The Political Compass


Joe Demko
March 31, 2004, 10:46 AM
There are substantial numbers of people who believe that a simple left-right dichotomy is an inadequate descriptor for political beliefs.

Take this test ( which uses a more complex analysis and you might be a bit surprised to find out where you fall in the political spectrum. According to the test I am a slightly leftist libertarian.

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March 31, 2004, 11:11 AM
This test is similar to a few others that are floating around. As usual I'm a slight economic right (1.88) and a slight social libertarian (-1.95).

March 31, 2004, 11:18 AM
I ended up almost co-located with Milton Friedman. Not bad company at all.

Economic Right 6.88/Social Right -0.62

March 31, 2004, 11:18 AM
I am Milton Friedman. Well, I pretty much scored the same.

I think the test is skewed toward unanswerable questions. Phrasing is left of center and difficult to answer in many cases.

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

This is leftist bait for the supposed right wing religious fanatic. However, true justice starts somewhere. How is this answered? Does it imply a fair and impartial trial? Proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt?

Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.

Another bait question. "Sometimes" should never be used in this type of quiz. "All" or "never" would be far more concise. I am not for protectionism, b ut there are times when it may be necessary. The US does not run foreign economies and there may be "economic terrorists" that will require protectionist policies. On the whole, free trade should rule.

OK, I give, I do not want to analyze the entire thing.

Joe Demko
March 31, 2004, 11:20 AM
From the Political Compass FAQ:
Some of the questions are slanted

Most of them are slanted ! Some right-wingers accuse us of a leftward slant. Some left-wingers accuse us of a rightward slant. But it's important to realise that this isn't a survey, and these aren't questions. They're propositions - an altogether different proposition. To question the logic of individual ones that irritate you is to miss the point. Some propositions are extreme, and some are more moderate. That's how we can show you whether you lean towards extremism or moderation on the Compass.

Some of the propositions are intentionally vague. Their purpose is to trigger buzzwords in the mind of the user, measuring feelings and prejudices rather than detailed opinions on policy.

Incidentally, our test is not another internet personality classification tool. The essence of our site is the model for political analysis. The test is simply a demonstration of it.

March 31, 2004, 11:23 AM
Yeah, some of the questions did seem kind of skewed, mostly toward a leftist point of view. But then again, given my political bent, I tend to notice bends to the left more than to the right.

Also, note that there's link about "The Extreme Right" but no corresponding one for "The Extreme Left."

Joe Demko
March 31, 2004, 11:32 AM
The link about the "extreme right" also addresses the issue of the "extreme left."
Once you accept that left and right are merely measures of economic position, the "extreme right" refers to extremely liberal economics that may be practised by social authoritarians or social libertarians.
Similarly, the "extreme left" identifies a strong degree of state economic control, which may also be accompanied by liberal or authoritarian social policies.
It's muddled thinking to simply describe the likes of the British National Party as "extreme right". The truth is that on issues like health, transport, housing, protectionism and globalisation, their economics are left of Labour, let alone the Conservatives. It's in areas like police power, military power, school discipline, law and order, race and nationalism that the BNP's real extremism - as authoritarians - is clear.
This mirrors France's National Front. In running some local governments, they reinstated certain welfare measures which their Socialist predecessors had abandoned. Like similar authoritarian parties that have sprung up around Europe, they have come to be seen in some quarters as champions of the underdog, as long as the underdog isn't Black, Arab, gay or Jewish ! With mainstream Social Democratic parties adopting - reluctantly or enthusiastically - the new economic libertarian orthodoxy (neo-liberalism), much of their old economic baggage has been pinched by National Socialism. It's becoming the only sort of socialism on offer. Election debates between mainstream parties are increasingly about managerial competence rather than any clash of vision and economic direction.
In the United States, the voices of dissent over unfettered market forces (ie extreme right economics) are heard from social authoritarians like Pat Buchanan as well as social liberals like Ralph Nader.
As an example, take a look at the ground that the main English parties in the UK's 2003 local elections (May 1) occupied in reality. The difference between the BNP and the Greens in economics isn't great, but there's a huge gap on the social scale. Neither scale, however, reveals enormous distances between the Conservatives and New Labour.

March 31, 2004, 11:33 AM
Thanks for the "gentle reminder" Golgo-13. I never read the instructions. :cool:

March 31, 2004, 11:56 AM
I'm a right-wing libertarian! :D

Obviously a rare breed.......... :evil:

March 31, 2004, 01:19 PM
I'm going to venture a guess that the vast majority on this board fall somewhere between Doctor Friedman and the Anarchists.

March 31, 2004, 01:46 PM
Interesting... I scored dead center on the graph! Moderate me... :D

March 31, 2004, 01:55 PM
economic right 7.38/authoritarian3.33. Capitalism RULES:D
It allows me to buy more firearms:neener:

March 31, 2004, 03:15 PM
Economic Left/Right: 0.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.10

I've taken this test (and similar ones) before , and generally come out mid-way between centre and libertanarian, and either slightly left/right depending on how the questions are phrased (and how I interpreted them at the time).

March 31, 2004, 09:06 PM
At the bottom of the Analysis is the ranking of the candidates for 2004. Interesting indeed.

BTW, I'm an Econ 1.38, and a Libertarian -5.03. Smash State! :p

March 31, 2004, 09:25 PM
They can say that it is not "slanted" to the left all they want. The truth is that is simply IS slanted to the left. Am I the only one who noticed the absence of a question dealing with one's feelings about firearms? I would imagine that firearms would determine one's "polarization" as accurately as any of those other questions. I wonder why it is excluded...

I took the test and my score mirrored that of John Kerry's. Folks, I am about as right wings as it gets. My political party is the Constitution Party. Sorry, but I am just not buying that this is accurate. I think it is simply a ploy, designed to convince us that we are actually more liberal than we think we are.


P.S. If you notice, Richard Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, Wesley Clark, and Howard Dean are all supposedly on the "right". Yeah....right.

Chris Rhines
March 31, 2004, 09:49 PM
I started the test, and discovered that it wouldn't let me skip the questions on which I had no opinion, or that I thought were phrased too poorly to answer.


- Chris

March 31, 2004, 10:31 PM
Economic Left/Right: 2.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.72

March 31, 2004, 11:27 PM

Economic Left/Right: 0.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.87

Looks like I shot about an inch low and centered at 100 yds.:D

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