Monday, November 30, 2009

The Political Compass

Just to complicate things a bit, the latest idea floating around is that the old Left vs. Right political spectrum is too limiting so enter what is called the Political Compass.

You can take a test to see where you fall here My results on are the diagram.

As you can see the Political Compass diagram adds a Libertarian vs. Authoritarian axis which measures social values to the Left vs. Right axis which measures economic values. Someone who champions laissez faire Capitalism, but is rather progressive on social issues, would be a Right Wing Libertarian. Nelson Rockefeller comes to mind as possibly fitting this category.

On the other extreme, we have the Left Wing Authoritarian. Think Stalin. Gandhi, may well have been as leftist as Stalin but didn’t have an authoritarian outlook so he would be in the Left Wing Libertarian quadrant. Hitler, along with most Evangelical Christians and Republicans, fits in the Right Wing Authoritarian quadrant.

Hitler would be barely over the axis on the right but pinned up against the top of the authoritarian axis while our homegrown fascists in training would be further right, or more capitalist, but lower down, or less authoritarian. Hitler had little interest in economics as long as his authoritarian political goals were achieved.

I’m in the Left Wing Libertarian quadrant along with Gandhi. No real surprise there other than I was further left than libertarian and I thought it would be the reverse.

I recognized many of the questions in this quiz from the F Scale quiz which attempts to measure personality susceptibility to Fascism. I scored a 2.3 on that quiz which branded me a “liberal airhead.” Apparently the “normal range” for Americans is between 3 and 4.5 with above 5.5 indicating you goose step when you walk.

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