You must be wondering, dear reader, what I am referring to. Perhaps my recent Nobel Peace Prize? No, alas, the Nobel Committee has ignored me for yet another year. And in any case, if they were to award me, it should no doubt be for literature. Duh.
I am referring instead to my score on the political compass test.
It’s a nifty little thing that proceeds on the idea that the traditional left-right spectrum we’re used to in the U.S. is too limited, in that it collapses together what should actually be two different axes, one for economic freedom/control and one for social-political freedom/control.
I’ve taken it a couple of times over the years. In my most recent round, I ended up in the middle of the lower left quadrant, adjacent to, as alluded to above, the Infinite Sea of Compassion and first President of a free South Africa. Not a bad neighborhood really, but what I find to be interesting is my drift over the years.
I recall taking the test in the early 2000s and ending up socially liberal, but economically more conservative. Kind of a classic “New Democrat” in the Clinton mold. Later on, say circa 2004/2005, the anti-personal freedom and pro-business control excesses of the Bush years had pushed me further leftward on the economic scale, landing me more in classic Liberal territory, aka FDR and Johnson’s Great Society.
And now, a few years later, the corporate shenanigans of the Great Recession, and the chilling proof of the plutocracy’s ability to control outcomes throughout the political system have pushed me further leftward on the economic spectrum. This actually makes sense to me in terms of how I currently feel- what I would call a compassion-based world view. We’re here to take care of each other while also giving each other the freedom and space to live our own lives. Rather like everyone is everyone else’s mom, but the really cool while at the same time totally responsible mom.
How about you? I’d be fascinated to hear other people’s scores on the test, and whether the results surprise them or not…