Eugene Matusov wrote:
> Dear Judy, Bill, Nate, and everybody-
> I wholeheartedly agree with Judy. Although the Political Compass website is
> fun (thanks, Nate), it should not be taken very seriously. Attempts to
> quantify human life have limited success.
I don't know how much it attempted to quantify human life. Its purpose
is to give a more complex picture than the typical right-left line.
Eugene, Judy as well as mine initially, are typical "american
responses". Mainly, because we tend to see the Kerry and Dean's as our
liberal and left when in fact they ae very much center right.
It is not accurate to project
> complex political ideologies into two-dimensional political schemas.
Eugene, this was not your typical two dimensional schema, but in fact
was challenging it. It argues the typical left-right line is inaccurate
at describing current political realities.
"Both an economic dimension and a social dimension are important factors
for a proper political analysis. By adding the social dimension you can
show that Stalin was an authoritarian leftist (ie the state is more
important than the individual) and that Gandhi, believing in the supreme
value of each individual, is a liberal leftist. You can also put
Pinochet, who was prepared to sanction mass killing for the sake of the
free market, on the far right as well as in a hardcore authoritarian
position. On the non-socialist side you can distinguish someone like
Milton Friedman, who is anti-state for fiscal rather than social
reasons, from Hitler, who wanted to make the state stronger, even if he
wiped out half of humanity in the process."
> Especially, it is not easy to do the projection for politicians who did not
> even take the survey.
Well Eugene there is a material reality out there. It does not matter
what they think, but what they have done in office. I think true
"idealists" like Dean present a world in which sounds good but they are
incapable and uninterested of delivering. For example, Dean talks of
health care rirights, but proposes a watered down Clinton plan.
I took the survey and found that many decontextualized
> questions do not make sense for me but I was forced to reply "agree" or
> "disagree". Besides my "agree" may have a very different meaning with
> another person's "agree" (I just watched the classic movie "Twelve angry
> men" that illustrates this point nicely).
Well, isn't that like life. But, again most of us have to make choices.
Where I found it useful was it demonstrated the disconnect where most
candidates were politically and where I was. I do think the survey has
a thought-action disconnect. Very few politicians scored in the
left-liberatarian quadrant whereas many were in the right-authoratarian
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