by Chris Bertram on November 5, 2003

A couple of follow-ups to things I’ve blogged recently: Tim Lambert has assembled “a chart of where various bloggers are”: on the “Political Compass”: test. Three Timberites are listed so far. The two dimensions of the test seem to resolve to one in practice, with most people on a diagonal running from left-libertarian (hooray!) to right-authoritarian (boo!). In unrelated news, there’s an “op-ed at PLANETIZEN by Robert Steuteville”: on the new urbanism and crime issue (link via “City Comforts”: ).



Keith M Ellis 11.05.03 at 8:24 am

So, I’m trying to remember my score in order to orient myself on the list relative to the other scores and then…there _I was_. That really freaked me out. I’m just sayin’.

I really, really would like a more meaningful test. C’mon you CT-reading (and authoring) social scientists—get with it! It would be popular; and would make a nice voluntary registry of bloggers’ views, if something like the linked page is implemented.


Mac 11.05.03 at 9:39 am

It is interesting that people should generally fall on that diagonal (I don’t, being fully ensconced in the lower right quadrant), where economic liberty is inversely proportional to social liberty (or vice versa). To me it seems inconsistent, but I am not the Pope, and hence, not infallible.


Charles Stewart 11.05.03 at 1:41 pm

It’s not quite symmetrical: there is weight in the right libertarian quadrant, but almost none in the left authoritarian quadrant. FWIW, I scored -1.88 (left), and -4.51 (libertarian).


Harry Tuttle 11.05.03 at 3:03 pm

So all these folks called communists and socialists by the right are actually a bunch of syndicalists. Verry interesting.

This just makes me wonder at the weirdness that makes calling someone a fascist verbotten yet calling someone a commie is perfectly copacetic when communists (especialy of the soviet and maoist variety) are totally absent from this map while far right authoritarians (more falangist than nazi IMO) are rare but certainly existant.


Thorley Winston 11.05.03 at 4:11 pm

Mine put me in the upper half of the bottom right quadrant, not entirely representative of my views although this is largely to the slanted definition of what constitutes a “libertarian position on “social issues.” I noticed that on that end, the test seemed more focused on sexual, cultural, and religious issues (none of which necessarily translate into political views on liberty and certainly not the way the test creators interpreted them) rather than say freedom of speech and expression or the right to keep and bear arms. I’d bet that if the test were redone with a section regarding these two important freedoms, there would quite a few people moved towards the bottom right quadrant.


sidereal 11.05.03 at 7:58 pm

Anyone taking bets on whether The Angry Clam is for real?

It’s nice to have objective evidence of extremity to show extremists.


Nicholas Weininger 11.05.03 at 8:08 pm

Note that the mere fact that someone lands in a corner of the chart on this test is not really evidence that they are an “extremist” in the sense we might normally think of that word (which is vague enough already). It’s not clear from the test questions just how wide a range of economic and social views are tested– and, as Thorley Winston notes, many of the questions conflate political views with cultural or even aesthetic views. The attempts to place historical figures on the chart are almost certainly highly speculative, and they should be discounted as reference points.


Lawrence Krubner 11.07.03 at 4:15 pm

I just took the test and I got this:

Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: 0.12
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.00

That sounds about right, given the constraints of the test. There were many, many questions I had to leave blank because I did not know how they would be judged. To give just one example:

“Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged.”

Did they mean morally or practically? It’s probably healthier society when citizens can directly support other citizens, its morally good, but we all know that charity doesn’t raise enough, and never will raise enough, to provide for all of the poor. So its impractical. I left it blank because I didn’t know how it would be judged.

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