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Thread: The Decline of the Debate and the Rise of the Far Left and Right

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    From the FAQ:

    Some of the questions are slanted

    Most of them are slanted! Some right-wingers accuse us of a leftward slant. Some left-wingers accuse us of a rightward slant. But it’s important to realise that this isn’t a survey, and these aren’t questions. They’re propositions — an altogether different proposition. To question the logic of individual ones that irritate you is to miss the point. Some propositions are extreme, and some are more moderate. That’s how we can show you whether you lean towards extremism or moderation on the Compass.

    The propositions should not be overthought. Some of them are intentionally vague. Their purpose is to trigger buzzwords in the mind of the user, measuring feelings and prejudices rather than detailed opinions on policy.

    Incidentally, our test is not another internet personality classification tool. The essence of our site is the model for political analysis. The test is simply a demonstration of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Draxil View Post
    edit: dammit, I can't figure out how to post the result. I was x+4, y-0.31.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I scored bottom left, but I’m really more of a communist than a libertarian.

  3. #53
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Bottom left? That's, like, Star Trek society, man.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    There were no questions like, “Do you think health care, university, and a basic income should all be free?”, which no good libertarian would agree with but I sure do.

  5. #55
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I guess it is really rather different to how people are used to thinking about these terms, but under their model, libertarian is a social dimension, not an economic one. Market-based healthcare and education and no minimum wage would be to the right of the chart, not to the bottom.

    I think this chart might make things a bit clearer, perhaps:



    Also, from the FAQ:

    You’ve got liberals on the right. Don’t you know they’re left?

    This response is exclusively American. Elsewhere neo-liberalism is understood in standard political science terminology — deriving from mid 19th Century Manchester Liberalism, which campaigned for free trade on behalf of the capitalist classes of manufacturers and industrialists. In other words, laissez-faire or economic libertarianism.

    In the United States, “liberals” are understood to believe in leftish economic programmes such as welfare and publicly funded medical care, while also holding liberal social views on matters such as law and order, peace, sexuality, women’s rights etc. The two don’t necessarily go together.

    Our Compass rightly separates them. Otherwise, how would you label someone like the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who, on the one hand, pleased the left by supporting strong economic safety nets for the underprivileged, but angered social liberals with his support for the Vietnam War, the Cold War and other key conservative causes?
    Last edited by Starker; 18th Aug 2018 at 11:37.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 0x0x0
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    There were no questions like, “Do you think health care, university, and a basic income should all be free?”, which no good libertarian would agree with but I sure do.
    You don't actually believe anything is "free" do you? See...socialism and communism only work until you run out of other people's money. It's amazing anybody still thinks it's a viable system.

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Quote Originally Posted by SlyFoxx View Post
    You don't actually believe anything is "free" do you? See...socialism and communism only work until you run out of other people's money. It's amazing anybody still thinks it's a viable system.
    And capitalism only works until the Robber Barons achieve monopoly and amass the majority of the wealth in stagnant pools.

    The only way capitalism is viable is if it is heavily regulated, spreading the wealth and opportunity around while resisting the criminal element.

    Things are not "free" under socialism, their cost is shared, as are the benefits.

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    It has worked in Scandinavia for decades. They haven't run out of other people's money yet and it doesn't seem like they're going to any time soon. And Denmark not only provides higher education for free, they pay a monthly stipend to all students.

    A comparison the US and Denmark, courtesy of Fox News: https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/stat...603888641?s=19

    The assumption that you'll eventually run out of other people's money is based on the premise that there is a finite amount of money to go around and once it is spent it's all gone and there's nothing left. The real world, of course, doesn't work this way. People continue to produce more money, and they can do that without any problems when they are getting paid a decent living wage in a society where people are healthy and well educated.
    Last edited by Starker; 18th Aug 2018 at 12:55.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Meanwhile, capitalism runs out of other people's money and needs an infusion of "socialist" cash about every 10-20 years.

  10. #60
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland
    The Scandinavian (Nordic Model) countries aren't socialist. They still operate within a capitalist economy framework.
    'I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.'
    Danish Prime Minister.
    Venezuela, however, is a true socialist economy and they have run out of money.

  12. #62
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Purgator View Post
    The Scandinavian (Nordic Model) countries aren't socialist. They still operate within a capitalist economy framework.
    They work under what should be commonly called the welfare state and/or social democracy model. The problem is that at some point, some idiot decided to call it socialism cuz, comeon, it's all social stuff, yall.

    ...damn the connotations and associations!

    Here in the states, I'm waiting for the day when some democrat candidate decides to propose a final solution to our healthcare problem.

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Purgator View Post
    The Scandinavian (Nordic Model) countries aren't socialist. … Venezuela, however, is a true socialist economy...
    Ah, semantic games. For my money, Venezuela is a corrupt oil state, economically sort of the Middle East of South America.
    Neoliberal: Actually the Nordic states are extremely capitalist aside from their generous welfare states

    Me: Cool can we also become extremely capitalist with a very generous welfare state or whatever?

    Neoliberal: That’s socialism, which has failed every time it has been tried
    https://twitter.com/neoliberal_dad/s...86389142335488

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland
    In Scandinavian countries the means of production remains largely with private individuals not the government nor the community (not Socialism). Yes they have great welfare/healthcare, paid for through heavy taxation, from a free market.
    The Socialist Venezuelan government took control of the means of production for the workers (Socialism). They're dying on their arse, like every Socialist regime before it. They've run out of money.

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    I think the FAQ offers lame excuses.

    If you can't tell me what the center value of each axis means or what it's based on, how can I conclude anything from my data point? If I can't see the statistical distribution of responses, how can I tell where I ended up relative to the overall population? If you didn't ask me about party affiliation or political philosophy as part of the survey, how can I tell where I am relative to my voting group or ideological peers?

    There have been many small informal surveys of Political Compass results over the years and the median always seems to be below center on the A-L axis and usually a little left of center on the L-R axis. Google it. The PACE people might dismiss these surveys as being biased by self-selection of the sample, but nobody can really know when they refuse to publish statistics. And if they wanted to, they could control for sample bias by including additional questions, but they don't.

    Anyway, at a minimum the Political Compass offers a way for individuals to compare their results relative to each other e.g. other TTLG respondents. My bigger gripe is how they rate candidates for office. You can't use a questionnaire and formula to rate all your survey respondents and then place candidates on the same grid based on a secret and subjective evaluation, trying to guess who you think they really are, ignoring their statements and public record in the process. That's shenanigans.

    If you think I'm being too critical, I'll repeat my challenge. First, find a set of answers that give you a result where they've placed Obama and/or Macron. Then try to reconcile those answers with their record in office. Bonus points if you can tell me how Macron and Ron Paul rate the same, or Obama and Thatcher, or how the Labour Party goes from being solidly Authoritarian-Right to Libertarian-Left in a span of 2 years.

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    If someone from the states could explain to me how it isn’t *entirely fucked up* that it’s becoming increasingly common for people to start GoFundMe campaigns to pay to treat their life-threatening medical conditions, I’d appreciate it. Wouldn’t not having to worry about that be worth the extra taxation? As someone currently paying those taxes, I can answer unequivocally: yes.

  17. #67
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    The most common response to that question is "why should I be forced by the government to pay for something I don't need!"

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    If you think I'm being too critical, I'll repeat my challenge. First, find a set of answers that give you a result where they've placed Obama and/or Macron. Then try to reconcile those answers with their record in office. Bonus points if you can tell me how Macron and Ron Paul rate the same, or Obama and Thatcher, or how the Labour Party goes from being solidly Authoritarian-Right to Libertarian-Left in a span of 2 years.
    I think you're taking it far too seriously. It's just a website that throws around a few ideas and tries to offer a different perspective on the usual left-right divide. As I said, it's not a serious tool for detailed analysis or anything close to that. And yes, it's entirely subjective and non-transparent.

    It is also not meant for you to accurately position yourself (or anyone) relative to everybody else. It just tells you where you land on their model -- whether you lean towards maximising personal freedoms or towards obeying authority and whether you lean towards collective control in the economy or leaving it completely up to market forces. It doesn't really say anything about individual policies or politics and it isn't meant to.

    As a result, Macron and Ron Paul don't "rate the same". They have the same leanings on the PC's chart -- very pro free markets and leaning somewhat towards individual freedoms on average. I don't know about the Y-axis, but the X-axis sounds about right.

    Obama and Thatcher are not that dissimilar as you may think -- they both heavily championed free markets, for example. Even Obamacare was an attempt to find a market based solution. As for authoritarianism, I already brought examples from Obama and I don't think I need to convince you that Thatcher was leaning heavily towards authoritarianism as well.

    Labour has been on the right side of the chart for a while now. I suppose you have heard of New Labour and the Third Way? And Miliband championed the free market heavily as well. Right now, though, it is led by Jeremy Corbyn who proposes things like nationalising the railways and public utilities.
    Last edited by Starker; 18th Aug 2018 at 21:09.

  19. #69
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Pyrian, that quote is solid gold, but you could just as well have quoted this very thread:

    A: "Health care, university, and basic income should all be free."

    B: "Socialism doesn't work."

    C: "It does in Scandinavia."

    D: "Scandinavia isn't socialist."

    E: "We're not talking about socialism, we're talking about "socialism"."

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    If you're going to place survey respondents on the grid based on their answers to the questions, then you have to do the same for the candidates. You shouldn't use one rating standard for respondents and a completely different and arbitrary one for the parties and candidates. As best it's meaningless. More likely it's disingenuous, purposefully portraying the political parties they don't favor to be far away from the average score attained by respondents on the test.

    I don't like portraying politics as a 1-dimensional or 2-dimensional thing or reducing people and candidates to a score. It discourages issue-oriented debate and encourages partisan debate. But if we must go there, I suggest starting with a better political spectrum quiz. This one has better questions which are less loaded. They also ask demographic questions and you can compare your result to the average for different demographic groupings, including political parties.

    https://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/po...trum-quiz.html

    They also show scatter plots of respondents from each of the national US parties, so you can see the distribution of responses for each party:

    https://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/po...e-parties.html

  21. #71
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    That test gave me results about on par with the previous one. It says I'm a slight bit more to the left, and not quite as socially libertarian, but still pegged me out in about the same ballpark.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Some of those second set of questions seem very US-specific to me.

    Either way, in both tests I end up in the bottom-left quadrant. More to the left and much closer to the centre of the authoritarian/libertarian scale in the second test. Which kind of makes sense because I believe in regulating things where otherwise humans will be evil to each other and ruin it for everyone.



    Anyway, going back to the original topic, people keep talking about the importance of free speech, but I don't agree with what some people consider that to actually mean.

    The idea of free speech is that you should be allowed to express your opinion even if it contradicts with that of the state (mainly) or the majority of people, and that you shouldn't be suppressed or persecuted by the government for criticising them.
    But the thing is, that's talking about political beliefs, like for example believing in the right to keep arms, or believing in gun control; believing in the free market or believing in regulation. You should be free to be anywhere on that political spectrum.

    But what I don't agree with is that hatred should be protected by the right of free speech. If your speech is designed solely to attack and hurt others, then that is not okay and you should not have the right to that speech. You have the right to have an option. You do not have a right to spread hatred and vitriol, to attack others. Those aren't valid political beliefs, they're behaviours which are unacceptable in any society.

    I keep seeing "freedom of speech" being used to defend the alt-right. No. Just no. Stop trying to use free speech to defend the indefensible.
    Racism, bigotry, sexism, death threats, these things are never okay, anywhere, on any side of the political spectrum.


    Recently someone said to me "Of course, when you're far left everything to the right of you is alt-right".
    That's just wrong on so many levels. It's like saying that if you're on the left, everyone to the right of you is a bigot. The two don't equate at all.
    If you're far left, then everything to the right of you is the right. Such people are going to have more conservative views, like believing in businesses over people, less government regulation, and so on. That's fair, and people are entitled to such opinions even if I don't agree with them.
    Last edited by Nameless Voice; 19th Aug 2018 at 20:19.

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I'm also more to the left and less to the bottom on the other test. Also, non-interventionist and socially liberal. Well, duh.


    As for Political Compass, it's perfectly valid to look at a candidate's record to see where they stand on issues rather than take their own word for it.

    Also, of course it's better to look at individual policies and issues rather than simply saying a candidate is left or right of somewhere. But it's not like Political Compass is meant to be a replacement for that. It's not meant to be the tool for political analysis. It's simply a small step away from the usual left-right dichotomy. Kind of like what happens when people specify that they are a fiscal conservative.

    The reason so many parties are on the right side is because most of them are pro-capitalism. And yes, even Labour has had a pro-free market capitalist political stance.

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    As for censorship, not every group deserves a platform equal to all others. For example, certain far-right ideas are an existential threat to large groups of people. Also known as the paradox of tolerance.
    This deserves to be quoted, rather than just being off-handedly referenced, as it feels very relevant to this discussion and to today's world:

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Popper, defining The Paradox of Tolerance
    Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    The political compass is decent, it's their "assessments" of where parties and politicians are that is way off.



    My chart is doubtless pretty standard for a European liberal (socially libertarian, economically centrist) but they put my party in the upper right quadrant, seemingly apropos of absolutely nothing. Given that the Liberal Democrats is the party that drove legalisation of gay marriage in the UK, wants to legalise marijuana etc, it's difficult to understand how they managed to put them up there:


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