Political Compass

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Political Compass

Unread postby Edward » 16 September 2014, 13:11

I don't think this has been done before. What does yours look like?

Mine always comes out more economically left than I expect.

Original Test: http://www.politicalcompass.org

Derek's Alternative: http://www.politicalcompass.org

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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby -Quack » 16 September 2014, 17:30

Edward wrote:I don't think this has been done before. What does yours look like?

Mine always comes out more economically left than I expect.


Not fond of that particular test. It's kinda simplistic. Still, I prefer that model rather than the annoying basic left/right deal. Like, as my answers will show, I am not really easily described as left wing or right wing. And you'll also see why I don't like the way the questions are presented. :P

[Reveal] Spoiler: Full answers and explanations -- feel free to yell at me
Q: If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Obviously helping humanity is the best outcome. However, I think a successful corporation ends up helping society anyway. And regardless, the state should not interfere.

Q: I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: I think it is in the interests of everyone to strive to make the country they reside in to be the best it can be. Also, silencing all criticism is a very sinister path to walk.

Q: No one chooses his or her country of birth, so it's foolish to be proud of it.
A: Disagree
Expl: This is where a neutral option would be nice. I think there's merit in taking pride in one's country. But to almost claim credit for the blood, sweat, and toil of ancestors? To be almost arrogant in one's pride? That sucks. In any case, the government should not compel patriotic behaviour. People should be free to be unpatriotic.

Q: Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Any differences between races are not inherent, but rather the result of socio=economic conditions.

Q: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: They too could be the enemy. And since I am guessing this refers to interventionism - and I dislike interventionism - I also disagree on those grounds.

Q: Military action that defies international law is sometimes justified.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Aggression is never OK.

Q: There is now a worrying fusion of information and entertainment.
A: Agree
Expl: Again, I'd have preferred a neutral option here. I think it sinister when the lines between information and entertainment blur too much. Given that entertainment is generally a more passive past-time it certainly opens the door to easier dissemination of propaganda. But in any case, the government should not regulate this.

-----

Q: People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Both nationally and internationally the issue of the exploiters and the exploited is very real. I think that a lot of racism (though not all) is either a by-product of class conflict or certainly related to it.

Q: Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: People should not arbitrarily be provided jobs by the state, either directly or indirectly. It distorts the economy further and creates more strife in the long term.

Q:Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Don't get me wrong, striving for renewable energy is important. If only for self-reliance. However, regulation is not the answer as it reduces the productivity of a nation.

Q: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a fundamentally good idea.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: I do fundamentally think that people should strive to support one another. However, I don't think the state itself should be in the business of forcibly redistributing everything.

Q: It's a sad reflection on our society that something as basic as drinking water is now a bottled, branded consumer product.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: While choice and competition is good, I do think it reflects badly on society if resources such as water is a branded good. Nevertheless, this is not an invitation for the state to interfere.

Q: Land shouldn't be a commodity to be bought and sold.
A: Disagree
Expl: I don't really agree with this. But given that I do support land value tax (and nowhere is this really covered) I think this would be the closest approximation of how this question would be answered.

Q: It is regrettable that many personal fortunes are made by people who simply manipulate money and contribute nothing to their society.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: A lot of fortune is not the result of enterprising, and that is a detestable thing. I do not think the state should get too involved bar taxing high value pure monetary transactions and the dividends on shareholders (though also reducing corporation tax).

Q: Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: If there is something that is superior on the market it absolutely makes sense to allow it to be bought and sold freely. This will guarantee greater happiness and quality of life in the long term.

Q: The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: ... though this is not actually an endorsement of the current setup.

Q: The rich are too highly taxed.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: ... sort of. I believe in flat income tax, but support land value tax. I believe in low corporation tax, but the taxing of shareholder dividends. I do think that there's far too much politics of envy with tax, though, at the expense of productivity. The current system produces too much of a disincentive to be productive (where a lot of people make their wealth).

Q: Those with the ability to pay should have the right to higher standards of medical care .
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Who is the state to dictate what people may and may not spend their money on?

Q: Governments should penalise businesses that mislead the public.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: It is the consumers who must punish the business through boycotts etc.

Q: A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: That wouldn't be a free market. However, regulations which allow wealthy businesses to easily retain monopoly status ought be abolished.

Q: The freer the market, the freer the people.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Impinging on transactions and manipulating the market - however noble the goal - is anti-freedom.

-----

Q: Abortion, when the woman's life is not threatened, should always be illegal.
A: Disagree
Expl: From a negative utilitarian point of view, I disagree that abortion should be restricted in any way. However, after about 12 weeks I certainly take a very dim view on the issue.

Q: All authority should be questioned.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: The legitimacy of any hierarchy must be questioned and, if no suitable justification given, ought be dismantled.

Q: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
A: Agree
Expl: Another question I'd love a neutral response for. I believe if people feel so wronged they desire retribution, who am I to question them? That said, in terms of justice in an (ideally minimal) state, rehabilitative and restorative justice should be favoured.

Q: Taxpayers should not be expected to prop up any theatres or museums that cannot survive on a commercial basis.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: If it's failing, there's a reason for it. Either it doesn't fill a need in the market or it's poorly managed. In any case, the taxpayer should not support it. If someone sees it as an importance, let them put their money where their mouth is and help support it financially themselves. But don't force every taxpayer to fund it.

Q: Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: I think it's a stupid idea not to get an education (at least of some kind). However I don't believe the state should take it upon itself to stop people from making stupid decisions.

Q: All people have their rights, but it is better for all of us that different sorts of people should keep to their own kind.
A: Agree
Expl: ... only just. I do think that some cultural differences are so opposed that they verge on irreconcilable. That said, some diversity is good (and enlightening for both parties).

Q: Good parents sometimes have to spank their children.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Reinforcing blind obedience, and the idea that violence is fine? Not cool. A child is still their own person, and that comes with the right to be free from aggression.

Q: It's natural for children to keep some secrets from their parents.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: A healthy distrust of authority is good and natural. Shame it seems to be stamped out all to often.

Q: Possessing marijuana for personal use should not be a criminal offence.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Drug prohibition doesn't work and is counter-productive. And even if it did work, the state should not be nannying people. Legalise all drugs, I say.

Q: The prime function of schooling should be to equip the future generation to find jobs.
A: Agree
Expl: ... somewhat, in the current system. Depends on the school, I guess. I support maximum autonomy for schools to provide choice as to the nature of education.

Q: People with serious inheritable disabilities should not be allowed to reproduce.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: To forcibly forbid someone from reproducing is disgustingly fascist. Would it be wise to voluntarily not reproduce if there are serious inheritable disabilities at play? Sure. And I say that as someone who would come into that category. But to outright ban it? No.

Q: The most important thing for children to learn is to accept discipline.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: There are far better qualities for children to learn. Like cooperation. And respect. "Accepting discipline" is nothing more than accepting authority "just because". Unhealthy, and downright dangerous for all.

Q: There are no savage and civilised peoples; there are only different cultures.
A: Agree
Expl: Probably politically incorrect, but some cultures I think really are barbaric. Still, that's not a reason to go all interventionist on them by imposing another culture on them.

Q: Those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should not expect society's support.
A: Disagree
Expl: ... although only just. I think that workfare systems and withholding benefits create a cruel society. However, I do see that some people do misuse benefits and give the people who genuinely need help a bad name. This behaviour would be disincentivised by moving to a voucher-based benefit system.

Q: When you are troubled, it's better not to think about it, but to keep busy with more cheerful things.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: If something is wrong it needs to be addressed. No point burying one's head in the sand.

Q: First-generation immigrants can never be fully integrated within their new country.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Many migrants do integrate very well.

Q: What's good for the most successful corporations is always, ultimately, good for all of us.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Usually. Corporations are mostly successful because they have provided useful services or goods to society.

Q: No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public funding.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: The state should get its creepers out of media.

Q: Our civil liberties are being excessively curbed in the name of counter-terrorism.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: What is there to explain? Governments are using the threat of terrorism to rob us of our liberty.

Q: A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: That's not an advantage. Sure, partisanship has its serious drawbacks (and it's why I dislike adversarial politics). But if there's disagreements on an issue it may just be because there's a better way to do things. Also, one party states? Dictatorial much?

Q: Although the electronic age makes official surveillance easier, only wrongdoers need to be worried.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Sure... Until the state turns rogue. Then even the innocents are wrongdoers. And who defines "wrongdoers", anyway?

Q: The death penalty should be an option for the most serious crimes.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Putting aside the fact that people have been wrongly put to death, even if there were literally no chance of miscarriage of justice state sanctioned murder is wrong.

Q: In a civilised society, one must always have people above to be obeyed and people below to be commanded.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: I would argue that horizontal structures of organisation and collaboration would be more civilized and enlightened. But that's just me.

Q: Abstract art that doesn't represent anything shouldn't be considered art at all.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: ... though I personally am not fond of it. At all.

Q: In criminal justice, punishment should be more important than rehabilitation.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: If at all possible justice should be focused on restoration and rehabilitation. Punishment shouldn't come into it. Oh, and victimless crimes? Shouldn't be crimes at all.

Q: It is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate some criminals.
A: Agree
Expl: Unfortunately, I do think some criminals really are beyond rehabilitation. However, I do think all methods of rehabilitation should be tried first before writing them off as "beyond salvation".

Q: The businessperson and the manufacturer are more important than the writer and the artist.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Producing actual stuff to improve quality of life is more important. Not to say that the writer and artist are unimportant, but I do place a higher value on the work of the former group.

Q: Mothers may have careers, but their first duty is to be homemakers.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Sexist much? If a person wishes to be a homemaker, good on them. But it's not something to be expected of anyone.

Q: Multinational companies are unethically exploiting the plant genetic resources of developing countries.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: While I have been an apologist for big business, I do recognise that some business practices are absolutely appalling. Like this.

Q: Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: If unconditional submission to the state is maturity then immaturity is a virtue.

-----

Q: Astrology accurately explains many things.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: It's bollocks.

Q: You cannot be moral without being religious.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Morality can be drawn from religious inspiration. But then morality is subjective and, even if it is being based on scripture, still requires some cherry picking. Therefore, morality is ultimately found from within and, as such, religion needn't play a part of that.

Q: Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: The state is rather sluggish to respond to change. However... It is not practicable to dump all responsibility on the third sector in one fell swoop. Decades of state-provided welfare mean that a gradual easing would be required to make it work properly.

Q: Some people are naturally unlucky.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: In the spiritual sense, I reject the notion of luck.

Q: It is important that my child's school instills religious values.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Although I greatly dislike them, I begrudgingly support faith schools on the grounds of autonomy from the state. However, I definitely don't want my hypothetical children being brainwashed with "religious values", thank you very much.

-----

Q: Sex outside marriage is usually immoral.
A: Disagree
Expl: Though I personally am disgusted by the idea of a complete free-for-all. I personally think its disgraceful how sexually charged society has become. But I would not wish to use the state to forbid any activity. Even if I think it's depraved and disgusting.

Q: A same sex couple in a stable, loving relationship, should not be excluded from the possibility of child adoption.
A: Agree
Expl: The state definitely should not have any say in that matter. However, the state should not force agencies to be inclusive. Though any discriminatory agencies I would certainly look upon with disgust, and I would question just how much they really care for the children's welfare.

Q: Pornography, depicting consenting adults, should be legal for the adult population.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Again, although I think society has become almost too sexually charged I don't think the state should be regulating what consenting adults do.

Q: What goes on in a private bedroom between consenting adults is no business of the state.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: As above.

Q: No one can feel naturally homosexual.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Even if it's not something one is born with, it is certainly not by choice. Which I think is what the question was trying to get at.

Q: These days openness about sex has gone too far.
A: Disagree
Expl: While I think sexual activity has gone too far, openness about sex does mean more information is out there so people can keep safe. Still, the depraved aspect of it is what has kept me from choosing "strongly disagree".


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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Welp » 16 September 2014, 19:45

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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Josh » 17 September 2014, 00:16

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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Derek » 17 September 2014, 00:32

You're not going to provide a link?
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby senseofanending » 17 September 2014, 01:41

I've done this test before, not so keen on it, I always get similar results to Welp, Josh and Edward, but I'm far more authoritarian than that.
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby wizid » 17 September 2014, 01:54

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Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare. - Guy de Maupassant
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby René » 17 September 2014, 07:16

I was quite conservative when I was younger, but have since seen the light.

Political Compass results 2014.09.17.png

-Quack wrote:Not fond of that particular test. It's kinda simplistic. Still, I prefer that model rather than the annoying basic left/right deal. Like, as my answers will show, I am not really easily described as left wing or right wing. And you'll also see why I don't like the way the questions are presented. :P

I do agree.

-Quack wrote:Full answers and explanations

Whoa, that's some dedication, writing all of those down for us. :P

-Quack wrote:feel free to yell at me

Thanks, I will. :thumbsup:

-Quack wrote:Q: If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Obviously helping humanity is the best outcome. However, I think a successful corporation ends up helping society anyway. And regardless, the state should not interfere.

[...]

Q:Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: Don't get me wrong, striving for renewable energy is important. If only for self-reliance. However, regulation is not the answer as it reduces the productivity of a nation.

[...]

Q: The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: ... though this is not actually an endorsement of the current setup.

A while ago, a major US car manufacturer (General Motors) learned that one of their car models had a design flaw that could cause the fuel tank to explode in certain collisions, and that a safer design would cost them $8.59 per vehicle. They made an economic analysis and decided not to spend that $8.59 per car to fix the problem, since it would be cheaper to settle any lawsuits that arose (an estimated $2.40 per vehicle on average). People have suffered severe burns as a result of these explosions.

Around the same time, a major German pharmaceutical manufacturer (Bayer) discovered that one of the products they produced, made from human blood, was contaminated with HIV and infecting people with the virus, eventually giving them AIDS. They stopped marketing the medicine and developed a safer alternative, right before exporting all of their contaminated stock to Asia and Latin America, where it continued to be sold. They even continued manufacturing the product (which continued to be contaminated with HIV) for several months, because it was cheaper to make than the new alternative, and continued selling it to developing countries.
6,000 people are known to have contracted HIV and AIDS from this product in the US alone. It is not known how many people were infected in other countries, but it is known that at least 100,000 doses were shipped to countries in Asia and Argentina after it ceased to be sold in the US.

Simultaneously, a major producer of infant formula (Nestlé) thought it was a wonderful idea to convince mothers in third-world countries that its product was a healthier thing to feed babies than breast milk. (It's not.) Many of these mothers were given free samples of the product, and while using these, their breast milk dried up as naturally happens when it's no longer being drunk by the infant. Many of them could not afford to buy enough of the product after the free sample supply ran out, leading them to ration what little they could afford, providing inadequate nutrition to their babies. Most of them did not have access to clean water, and so ended up mixing the formula with dirty contaminated water. Countless babies have died due to this practice, which has persisted for decades.

There are thousands of examples like these that show extremely successful (i.e., profitable) corporations don't mind killing people if it'll make them an extra buck. To say that a corporation's only social responsibility should be to deliver a profit to shareholders seems laughable.

Corporations are amoral. They will generally always do what makes them the most money, even if that means lying to people, exploiting them, and letting them get injured or die. There needs to be a force to prevent corporations from committing these heinous acts, and the only entity capable of being that is government.

I am willing to "reduce the productivity of a nation" if it means everyone will be better off in the long run. We do not exist purely to produce economic output.

-Quack wrote:Q: The rich are too highly taxed.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: ... sort of. I believe in flat income tax, [...]

How does it make sense that someone who makes £5,000 a year and is struggling to even feed and clothe himself (perhaps because he is putting himself through university and only able to have a part-time job at minimum wage) should pay the same percentage of his income in income tax as a billionnaire who makes many millions of pounds per year?

The former can probably barely get by even without being charged any income tax at all (as is the case currently in the UK, since this income would be within the personal allowance), while the latter would have undoubtedly made his fortune by relying on the infrastructure set up by governments over decades and centuries, and would continue to get by with supreme ease even if a huge chunk of his income was taken in taxation.

-Quack wrote:Q: Governments should penalise businesses that mislead the public.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: It is the consumers who must punish the business through boycotts etc.

Except they often can't tell they're being misled.

Recently in the US, an anti-abortion organisation sued the Ohio Elections Commission regarding a state law that made it illegal to lie in political ads. They basically admitted to the judge that they wanted the right to lie to the public so that they could show smear ads to mislead the electorate with lies about pro-choice political candidates.

The judge struck down the law, and politicians in that jurisdiction now have the "right" to tell all sorts of lies in their campaigns to win elections.

Do you really think that when people get bombarded with lies propagated by entities with lots of money who benefit financially from making people believe things that aren't true, they'll do their research and establish an informed opinion on the matter? Most people are far too stupid and/or busy and/or apathetic for that. Businesses and politicians who deliberately mislead the public should be penalised.

-Quack wrote:Q: What's good for the most successful corporations is always, ultimately, good for all of us.
A: Strongly agree
Expl: Usually. Corporations are mostly successful because they have provided useful services or goods to society.

You agreed with the statement that the only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders. The 6 most profitable corporations in the world are oil and gas companies. Sure they provide useful goods, but I feel like fucking up the planet in the long term just so these companies and their shareholders can be super-rich in the short term probably isn't ultimately good for all of us.

You remind me of lostpainting (Alex Knepper)... except you're not annoying. :lol:
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Derek » 17 September 2014, 07:40

René wrote:
-Quack wrote:Q: Governments should penalise businesses that mislead the public.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: It is the consumers who must punish the business through boycotts etc.

Except they often can't tell they're being misled.

Recently in the US, an anti-abortion organisation sued the Ohio Elections Commission regarding a state law that made it illegal to lie in political ads. They basically admitted to the judge that they wanted the right to lie to the public so that they could show smear ads to mislead the electorate with lies about pro-choice political candidates.

The judge struck down the law, and politicians in that jurisdiction now have the "right" to tell all sorts of lies in their campaigns to win elections.

Do you really think that when people get bombarded with lies propagated by entities with lots of money who benefit financially from making people believe things that aren't true, they'll do their research and establish an informed opinion on the matter? Most people are far too stupid and/or busy and/or apathetic for that. Businesses and politicians who deliberately mislead the public should be penalised.

Doesn't the fact that you're aware of this prove his point? Is there a cut-off point for how hopelessly ignorant you believe others are that determines whether certain behavior is ethical?
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby René » 17 September 2014, 07:47

Derek wrote:
René wrote:
-Quack wrote:Q: Governments should penalise businesses that mislead the public.
A: Strongly disagree
Expl: It is the consumers who must punish the business through boycotts etc.

Except they often can't tell they're being misled.

Recently in the US, an anti-abortion organisation sued the Ohio Elections Commission regarding a state law that made it illegal to lie in political ads. They basically admitted to the judge that they wanted the right to lie to the public so that they could show smear ads to mislead the electorate with lies about pro-choice political candidates.

The judge struck down the law, and politicians in that jurisdiction now have the "right" to tell all sorts of lies in their campaigns to win elections.

Do you really think that when people get bombarded with lies propagated by entities with lots of money who benefit financially from making people believe things that aren't true, they'll do their research and establish an informed opinion on the matter? Most people are far too stupid and/or busy and/or apathetic for that. Businesses and politicians who deliberately mislead the public should be penalised.

Doesn't the fact that you're aware of this prove his point? Is there a cut-off point for how hopelessly ignorant you believe others are that determines whether certain behavior is ethical?

I don't see how it proves his point.

I believe it is in the public interest to stop corporations and politicians lying to the public for their own financial or political gain. There is no ignorance cut-off point involved.
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Derek » 17 September 2014, 08:12

René wrote:I don't see how it proves his point.

It's not easy to get things past people. You know about this thing in Ohio and you don't live within a thousand miles of there.

I believe it is in the public interest to stop corporations and politicians lying to the public for their own financial or political gain. There is no ignorance cut-off point involved.

Are we talking about lies as in libel and misrepresentation, or lies as in advertising (i.e. misleading the public)? In the latter case, I don't see what difference it makes. Even with laws in place that attempt to enforce some standard of quality, there is endless amounts of disinformation floating around. And there is already a huge market in information sharing services that independently review products, rate companies, and fact-check politicians. It's the consumer's prerogative to make use of those resources; if they don't, it's reasonable to assume that the value gained from research isn't worth the time it takes to them.

If we are talking about libel and misrepresentation, it's not really necessary to introduce a regulatory framework. In that sense, I agree with Quack.
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby René » 17 September 2014, 08:46

Derek wrote:
René wrote:I don't see how it proves his point.

It's not easy to get things past people. You know about this thing in Ohio and you don't live within a thousand miles of there.

I am hardly representative of the average citizen.

Derek wrote:
I believe it is in the public interest to stop corporations and politicians lying to the public for their own financial or political gain. There is no ignorance cut-off point involved.

Are we talking about lies as in libel and misrepresentation, or lies as in advertising (i.e. misleading the public)? In the latter case, I don't see what difference it makes. Even with laws in place that attempt to enforce some standard of quality, there is endless amounts of disinformation floating around. And there is already a huge market in information sharing services that independently review products, rate companies, and fact-check politicians. It's the consumer's prerogative to make use of those resources; if they don't, it's reasonable to assume that the value gained from research isn't worth the time it takes to them.

If we are talking about libel and misrepresentation, it's not really necessary to introduce a regulatory framework. In that sense, I agree with Quack.

Lies as in statements that are false, which are misrepresentative but may or may not be libellous. Imagine a US Congressman voted to authorise the use of military force in Iraq, but when seeking re-election in a political climate where this will hurt his chances, puts out an ad saying he voted against it. It's easy enough for the elections commission to verify this, but I doubt most people who see the ad are going to look up the vote.

You argue, then, that it is reasonable to assume that the value gained from the research isn't worth the time it takes to most people. I would argue that it is reasonable to assume that most people do not have the time or inclination to research every relevant fact that is presented to them, but still deserve to be able to make an informed decision based on true facts come election day.

It may not be worth an individual citizen's time to fact-check every statement on which he is going to base his vote, but I would argue that it is worth the elections commission's time to investigate false statements that are reported to it and to penalise politicians who are clearly trying to mislead the electorate.

I would argue similarly for companies lying in advertising. Here in the UK, we have the Advertising Standards Authority, which investigates complaints about dishonest or misleading advertising and takes action against corporations who demonstrably lie to consumers about their products. I think that's a good idea. The marketplace is fairer if companies are held to account for the claims they make about their products.
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Will » 17 September 2014, 10:39

Derek: http://www.politicalcompass.org/test

As for the test itself, I don't consider this attempt to convert feelings into numbers particularly helpful. Some of the questions themselves aren't very conducive to understanding responders' positions. A few didn't seem at all related to political persuasion. I can only speculate, for instance, that disliking abstract art is deemed by the test to indicate authoritarianism over libertarianism, but that would be nothing more than tenuous stereotyping on the writer's part.

All that said, here's my rather boring compass. Damn Commie, rebellious gays.

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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Jan. » 17 September 2014, 16:12

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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Marmaduke » 17 September 2014, 16:24

It would appear that I am maturing into a fence sitter.
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby -Quack » 17 September 2014, 16:29

René wrote:Thanks, I will. :thumbsup:


I'll bite. :P

Although I find it hard to argue against the points you make as I understand you hold your beliefs for good and noble reasons. Oh, and I apologise for the delayed response. You clearly put effort into your reply, so it would have been rude of me to rush one out this morning. Anyways...

René wrote:There are thousands of examples like these that show extremely successful (i.e., profitable) corporations don't mind killing people if it'll make them an extra buck. To say that a corporation's only social responsibility should be to deliver a profit to shareholders seems laughable.

Corporations are amoral. They will generally always do what makes them the most money, even if that means lying to people, exploiting them, and letting them get injured or die. There needs to be a force to prevent corporations from committing these heinous acts, and the only entity capable of being that is government.

I am willing to "reduce the productivity of a nation" if it means everyone will be better off in the long run. We do not exist purely to produce economic output.


All good points you made. And actually, it has drawn my attention to a huge derp I made. In not reading the question properly I read:

"Q: The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders."

as:

"Q: The only social responsibility of a company is to deliver a profit to its shareholders."

A small, very stupid error that made a huge difference. Although I hope that now makes this clearer:

"Expl: ... though this is not actually an endorsement of the current setup."

Regarding the acts you, I am not going to defend them. They are fucking disgusting, and those who actually were behind them are utter scum. However, I do take issue with your position that "only the government can save the day". Terrible acts will negatively impact a companies reputation. And I have responded to the point of misleading information and public ignorance further down.

That said, I definitely do support laws such as corporate manslaughter. These are justifiable, definitely. And may those guilty of it rot in hell.

Finally, to your point of what constitutes "better off", that's not really something that can be argued objectively. At least, I don't think so. I believe that productivity brings about innovation which, in turn, generally improves the lives of everyone. Although I am guessing you are more the kind who believes in the virtue of creativity, spirituality, cultural enlightenment, and the like. Am I correct, or am I being an assumptionist bastard? :P

Either way, nothing wrong with that position. I just place a higher value on technological advancement. Guess it's the transhumanist in me, heh.

René wrote:How does it make sense that someone who makes £5,000 a year and is struggling to even feed and clothe himself (perhaps because he is putting himself through university and only able to have a part-time job at minimum wage) should pay the same percentage of his income in income tax as a billionnaire who makes many millions of pounds per year?

The former can probably barely get by even without being charged any income tax at all (as is the case currently in the UK, since this income would be within the personal allowance), while the latter would have undoubtedly made his fortune by relying on the infrastructure set up by governments over decades and centuries, and would continue to get by with supreme ease even if a huge chunk of his income was taken in taxation.


That's more of an issue with the threshold of personal tax allowance, I would say. Absolutely the threshold should be raised. As for a billionaire paying the same percentage, that same percentage still results in a much larger tax bill for the billionaire than it does for someone who earns, say, £20k per year.

How does it make sense that someone who strives to better themself is punished by a higher tax rate? Why should I work hard and strive to achieve positions that pay £31k (still hardly rich) only to find myself going from a 20% income tax bracket to 40%? Isn't progressive income tax a huge disincentive? Also, higher tax rates do not necessarily mean more tax revenue. In fact sometimes it results in far lower revenue.

With regards to my views on tax, I do think it's a bit unfair that you are isolating just income tax. If making the rich "pay their fair share" is your goal, I refer you to what I said about land value tax and greater tax on dividends. Economic productivity is something that should be encouraged, not discouraged, so I believe it far more prudent to shift the focus of tax to wealth generated by non-enterprising means. Like "punishing" land-hoarding, over-reliance on shares, usury, etc. ("Punishing" isn't exactly the best word to use there -- I hope people get what I mean).

René wrote:Except they often can't tell they're being misled.

Recently in the US, an anti-abortion organisation sued the Ohio Elections Commission regarding a state law that made it illegal to lie in political ads. They basically admitted to the judge that they wanted the right to lie to the public so that they could show smear ads to mislead the electorate with lies about pro-choice political candidates.

The judge struck down the law, and politicians in that jurisdiction now have the "right" to tell all sorts of lies in their campaigns to win elections.

Do you really think that when people get bombarded with lies propagated by entities with lots of money who benefit financially from making people believe things that aren't true, they'll do their research and establish an informed opinion on the matter? Most people are far too stupid and/or busy and/or apathetic for that. Businesses and politicians who deliberately mislead the public should be penalised.


Two points with regards to this. Firstly, as Derek pointed out, it is becoming far easier for the public to be made aware of lies and half-truths pumped out by any person or organisation. I do agree that once upon a time such laws may have been necessary when it really was easy for politicians and big business to really pull the wool over people's eyes. But increasingly, thanks to the advent and continued growth of the internet and world wide web, it is much easier for the public to become aware of shady practices. And if attempts are made to surpress anything on the information highway? Streissand Effect, baby.

Point the second, and I don't mean this as a dig; I am genuinely curious. You say that people are generally stupid or apathetic and so should be "protected" from businesses and groups telling a fib or two. However, what's to say people are making the "right" choice about who governs us? Sure, there are laws out there to prevent fibbing, but a little manipulation of statistics here and changing the presentation of what is being said there and you have two different messages (neither of which are overtly a lie). If a person is too stupid to research something which has an impact on their own life, why should they be trusted to make a decision which gives the government a mandate to control the lives of others?

If a person can't be arsed to do at least a little research, surely on their own head be it?

And I don't like using this as an argument as it does almost verge into fallacy territory, but do you really want to give any arm of government the power to decide when an advert or message becomes false? What if any government body rules (wrongly) that something is wrong or "misleading" when, in actuality, it is truthful? What if the state uses its power to censor criticism of the state? And how would you be sure if it did?

René wrote:You agreed with the statement that the only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders. The 6 most profitable corporations in the world are oil and gas companies. Sure they provide useful goods, but I feel like fucking up the planet in the long term just so these companies and their shareholders can be super-rich in the short term probably isn't ultimately good for all of us.


Given that we require energy to actually function properly as a society it is no surprise that the most profitable corporations are oil and gas companies. If they were not to exist, we would be pretty screwed as a society. We would not be able to develop.

I agree they are fucking up the planet. But here's the thing... How do we develop and improve technology for renewable energy? And with regards to renewable energy, when it reaches a point that it becomes far cheaper and very reliable do you really think the mass consumer will stick with coal and oil, given its rising prices? I personally would hedge my bets on the answer being no.
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Derek » 18 September 2014, 06:44

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It really is a terrible test. I don't know what spanking has to do with my political philosophy, and it sucks having to pick a side on questions I either don't have an opinion on or think are totally misstated. How about this one?

http://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/politi ... -quiz.html

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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Mod » 18 September 2014, 07:25

I can't be bothered to do the map this time but with the general election in two days I will say I plan to vote Greens as my electorate and party vote. My usual political score when taking these tests is somewhere around -4,-4. I'm a socialist with a centrist streak if that sentence actually means anything.

The centre right National Party does what's best for America and the wealthy, centre left NZ Labour does what's best for whatever faction is currently in power right until they start undermining and squabbling again, The Greens are an even lefter version of labour that come with a more unified party, actual plans for helping climate change to not fuck us over as it might, a whole host of social policies, plans to actually boost our technology industry rather than bowing to farmers at every turn, plans to dissolve the GCSB, and rein in our Security Intelligence Services.

Meanwhile the other major party I could vote for was The Internet/Mana party led by lefty veteran Laila Harre, and Hone Harawira an extremely minor party at this point (hoping for three seats) btu due to MMP could be kingmakers to any major led coalition. BUT they're relatively inexperienced and have already diluted the "Oh by the way NZ does do mass surveillance on its own citizens and spies on friendly countries on behalf of the US for economic purposes" by releasing a screenshot of an email alleging that the PM and the Chief of Warner Bros colluded to bring Kim DotCom to NZ to extradite him to the US with no verifiable data to actually establish if the information is valid.
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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Will » 18 September 2014, 11:55

I took Derek's test, but have issues with it as well. For example, it asked multiple times about whether or not legislation should promote moral behaviour. I suspect it meant legislating on cultural topics like art, queer issues, etc - which I reject authoritarian/conservative restrictions upon - but I couldn't agree that governments shouldn't legislate on moral issues because that's too broad a category. Prohibitions on theft and murder constitute moral legislation, after all. So I was forced to vote in a way which I suspect the test construed as indicating authoritarianism or conservatism, when my view is really that shared by the vast majority of most societies and is neither left nor right, here nor there. Nonetheless, this test is probably more reflective of my beliefs than the other one.

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Re: Political Compass

Unread postby Derek » 18 September 2014, 12:18

Will wrote:I took Derek's test, but have issues with it as well. For example, it asked multiple times about whether or not legislation should promote moral behaviour. I suspect it meant legislating on cultural topics like art, queer issues, etc - which I reject authoritarian/conservative restrictions upon - but I couldn't agree that governments shouldn't legislate on moral issues because that's too broad a category. Prohibitions on theft and murder constitute moral legislation, after all.

I think you're reading too much into it. It's far too broad, but I'm pretty sure they meant legislation that actively shapes people's lives, rather than just preventing them from committing crimes.
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