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Political Compass

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Political Compass
07-19-2009, 03:25 PM,
Political Compass
Welcome to The Political Compass™

There's abundant evidence for the need of it. 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.

That's about as much as we should tell you for now. After you've responded to the following propositions during the next 3-5 minutes, all will be explained. In each instance, you're asked to choose the response that best describes your feeling: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree or Strongly Agree. At the end of the test, you'll be given the compass, with your own special position on it.

The test presented on this website is entirely anonymous. None of your personal details are required, and nothing about your result is recorded or logged in any way. The answers are only used to calculate your reading, and cannot be accessed by anyone, ever.

Our sister application on Facebook does log scores, but the information is used only for social networking purposes, and is visible only within the user's personal network . We do not give anyone's score to outside organisations. If you don't want your score logged, don't use the Facebook app.

The idea was developed by a political journalist with a university counselling background, assisted by a professor of social history. They're indebted to people like Wilhelm Reich and Theodor Adorno for their ground-breaking work in this field. We believe that, in an age of diminishing ideology, a new generation in particular will get a better idea of where they stand politically - and the sort of political company they keep.

So are you ready to take the test? Remember that there's no right, wrong or ideal response. It's simply a measure of attitudes and inevitable human contradictions to provide a more integrated definition of where people and parties are really at. Click here to start.

If you wish to contact us, email, but please read our FAQs first.


About The Political Compass™

In the introduction, we explained the inadequacies of the traditional left-right line.

If we recognise that this is essentially an economic line it's fine, as far as it goes. We can show, for example, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Pol Pot, with their commitment to a totally controlled economy, on the hard left. Socialists like Mahatma Gandhi and Robert Mugabe would occupy a less extreme leftist position. Margaret Thatcher would be well over to the right, but further right still would be someone like that ultimate free marketeer, General Pinochet.

That deals with economics, but the social dimension is also important in politics. That's the one that the mere left-right scale doesn't adequately address. So we've added one, ranging in positions from extreme authoritarian to extreme libertarian.

[Image: bothaxes.gif]

Both an economic dimension and a social dimension are important factors for a proper political analysis. By adding the social dimension you can show that Stalin was an authoritarian leftist (ie the state is more important than the individual) and that Gandhi, believing in the supreme value of each individual, is a liberal leftist. While the former involves state-imposed arbitary collectivism in the extreme top left, on the extreme bottom left is voluntary collectivism at regional level, with no state involved. Hundreds of such anarchist communities exisited in Spain during the civil war period

You can also put Pinochet, who was prepared to sanction mass killing for the sake of the free market, on the far right as well as in a hardcore authoritarian position. On the non-socialist side you can distinguish someone like Milton Friedman, who is anti-state for fiscal rather than social reasons, from Hitler, who wanted to make the state stronger, even if he wiped out half of humanity in the process.

The chart also makes clear that, despite popular perceptions, the opposite of fascism is not communism but anarchism (ie liberal socialism), and that the opposite of communism ( i.e. an entirely state-planned economy) is neo-liberalism (i.e. extreme deregulated economy)

[Image: axeswithnames.gif]

The usual understanding of anarchism as a left wing ideology does not take into account the neo-liberal "anarchism" championed by the likes of Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and America's Libertarian Party, which couples social Darwinian right-wing economics with liberal positions on most social issues. Often their libertarian impulses stop short of opposition to strong law and order positions, and are more economic in substance (ie no taxes) so they are not as extremely libertarian as they are extremely right wing. On the other hand, the classical libertarian collectivism of anarcho-syndicalism ( libertarian socialism) belongs in the bottom left hand corner.

In our home page we demolished the myth that authoritarianism is necessarily "right wing", with the examples of Robert Mugabe, Pol Pot and Stalin. Similarly Hitler, on an economic scale, was not an extreme right-winger. His economic policies were broadly Keynesian, and to the left of some of today's Labour parties. If you could get Hitler and Stalin to sit down together and avoid economics, the two diehard authoritarians would find plenty of common ground.

A Word about Neo-cons and Neo-libs

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.

International Chart

A diverse professional team has assessed the words and actions of internationally known contemporary leaders to give you an idea of how they relate to each other on the political compass.

[Image: internationalchart.gif]

We regret the present exclusion of some major leaders, especially in the developing world. This is due to our inability so far to contact independent experts.

Vitam Impendere Vero

Messages In This Thread
Political Compass - mothandrust - 07-19-2009, 03:25 PM
Political Compass - mothandrust - 07-19-2009, 03:32 PM
Political Compass - --- - 07-19-2009, 04:00 PM
Political Compass - yeti_ipb2_import373 - 07-19-2009, 07:34 PM
Political Compass - yeti_ipb2_import373 - 07-19-2009, 07:39 PM
Political Compass - TriWooOx - 07-19-2009, 08:16 PM
Political Compass - Winston - 07-19-2009, 09:02 PM
Political Compass - Easy Skanking - 07-19-2009, 09:26 PM
Political Compass - standvast - 07-20-2009, 02:07 PM
Political Compass - Easy Skanking - 07-20-2009, 08:31 PM
Political Compass - SiLVa - 07-20-2009, 09:55 PM
Political Compass - --- - 07-20-2009, 10:46 PM
Political Compass - ~Wheres Raven~ - 08-08-2009, 11:14 PM
Political Compass - FastTadpole - 10-28-2009, 03:53 AM
Political Compass - --- - 10-28-2009, 04:16 AM
Political Compass - OccultO - 10-31-2009, 07:47 AM
Political Compass - --- - 10-31-2009, 11:21 AM
Political Compass - Hans Olo - 10-31-2009, 01:39 PM
Political Compass - --- - 10-31-2009, 01:46 PM
Political Compass - Hans Olo - 10-31-2009, 03:50 PM
Political Compass - OccultO - 11-01-2009, 05:25 AM
Political Compass - Justinfinity - 11-02-2009, 12:25 AM
Political Compass - FastTadpole - 11-02-2009, 08:18 AM
The Political Compass Test - drummer - 12-19-2012, 12:13 AM
RE: The Political Compass Test - pax681 - 12-19-2012, 01:10 AM
RE: The Political Compass Test - Anarchist - 01-22-2013, 06:25 AM
RE: The Political Compass Test - R.R - 01-22-2013, 01:49 PM
RE: The Political Compass Test - thokling - 01-22-2013, 04:41 PM
RE: The Political Compass Test - SiLVa - 01-22-2013, 05:25 PM
RE: The Political Compass Test - Anarchist - 01-24-2013, 11:13 AM

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