Many political debates here have included references to The Political Compass, which uses a set of 60 questions to assess one’s political orientation in terms of economic left/right and social libertarianism/authoritarianism (rather like the “Libertarian diamond” popular in the US).
Whenever such a reference is made, there is often dissent regarding whether the assessment it provides is valid, notably by US conservative posters, either because it is “left-biased” or because some questions are clearly slanted, ambiguous or self-contradictory.
Now, the site itself provides answers to these and other Frequently Asked Questions, and I think that even the most poorly conceived questions give some insight into one’s true position, but I think that it is such a useful site that it might be worth exploring the entire thing here in detail.
And so, every so often I will begin a thread in which the premise for debate is one of the 60 questions. I will give which answer I chose and provide my justification and reasoning. Others are, of course, invited to do the same including those who wish to “question the question”, as it were.
It might also be useful when posting in these threads to give your own “compass reading” in your first post, by convention giving the Economic value first. My own is
SentientMeat: Economic: -5.12, Social: -7.28, and so by the above convention my co-ordinates are (-5.12, -7.28). Please also indicate which option you ticked.
(The above will be footnoted in every new thread in order to introduce it properly.)
So, let us have at it.
*Proposition 1: * If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.
SentientMeat ticks Agree.
There is scope here for objecting that the two are not mutually exclusive (see later question 47; one can contend that what’s good for those corporations is good for all of us), which is perhaps why I do not Strongly Agree.
However, I contend that declaring on the side of “humanity” clearly sets out my stand as regards where I believe real power should ultimately reside; ie. with democratically elected governments rather than corporate entities. Globalisation must work both ways; if it means rich countries’ people can buy cheap goods by opening up Third World markets, it must also mean that Third World people can offer their services more cheaply than rich countries’ workers. Furthermore, the benefits of such increased economic freedom should, by the power vested in said governments (eg. taxation, anti-exploitation laws etc.), fall primarily on those rich consumers/poor workers rather than on the shareholders of those corporations.
I contend that a tick for Agree (whether Strongly or not) is ultimately a tick for some vestige of democratic control over “OmniCorps” and a tick against protectionism.