my results from politicalcompass.org:
Economic Left/Right: -1.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.33
it would appear that overall i am moderate, leaning slightly economically left and slightly anti-authoritarian. i think the economic result has to do with my distaste for the idea of corporations gone amuck. i know my economic views have slid to the left over the years as i’ve lost faith in the free market too. the social scale (libertarian versus authoritarian) doesn’t surprise me too much. i fall on either side depending on the topic, but overall i generally would rather not have government controlling social issues.
6 comments on “my political compass”
My former office mate is a libertarian and introduced me to a similar test. On the economic scale, I am near the extreme towards free markets. Having lived in socialist Germany for two years and also working for the US government for 11 years has me strongly believing that government intervention in business only screws things up worse than they are. Free markets are not perfect, but then there is not, and never will be a utopia on this planet. More government only means more taxes, more inefficiencies, and fewer self-reliant people. On the social scale I have been vacillating slightly left then right and back again. I have unsubscribed to the viewpoint that “you can’t legislate morality” since the very foundations of law are based in morality, and law is the societal definition of morality. On the other hand, the fundamental basis of our nation is in freedom,and therefore we should be very careful how much personal freedom we give up to the government. Additionally there are lots of specific social issues that put me on opposite sides of the fence and others that I can see both sides. Most recently I have been leaning to the right again, disgusted by one government bailout after another for people who make poor personal decisions in their lives.
i just don’t have much faith in the free market to be interested in the greater good of humanity or lead to bringing anything near it to fruition. and i refuse to believe most humans are smart enough or think far enough ahead to be aware of what the greater good is. i don’t think the market will control or right itself, even with that invisible hand thing going on, because i think greed mixed with money and power throw that off. i suppose societal collapse might right things, but it wouldn’t be too enjoyable to go through (unless you’re an anarchist, perhaps). plus, i think a stable society needs infrastructure, and that’s something a modern gov’t can provide. plus i think a gov’t should be there for peace and justice. none of this means i’m arguing for big govt though. i like the idea of govt being more local, and smaller.
i do agree that any gov’t system will on some level legistlate morality, even if only on certain issues. i personally try go with “maybe a bit too much freedom, but let’s err on the side of freedom”. as regards personal freedom, i should say. when it comes to businesses, i say regulate them and punish them. a lot of people seem to think doing something as a mob or group (which would include a business) somehow nullifies personal culpability.
Economic Left/Right: -9.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.87
Right there with Ghandi and The Dalai Lama.
I pretty much knew that already.
kevin – i think most people that know you (and certainly those that read your blog) pretty much knew that already. 🙂
Terry — I’m not sure I follow all of your comments, but I think we have a lot of common ground. Establishing order (i.e. peace and justice) is the basic function of government. I’m not an anarchist by any means, nor even a laissez faire capitalist. The government must establish order in the marketplace as well, but in the US the government’s involvement has descended into the “money and greed” you describe. All of the government subsidies for example. This is just plucking money from taxpayers and giving it to others based on pleasing some lobby. It’s Robin Hood in reverse. Basically I would like the government to revert back about 80 years when it comes to its interference in the market — maybe socially as well.
I agree with your proposition that local government control is preferable to national control and would apply your social axiom to the economic sphere — to err on the side of freedom is preferable.
i was sort of on a rambling tirade. 🙂 we likely do have a fair bit of common ground. i’m just saying i’ve grown tired of big business and their lack of morals or concern about the welfare of the world. unfortunately, consumers seem to “condone” their behaviour with their dollars, which gives them no reason to change. that’s mostly why i was trying to say i am for the idea of gov’t regulating business in the marketplace. sometimes gov’t has to step in with power, and this is a place i think it is justified. businesses don’t self-regulate, the marketplace doesn’t seem to regulate, the consumers don’t do their part to regulate. maybe this can be partially attributed to the difference between local business and big business or even international business, but whatever the cause, i think gov’t has to guide and control big businesses like the mammoth animals with tiny brains they are.
as far as small, local gov’t…while i like the idea and prefer it as much as possible, the world has just gotten too big and complex in my opinion for totally local gov’t to be much good if it’s going to function with the world around it. that was my reference to infrastructure. with all the modern technology, infrastructure is necessary for the society we live in. and i personally don’t think privatizing everything is the answer. (i’m not suggesting you said that, it’s just something that spilled out of my head while i was writing the above.)