Friday, August 27, 2004

Political Compass

Every so many years I am delighted to stumble, once again, across the Political Compass site.

They've taken the traditional, one-dimensional political spectrum of Right and Left (which was established, by the way for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789), and created a 2-dimensional model by adding a y-axis for the spectrum of Authoritarian to Libertarian. In other words, their model includes both an economic and social dimensions.

visual representation of political compass graph

Political Compass offers a survey on their site to measure your political leanings. They map the results out on their graph.

My score was:
Economic Left/Right: -9.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.31
You can see my score on a the political compass graph here.

That means, I am more liberal than Ghandi (nice guy, but a little conservative for my tastes)...

political compass graph showing Ghandi, Stalin, Hitler, Thatcher, and Friedman

...and more anti-establishment than Nelson Mandela or the Dalai Lama.

political compass graph showing Nelson Mandela, the Dalia Lama, and other international political figures

Notice that George Bush is further right than all the world leaders mentioned except possibly for Thatcher and Friedman (hard to compare the two graphs); and more authoritarian than everyone but Ariel Sharon (bested by a nose, there) Robert Mugabe, Yassir Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Hitler...and possibly, again, Margaret Thatcher.

In other words, I am diametrically opposed to George Bush. Now who is suprised to hear that?

You can take the test yourself here.

Feel free to share your scores if you feel like it, too.

I am, of course, a great admirer of Ghandi, Mandela, and the Dalai Lama, along with Aung San Suu Kyi, Dr. King, Dorothy Day, ,and César Chávez.

Which leads me to ask: who are your role models, political and otherwise? Whose life stories or careers to you turn to for guidance and inspiration?

Outside the strictly speaking politcal sphere, I would also add Hildegard of Bingen, Japan's Crown Princess Masako, Harriet Tubman, and Laura Secord. Many others, too...