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My political compass

On the Internet at politicalcompass.org there is a test you can take to find out how left or right you are, as well as how authoritarian or libertarian. I found out about the test on Siditty’s blog.

Here are my scores:

  • Economic Left/Right: -3.00
  • Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.87

That puts me on the Libertarian Left.

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To compare:

  • Authoritarian Left: Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Castro, Lenin.
  • Authoritarian Right: Hitler, Thatcher, Pinochet, Bush, Pat Buchanan, William F. Buckley, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Peter Hitchens.
  • Libertarian Left: Gandhi, Chomsky, Edward Said, Howard Zinn, Naomi Klein.
  • Libertarian Right: Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Jonah Goldberg.

axeswithnames

Authoritarians believe in the power and right of the state over that of its citizens, like in Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm”, to take extreme examples. Libertarians are the opposite: citizens matter more than government, like in Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence”.

The right, like Adam Smith, believes that everyone will be richer and better off if business is left to do as it pleases. The left, like Lenin, thinks that business does need to be controlled by government, at least to some degree, for the good of all.

The test asks you dozens of questions to see where you fall on these two scales.

I am on the Libertarian Left because I trust neither government nor business to do what is best – they both need to be kept in check.

But that puts me on the far left in America because most Americans pretty much trust both business and government. Both the Democrats and Republicans are on the Authoritarian Right. So were nearly all of those who ran for president in the 2008 election, even Obama:

  • Authoritarian Left: none.
  • Authoritarian Right: from left to right: Edwards, Biden, Obama, Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Richardson, McCain, Giuliani, Alan Keyes, Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Romney, Fred Thompson, Gingrich, Tancredo, Ron Paul.
  • Libertarian Left: Nader, Kucinich.
  • Libertarian Right: Gravel.

usprimaries_2008

In fact, I have voted for Nader in the past.

So America no longer has a left and right party, but a right and a far right party! You can thank Ronald Reagan for that – he shifted the centre of the country to the right back in the 1980s.

Here are some world figures:

  • Authoritarian Left: Mugabe, Mahmoud Abbas, Pope Benedict XVI.
  • Authoritarian Right: from left to right: Romano Prodi, Jose Zapatero, Kevin Rudd, Angela Merkel, Stephen Harper, Ehud Olmert, Gordon Brown, Jose Maria Aznar, Nicolas Sarkozy, Silvio Berlusconi, George W. Bush.
  • Libertarian Left: Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama.
  • Libertarian Right: none.

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Notice that Obama is hardly a Nelson Mandela or Dalai Lama sort of figure.

Curiously, the website even rates famous classical musicians:

  • Authoritarian Left: Schumann.
  • Authoritarian Right: Brahms, Haydn, Elgar, Stravinsky, Puccini, Wagner.
  • Libertarian Left: from left to right: Prokofiev, Bartok, Britten, Schonberg, Mahler, Shostakovitch, Beethoven, Smetana, Dvorak.
  • Libertarian Right: Chopin, Tchaikovsky.

composers

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you are probably on the Libertarian Left. People tend to read blogs that share their view of the world in some way. Otherwise you are probably on the Authoritarian Right since most people with Internet service are. But take the test and see!

– Abagond, 2008, 2015.

See also:

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For a long time I could not understand why so many Christians in America favoured the Republicans over the Democrats. The Republicans, after all, were for the rich and the military while the Democrats were for the poor and the common man. It was hard for me to imagine Jesus siding with the generals and the moneymen against the man in the street.

But in those days I did not believe in God. I did not call myself a Marxist, but that is what I was. What Marx said just seemed like common sense to me. But later I read the Bible all the way through and, after a few years of failing to explain it away, I became a Christian myself.

Then suddenly it made sense to me why so many Christians voted Republican: it pretty much came down to abortion and moral issues like that. Republicans represent the old Christian morals, more or less, while the Democrats were for things like abortion, gays and keeping prayer out of schools.

The ends do not justify the means. So no amount good deeds by the government can make up for its support for abortion. Just like no amount of good deeds by the government could make up for its support for slavery.

And so millions of ordinary Americans wind up supporting the party of the rich. They find themselves siding with the generals and the moneymen against the man in the street – against themselves!

In the 1980s and 1990s the Democratic party lost the support of most white Southerners and serious Catholics. The Democrats – well some Democrats – said it was because of racism. But given the timing of the white flight it seemed abortion not racism was more to blame. Besides, racism could not explain why serious Catholics left but the not-so-serious ones remained. But abortion could explain it. (“Serious” in this case means those who go to church every week – just because it is easier to measure it that way.)

The feeling I get about the people at the top of the Democratic party is that they do not take the Bible and religion seriously. They think that stuff is for those who do not know any better. They know better.

So, just like 14-year-olds who think they know better than their parents, they throw out what God or the Bible or thousands of years of human wisdom say and make up their own morals.

Their approach to the Constitution is the same as their approach to the Bible: they think they know better than the wisdom of their forefathers and so they read it the way that suits them. They call that progress.

But in doing this they are losing touch with ordinary people, people who still believe in the Bible, God and hell. They have already lost most of the white Christian vote. In 2004 it seems they were starting to lose even the black Christian vote.

See also:

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Democrat

Democratic-Party-ButtonThe Democratic Party (1792- ) is the largest left-wing political party in America. It was founded by Thomas Jefferson. The Republican Party is its counterpart on the right. The Democratic Party is represented by a donkey in pictures.

It is like Labour in Britain or the Social Democrats in Europe, but it is not as far to the left as they are. It accepts capitalism as a given. It is not socialist.

Since the 1930s it has believed in taxing the rich to help the poor.

Since the 1980s, as the Republicans have moved to the hard right, the Democratic Party has been moving towards the centre right. In the 1990s, for example, they pushed through welfare reform, free trade with Mexico and kept taxes low on the rich.

Some famous Democratic presidents:

  • Thomas Jefferson (1800s)
  • Andrew Jackson (1830s)
  • Woodrow Wilson (1910s)
  • Franklin Roosevelt (1930s, early 1940s)
  • Harry Truman (late 1940s)
  • John Kennedy (early 1960s)
  • Bill Clinton (1990s)

Democrats have been favoured by labour, the poor, Jews, blacks, women and newspaper reporters.

Democrats see the purpose of government as providing justice, especially equality. Therefore they are generally for equal rights, especially for blacks, women and homosexuals.

Democrats favour social change, which they almost always regard as progress. They paint the past (but not the present) as the bad old days when rich white men ruled and kept everyone else down to become rich and powerful.

Democrats see themselves as standing up for the common man, with whom they are often out of touch. They get their ideas from intellectuals and newspapermen, not from ordinary people. They get most of their money from the rich.

Nevertheless, they have done a lot of good for ordinary people, particularly in the 1930s and 1960s. They have made it harder for business to make people work long hours for little pay under unsafe conditions. They have made it possible for many who do well at school to go on to university – it is no longer the preserve of the rich. The old are not so desperately poor as they once were. They are now working for universal healthcare. And so on.

While the Republicans are loosely Christian in their outlook, the Democrats have no moral foundation.

Therefore they sometimes support laws that are either immoral or unfair:

  • Race: They supported keeping blacks as slaves and then keeping them down with Jim Crow laws. They supported civil rights reforms in the 1960s but only after it was forced on them through protests.
  • Abortion: In the 1980s there were still Democrats who opposed abortion. Now abortion is unquestioned doctrine among Democrats in high office.

Their stand on race and abortion has lost them the South along with most church-going whites.

Blacks are among the most faithful Democratic voters. The party takes them for granted and has done little for them since the 1960s – because most will not vote at all rather than vote for the Republicans, who are far more racist.

– Abagond, 2006.

See also: 

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political left and right

In the West there are two political wings: the left wing and the right wing, often called just the left and the right. Power in most Western countries goes back and forth between these two wings. It has been this way since the rise of democracy two hundred years ago.

While both wings aim at liberty and equality for all, the right favours liberty while the left favours equality. The right also favours the established social order while the left favours social change.

America and Britain tend to the right, Europe and Latin America to the left.

The rich, the pious and the military tend to favour the right while the young, the poor, blacks, Jews and the intellectual tend to favour the left.

Most people, not being rich, would naturally favour the left. But the left is run by intellectuals who do not believe in God and country. The right turns this against them to gain the vote of the common people.

Those on the far left are sometimes called reds.

The left and right look at the world differently:

Human nature:

  • Right: man is naturally evil and has to be kept in line. The right tends to take a Christian view of man. It thinks in moral absolutes of right and wrong, good and evil.
  • Left: man is naturally good. The left sees man as a creation of social forces, of his upbringing: family, the community, school, government, television and so on. His natural goodness is corrupted by society in the service of the rich and powerful.

Purpose of government:

  • Right: to keep law and order within and preserve the freedom of the country against enemies without. Small government is good.
  • Left: to bring peace and justice. It can best do this by bringing social equality to all — to have no more rich or poor. The poor are unfairly miserable while the rich have too much and do not deserve it. Government is a means to cure social ills.

Social change:

  • Right: Best done in small steps. The social order is just, more or less, and larger steps would endanger social peace.
  • Left: Best done with sweeping changes, maybe even the overthrow of the social order. The social order is unjust.

The world order:

  • Right: defend the nation. “My country right or wrong”.
  • Left: bring world peace and justice. “Give peace a chance”.

Political parties:

  • Right: Republicans (America), Tories (Britain), Christian Democrats, Fascists.
  • Left: Democrats (America), Labour (Britain), Social Democrats, Socialists, Communists.

Political thinkers, writers and leaders (among many others):

  • Right: Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, Burke, Hitler, Franco, Churchill, Reagan, Thatcher, George W Bush, The Economist.
  • Left: Rousseau, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Orwell, Peron, Che, Pol Pot, Chomsky, John F Kennedy, Fallaci, Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, BBC, New York Times, Hillary Clinton

As you can see, both sides have their demons and heroes.

Note that blacks in America cannot see society as being naturally just and yet often have a Christian view of human nature.

See also:

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