Politics in America is more complicated than Left-wing, Moderate, Right-wing. This became apparent when I started to look at my own political affiliation. I didn’t seem to fit in with any particular platform. For years, I voted for the candidates that seems to fit me the closest after going over each of their position statements.
About 10 years ago, I was told to look at something called the Nolan Chart. This chart did not have each candidate on a horizontal line from left to right, but rather had them in a square with the angles on end (like a diamond) that had a smaller square in the middle. With out explaining it, it will be easier from me to post a graph for you to see.
I was then asked to take the Shortest Political Quiz. Seemed to me that this was too simple, but the results indicated that I was a libertarian, not a Republican as I has thought. Now I understand that one should always look at the designers of any quiz and consider what their desired outcome could be. In this case, those who suggested I take this quiz were from the Libertarian party.
Anarchists are not the Kids who run around with dirty closes throwing rocks through business windows. Somehow that definition has been attached inappropriately because the movement who disrupts conventions etc often times have a big circle with an ‘A’ in the middle.
There’s abundant evidence for the need of it. The old one-dimensional categories of ‘right’ and ‘left’, established for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, are overly simplistic for today’s complex political landscape. For example, who are the ‘conservatives’ in today’s Russia? Are they the unreconstructed Stalinists, or the reformers who have adopted the right-wing views of conservatives like Margaret Thatcher ?On the standard left-right scale, how do you distinguish leftists like Stalin and Gandhi? It’s not sufficient to say that Stalin was simply more left than Gandhi. There are fundamental political differences between them that the old categories on their own can’t explain. Similarly, we generally describe social reactionaries as ‘right-wingers’, yet that leaves left-wing reactionaries like Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot off the hook.That’s about as much as we should tell you for now. After you’ve responded to the following propositions during the next 3-5 minutes, all will be explained. In each instance, you’re asked to choose the response that best describes your feeling: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree or Strongly Agree. At the end of the test, you’ll be given the compass, with your own special position on it.The idea was developed by a political journalist with a university counselling background, assisted by a professor of social history. They’re indebted to people like Wilhelm Reich and Theodor Adorno for their ground-breaking work in this field. We believe that, in an age of diminishing ideology, a new generation in particular will get a better idea of where they stand politically – and the sort of political company they keep.So are you ready to take the test? Remember that there’s no right, wrong or ideal response. It’s simply a measure of attitudes and inevitable human contradictions to provide a more integrated definition of where people and parties are really at. Click here to start.
Read the rest at The Political Compass.
- The Nolan Chart Quiz
- The Enhanced-Precision Political Quiz
- The “Who Should Decide?” Version of the Nolan Chart