Feb 262010
 

Yeah, whatever.

The Intarweb Tubes are loaded with “political tests.” Here are a few links, and my results.

http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html

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http://www.politicalcompass.org/test

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http://www.okcupid.com/politics

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Note that this graphic shows “Socialist” and “Fascist” at the opposite ends ofthe scale. Hwoever, Fasiscm was simply a nationailstic subset of Socialism, so how they can be opposite like that… shrug..

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http://helloquizzy.okcupid.com/tests/the-world’s-smallish-political-test

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And so on.

The thing I noticed is that these “tests” have a lot of vaguaries, and with limited multiple-choices, a lot of the answers are not good ones. Many questions give you these options:

Strongly disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly agree
But not “I don’t give a damn.”

So they are of somewhat limited virtue… but they all seem to come up with the same general trend.

Oh, and… if someone pops up with the dreary old argument “Yeah, but those were created for Americans, and don’t factor in how other nations view right vs. left, blah, blah, blah,” just keep in mind… I am an American. I am going to judge myself, and my world, via American standards. I’m no more going to determine what’s Left and what’s Right by European standards, say, than I am to spell “color” with a “u” or use the word “milliard” in any context other than “I don’t use the word ‘milliard'” or suggest putting Euro-trash monarchs on US currency.

So there.

 Posted by at 10:23 am
  • Michael Holt

    It’s just the Internet. There’s pretension toward legitimacy, bu that’s all. The test isn’t sufficiently nuanced to be useful for much more than a party joke when everyone’s drunk.

    I tested as a “centrist.” I’m not sure why, except that I’ve been living in a collapsing city for 15 years and I tend to feel now that some of the denizens need control.

  • George Allegrezza

    This is like Meters-Briggs or some of those other personality tests. There probably is some worthwhile science behind it, but it falls down when it gets oversimplified for the questionnaire. Maybe a four-day psychiatric evaluation would reveal what Meyers-Briggs claims to predict, but a ten-minute Internet exercise is probably not going to make calculations with the same rigor.

    Plus how exactly do you put a numerical value on “don’t give a rat’s pitoot”.

  • bruce

    If we only COULD get the sober, responsible persons enthroned in Stockholm and Holland to take over the theatrical side of US government.

  • Pat Flannery

    The problem with these things is that they are almost all written by Libertarians to convince people by the choice of questions that they are Libertarians also, but just don’t know it.
    Once that’s established, then phase two is to convince them that since Libertarians as a independent political party don’t stand a chance in hell of winning the presidency, their best bet would be to vote Republican, which is kinda-sorta Libertarian.
    Glenn Beck had the top one on his show yesterday, with of course “Progressive” filling in for “Statist”.
    Since he’s now worked his way from the Devil being FDR through Wilson being Lucifer to Teddy Roosevelt being Satan, I’m keen to see when he makes the jump to some president from the 19th century being the source of all our woes.
    Chester Arthur as Mephistopheles? 🙂

  • admin

    > with of course “Progressive” filling in for “Statist”.

    And what’s the difference?

  • Pat Flannery

    Well, for starters, there were officially organized Progressive Parties in the US; I don’t think there was ever a “Statist Party” that ever showed up on a US voting ballot.
    Roosevelt’s Progressive/Bull Moose Party was interesting in that it appealed to disaffected elements in both the Republican and Democratic parties who saw the government as basically corrupt and little difference between the two parties in their failure to deal with that problem.
    Which is pretty much where the Tea Party is coming from nowadays.

  • admin

    > there were officially organized Progressive Parties in the US; I don’t think there was ever a “Statist Party” that ever showed up on a US voting ballot.

    Yeah, and there was an organization called “ACORN,” but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t an acronym for “Communists Who Will Helps Pimps Bring In Sex Slaves And Cheat The Tax System,” yet that’s what they were.

    Look to modern “progressives.” With the exception of the military, argueably the only Constitutionally-approved function of government outside of policing worth being mentioned, what “progressive” ideas are there that *reduce* the size of the government substantially?

  • Brianna

    “With the exception of the military, argueably the only Constitutionally-approved function of government outside of policing worth being mentioned”

    > Scott, you forgot the courts.

    “there were officially organized Progressive Parties in the US; I don’t think there was ever a “Statist Party” that ever showed up on a US voting ballot.”

    > Pat, you need to learn to look beneath the surface of things. Stop paying attention to names and superficial appearances and start looking at the core principles beneath all of these various “isms”. Nazism, socialism, communism, fascism, statism, corporatism, Marxism… all of them are just different names for a few basic principles: huge state, government knows best, and public good is the ultimate ideal, and the group is the fundamental unit of society. Choosing between them is a game of “heads I win, tails you lose” because there really isn’t any fundamental difference in any of the options.

  • admin

    > > Scott, you forgot the courts.

    For the purposes of a quickly dashed-off blog comment, I classify “courts” as part of “policing.”

  • aerospacer

    “Fasiscm was simply a nationailstic subset of Socialism”

    You ignorant idiot might want to educate yourself on how many socialists and communists were killed in nazi concentration camps: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10007329

  • admin

    Lots of *all* kinds of people died in Nazi concentration camps. Hell, how many COmmunists died in *Soviet* concentration camps?

    You’ve chosen a poor metric to use to try to alter the fact that National Socialism was a subset of Socialism.

  • aerospacer

    “You’ve chosen a poor metric to use to try to alter the fact that National Socialism was a subset of Socialism.”

    You have *any* proof at all for that asinine assertion? Fore an self professed engineer, that’s a piss poor line of reasoning. Facts are determined by deeds and not by names. Soviets, just like nazis, were *only* about dictatorship and domination – in other words, they were not interested in the least in political governance principles, but only in raw power and subjugation of the people they allegedly represented. Only fools like you are unable to look past mere labels – quote *one* single credible academic source that nazis were indeed true socialists, if you can…

  • Pat Flannery

    Admin said:
    “Lots of *all* kinds of people died in Nazi concentration camps. Hell, how many COmmunists died in *Soviet* concentration camps?”
    I’d have to check, but IRRC, the total number of Russians and Ukrainians that Stalin was responsible for killing was somewhere around eight – ten million.
    Most of those never got sent to concentration camps, but either starved to death or were simply executed shortly after arrest.
    Total deaths under the Nazis were around twelve million; everyone knows about the six million killed in the Jewish holocaust, but an equal number were killed for being political enemies, Poles or Slavs, Gypsies, Russian POWs, homosexuals, cripples, mentally retarded, alcohol or drug abusers, insane, repeat criminal offenders or Jehovah’s Witnesses for that matter.
    A illustration of the Nazi badges used for various prisoners in the concentration camps to break them down into sub-groups is fascinating, as different colored triangles could be stacked one atop another to more specifically identify their crimes against the state and the Aryan race’s purity:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kSCLMNjrSNo/R5A-sGBUd5I/AAAAAAAAiEw/wBZ8y4q5vdQ/s400/nazi_concentration_camp_badges.jpg

  • Pat Flannery

    I just checked on Stalin; let’s make that around twenty million:
    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
    The problem with trying to figure out his total death toll is that in a lot of cases the deaths weren’t due to direct action on the Soviet government’s part, but rather due to things like widespread starvation – like what happened when Stalin ordered the Ukraine’s wheat to be exported so that it would prove the success of the Soviet agricultural system’s way of doing things.
    The most recent example of mass deaths from a political system’s actions were the tens of millions of deaths in China when Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” proved to be a complete disaster in regards to agriculture, resulting in mass starvation of the rural Chinese populace.
    That may have resulted in the deaths of forty million people, which makes Joe and Adolph look like pikers by comparison.
    …and yet, when it was going on, you heard almost nothing about it in the press.

  • Pat Flannery

    Admin said:
    “You’ve chosen a poor metric to use to try to alter the fact that National Socialism was a subset of Socialism.”
    Very true argument there; once the internationalist aspect of Leninist/ Trotskyite Communism was squelched by Stalin, the de-facto actions of Soviet Communism and German Nazism were pretty much identical.
    Both saw their major enemies as being inside of their own population rather than a external threat, and set out to destroy anyone who didn’t agree with the ruling party’s view of things.

  • Pat Flannery

    Aerospacer wrote:
    “You have *any* proof at all for that asinine assertion? Fore an self professed engineer, that’s a piss poor line of reasoning. Facts are determined by deeds and not by names. Soviets, just like nazis, were *only* about dictatorship and domination – in other words, they were not interested in the least in political governance principles, but only in raw power and subjugation of the people they allegedly represented. Only fools like you are unable to look past mere labels – quote *one* single credible academic source that nazis were indeed true socialists, if you can…”
    You may want to look up who first coined the term “welfare state”.
    It was Otto von Bismarck of Germany.
    After the disaster of the hyper-inflation of the Weimar Republic, the German populace was keen to find out how they ended in a situation like that, and be protected from it ever happening again.
    How it happened was obvious; the machinations of big internationalist Jewish banking interests.
    How it was to be prevented in the future was equally obvious; no more Jews equals no more machinations by big Jewish banking interests.
    So, to protect the populace of Germany, the government had to protect its people by any means necessary, no matter how extreme those measures were, and what they meant to the rights of any individual German.
    After all, this was a war…and like The War On Terror, it might require a “temporary” revocation of certain individual rights so that it could be won.

  • admin

    > Soviets, just like nazis, were *only* about dictatorship and domination

    Oh, sure, but they both approached the concept of dictatorship via socialism. Both were systems that advocated *massive* government, massive government programs, massive government control over and meddlign with the people’s lives. Both advocated – and carried out – welfare systates where the people (or at least the people of the right nationaility, in the Nazis case) could be assured that the government would provide for them in all areas of life.

    The Nazis permitted private ownership of industries; the Soviets did not. However, the most socialist of *current* European nations also permit private ownership of industries, so that doesn’t help your doomed arguement. While a German could own an auto factory, say, under the Nazi he took direction from the government. he owned it, but did what they told him to do. This is hardly laissez-faire capitalism, but socialism by other means. Take a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism#Nazi_economic_policy

    The reason why the Commies and the Nazis hated each other with such a passion is because they were in many ways very similar. And if anyone has seen hatred between siblings, they know that hatred born of similarity is some of the nasties hate you can come across.

  • Brianna

    Hmmm… why could anyone possibly think that the Nazis and the Communists were alike? It couldn’t have anything to do with the facts that

    1) Nazis switched to Communism in 1932 when it looked like Hitler wasn’t doing so good.

    2) Communists helped push Hitler into power, under the slogan, “First Brown, then Red”

    3) Hitler welcomed turncoat Communists into his party, even though he rejected the more queasy Social Democrats

    4) Hitler is on record as saying, “There is, above all, genuine revolutionary feeling, which is alive everywhere in Russia except where there are Jewish Marxists. I have always made allowance for this circumstance, and given orders that former Communists are to be admitted to the party at once. The petit bourgeous Social-Democrat and the trade-union boss will never make a National Socialist, but the Communist always will.”

    Now, let’s look at why Nazis and Socialists might be considered to be alike (because the fact that they called themselves Socialists apparently isn’t enough proof for you). The following are quotes from the Nazi party platform

    1) We demand that the State make it its duty to provide opportunities of employment first of all for its own Citizens.

    2) All German Citizens must have equal rights and duties.

    3) It must be the first duty of every Citizen to carry out intellectual or physical work. Individual activity must not be harmful to the public interest and must be pursued within the framework of the community and for the general good

    4) We demand the abolition of all income obtained without labor or effort (i.e. interest)

    5) In view of the tremendous sacrifices in property and blood demanded of the Nation by every war, personal gain from the war must be termed a crime against the Nation. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

    6) We demand the nationalization of all enterprises (already) converted into corporations (trusts).

    7) We demand profit-sharing in large enterprises.

    8) We demand the large-scale development of old-age pension schemes.

    9) We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle class; the immediate communalization of the large department stores, which are to be leased at low rates to small tradesmen. We demand the most careful consideration for the owners of small businesses in orders placed by national, state, or community authorities.

    10) We demand land reform in accordance with our national needs and a law for expropriation without compensation of land for public purposes. Abolition of ground rent and prevention of all speculation in land.

    11) We demand ruthless battle against those who harm the common good by their activities. Persons committing base crimes against the People, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished by death without regard of religion or race.

    12) We demand the replacement of Roman Law, which serves a materialistic World Order, by German Law.

    13) In order to make higher education—and thereby entry into leading positions—available to every able and industrious German, the State must provide a thorough restructuring of our entire public educational system. The courses of study at all educational institutions dare to be adjusted to meet the requirements of practical life. Understanding of the concept of the State must be achieved through the schools (teaching of civics) at the earliest age at which it can be grasped. We demand the education at the public expense of specially gifted children of poor parents, without regard to the latter’s position or occupation.

    14) The State must raise the level of national health by means of mother-and-child care, the banning of juvenile labor, achievement of physical fitness through legislation for compulsory gymnastics and sports, and maximum support for all organizations providing physical training for young people.

    15) The Party as such stands for positive Christianity, without associating itself with any particular denomination. It <i?fights against the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a permanent revival of our Nation can be achieved only from within, on the basis of: Public Interest before Private Interest.

    16) The Party leadership promises to take an uncompromising stand, at the cost of their own lives if need be, on the enforcement of the above points.

    What would you call them? Capitalists?