flaming lefty socialist. I wonder which questions pushed me to the right of -8 ?

M@ said...

Hanging with you in the lower left quadrant

Don't sweat it, man. We're all lower-leftards here.

Frankly, I think I can see what questions would push people into the upper hemisphere on the political compass, and those people are damn scary. That stuff ain't right.

Larry Gambone said...

I am, as I expect a far left libertarian, ie, econ-left-right -8.63, soc libertarian/authoritarian, -8.31

tornwordo said...

I'm in the lower left quadrant too. very lower left, lol.

L-girl said...

That second score makes me feel conservative around here and I consider myself a flaming lefty socialist. I wonder which questions pushed me to the right of -8 ?

Y'know, that can be the difference between "agree" and "strongly agree" - it's very slight. As Impudent Strumpet mentioned, there's not a lot of nuance.

SteveA said...

I guess I'm at the dinner with Adolf, Scott and friends!

Economic L/R: - 3.25
Social L/A: - 2.72

I too would have preferred a little more nuance in the answers. Also, the all or nothing nature of the questions, necessary I suppose, forces an all cases answer.

Interestingly, this puts me in the neighbourhood of the NDP who I would never vote for. Nightmares of Ontario 1990 - 95 linger. What I think it shows is that I'm part of the great Canadian mushy centre.

So, despite being so right of everyone, if it is OK, I will still continue to visit the site.

Cheers

West End Bound said...

What's particularly good to see is that not one respondent is in the same quadrant as mr. bush or mr. harper . . . No surprise there, eh?

Even those of us at dinner with de fuehrer and his babe are still in the lower left along with Gandhi and The Dalai Lama . . .

Niko said...

Economic Left/Right: -7.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.49

Glad to know I'm still a leftie :-)

Diamond Jim said...

Economic left/right -8.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -7.85

making me out to be some kind of bleeding Tory

L-girl said...

Even those of us at dinner with de fuehrer and his babe are still in the lower left along with Gandhi and The Dalai Lama . . .

That would be quite the dinner party. I think I'm busy that night.

Economic left/right -8.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -7.85

making me out to be some kind of bleeding Tory


:-)

Woti-woti said...

A belated response: Eco. -7.63,
Soc. -6.67.

So if you're closer to the center of the quadrant, are you a rational, thoughtful invidual of a passionless fence-sitter?

L-girl said...

So if you're closer to the center of the quadrant, are you a rational, thoughtful invidual or a passionless fence-sitter?

Good question. I think I'm pretty rational and thoughtful, and I'm sitting on an outer fringe. Hmmm.

s1c said...

.25 Eco/-3.29 social. From the flickr shot would basically make me and Milton as the only ones in that quad.

Amy said...

I posted elsewhere, but will add it here as well.

My scores:
Economic Left/Right: -6.62
Social libertarian/Authoritarian: 7/69

There were some questions that left me frustrated with the range of answers as well, especially given that there are circumstances where I might answer one way for MOST circumstances, but not necessarily ALL.

Amy said...

That should have read -7.69.

Wish there was an edit function here. :)