Political Compass Test

Since I’m looking at about 5,000 words here, I’ll keep the intro short. I took this test, and here are my answers and result.

I had a lot of free time today. A LOT. But actually, I didn’t put much thought or work into this, despite the length. Every response I wrote was written instantaneously. I didn’t go back and re-read anything…so if there are grammatical errors, that’s why. I didn’t want to over-think things any more than I already did. I wanted to go with gut and instinct…my own ideas/beliefs.

If you don’t want to read my answers for each question, scroll to the image at the bottom and I kind of try to explain things.

I took one of these in high school, and was pretty much smack dab in the middle. I do think a lot of that was me just not understanding half the questions, but now that I get most of them, I think this is more fitting.

Page 1 Just a few propositions to start with, concerning – no less – how you see the country and the world.

Question 1: If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.

Strongly Agree. First off, I don’t think it’s inevitable. Secondly, I don’t think corporations nor politicians seek to serve humanity. It would be nice if they did. I guess ideally I’d wish that if economic globalism was truly inevitable, these large trans-national corporations would primarily seek to serve the betterment of humanity, but I’m not naive enough to think that would happen.

Question 2: I’d always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.

Strongly Disagree. I’ll support my country so long as it is worth being supportive of. Being patriotic isn’t about blindly supporting everything your country does, it’s about supporting the things that should be supported, and questioning and trying to fix the things that shouldn’t be. Why should you ever support anything that is wrong?

Question 3: No one chooses his or her country of birth, so it’s foolish to be proud of it.

Agree. I think this all depends really, but at the crux of it I’d agree.  I don’t like the wording of this question. I do think it’s foolish to be proud of it just because you were born there, but it’s not foolish to be proud of it for real learned reasons. Again, it’s the blind faith thing. I’m not proud of my country because I was physically born here, I’m proud of it for tangible and meaningful reasons. I’m proud of it because of the opportunities it’s provided me, the opportunities it’s provided my ancestors and because of many of the freedoms it has given us, not just merely because I was born here. Do I think it’s foolish to have that blind faith? Well, I wouldn’t use “foolish”.

Question 4: Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races.

Strongly disagree. There may be tangible sociological and even physiological differences between races, but I don’t think one race has “many superior qualities” as compared to any other. If anything, it’s mostly a matter of circumstances and environment that dictate the observable differences we see in race, not anything significantly different physiologically or internally. 

Question 5: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Disagree. I don’t think it’s that cut and dry. I wish there was something more in the middle, because I don’t even know if I necessarily disagree. I just know I don’t agree. Yes, an enemy of your enemy can automatically become your friend (see France and England in WWII, or many relationships during the Cold War). But that’s not always the case. It’s just not that simple. Using a common enemy to establish allegiance is way too problematic. It’s not useful in the long run, and I feel allies should be brokered because of something more than just a common hatred towards someone/something. To dumb it down severely: The Giants and the Cowboys are no friends simply because the Eagles are a common enemy. 

Question 6: Military action that defies international law is sometimes justified.

Disagree. Again, this one is so vague. I’m sure that’s the point. I say “agree” because perhaps it truly is justified, but something “justified” to one side might not truly be justified. Also, if it is truly justified I’d imagine the law could be amended. 

Question 7: There is now a worrying fusion of information and entertainment.

Agree. Again, a weirdly worded question, but I agree with the ultimate notion of it. Media is so geared to sensationalism and anti-intellectualism. You have news organizations that are horrifically biased, you have all the movies in the Transformers and Twilight series in the top 50 grossing movies of all time. Whatever makes people happy though, I guess. Entertainment serves to entertain. It’s upsetting sometimes of how obtuse much of the media is, but to each their own, and that’s why this isn’t “strong”. 


Page 2: Now, the economy. We’re talking attitudes here, not the FTSE index.

Question 1: People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality.

Strongly Agree. Nationality seemingly matters less and less, especially in this country. It is class which divides people the most, at least more so than nationality. Globally it might be a bit different…

Question 2: Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment.

Disagree. I’m far from being knowledgeable at all when it comes to economics. I honestly don’t know, and again I wish there was a 5th option smack dab in the middle. I’d say they’re equally important. I’d imagine that long-term, high inflation would cause more problems. If inflation ever were to snowball out of control the repercussions on the economy as a whole would be more significant. However, I think that since unemployment has more of a direct impact on individuals lives, it is ever so slightly more important. Inflation isn’t really a problem unless it is unexpected, at least that’s what I know from my very limited understanding. 

Question 3: Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation.

Strongly Agree. Absolutely and positively true. Shareholders aren’t more important than the environment and the Earth we live on. Most every major environmental disaster seemingly can be traced towards a corporation chasing a buck.

Question 4: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is a fundamentally good idea.

Disagree. Sounds great and all, but in a free market there’s no chance. It requires way more trust than the market allows. Sure, everyone has the right to standard living and income inequality is a major problem in the USA, but people wouldn’t ever be motivated as a whole to work towards to good of society and there still will always be people with more power, whether they’re the ones distributing the power or the people who get to decide what these abilities and needs are. The problem with socialism is that it relies on the premise that all people are good at heart, and that just isn’t true. Absolute Socialism just doesn’t work. 

Question 5: It’s a sad reflection on our society that something as basic as drinking water is now a bottled, branded consumer product.

Agree. Not strongly though.

Question 6: Land shouldn’t be a commodity to be bought and sold.

Strongly Disagree. I can definitely see the other side, but I’m assuming the alternative is that the government owns all the land and people lease it from them? Nah. 

Question 7: It is regrettable that many personal fortunes are made by people who simply manipulate money and contribute nothing to their society.

Agree. The only reason it’s not “strongly” is because I realize it’s inevitable. I think it’s sad, but that’s their own prerogative.

Question 8:  Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.

Agree. Again, I barely know enough about protectionism, or global economics as a whole, to have a strong opinion on it. 

Question 9: The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders.

Strongly Disagree. I don’t really see how only worrying about financial gains is a social responsibility. Even if you took “social” out of this question, I don’t think I’d agree with it. Maybe I have some false Utopian ideologies here, but I think companies have other obligations.

Question 10: The rich are too highly taxed.

Disagree. Currently I don’t think they are. I think high taxes on the rich can ultimately backfire, but right now, I think there is an imbalance that is not conducive towards many things. Also, the rich are pretty good at dodging taxes anyways.

Question 11: Those with the ability to pay should have the right to higher standards of medical care.

Agree. Why not? I do think everyone should have the right to high standards of medical care, but if you can pay for something above and beyond, why not? I think it is important to make sure everyone does have access to high levels of care, but if you can shell out more money for even higher levels of care, you should get it.

Question 12: Governments should penalise businesses that mislead the public.

Strongly Agree. People tend to trust companies too much, companies often abuse that trust, and nothing good ever comes from it. Deliberately misleading the public is not okay. The question for me is what should that severity be.

Question 13: A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies.

Strongly Agree. Same disclaimer here; I don’t act like I am right with these beliefs. I may very well be wrong. I just don’t see how any sort of monopoly makes any sort of market any more free. 

Question 14: The freer the market, the freer the people.

Disagree. Slight disagreement. Markets that are highly controlled will restrict many freedoms, but beyond that I can’t say I totally agree. Markets that are completely uncontrolled would impinge upon many freedoms as well. I don’t think it’s an absolute statement, and I don’t think the freest of markets means the freest of people. 


Page 3: Now a look at some of your personal social values…

Question 1: Abortion, when the woman’s life is not threatened, should always be illegal.

Strongly Disagree. “Always” is a problem here. I am pro-choice (not pro-abortion). It’s not my body, it’s not my decision. In the most basic of senses here, I think there are plenty of circumstances where it should be allowed. Rape and incest being the most obvious ones.

Question 2: All authority should be questioned.

Strongly Agree. I can see many ways to interpret this, but I do agree. Blind trust in those above us seems incredibly foolish. We have too much faith in people with so much power. Cliche time: power corrupts. 

Question 3: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Strongly Disagree. What is gained from this? Nothing.

Question 4: Taxpayers should not be expected to prop up any theatres or museums that cannot survive on a commercial basis.

Disagree. I don’t know. Plenty of things the US Treasury supports aren’t at all economically viable. It’s not an absolute decision though. Some things aren’t worth erecting, some things are. It’s not always the commercial viability that dictates that.

Question 5: Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory.

Strongly Disagree. It should be.

Question 6: All people have their rights, but it is better for all of us that different sorts of people should keep to their own kind.

Strongly Disagree. If we give people their rights, we should respect those rights. Period. “Keep to their own kind” just sounds so terrible…

Question 7: Good parents sometimes have to spank their children.

Agree. A good parent knows what type of discipline is the most appropriate. 

Question 8: It’s natural for children to keep some secrets from their parents.

Strongly Agree. Of course it’s natural. Do people really think it isn’t? We keep secrets from all sorts of people. Children from parents, parents from children, friends from friends, colleagues from colleagues, etc. It’s not always bad to do so either.

Question 9: Possessing marijuana for personal use should not be a criminal offence.

Strongly Agree. I’m not a marijuana user, but I think at this point criminalizing marijuana serves few positive purposes. 

Question 10: The prime function of schooling should be to equip the future generation to find jobs.

Disagree. That certainly is a function of education and schooling, but for some people education and schooling is more than just a means to an end. It’s important to learn specific skills, but it’s more important to learn how to critically think, among many other things.

Question 11: People with serious inheritable disabilities should not be allowed to reproduce.

Strongly Disagree. It’s their choice. They can calculate the risks on their own. 

Question 12: The most important thing for children to learn is to accept discipline.

Strongly Disagree. Accepting discipline is the most important thing for a kid to learn? What the hell? It’s important to an extent, but come on…

Question 13: There are no savage and civilised peoples; there are only different cultures.

Disagree. This one is tough. I can see both sides, but I do think there are savage cultures. Sure, they are different, but their differences don’t necessarily make it OK. I think this is a two way street though, because I do think there have been times in history where we look at cultures/tribes as being savage, but clearly weren’t. It’s again just not a cut and dry statement. It can be both way.

Question 14: Those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should not expect society’s support.

Agree. I certainly agree that if someone absolutely refuses to work and turns down opportunity, they should not expect society’s help. However, I do think there are certain people/political beliefs that don’t release that there isn’t always opportunity for everyone, and certainly not equal opportunity, and I disagree with that strongly. 

Question 15: When you are troubled, it’s better not to think about it, but to keep busy with more cheerful things.

Strongly Disagree. Maybe it’s not right, I don’t really know, but I certainly fit this to a tee. I think I over think things that trouble me, and I do think that ignoring them is usually the wrong decision to make in the long run. 

Question 16: First-generation immigrants can never be fully integrated within their new country.

Strongly Disagree. Why not? If you come here and learn the language, have a job and raise a family, what else is there to do. The level you integrate is totally subjective. Even those three things aren’t necessarily a must. 

Question 17: What’s good for the most successful corporations is always, ultimately, good for all of us.

Strongly Disagree. Haha. Absolutely not. It could be true, but it certainly isn’t always.

Question 18: No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public funding.

Strongly Disagree. People can’t provide funding for broadcasting institutions who help their voices get heard? 


Page 4: …and how you see the wider society. 

Question 1: Our civil liberties are being excessively curbed in the name of counter-terrorism.

Agree. They certainly are and have been, I don’t think this is a matter of opinion. However, I haven’t ever been bothered by any of it. 

Question 2: A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system.

Strongly Disagree. While I’m fed up with politicians who are so unwilling to compromise to the point where progress does get delayed, a absolutely do not think that there is any significant advantage to a one-party state. Dissent and conflicting opinions is essential. 

Question 3: Although the electronic age makes official surveillance easier, only wrongdoers need to be worried.

Disagree. I see both sides to this, but there is often plenty to be worried about, even when you aren’t in the wrong.

Question 4: The death penalty should be an option for the most serious crimes.

Agree. I am so incredibly on the fence on this. I think we use the death penalty way too liberally. However, I do think there are extremely rare cases where it is a viable option. However, there must be absolute certainty, the person has to be emotionally evaluated extensively and the crime has to be incredibly severe. Some of history’s worst people, ie. Hitler, Pol Pot, Bin Laden, Jim Jones, Stalin, Himmler etc. if tried certainly were fitting candidates. But again, it has to be used extremely conservatively, as apparent by those names listed. 

Question 5: In a civilised society, one must always have people above to be obeyed and people below to be commanded.

Disagree. Those who are to be obeyed also must abide by the same law as those who are commanded. Sure, there are thousands of every day examples of why this has to happen (ie. my boss vs. me), but I don’t think it’s absolute or necessarily applicable to society as a whole.

Question 6: Abstract art that doesn’t represent anything shouldn’t be considered art at all.

Strongly Disagree. Uh, as long as it means something to someone, that’s art enough. Art isn’t necessarily art because it “represents something”. It can simply be aesthetically pleasing, thought provoking, confusing, interesting or a million other things.

Question 7: In criminal justice, punishment should be more important than rehabilitation.

Strongly Disagree. I was waiting for this one. I do think punishment itself plays an important role in criminal justice, but I think if that’s the only goal, then the system is flawed. People are often resilient to punishment. Something tangibly good can from from rehabilitation.

Question 8: It is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate some criminals.

Disagree. It might be, but deciding who those criminals are is a slippery slope. They should all be given a chance. If they shun it, that’s their decision. 

Question 9: The businessperson and the manufacturer are more important than the writer and the artist.

Disagree. Not in my opinion. In some ways they are, and in some ways they aren’t. Throughout history and antiquity, the writer and the artiest have had far more significant influences than the businessperson and the manufacturer. In today’s society, maybe the statement can be true. But again, it certainly isn’t absolutely true. It’s subjective. 

Question 10: Mothers may have careers, but their first duty is to be homemakers.

Strongly Disagree. Gender roles are stupid. If that’s what a family decides, so be it. If that’s not what a family decides, so be it. 

Question 11: Multinational companies are unethically exploiting the plant genetic resources of developing countries.

Agree. Weird question. Of course some are. 

Question 12: Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity.

Disagree. Another question I felt was hard to answer. Maybe I’m overthinking things here. I do think that as we mature we tend to understand why some things we once didn’t understand are how they are. I think maturity allows us to see why there are opposing views to many things. I’m not even sure that it’s really maturity in the true definition of things though. I also don’t get how “making peace” is relevant to “maturity”. Maybe we tend to “make peace” with the establishment because we give up hope. Maybe we tend to “make peace” with the establishment because we become conditioned to. It might not necessarily be related to maturity. 


Page 5: If you got through that okay, you’ll find these propositions on religion a breeze.

Question 1: Astrology accurately explains many things.

Strongly Disagree. It doesn’t. Period. 

Question 2: You cannot be moral without being religious.

Strongly Disagree. My morals don’t come from religion. I think this is one of the silliest propositions so far.

Question 3: Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged.

Strongly Agree. Maybe I interpret this wrong, but actively and willingly giving your money to those in need is “better” than just having the money taxed from you unwillingly. Both are necessary and great, but on an individual level, charity is something to be proud of.

Question 4: Some people are naturally unlucky.

Agree. I’m not sure it’s “luck”, but not everyone gets the same chances, no matter how hard they try. Some people do catch good breaks, and some catch bad ones. It happens.

Question 5: It is important that my child’s school instills religious values.

Strongly Disagree. Maybe it’s important for your child’s church, temple, synagogue or whatever, but not your child’s school. Absolutely not.


Page 6: Finally, a look at sex.

Question 1: Sex outside marriage is usually immoral.

Strongly Disagree. Says who? Someone’s definition of a bunch of things? No thanks. 

Question 2: A same sex couple in a stable, loving relationship, should not be excluded from the possibility of child adoption.

Strongly Agree. Why not? The most serious problem that could arise I’d imagine is bullying, and that’s the fault of those children (probably their parents) and not the same sex family. The problems that come from not having gender roles present from your parental figures is so insignificant.

Question 3: Pornography, depicting consenting adults, should be legal for the adult population.

Strongly Agree. The adult population watching “consenting adults” have sex shouldn’t be a crime. Not at all.

Question 4: What goes on in a private bedroom between consenting adults is no business of the state.

Strongly Agree. Of course it shouldn’t be anyone else’s business. Who cares? That’s their life. They can do what they want as long, as it says, it’s consensual. 

Question 5: No one can feel naturally homosexual.

Strongly Disagree. I wouldn’t personally know, but I think scientific logic and common sense are enough to answer the question.

Question 6: These days openness about sex has gone too far.

Strongly Disagree. Openness about anything is most often a good thing. I think in many areas the openness hasn’t gone far enough. The fact is that plenty of American politicians want to cut down on sex education and general openness about sex, and nothing good can come from that. 


The results!

As I was going along, especially early on, it was obvious that economically I was pretty moderate. I recently have been describing myself as moderate in terms of economics/fiscal policy, but liberal socially. I think this confirmed that. I am definitely more left than right in terms of economics, and maybe I’m not actually moderate…but at least compared to my social views I am very moderate in that regard. I am more left-leaning economically than not, but it’s much more negligible than my social views.

The last two pages of the test pretty much exemplify my liberal social views. I had to put more thought into earlier questions, but these were obvious and took no time. Maybe they were just more cut and dry questions, but I laughed at some of them. I am incredibly left in terms of social issues, and I no longer hold any reservations about that. I am not moderate in that regard, as I once was perhaps. Especially not with this election. I believe very passionately in my views on religion, gay rights, science, sex (apparently, I just learned this now), gender roles, criminal justice and so on. I think ultimately it has been my shift in religious beliefs that has shifted the rest of them. Perhaps my scientific education and job in the scientific field played a lesser role too.

I’ve never associated myself with the “libertarian” side of politics, but the more I think of it the more it makes sense. And in fact, I’m really far down that part of the graph. In terms of economic left and right, I am exactly aligned with Nelson Mandela. I think my mommy would be proud.

In fact, in terms of the social libertarian/authoritarian I was much further down than anyone the site used as an example. That actually scares me a little bit. The example they use to illustrate the social scale is Gandhi vs. Stalin. Stalin was an authoritarian leftist who felt the state is more important than the individual whereas Gandhi believed that the value of each individual is greater and thus is a liberal leftist. I guess I’m a liberal leftist. I guess if I am “anti-state”, I am so because of social and not fiscal reasons…and that certainly makes sense to me.

I think ultimately in that regard I feel that as a society we force our beliefs, be it religious or not, on to people unwillingly. We try to legislate morals onto people when we have no business doing so. When Romney says to a gay individual’s face “I believe that marriage is between a man and a women”, I just think to myself that “it shouldn’t be a matter of belief”. It’s just basic human rights, and imposing things onto people that they don’t want imposed upon them, and to correct “problems” that really don’t even exist.

It’s very interesting to me how close Obama and Romney are to one another. I say “interesting” and not “surprising” for a reason. I wish I was surprised, but I’m really not. I am going to vote for Obama because I feel more strongly, as this supported, about the social issues than I do about economic issues. I’d like to imagine that Obama is much more in line with my social beliefs than Romney is, but the reality is he probably really isn’t. Obama has been reluctant about gay marriage. Obama is religious (despite what anyone might say). Obama doesn’t champion science. Rights for trade unions have dissipated under his watch. He didn’t close Guantanamo. He extended the Bush tax cuts (at least now he is voicing an opinion to change those things). He has been very soft on banks. He has appointed many right-leaning architects to top economic positions. He hasn’t really brought upon any of the change. He’s basically more like George Bush than he is like the candidate version of himself. He’s been moderately less aggressive in terms of war and foreign policy, which I appreciate, but nothing majorly noteworthy.

I quote the site: “many of Obama’s detractors absurdly portray him as either a radical liberal or a socialist, while his apologists, equally absurdly, continue to view him as a well-intentioned progressive, tragically thwarted by overwhelming pressures. 2008’s yes-we-can chanters, dazzled by pigment rather than policy detail, forgot to ask can what?”

I certainly don’t love Obama as much as I want to. I think I loved candidate Obama, but president Obama…not so much. Even so, I can’t vote for the opposition. I don’t think Obama is an evil, I just think he hasn’t done much of what he said he’d do (things Romney would never entertain), but I think he is the lesser of the two poor candidates.

The site says he’s a man of “so few fixed principles”, and I think I agree with that. They also says that “As outrageous as it may appear, civil libertarians and human rights supporters would have actually fared better under a Republican administration. Had a Bush or McCain presidency permitted extrajudicial executions virtually anywhere in the world, expanded drone strikes and introduced the NDAA, the Democratic Party would have howled from the rooftops. Senator Obama the Constitutional lawyer would have been one of the most vocal objectors. Under a Democratic administration however, these far-reaching developments have received scant opposition and a disgraceful absence of mainstream media coverage”

That bothers me. Maybe I was a Ron Paul guy. Ron Paul appeals to so many liberals for many obvious reasons, even despite his radical right economics. Socially, he’s closer to me than Obama actually is. I think he aligns with me for different reasons in that regard, but at least he’s not high up on the authoritarian scale.

Maybe I’m foolish for wishing for Candidate Obama to finally resurface if he is reelected. Maybe if he wins congress will finally start working together and he can actually achieve some of the things he wanted to. Maybe partisan politics will take a breather  in the short term. Maybe he’ll finally do some of the things he said he would do, but chose not to, especially because he doesn’t have to worry about reelection. Plus, Hilary is a shoo-in for 2016, right? I hope so…I wish she was the one up for reelection right now.

OK. That was fun. Later.

If you read this all, here’s a high five.


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