March 12, 2011Posted by on
Clicking on the above takes you to worlds smallest political quiz (10 questions). This a site run by The Advocates for Self Government .
Clicking on either of the two graphics below takes you to a more detailed test devised by The Political Compass . In theory both tests should produce a similar result.
Note the vertical axis inversion on the two tests.
The problem that I have with such tests is what I see as a naïve transposition of the views behind the questions into contemporary society, when they were not even valid in the historic context claimed for them,
It’s a reasonable conclusion that these advocates are ‘libertarians’ and yet there is little evidence that any political administration is capable of being anything but ‘authoritarian’. The following are the political divisions set out by the advocates, which are of course North American but sufficiently generic throughout ‘Western Democracies’.
Liberals usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded “safety net” to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.
Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.
Centrist prefer a “middle ground” regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice. Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose “political extremes,” and emphasize what they describe as “practical” solutions to problems.
Conservatives tend to favor economic freedom, but frequently support laws to restrict personal behavior that violates “traditional values.” They oppose excessive government control of business, while endorsing government action to defend morality and the traditional family structure. Conservatives usually support a strong military, oppose bureaucracy and high taxes, favor a free-market economy, and endorse strong law enforcement.
Statists want government to have a great deal of power over the economy and individual behavior. They frequently doubt whether economic liberty and individual freedom are practical options in today’s world. Statists tend to distrust the free market, support high taxes and centralized planning of the economy, oppose diverse lifestyles, and question the importance of civil liberties.