California Greening: 3D Politics – ‘Political Compass’ and Beyond

Alex Walker at California Greening:

Dear Green Friends,

Scott McLarty, Green Party U.S. Media Coordinator, posted a Facebook link to an interactive web site known as Political Compass. According to Scott, the site returned these scores based on his reply to a battery of multiple choice questions: “Economic Left/Right: -7.12; Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.05, which places me in the lower left corner of the chart (slightly more libertarian than left).”

I was not surprised Scott’s results were similar to mine. People at Political Compass strongly believe the old one-dimensional “Left vs Right” model for describing political parties is obsolete. They believe the model should include a “Libertarian vs. Authoritarian” dimension with four quarants for “Libertarian Left”, “Libertarian Right”, “Authoritarian Left”, and “Authoritarian Right.” Hence, the depiction of the 2008 presidential candidates posted on the TrèsSugar Web Site.

2D

I agree. Indeed, I’d go further for two reasons.

First, the conflict between so-called conservative Republicans and so-called liberal Democrats in the U.S. doesn’t even make sense along the old “Left-Right” dimension, since both are clustered in the “Authoritarian Right” quadrant. The only difference is demagoguery. Republicans use Big Government authoritarianism supposedly to serve hard-working, taxpaying, Christian “Whites” in “middle-class” neighborhoods. Democrats use Big Government authoritarianism supposedly to serve that 70% of Californians labeled “minorities” including, allegedly lazy, welfare-dependent, savage “Blacks” like my family and me in the “ghetto.”

Second, I am convinced the growing conflict between stand patters for “Gray” industry and innovators for “Green” industry constitutes a third dimension. And it’s along this third dimension where the great 21st Century political struggles are forming.

3D

Read more to see the Political Compass test prologue. Check it out, then post a comment.

The irrelevance and divisiveness of the phony debate between so-called conservative Republicans and so-called liberal Democrats is why I plead for Greens, Libertarians, and all other serious independents to quit propping up the One-Party-With-2-Names by framing our dissent with old clichés, slogans, and stereotypes.

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Welcome to the Political Compass

There’s abundant evidence for the need of it. The old one-dimensional categories of ‘right’ and ‘left’, established for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, are overly simplistic for today’s complex political landscape. For example, who are the ‘conservatives’ in today’s Russia? Are they the unreconstructed Stalinists, or the reformers who have adopted the right-wing views of conservatives like Margaret Thatcher?

On the standard left-right scale, how do you distinguish leftists like Stalin and Gandhi? It’s not sufficient to say that Stalin was simply more left than Gandhi. There are fundamental political differences between them that the old categories on their own can’t explain. Similarly, we generally describe social reactionaries as ‘right-wingers’, yet that leaves left-wing reactionaries like Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot off the hook.

That’s about as much as we should tell you for now. After you’ve responded to the following propositions during the next 3-5 minutes, all will be explained. In each instance, you’re asked to choose the response that best describes your feeling: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree or Strongly Agree. At the end of the test, you’ll be given the compass, with your own special position on it.

. . .

Click here to start.

Check it out, dear friends. Then post a comment here.

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