Friday, October 26, 2007

A Plethora of Political Plots

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who know that there are actually four kinds of people in the world. Michael Kinsley can be found here, doing his best to explain the difference between Republicans, Democrats Progressives, (how movement toward Feudalism can be called "Progressive" eludes me) Libertarians, and a new breed that he calls Communitarians.

Howard Fineman attempts another definition of Libertarians and makes some of the same points about independent voters in Newsweek; click for his article about Libertarian Ron Paul.

Both articles tie in well with three political tests that I've linked to in this post....The World's Smallest Political Quiz has been around for a while. See the grid above. It's a handy device for measuring where a person's political beliefs fit on a liberal/conservative vs. statist/libertarian map. This quiz has a lot of critics, and I agree with the critics...The questions are biased in favor of the Libertarian quadrant, in order to make test takers realize the error of anything other than a Libertarian worldview. The thing takes about 30 seconds to take and is worth the effort, since, as Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living...."

For further clarification, you can take a survey called The Political Compass. The main novelty of this one is the definition of terms - "conservative" and "liberal" are used in the European sense. That is, a liberal is someone who is willing to leave everyone else alone, and can be in the same room with someone who disagrees with him....Also, Libertarians are directly contrasted with Authoritarians, not Communitarians (Kinsley's term) or Statists (The World's Smallest Political Quiz's term). Notice that in the example below, by the standards of The Political Compass, there are almost no Liberals running for office this year.

Also, readers of earlier Whited Sepulchre posts will be delighted to see that, according to this chart, the location of Tom Tancredo's head hasn't changed.

Let me burden you with one more. This one is called The Moral Matrix, and instead of fitting you onto a strictly political grid, they try to get you to understand "why you think what you think". This test asks how much control you would exert over the economic order and the moral order.

All of these articles and tests over-simplify the emotional, environmental, moral, (and maybe
even hereditary?) elements that come into play when someone is in a political discussion, or even the fraction of a second spent in a voting booth.

They're fun to take, though, and will help give you perspective on one of life's annoying questions....How can the 75% of the nation who disagree with you be so wrong?

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