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. I will also suggest what I think is the “weighting” given to the various answers in terms of calculating the final orientation.
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.
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? 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.
(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.)
*Proposition #4: * Our race has many superior qualities, compared to other races.
SentientMeat (-5.12, -7.28) ticks Strongly Disagree.
Easy one, this. “Race”, “black”, “white”: these are merely slang words with no biological or anthropological substance. “White” is an utterly arbitrary taxon with which to classify humans, apparently based solely on epidermal melanin (I would like “racism” to be renamed “melaninism”) - one might as well label blondes a different “race” to brunettes. There are no traits, physical or not, which are universal to “whites” but absent from “non-whites”, thus proving its taxonomic uselessness. One might allow “race” to mean ethnicity, which obviously is scientifically useful, but it should be borne in mind that there would then be literally thousands of different “races”, if not as many different “races” as there are people!
Unfortunately, there are people who think that elevated levels of epidermal melanin somehow affects intelligence or predisposition to criminality. These people have existed since the dawn of civilisation, and have shaped the world so that melanin-rich people still overwhelmingly reside at the bottom of the financial ladder, where poor education and criminal behaviour is rife. Things have improved greatly over the last decades but, like a glass of Alka-Seltzer, it takes a heck of a lot of mixing to get what was originally at the bottom to redistribute itself properly, especially when there’s so little social mobility as today, when the rich tend to stay rich and the poor stay poor.
Anything other than a Strongly Disagree is a step towards authoritarianism. I would even guess that mere Disagree gives a slight positive reading in terms of the Social final score.