The Political Compass

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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby agga » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:14 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:Also, yeah - if you're going to be in favour even nominally of giving people more freedom over their individual conditions, it is more than a bit hypocritical to demand that everyone think the exact same way as you do, and try to dismiss them into boxes with labels when they don't think the way you do. Shikanosuke said it pretty well, and I'd only add that it's kind of an Orwellian abuse of language that speaks more to the fascist modus operandi than does anything the Obama administration has done thus far.


well said. this guy is an extremist, and seems pretty willing to dehumanize and ridicule his opponents with insults (fascist! crazy! thief! oppressor!) and inanely incorrect historical comparisons (nazi! stalinist!). this is the kind of thing i fear, not being taxed by a democratic government.

by the way (just to step into the realm of hyperbolic insults for a moment), Randian objectivism has strong associations with clinical sociopathy. :D

i'm going to go tabulate the PC responses so far and make a plot. be right back...
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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:28 pm

Definitely. Language has power, and misleading, incorrect, reductionist and abusive forms of language can be incredibly destructive to the body politic and to the ways in which people find themselves allowed to use their right to free expression. The increasingly vitriolic and violent animus against the President and against lawmakers who thought the health care bill wasn't such a bad idea after all is perhaps the most troubling turn of the political culture I've yet seen. Historically speaking, mob violence is most likely to start in such a linguistically-poisoned and -radicalised political environment, and once the mob attains power (whether through violence or through other means, such as alliance with sympathetic elites), that's when real freedoms start actually being curtailed.

Look forward to seeing the plot, agga!
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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby agga » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:47 pm

Image

i estimated Objectivist's because he hates the quiz and either won't take it or will and won't tell us how he sorts out. he gets a +10 on the economic scale because i guess it's obvious, and since i know almost nothing about his social leanings, except for that he is anti-abortion and thinks the military protects his freedoms, i just put him in the middle of the social scale, figuring he likes some social and moral "authority". i'm putting him on the negative side for the benefit of the doubt (i'm scared of the positive side), though really, given his tone, i don't think he's more 'negative' on that scale than any of the rest of us.

look, i'm furthest left! Objectivist must really think i'm a Nazi, or worse. if you average us all together, we're centered about at the 'o' in 'Shikanosuke'.

*edit* i'll just go back and edit/replace this post if anyone else takes the quiz...

*edit* added James and Ranbir and Jeremy

*edit* added Dekirh and Qu Hui

*edit* added more people
Last edited by agga on Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:56 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:06 am

Interesting, agga. Looks like you came out harder left than I did. Also, it looks like I came out on the authoritarian side, but for different reasons than you listed here:

agga wrote:i think the reason i don't come out all the way in the libertarian-left corner is because i approve of violence: i think death penalty is warranted in plenty of cases, rehabilitation of some criminals is a waste of time, parents should spank their children, wars don't require international approval, etc. etc.

*edit*
i think this makes me a "draconian social anarchist".


I generally don't approve of violence - though I'm no longer an absolute pacifist, I think violence is indicative of failure and weakness of will, both on a national and on a personal level. I do agree that rehabilitating some criminals is a waste of time, but I see incarceration as preferable to the death penalty, I was against the war in Iraq and I'm even harder-core anti-child-abuse after this recent Vatican scandal. However, my cultural values are quite conservative - I generally tend to think sex outside marriage is wrong, I think religion could stand to be more constructively active in the public sphere, and I think parents should be more heavily invested in the lives of their children even if they have to give up career advancement. Also (based on experience) I'm coming round to the opinion education should equip people to find jobs - otherwise it's really onanistic.

It seems to me that this test, though intellectually interesting, has something of an existential flaw - it was designed to get people past a one-dimensional understanding of 'left' and 'right' as political terms, but it still doesn't address a lot of the subtleties of people's political tendencies. I think it's kind of interesting that a theologically-orthodox antimilitarist like me can show some of the same tendencies that a 'draconian social anarchist' can.

... or maybe it doesn't, if it can provoke these kinds of conversations.
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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby agga » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:37 am

WeiWenDi wrote:Interesting, agga. Looks like you came out harder left than I did. Also, it looks like I came out on the authoritarian side, but for different reasons than you listed here:

...

I generally don't approve of violence - though I'm no longer an absolute pacifist, I think violence is indicative of failure and weakness of will, both on a national and on a personal level.


i was kind of joking about approving of violence. again, we don't know how the questions in the quiz are weighted; but, i suspect that "strongly agreeing" that some people should be executed for some crimes, that rehabilitation shouldn't be the main purpose of a justice system, etc., is what puts me at -5 rather than closer to -10. on questions like "is religion useful" and "is society too sexually permissive" i say "absolutely not". i also agree that school should be for training workers, and that it should be mandatory (though i don't answer in the extremes on those). i just sort of guessed that it was my "war is sometimes ok" and "executions are ok (in principle)" that kept me away from the lower-left corner, so the "yay violence" comment.

but, anyone who's seen my input to discussions on war and foreign policy would know i'm a solid anti-militarist, anti-war, etc. i can't watch horror or war movies, they make me sick. so, really, i'm a principled violence-approver, not a visceral one.

WeiWenDi wrote:It seems to me that this test, though intellectually interesting, has something of an existential flaw - it was designed to get people past a one-dimensional understanding of 'left' and 'right' as political terms, but it still doesn't address a lot of the subtleties of people's political tendencies. I think it's kind of interesting that a theologically-orthodox antimilitarist like me can show some of the same tendencies that a 'draconian social anarchist' can.

... or maybe it doesn't, if it can provoke these kinds of conversations.


the main flaw is that it's assuming that there are two underlying, fungible attributes that determine responses to all those questions (that's always how these sorts of tests work). so, i can get a similar score on 'social authority' as some other guy by wanting to executing criminals and loving premarital sex, while the other guy thinks premarital sex is bad and so is capital punishment. so, we're trading 'social authority' for 'social liberty' points. like you said, the subtleties get lost.

on the other hand, the closer you wind up to the extremes, the less likely you and someone else might be measured by these sorts of response-trades. two people might both get put in the center of the plot by making totally different answers that just happen to balance there; but two people who wind up at the far left probably responded almost exactly the same way to all the economic questions, for example.

*edit*
so, given the last paragraph, you could look at my score (or Objectivist's hypothetical score) and probably get a pretty good idea at what our opinions were on what the economic policy of the government should be, even on very specific questions. someone closer to the middle, like Shikanosuke, could probably be explained a number of different ways and would hard to pin down on any given question (on the basis of his score i mean).
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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:36 am

agga wrote:but, anyone who's seen my input to discussions on war and foreign policy would know i'm a solid anti-militarist, anti-war, etc.


:lol: Yeah, I gathered that, given how we've tended to back each other's opinions on (for example) NATO and Iraq in the past. Your comments on violence just kinda threw me a curveball.

Also, ditto on horror and war movies. Well - depends on the horror movie... Alien was alright (the first one).

agga wrote:the main flaw is that it's assuming that there are two underlying, fungible attributes that determine responses to all those questions (that's always how these sorts of tests work). so, i can get a similar score on 'social authority' as some other guy by wanting to executing criminals and loving premarital sex, while the other guy thinks premarital sex is bad and so is capital punishment. so, we're trading 'social authority' for 'social liberty' points.


That's a really interesting point, but it hints at what might be a deeper question for the test. You have these two Cartesian axes which measure these attributes, and as you say it works really well for people at the extremes, who craft political ideologies out of their orientations. It works a bit less well for those of us who don't tend to the extremes (like, for example, Shikanosuke or Dong Zhou's sister), or for people like me who struggle to articulate a consistent political vision which is 'left-traditionalist' rather than 'left-liberal'.
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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby Objectivist » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:00 am

agga wrote:this guy is an extremist


I'm not that extreme, and only a far left lunatic would think so. I just believe in maximum freedom for the individual. I believe in personal responsibility for your own actions and decisions. I often see government (more federal, not so much state) as the problem instead of the solution. You're entitled to disagree. I advocate what most of the founding fathers advocate. Calling me an extremist is like calling the entire founding of the US extreme.

agga wrote:this is the kind of thing i fear, not being taxed by a democratic government


This is quite possibly one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever seen. You fear not being taxed? I understand and agree with the concept of taxation. It's the method and waste that upsets me the most. I disagree with income taxes, period. If you want to tax me when I buy things...that could be understood. But to directly punish me for what I earn...is immoral, IMO. I don't think it's extreme to say income taxes are the worst way to generate revenue. Especially considering half of America does not even pay income taxes.

WeiWenDi wrote:it is more than a bit hypocritical to demand that everyone think the exact same way as you do, and try to dismiss them into boxes with labels when they don't think the way you do


You just made that up. At no point did I ever demand anyone think the exact same way I do. I simply gave my opinion and explained why I felt I was either right or other opinions were wrong. Also...I want to point out that it is true most people are to the left of myself. This includes at least half of the Republican party, which I consider entirely too statist and liberal. People like John McCain and George W. Bush immediately come to mind when I think of moderate, left leaning Republicans.

WeiWenDi wrote:Historically speaking, mob violence is most likely to start in such a linguistically-poisoned and -radicalised political environment, and once the mob attains power (whether through violence or through other means, such as alliance with sympathetic elites), that's when real freedoms start actually being curtailed


Then you should be concerned about left wing behavior...

•It was liberals who destroyed AM radio towers outside of Seattle.
•It's liberals who burn down Hummer dealerships.
•It was Obama-loving Amy Bishop who took a gun to work and murdered co-workers.
•It was a liberal who bit the finger off a man who disagreed with him on healthcare.
•It was progressive SEIU union thugs who beat a black conservative man who spoke his mind.
•Don't forget it was Obama's friend Bill Ayers who used terrorism as a tool for political change. SDS is still radical, with arrests in 2007 and the storming of the CATO Institute in July 2008.
•It was a liberal who was sentenced to two years for bringing bombs and riot shields to the Republican National Convention in 2008.
•It was a liberal who threatened to kill a government informant who infiltrated her Austin-based group that planned to bomb the RNC.
•It was liberals who assaulted police in Berkeley.
•It was liberals who intimidated and threw rocks through the windows of researchers.
•The two Black Panthers who stood outside polls intimidating people with nightsticks were probably not right-wingers.
•Every time the G20 gets together, it's not conservatives who destroy property and cause chaos.

I just listed several recent left wing psychotic episodes. There are plenty of right wing crazies as well. I just wanted to point out that there are crazy people on both sides of the aisle, and that trying to make one side sound crazy because of the behavior of a few people really is not going to go anywhere.

agga wrote:i estimated Objectivist's because he hates the quiz and either won't take it or will and won't tell us how he sorts out. he gets a +10 on the economic scale because i guess it's obvious, and since i know almost nothing about his social leanings, except for that he is anti-abortion and thinks the military protects his freedoms, i just put him in the middle of the social scale, figuring he likes some social and moral "authority". i'm putting him on the negative side for the benefit of the doubt (i'm scared of the positive side), though really, given his tone, i don't think he's more 'negative' on that scale than any of the rest of us


What bothers me the most about the political compass is it tries to skew the results. Government controls can only go in two directions, more or less. That's why I posted the video I did. More government moves to the left, while less government moves to the right. That's just how it is. That's why Anarchy is to the far right. Anarchists want to end the government they have and take control away. That's why no government control equals Anarchy. That's also why communism, fascism, nazism or socialism all are forms of left wing total government control. It's impossible to give an example throughout history where small government existed and socialism, fascism, nazism or communism was the government system. This cannot be argued by any leftist. They always avoid it, even though it is true.

Even though I have barely posted here...you're assuming to know all my beliefs. For the record...my politican positions on major issues...

-I believe taxes and government spending should be drastically lower. I would elimate at least 50% of the federal departments...I consider them wasteful. I think people on welfare should be sent to work to earn the money they get from taxpayers, even if it's a simple job they could do from home.

-I fully support government getting out of marriage altogether. This means I don't care if gays marry. I think marriage is supposed to be a religious matter and that most people today get married for economic reasons than actual love.

-To me...it's impossible to call yourself a small government conservative and believe the united states should police the world. I'm against both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and against America being an overstretched military empire. We have almost 800 bases in well over 130 countries worldwide. I think we could cut that in half easily and not lose any security over it. I think the worst way to fight a war on terror is sending military officers to a foreign third world nation to walk around and police streets.

-I'm pro life. I believe government has an obligation to protect innocent life.

-I believe in capitalism and the free market. I believe government intervention in the economy (as well as the federal reserve) should be drastically cut back. I oppose tax payer funded bailouts of any kind.

-I think most drugs should be legal and taxed. This would drastically increase tax revenue and cut back on both crime and money spent jailing criminals who were convicted of drug crimes.

-I'm opposed to the death penalty.

-I believe the federal government has too much control over both education and healthcare. Costs tend to be higher in areas of the market where government is most involved, so it just makes sense to me to get government out of the way in these areas.
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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:52 am

Objectivist wrote:I'm not that extreme, and only a far left lunatic would think so.


As a connoisseur of self-defeating irony, I positively revel in the deliciousness of this dismissal.

Objectivist wrote:You just made that up. At no point did I ever demand anyone think the exact same way I do. I simply gave my opinion and explained why I felt I was either right or other opinions were wrong.


Um, no you didn't. What you were doing was dismissing those economically left of you as 'full of crap', 'lunatics' or comparable to Nazis - a prime example of Godwin since neither agga nor Shikanosuke nor any of the other people who may have supported the health-insurance bill advocated the mass murder of Jews, gypsies and socialists. So those weren't explanations, those were ad hominems.

Also, if you have to go all the way back to the anarchy of the late 1960's (of which I'm no great fan either) for examples of 'left-wing psychotic episodes' and further feel the need to parrot the Bill-Ayers-as-close-friend-of-Obama and SEIU-organised-violence mendacity, you're really grasping at straws.

Objectivist wrote:That's also why communism, fascism, nazism or socialism all are forms of left wing total government control.


Um - no. That's a complete abuse of language, since the aims of all of those movements were completely different, and none of them pursued government control as an end in itself. The communists were essentially an apocalyptic movement inspired by Karl Marx which tried to end existing government structures and the economic conditions supporting them through revolution (and failed miserably once they got into power). The socialists were those who rejected the prescription of revolution and tried to peacefully reform government through democratic means to the benefit of the working classes. And again, the fascists and the Nazis did not have a coherent economic strategy; their ideology was one of extreme nationalism / racial hatred and the violent suppression of those who didn't share it (which is why they started off by rounding up socialists and giving them one-way tickets to death camp). Most honest historians will confirm that there was nothing left-wing about the fascists or the Nazis.
Last edited by WeiWenDi on Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby agga » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:07 am

Objectivist wrote:
agga wrote:this is the kind of thing i fear, not being taxed by a democratic government

This is quite possibly one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever seen. You fear not being taxed?


minor misunderstanding, i was responding to a statement of Wei Wen Di's, not of yours. and, you *are* an extremist. you could also say that *i* am an extremist: i like the idea of the public having ultimate supervisory authority over all enterprises, though not ownership. this is pretty extreme in the current american political spectrum, and that's why i fall out basically on the far left of the PC chart. i'm not a lunatic, though, i promise you that.

but, i was also referring to your attitude regarding your opponents, which is very all-or-nothing, insulting, and kind of slanderous. so, your style of argument is a bit extreme and kind of irritating, and that's the kind of thing i'm afraid of when it comes to politics and public debate. but, i'm enjoying having you around regardless.

Objectivist wrote:Calling me an extremist is like calling the entire founding of the US extreme.


isn't that kind of an extreme statement?

Objectivist wrote:Even though I have barely posted here...you're assuming to know all my beliefs.


it's not hard to guess a lot about you, since a few "extreme" beliefs you have stated tend to correlate strongly with other unstated beliefs. most of us know people with beliefs like yours, and don't make the mistake of thinking you're a finger-biting, colleague-shooting, firebombing, police-assaulting, etc. etc. lunatic.

though i did also kind of assume you're the kind of jerk who would use something completely irrelevant like the Bishop shootings to somehow back up your political stance. i was right!
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Re: The Political Compass

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:11 am

Objectivist wrote:You're entitled to disagree. I advocate what most of the founding fathers advocate. Calling me an extremist is like calling the entire founding of the US extreme.


No, it isn't. You don't get to hide behind the founding fathers. Criticizing your ideas is not akin to criticizing the founding fathers. They existed in much a different historical context as you did, and it isn't like they all agreed. People on the other side of the argument believe much the same as you do, that the founding fathers are on their side), You can think them idiots, doesn't change anything.

But to directly punish me for what I earn...is immoral, IMO.


I would agree with this if the motivation behind income taxes was to specifically punish you. But it isn't.


You just made that up. At no point did I ever demand anyone think the exact same way I do.


You pretty much have. I mean, the country was built on good American ideas..not all the rest..right?

Objectivist wrote: I think marriage is supposed to be a religious matter and that most people today get married for economic reasons than actual love.


I respect your opinion on the idea that marriage should be for religious purposes, I think alot of people share that with you. I'd like to inquire though, not to argue with you, but rather just to note, when exactly has marriage not been for economic reasons? History is rife with examples and traditions of marriage purely for economic reasons, I'd wager more people get married in our era for non-economic reasons than they have in most other centuries. Again, I'm not disagreeing or attempting to disrespect your opinion on the matter.


-I'm pro life. I believe government has an obligation to protect innocent life.


Again, I respect your stance on the issue and many others share it. You seem to be a person who really likes textual-basis for everything the government does, so I'm curious how you square this with your stance on the issue. Or do you file a fetus's life under the general protection of 'life'? I'd note that I doubt that was in original intention documents.
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