The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Political Compass, and other similar self-rating sites

I just took the "political compass" test (again, in fact; as stated below, I've done it before). The result was "Economic Left/Right: 5.38; Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.72" — not too surprising on the first, because I consider myself an economic conservative, but a little surprising on the second front, as I've thought of myself as rather libertarian, and my score is just barely libertarian. It is interesting that the chart they give of world political leaders shows nobody in the lower right-hand quadrant, so compared to the people they rate, I suppose I am rather libertarian.

This is actually the third time I've taken the test; the first time it was (5.62, -1.54), somewhat more libertarian and a tiny bit further to the economic right than my recent score; the second time was actually the other way from my recent score (unfortunately, I never recorded the exact numbers), so this one is pretty close to midway between the two times I took it before.

There's another political quiz I just took called "Politopia" On that one I was not given a numeric score, but I was ranked as a centrist. On their diagram, I was much closer to George W. Bush than John Kerry (I guess they haven't changed their diagram in 6 years!), which surprises me not the slightest, as I strongly preferred Bush over Kerry. And compared to Bush, I was very slightly more pro-free market, but significantly more toward "more personal freedoms," which is exactly as I would expect. So no surprise, though it would be nice to have a numerical score like the one Political Compass gives.

Of course there is the famous "World's Smallest Political Quiz," put out by a libertarian group, which obviously tends to be biased toward libertarianism, and puts me deeply into libertarian territory. I am 80% on their personal issues score and 70% on their economic issues score scale. Since the goal of this test is to show people how much they agree with the libertarian ideal, it does not surprise me that I come out where I do, as I am relatively libertarian though not up to the standards of the party of that name.

Interestingly, I found one quiz that called me a "social liberal" — but their diagram put me almost on the crossing point of "libertarian," "centrist," and "liberal." They gave me a personal freedom score of 73% and an economic freedom score of 46.9%; probably 50% on the latter is where they draw the boundary between "liberal" and "libertarian," which is why it came out where it did. I'm surprised how different my score was on this quiz than the Political Compass. This one uses a diagram very similar to the "World's Smallest Political Quiz," so it's easy to compare them, and the personal freedom scores are pretty similar, but my economic freedom score is quite a lot different on the two.

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