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November 08, 2008

Political Compass

I know I've posted this political compass test before, but Dark Lord Sly sent it to me a few days ago. Since I've been noodling about for a good way to begin our discussion about revamping the conservative platform for 2012, it struck me as an excellent place to start.

My results are below the fold. Originally I'd planned to begin the discussion with economics, but after doing some reading I think perhaps we may want to address a more fundamental divide within the Republican party. That's what this exercise is intended to tease out.


Posted by Cassandra at November 8, 2008 06:21 AM

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While you're at it, do come up with different terms for what we currently refer to as Liberal or Conservative! Libertarian / Authoritarian does not really cut it for so-called descriptive terms but perhaps they are the best choice for such terms.

Personally, my preference for what we used to call the Democrat Party is to call it by a more appropriate descriptive term: The Socialist Marxist Coalition.

Posted by: DougW at November 8, 2008 08:41 AM

Your political compass

Economic Left/Right: 3.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.51

Posted by: Jimmie at November 8, 2008 08:46 AM

Economic Left/Right: 2.38

Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.41

Is it any wonder I often find myself agreeing with you?

Posted by: Sandi at November 8, 2008 08:54 AM

My husband and I both had trouble with the test. It's hard to say whether you agree or disagree with many of the questions b/c of the way they're worded - I suspect, had they been worded slightly differently, we'd both have come out somewhere else. Still, no great surprise that I am to the center :p

Posted by: Cassandra at November 8, 2008 09:19 AM

Economic Left/Right: 6.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.67

Does that make me a "neo-liberal"?

Posted by: Jonathan at November 8, 2008 09:57 AM

Economic Left/Right: 3.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 2.05

*licking fresh baby harp seal blood off fingers*

There were definitely loaded questions in that quiz, and I suspect they were purposely inserted to make me look less threatening to the Illuminati...

Posted by: BillT at November 8, 2008 10:11 AM

Economic Left/Right: 0.88

Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.95

It's fascinating to me that according to this site Barack Obama is more economically right than I am - by about 2 grid squares.

Posted by: Elise at November 8, 2008 11:01 AM

Here are my results.
Economic Left/Right: 1.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.41

That was an interesting exercise. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by: Kat at November 8, 2008 11:11 AM

Cassandra: "Since I've been noodling about for a good way to begin our discussion about revamping the conservative platform for 2012"

What's about 2010? ;) I guess we haven't time until 2012, right?

However, the most important thing to start with... is to boycott the MSM! And yes, get rid of the political correct language tought by Socialists! A Socialist is a Socialist and not a 'Liberal'!

Posted by: 2cents at November 8, 2008 12:08 PM

In the 1930s, the preferred term the Soviet hierarchy used to describe themselves was -- "Progressive."

Posted by: BillT at November 8, 2008 12:20 PM

Well, that was interesting. The questions are definitely loaded, and for a reason. I suppose I am a hateful fascist....

4.12 economic
.56 social

Posted by: Mark at November 8, 2008 12:23 PM

Economic Left /Right: 1.38

Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.69


Jerry Pournelle actually developed this graph back in the '80's to more acurately describe political beliefs.

The questions today are different and scored differently, of course.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at November 8, 2008 12:54 PM

The Johari Window comes to mind.

We used to joke that when Joe and Harry saw how convoluted it became, they jumped out of it...

Posted by: BillT at November 8, 2008 01:38 PM

I believe I would put myself in that little purple corner on the lower right hand side.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 8, 2008 02:49 PM

Move over, Ymarsakar. *push push*

There. I have brought snacks, a few comfy pillows and some LeMon D'Ade.

Let the discussions begin!

Posted by: Cricket at November 8, 2008 04:07 PM

I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.

The question itself is actually rather fascist for it implies that my "country" includes my President and my elected representatives.

I will protect the US Constitution whether it is right or wrong because to do otherwise would be to break the system and create what the Left calls "social revolution".

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The enemy of my enemy is only sometimes my friend people. Who the heck is asking these questions? Cliches don't make for good tactics or strategy ya know. They were designed to placate and educate the masses, not to apply to specific policies.

Military action that defies international law is sometimes justified.

Military action that defies international law coming from a corrupt and sadistic organization called the United Nations is always justified: period. It is justified by force and the fact that the powerful can do whatever they want to those weaker than they, so long as they can keep those even more powerful from stripping them apart.

International law is only "law" if such military actions are crushed. And since the US is the enforcer of the UN's laws, it doesn't really apply to the US when the US conducts military actions against UN law, now does it.

There is now a worrying fusion of information and entertainment.

Excuse me? Propaganda and psychological warfare is not "information". Entertainment that deludes people into believing in things coming from the entertainment community is not "information". It is propaganda. And propaganda is a lot more than just information.

Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment.

What the heck does this mean? That if there is 1000% inflation, it doesn't matter if unemployment is at 100%? Or that it doesn't matter if employment is at 0% if inflation is at 0%?

I suppose it is like the question "which is more important, food or water?" Well, it really depends on which one you need the most. Except in this case, they don't tell you the rate of inflation compared to the rate of unemployment.

500% inflation is more important than 10% unemployment. But those two things are linked. Inflation starts going up when goods and services start breaking down because there are no jobs. Destroying the entire oil refinery and pipeline transportation jobs in America would certainly inflate gas prices.

On the other hand, 50% unemployment would be far more important than 500% inflation for it is likely that 50% unemployment may spark a revolution and then it won't matter what inflation is.

I suspect the real question they want to ask is "do you believe Full Employment social justice is more important than economic feasibility". No, I do not.

The rich are too highly taxed.

Is John Kerry too highly taxed? No. Are black basketball athletes that talk about Bush's tax cuts as just equaling a game of blackjack to them too highly taxed? No. Are Teresa Heinz-Kerry too highly taxed? No. Are rich businessmen and women too highly taxed? Yes.

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

How about for my eye, I'm going to want in trade your head, your arms, and your heart. How about for my tooth, I'm going to get 3/4ths of your brain.

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth? That's a negative. So how should I answer? Yes I strongly agree with something I strongly disagree with or should I say I strongly disagree and hope it doesn't slant my results?

I'll go with strongly disagree.

What's good for the most successful corporations is always, ultimately, good for all of us.

What's good for America is good for General Motors. What is bad for General Motors is also slightly bad for America. What's good for the most successful corporations is never always, ultimately, good for all of us.

A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system.

That's the significant advantage. The significant advantage of a one party state is its ability to silence internal enemies and get focused on destroying external enemies. That is its "significant advantage". The significant disadvantage is that while it gains in speed and cohesion, it loses out in absolute power and efficacy because there is no debate or argument.

The death penalty should be an option for the most serious crimes.

The Death Penalty is the only option for enemies of humanity. And an enemy of humanity is not defined by "criminal law". So no, the death penalty should not be an option for the most serious crimes because the "most serious crimes" aren't fixed. It depends. It depends on the crime and the law and OJ Simpson.

In a civilised society, one must always have people above to be obeyed and people below to be commanded.

That is human nature. You can't change that. So what does it matter what I say? Civilization, however, is designed to treat people as equals in the context of a hierarchy. So, no, civilization does not need people to always be above and people to be below, for you can treat each other as equals in the context of civilization's hierarchy.

In criminal justice, punishment should be more important than rehabilitation.


It is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate some criminals.


You'd be surprised how many criminals will become socialized once you start hacking up and slaughtering offenders.

With enough pain, any change in human behavior is possible. That change is often unpredictable, however, but you will get a change.

Most criminals can be rehabilitated with reward and punishment. Some criminals are sociopaths and will never accept societal conditioning and those need to be put down like the animals that they are.

Multinational companies are unethically exploiting the plant genetic resources of developing countries.

If those multinational companies are French, German, British, Russian, or China, then yes they are. If those multinational companies are America... then no, most if not all of them are not exploiting the resources of developing countries.

What kind of nebulous foo foo questions are these?

Sex outside marriage is usually immoral.

Couples that are engaged to each other having sex before marriage is as immoral as people shacking up cause they met in a night club or on the floor of a dark theater? You have got to be kidding me. That question is another one of those retarded ambiguous ones.

I have to say that I strongly disagree with the retarded question's assumptions about me and morality. How's that for rejection of authority?

U.S.neo-conservatives, with their commitment to high military spending and the global assertion of national values, tend to be more authoritarian than hard right. By contrast, neo-liberals, opposed to such moral leadership and, more especially, the ensuing demands on the tax payer, belong to a further right but less authoritarian region. Paradoxically, the "free market", in neo-con parlance, also allows for the large-scale subsidy of the military-industrial complex, a considerable degree of corporate welfare, and protectionism when deemed in the national interest. These are viewed by neo-libs as impediments to the unfettered market forces that they champion.

You have got to be shatting me. Neo-cons are more "authoritarian" when they favor a strong military that uses foreign contractors to make up for the jobs usually done by American draftees?

By contrast, neo-liberals, opposed to such moral leadership and, more especially, the ensuing demands on the tax payer, belong to a further right but less authoritarian region.

Isolationists are further to the right and less authoritarian? Well, since isolationists see themselves and America as the authority whereas I see justice and the principles behind the US Constitution and human nature as the authority, it means that they are even more authoritarian. Especially with the protectionist component of isolationism.

[Looking at Bush's location on the chart]

George W. Bush is so far down on the "authoritarian" plane that he should have belonged to the group of leaders that were taken out by a coup de tat of their own people, had no Bush been protected by the loyalty of the US military.

Bush's specific combination of compassionate conservatism, hate of micromanagement, and lack of ruthlessness would have seen him dethroned in any less stable nation than a modern Western democracy from internal revolt.


The problem with these things is how they are implemented. Their comprehension and analysis of specific leaders is 1. wrong and 2. not derived from the test itself.

Like I said, I'm in that little purple corner on the bottom right. That way I can touch authority and the Left whenever I want.

Real political beliefs (not dots in a two dimension) are either 1. (internally) consistent or 2. inconsistent. When they are consistent, they are either 1. true or 2. false. When they are inconsistent, they are either 1. harmless or 2. destructive.

Soviet Russia's giving wealth to the Party elite while talking about destroying private property is an example of inconsistency and destructiveness.

Pacifists, true pacifists like Quakers, are an example of inconsistency in their philosophy (they don't use violence but will allow others to use violence for them while they take the benefits) and harmlessness (it is not harmful because they are pacifists and if we ever got tired of them, they would accept the consequences, theoretically).

I have brought snacks, a few comfy pillows and some LeMon D'Ade.

Thanks, Cricket. They were great, especially after I started breaking the authority of the Test.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 8, 2008 05:51 PM


That's an interesting song for those that were born before the 80s.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 8, 2008 07:19 PM

I too found the questions confusing. Too often, I found myself saying: "Well, that depends on the context ...". Because most of the questions were absolutist in nature and lacked any context for reasoned analysis, I'm not sure how well they actually measured my viewpoint.

Anyway, I was Right 5.88, and authoritarian 1.13. I thought the "law and order" questions were particularly oversimplified. You could not, for example, say that you believed in peaceful protest, but thought that rioting was unacceptable.

Posted by: a former european at November 8, 2008 09:00 PM

Economic Left/Right: 2.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 1.49

I've taken this test before, and always come out Libertarian. This time, it says I'm still 'right,' but now 'authoritarian.' I don't know if I've changed or if the test has.

I still believe in letting people do what they want to do. I also believe in letting other people kill them if they cross certain lines. It's a free choice, all the way around.

Posted by: Grim at November 8, 2008 10:05 PM

Grim says, "I still believe in letting people do what they want to do. I also believe in letting other people kill them if they cross certain lines." I think that says it perfectly -- and it makes me wonder how the test could peg him on the authoritarian side. That's the problem with the lame-brainedness of many of the questions. For one thing, they almost always fail to distinguish between what you think the rule is for government vs. what you think it is for yourself. I suspect the questioners assume that anyone who believes in absolute moral law rather than moral relativism is authoritarian, although that's a completely faulty assumption. Not everyone who believes in absolute moral law is interested in having a government enforce it. I think a good deal of it is over a government's head.

I was amused to see that my husband and I are both in the lower right-hand quadrant, which we share with no leaders of any kind. That seems about right.

Posted by: Texan99 at November 8, 2008 10:39 PM

Economic Left/Right: -6.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.62

Posted by: Toowoozy at November 8, 2008 10:53 PM

I am a Libertarian, but a couple of questions I considered as moral, like the one about premarital sex, as opposed to ethical. In terms of a political compass, you have to have some lines that you don't cross.

I hate to bring this up, but I have a question for you: The protesters in LA about the gay marriage ban.

Leaving the rhetoric aside of civil rights, unions, love, hate, etc. I have to ask:
If the people spoke, why the snit?

Now, you don't see right-wingers or McCain supporters protesting Obama now that the people have spoken, yet his actions will impact all and we have yet to see how.

Posted by: Cricket at November 8, 2008 11:22 PM

Woo-hoo! I'm just about where Milton Friedman is. Was. That said, I agree that too many of the questions cannot be properly answered without context. Except "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Strongly Disagree.

Posted by: MathMom at November 8, 2008 11:52 PM

Economic Left/Right: 3.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.10

I note that my "score" is nearly the same as BillT's.

I, too, noted that many questions lacked context. Those "always" or "never" situations just aren't realistic - very rarely is anything an "always" or "never" in the real world...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at November 9, 2008 12:00 AM

Economic Left/Right: 5.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.69

Big surprise there.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at November 9, 2008 02:52 AM

Economic Left/Right: 0.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 2.15

Posted by: nan at November 9, 2008 07:57 AM

An interesting test.

Your political compass

Economic Left/Right: 5.75

Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.41

I found it a little helpful when taking the test to reconsider the purpose. For instance, I struggled for awhile over "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" only because, as a very religious person, I fully believe that it is my job to pass my excess on to those in need. So it stumped me for a minute or two until I reminded myself that this was a political/governing style test. Then it was easy to hit Strongly Disagree. I might feel a mandate personally to care for the needs of others; I do not need an external apparatus imposed by the government to make it happen. (Neither do most people, especially those on the right, according to all the studies I've seen.)

I also handled quandries about the absolutist nature of the question by temporizing with Agree or Disagree. If I would answer the question with any variation of "yes, but...", I tended to hit agree. If it was "no, unless...", I hit disagree. I hope that did not skew my results too much.

Posted by: UinenMaia at November 9, 2008 09:29 AM

I think some people are missing the point of the deliberately ambiguous sophomoric questions. These questions were not written by a remedial English student in a sociology course. There is usually no clear answer to them because they are only meant to indicate one's tendencies - it is deliberate. I have only a vague idea of how the answers are scored and by what algorithm plotted on the graph. I guess if I were really bored I could go back and game the "test."

Posted by: Mark at November 9, 2008 01:12 PM

Wow. Econ = 0.12 and Social -1.74. I thought I was more of a crazed redneck that that. I am new to this blog, and don't know who the blogger is, but result is nearly the same as mine. Maybe I should keep coming back here.....or maybe not. Hmmm.....

Posted by: Tom Ferrero at November 9, 2008 10:32 PM



Posted by: 2Cents at November 9, 2008 10:48 PM

I didn't copy my numbers, but I was up and to the right of Cass. As Grim said, I always came out much more Libertarian in every other one of these I've taken. The problem is, these questions are dumbed down and as loaded as a wino who just won the lottery.

Personally, I answered everything as truthfully as I could, but still didn't like the answers I gave. Bad test.

Posted by: MikeD at November 10, 2008 10:39 AM

Economic Left/Right: 4.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.08

I'm not sure I liked those questions either; some were definitely "loaded", and there were even a couple that I would be absolutely neutral on, but was forced to choose. I also think that the "economic" axis has shifted to the left since the last time I took that test (as have a few of the questions), as I don't believe my positions have changed much, but I was considerably closer to the center (about 1,-1) before.

Posted by: Leofwende at November 10, 2008 04:14 PM

I dare say my tendencies won't fit on that two by two 2d box-test.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 10, 2008 11:54 PM

That was fun! It's always a pleasure to reverse psychoanalyze the test maker to try and give them my answer according to their criteria. What did surprise me was that, according to them, I am to the Left of (and significantly lower than) Gordon Brown. Who'da thunk it. PM Brown being a such a pinnalce of right wing ideology and all...

William sends.

(3.5/-2.41 - I could run for PotUS! Well except for the lack of money and connections..... ;)

Posted by: William at November 11, 2008 07:58 AM