How true is your political compass?

28 10 2006

(Good find, Liza!)

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 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.



4 responses

28 10 2006

I’ll tell, to start things off – on pure proximity I am closest to Germany’s Angela Merkel and the Dali Lama, but the only leaders actually in the same grid “quadrant” with me are Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. According to this, I am a clear social libertarian and a slight economic leftist, which puts me in the opposite quadrant from most of the Western political leaders (??) who are apparently authoritarian and economic rightists. Overall I am closer than any charted leader to what the test developers see as “dead center.”

28 10 2006
Nance Confer

Lower left quadrant for me. Surprised?? 🙂


28 10 2006

Btw, that upper left quadrant is a scary-looking place, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

30 10 2006

Hi Nance,
I was in the lower left quad too! I was happy to find myself near Ghandi,and now you too. 🙂

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