Many political debates here have included references to The Political Compass, which uses a set of 61 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).
And so, every so often I will begin a thread in which the premise for debate is one of the 61 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 would 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. I might suggest what I think is the “weighting” given to the various answers in terms of calculating the final orientation, but seeing for yourself what kind of answers are given by those with a certain score might be more useful than second-guessing the test’s scoring system.
Now, I appreciate that there is often dissent regarding whether the assessment the test provides is valid, notably by US conservative posters, either because it is “left-biased” (??) or because some propositions are clearly slanted, ambiguous or self-contradictory. The site itself provides answers to these and other Frequently Asked Questions, and there is also a separate thread: Does The Political Compass give an accurate reading? [size=2]Read these first and then, if you have an objection to the test in general, please post it there. If your objection is solely to the proposition in hand, post here. If your objection is to other propositions, please wait until I open a thread on them. (And for heaven’s sake, please don’t quote this entire Opening Post when replying like this sufferer of bandwidth diarrhea.)
The above will be pasted in every new thread in order to introduce it properly, and I’ll try to let each one exhaust itself of useful input before starting the next. Without wanting to “hog the idea”, I would be grateful if others could refrain from starting similar threads. To date, the threads are:
Does The Political Compass give an accurate reading?
Political Compass #1: Globalisation, Humanity and OmniCorp.
#2: My country, right or wrong
#3: Pride in one’s country is foolish.
#4: Superior racial qualities.
#5: My enemy’s enemy is my friend.
#6: Justifying illegal military action.
#7: “Info-tainment” is a worrying trend.
#8: Class division vs. international division. (+ SentientMeat’s economic worldview)
#9: Inflation vs. unemployment.
#10: Corporate respect of the environment.
#11: From each according to his ability, to each according to need.
#12: Sad reflections in branded drinking water.
#13: Land should not be bought and sold.
#14: Many personal fortunes contribute nothing to society.
#15: Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.
#16: Shareholder profit is a company’s only responsibility.
#17: The rich are too highly taxed.
#18: Better healthcare for those who can pay for it.
#19: Penalising businesses which mislead the public.
#20: The freer the market, the freer the people.
#21: Abortion should be illegal.
#22: All authority must be questioned.
#23: An eye for an eye.
#24: Taxpayers should not prop up theatres or museums.
#25: Schools shouldn’t make attendance compulsory.
#26: Different kinds of people should keep to their own.
#27: Good parents sometimes have to spank their children.
#28: It’s natural for children to keep secrets.
#29: Marijuana should be legalised.
#30: School’s prime function is equipping kids to find jobs.
#31: Seriously disabled people should not reproduce.
#32: Learning discipline is the most important thing.
#33: ‘Savage peoples’ vs. ‘different culture’
#34: Society should not support those who refuse to work.
#35: Keep cheerfully busy when troubled.
Proposition #36: First-generation immigrants can never be fully integrated within their new country.
SentientMeat (-5.12, -7.28) ticks Strongly Disagree.
What does it mean to be “fully integrated within a country”? I would suggest a useful measure of “integration” is the ease with which one can go about everyday life according to that country’s laws. Clearly, language is key to facilitating many aspects of everyday life. When I am in a country where neither English, French nor German is common, I struggle with all but the most basic social interactions, and were I to avoid everyday interactions requiring anything more than sign language, I could not very well say that I had “integrated” particularly fully.
So, after a certain level of fluency in a country’s primary language is attained, what else might hinder “everyday life”?
Discounting outright prejudice and discrimination, I would suggest very little. Any criterion whereby one might be judged to be “not fully integrated” would surely apply to a whole load of that country’s natives? For any custom, pastime, attitude or manifestation of ‘culture’, the first generation immigrant’s distaste or indifference towards it would likely be matched by a whole host of his new compatriots, some of whom may have traced their native ancestry back through the centuries. Yes, feelings of pride or loyalty towards their new country might be rather scarce, but many natives might well think that patriotism is for morons, too. There might be some aspects of their new life of which they disapprove and prefer to eschew, but is there anything so universally participated in or advocated? Not much, say I.
(Of course, all this assumes that the immigrant does not break the law of the new country, a condition which I suggest that one effectively agrees to by the simple act of entering it voluntarily. I believe that lawbreaking would indeed reasonably constitute not being “fully integrated”, but it would be absurd to claim that first generation immigrants can never obey the law.)
So, as long as one learns enough language to get by and leaves the house once in a while, I fail to see how one might be considered not as “fully integrated” into a country as some of its residents who live and die near their great-grandfather’s birthplace. Am I “not fully integrated” to my country of birth, or something?