Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Political Compass

Tired of being categorized in only one dimension?

A few years back, another blogger introduced me to the Political Compass, a means of assessing political views in a more refined manner than the usual right-versus-left economic measure. In this scale, political views are evaluated on a right/left scale of economics (how much government should regulate), and also on a scale measuring social attitudes, from authoritarian (government should control) to libertarian (government keep out).

Before you read further, go to The Political Compass website and take the quiz to find out where you stand politically.

Now … what did you find out about yourself?

I scored a -3.38 (on a scale of -10 to +10) on the economic left/right scale … I tend to think that the government should have some safeguards to protect individuals from corporate greed. On the authoritarian/libertarian social scale, I scored -6.82; I really, really think the government should butt out of private business such as what consenting adults do behind closed doors.

In terms of major world leaders, that puts me rather on the fringes of things – I’m off in a corner with the Dalai Lama and not much of anybody else.

And it’s no wonder I don’t much care for any of the current presidential candidates; nearly all of them, including the three that are still politically alive, are off in the upper right, while I’m down in the lower left.

Maybe I should move to Ukraine, where I can vote for Sergey Bubka.

So, loyal readers, how did you score?

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Anonymous tillerman said...

I'm in the green quadrant with you, Ralph and Nelson. Good company.

Interesting that all mainstream US politicians (certainly any with a realistic chance of becoming president) are right wing authoritarians on this scale. Says something about the US electorate I guess.

Sat Apr 19, 06:59:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Gerald said...

Hmph, I'm also in that corner, next to Nader.

Sun Apr 20, 07:40:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous pL said...

I almost landed on Gandhi...

Didn't know you are a Bubka fan. Nice guy, I've actually written a couple of speaches for him...I'd vote Bubka!


Mon Apr 21, 02:46:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

That the major political candidates are right-wing authoritarians may not say as much about the American electorate as it does about the sort of personality who wishes to be elected to run the government. Certainly, a strong belief in the power of the government is a prerequisite for wanting to be a part of the government.

If you look over in the libertarian left, you see people such as the Dalai Lama, who was selected in childhood, and Gandhi and Mandela, who ended up as leaders not out of a desire to lead but rather because their consciences compelled them to take actions that resulted in their becoming leaders.

Someone (it might have been Will Rogers) once made a comment something to the effect that nobody who is really qualified to be President actually wants to be.

Wed Apr 23, 02:18:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Pat said...

Theories abound to explain why politicians often gravitate to authoritarianism. You could guess that they have personalities that thrive on holding power over others, that they are people who believe much more than most that government holds the solutions to humanity's most pressing problems, or that they need to see government as a valuable, essential function in order to validate all the time, money, and "truth engineering" they've done en route to gaining political power.

Plus, there's the more tribal/feral/primitive basic notion of politics as a form of submerged warfare in which the politician seeks to gain goodies for her or her self, warband, tribe, or confederacy, by means that are somewhat more acceptable than simple assault and battery.

Fri Apr 25, 11:55:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

We have a winner ... visitor 34K was from Bangalore, India, and came on an accented variation of the usual search: "it is somewhere five o'clock."

The runner-up was somebody on a Mac, using Safari, who has me bookmarked, logged onto the UNM computer system ... probably from the Frontier ... and is likely a close relative.

Five visits previous was John from Tasmania, who eagerly awaits the next batch of Etchells trailer photos.

Sat Apr 26, 12:40:00 AM MDT  

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