Political compass

Political compass

I don’t talk much about politics, but Kyb recently took the political compass test and I was interested enough to see what my own result would be.

Apparently, I’m Economic Left / Right: -1.75, Social Libertarian / Authoritarian: -5.85

I was expecting to be slightly more left, economically, but the quadrant is exactly what I expected. In fact, any quadrant which contains not only Kyb, but also Gandhi and the Dalai Lama has to be a good place to be. :-)

It’s interesting to think that the political party in the UK which best represents my views is either the Greens, or Labour circa 1972.

Do take the test yourself and share your results. I’m updating the chart with the known scores of friends (and rough position of historical figures).

38 Comments

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  1. I like this. I came out as: Economic Left/Right: 0.88
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.67. So I share the bottom right quadrant with Milton Friedman.

    The party that closest represents me is Lib Dems in 2005. Interesting that I could have voted for that party but didn’t. I was never keen on Kennedy and their logo never really worked for me.

    Comment by Darren — September 2, 2007 #

  2. I updated the image with other scores (including yours, Darren).

    Comment by Roo — September 2, 2007 #

  3. I also noticed we’re highly compatible according to LastFM. I don’t think that tells the whole story though, it’s not just about what music, it’s about the time, place and occasion you choose to play it. I wonder if we can come up with a similar set of questions to calculate where people stand musically.

    Comment by Darren — September 2, 2007 #

  4. As usual, I tested at the lower left of the graph – Economic Left/Right: -8.25, Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.51. I’d hazard I’m about where China Miéville (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Miéville) is.

    Comment by Stephen Collins — September 2, 2007 #

  5. Where I come out:

    Economic Left/Right: 1.00
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.15

    Comment by James Snell — September 2, 2007 #

  6. No surprises on Richards position ;-) Since obviously all right thinking (or should that be left thinking) people share my quadrant and a large number of the people I know fit that category, I think it’s pretty instructive that there is a significant lack of major political representation for any quadrant except for the authoritarian right wing.

    Comment by kyb — September 2, 2007 #

  7. Interesting that you’re the most libertarian of us so far.

    Comment by kyb — September 2, 2007 #

  8. With the exception of Stephen, you’re right Kyb. I’ve updated the plot again.

    Comment by Roo — September 2, 2007 #

  9. I appear to be near the nice people :-)

    Economic Left/Right: -5.50
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.23

    I did like the question about predator multinationals :-)

    Comment by epredator — September 3, 2007 #

  10. Interesting & somewhat suprising. I was expecting to be much farther to the right economically, but it looks like I’m fairly close to yourself Roo;

    Economic Left/Right: -0.88,
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.08

    Comment by Stuart Gray — September 3, 2007 #

  11. Economic Left/Right: -5.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.36

    Some interesting questions – fun start for a Monday morning!

    “There is now a worrying fusion of information and entertainment.”
    made me pause for a moment. Instinctively, I want to agree with that… But ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ is one of my favourite programs!

    I guess I’m not feeling very decisive this morning :-)

    Comment by Dale Lane — September 3, 2007 #

  12. Economic L/R : 1.5
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.95

    Some great questions – as ever with these things I find myself wondering if my reading of some of them is what they intended.

    Also interesting to wonder whether the score moves over time. Looking at the chart that shows how the UK political parties have shifted was good – did make me wonder what my own shifts over time would/will look like.

    Comment by Michael Coleman — September 3, 2007 #

  13. I thought the very first question was faulty, so threw a wobbly and refused to proceed further:

    ‘If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.’

    What does that mean? I think it should serve humanity. I think of one best ways of doing that is via trans-national corporations. What answer do I give?

    Pah.

    Comment by Andrew Ferrier — September 3, 2007 #

  14. Andrew, completely agree.

    I had to hold my nose (or bite my tongue… choose your cliché) on several of the questions. I consoled myself by spotting other questions that might have infuriated those on the other side of the political divide.

    Interestingly, several of the questions were, to me, simple questions of fact: “opinion” didn’t come into it.

    I wonder what the copyright situation is – does fair-use allow me to reproduce some of the questions on my blog and explain what the right answer is?!

    epredator, I assume your comment of “I appear to be near the nice people” was tongue-in-cheek. If not, you may be in need of some re-education… I could bore you senseless on that topic :-)

    Comment by Richard G Brown — September 3, 2007 #

  15. i suppose nice is a relative term richard for some reason i now have that metallica napster bad in my head but with ghandi

    Comment by epredator — September 3, 2007 #

  16. “i suppose nice is a relative term richard for some reason i now have that metallica napster bad in my head but with ghandi”

    :-)

    Comment by Richard G Brown — September 3, 2007 #

  17. @Andrew Ferrier re “If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations”. You asked “I think it should serve humanity. I think of one best ways of doing that is via trans-national corporations. What answer do I give?”

    I didn’t actually have a problem getting my head around that particular one. Since you ask, how about this: if you think economic globalisation should primarily serve humanity (whether or not that is done through corporations) I guess you’d agree. Alternatively, you might believe that economic globalisation should primarily serve the interests of corporations (regardless of whether those interests are humanity itself, something else at the expense of humanity, or indeed ignoring humanity altogether) in which case I imagine you’d disagree.

    @Richard I imagine notions of fair use would extend to you reproducing a handful of questions in order to pick them apart for our enlightenment. You’ll probably do a better job than I attempted here, and I’d be interested to see your detailed take on some of them.

    Relative term or not, what’s so controversial about calling the Ghandi quandrant “nice”? ;-)

    Comment by Roo — September 3, 2007 #

  18. “Relative term or not, what’s so controversial about calling the Ghandi quandrant “nice”?”

    Oh, Roo… You know saying anything nasty about Ghandi would be tantamount to drowning cute, furry kittens. Cute furry kittens with big eyes and strokeable paws. So I’m not going to address your question *directly* :-)

    On the wider question of whether a “nice” quadrant exists (and whether the bottom left one has any right to call itself such) I’ll just point out that there’s a different beween *intent* and *outcome*. Nice people certainly have good intentions. But if the outcomes of their preferred policies are bad then one has to rethink.

    Anyhow, I think you’re probably right about the fair-use part so I’ll give it a go.

    Comment by Richard G Brown — September 3, 2007 #

  19. Done:

    http://gendal.blogspot.com/2007/09/political-compass-cheat-sheet.html

    Comment by Richard G Brown — September 3, 2007 #

  20. Economic Left/Right: -4.00
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.69

    Although the questions are leading and ambiguous.

    My favorite was – “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is a fundamentally good idea.

    That statement is true for most social models as it could be rewritten as “Supply, meet demand”. This leaves the real motive for the question somewhat a mystery to me.

    Comment by John — September 3, 2007 #

  21. “That statement is true for most social models as it could be rewritten as “Supply, meet demand”. This leaves the real motive for the question somewhat a mystery to me.”

    B*gger. That’s just messed up my argument :-)

    Comment by Richard G Brown — September 3, 2007 #

  22. Economic Left/Right: 0.62
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.33

    Comment by andyp — September 3, 2007 #

  23. I took the test a second ago and got:

    Economic Left/Right: -5.00
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.23

    Which surprised me as I was much closer to the left/right axis last time I did it and I don’t think my views have changed significantly – I wonder what I answered differently.

    I preferred the Political Survey to the Political Compass but that won’t get updated anymore due to the extremely sad loss of Chris Lightfoot.

    Comment by Jon — September 3, 2007 #

  24. Hey Roo,

    I know I’m a bit late to the party, but mine came out as:

    Economic Left/Right: -5.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.38

    I think I’ve made a few more steps down to the bottom right hand corner since I last took the test. Also, is it just me, or have the questions changed a bit?

    Either way – it’s very interesting to see where everyone stands in comparison to each other…

    Comment by minifig — September 3, 2007 #

  25. -4.12 (economic) / -6.26 (social) – I thought I’d be more to the right economically to be honest, and I can see there’s some implicit economic-left assumptions in the questions.

    (And can I echo what Jon said about Chris Lightfoot? He was a great and fiercely intelligent guy, and I miss him.)

    Comment by Andrew — September 3, 2007 #

  26. Some of the questions definitely have a cultural bias. “The rich pay too little tax” kinds of questions really depend on how much tax they pay in your country. I enjoyed reading Warren Buffet in the US offer a million dollars to any of his businessmen listeners who paid more tax than their receptionists.

    Comment by kyb — September 4, 2007 #

  27. @Roo, “I didn’t actually have a problem getting my head around that particular one. Since you ask, how about this: if you think economic globalisation should primarily serve humanity (whether or not that is done through corporations) I guess you’d agree. Alternatively, you might believe that economic globalisation should primarily serve the interests of corporations (regardless of whether those interests are humanity itself, something else at the expense of humanity, or indeed ignoring humanity altogether) in which case I imagine you’d disagree.”

    Well, I would work on the assumption that very few people would actually want globalisation (or pretty much anything else) to work against humanity (at least once their own needs and desires are fulfilled). Therefore pretty much anyone should answer yes to that question (and it’s hence not that useful in a questionnaire). Instead, I think the part of the question about serving the interests of corporations reveals a lot about the person who wrote the question – i.e. that they think the world divides into those on the side of people, and those on the side of corporations (‘Alec Baldwin’ in Team America springs to mind here). I think those thought patterns do a disservice to the economic right, who (like Richard does with more patience than I) try to drive home the message that commerce, free-trade and business are beneficial to human beings.

    Phew.

    OK, time to get off my ranting high-horse and get on with some work :)

    Comment by Andrew Ferrier — September 4, 2007 #

  28. @Richard, actually, you don’t have to say anything bad about Gandhi. Wikipedia has already done it for you :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi#Criticism_and_controversies

    Comment by Andrew Ferrier — September 4, 2007 #

  29. Economic Left/Right: 1.0,
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.72

    Interesting to see the community results..

    Comment by Pranab — September 4, 2007 #

  30. Economic Left/Right: -5.50
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.41

    Comment by kellyd — September 5, 2007 #

  31. Economic Left/Right: -4.62
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.79

    Comment by Ray — September 6, 2007 #

  32. Might as well pitch in as well :)

    Economic Left/Right: -2.88
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.31

    Comment by RobS — September 6, 2007 #

  33. Reporting from the edge of nowhere in Arizona, USA:

    Economic Left/Right: -4.12
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.82

    Comment by Maria — September 7, 2007 #

  34. Economic Left/Right: 0.12
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.13

    I’m not surprised at all… I’m economically centrist and socially liberal.

    Comment by Frank Jania — September 8, 2007 #

  35. Economic Left/Right: -3.12
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.74

    About where I was a few years ago, from memory … and about where I’d expect to be.

    Comment by Ric — September 12, 2007 #

  36. So like my husband..
    Your political compass
    Economic Left/Right: -5.00
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.77

    At least we don’t argue over politics.

    Comment by Jan Hughes — September 24, 2007 #

  37. Economic Left/Right: -3.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.10

    Comment by Mark Jackson — August 2, 2009 #

  38. […] More details on my blog. […]

    Pingback by Friends (and historical figures) on the political compass | Politics Blog Online — April 10, 2011 #

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