So, according to that political survey thingy that's doing the rounds, I'm at (-4.8, 1.6), defined as 'fairly internationalist and rehabilitationist' and 'fairly free-market and pro-war'.
That I'm west of all the Tories and 90% of everybody doesn't surprise me at all, because I would definitely define myself as internationalist and rehabilitationist. That I'm north of the central axis is a little less expected; I think I must be something of an anomaly compared to their sample population because I am significantly anti-war, particularly anti the current Iraq war, but at the same time I'm pretty capitalist and pro free-market. (For the old political compass thing, I score as right-wing on economic grounds but left-wing on social grounds, a reason why the political compass appealed to me as I am happy to see those two axes separated.)
The other point of this post is to mention that I've reviewed Zadie Smith's The Autograph Man.
It's been a while since I've taken the political compass test, but I always forget about it when I'm in front of the PC. :P Thanks for reminding me.
I'll probably post about this, but anyway. I've got:
Economic Left/Right: -5.13 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.95
(Just like the Dalai Lama, it seems :P)
Way more left than I was last time (Especially in the economic regards), but last time I took it (over 2 years ago), I didn't understand much of the stuff mentioned there, and my opinions had changed a lot.
The other one is specific to the UK, it seems, so it makes no sense if I take it. :P
You're quite right, the political survey thing is completely UK specific. The old political compass originated from the UK as well but it's a bit more possible to generalize with that. I think I've moved left too, over the years. Economically especially; I'm beginning to lean towards higher taxes and better public services, and I am really sick of the mare's nest that is privatized rail companies. The railways are infrastructure and infrastructure needs to happen on a national level.
I don't think they're saying there's an absolute connection, just that the two things tend to go together among the people they've surveyed. I mean, there isn't in principle a connection between being pro-Europe and being anti-police, either, but it's just that they've observed that those two seem to go together. It's like the way that (at least before the political compass came along), it was assumed that everyone who wanted low tax and privatization also wanted strong police powers and restrictive immigration policies.
For the record (-1.9, 4.6): slightly internationalist, very pro-free market and pro-war. Judging by position on that chart, I can safely be described as an outlier. :)
They're not claiming that these are absolute links - they're simply saying that when they applied this survey to a sample of 5,000ish, the first correlation (internationalism and rehabilitation of criminals) was very strong, and the second (free markets, Atlantic alliance and war in Iraq) was significant but weaker. I admit this is slightly odd, as I'd say the second correlation is much more intuitive, but there we go.
Why do you find the connection between free market-ism and a pro-war stance is 'intuitive'? I ask partly because I'm very much at opposite poles on those two issues.
I kind of see mine as a vaguely libertarian stance: I think people should be free to do what they like with their money, but in order for the market to be free, powerful countries should not be able to skew things by exerting military pressure. I'm basically all about the rights of the individual, and freedom from violence seems to me a vitally important aspect of individual freedom. I agree that the Iraq war is very largely an economic issue, but I think that war is an extremely bad way to do economics. I don't think that leads to a collectivist position on economics, though.
Well, it's particularly because of the Atlantic Alliance side of things. They said that there was a connection between free-market economics, support for the statement that Britain should be more like America than like continental Europe and support for the Iraq war. Many people (by no means all) who believe in free market economics like the US because the US has probably the freest markets (internally) in the world. Because they think free market economics is the way forward, these people think that Britain should align itself more closely with America. Thus support for the Iraq war, under the heading of staying on-side with the US.
That's not my reason for having supported going to war (distinction made because I don't think I've met anyone who supported the way the incompetent, insensitive and ineffective way the war and peace were in fact conducted, whether or not they supported going to war), but I can see that it would be a sane thought process.
Having thought about the test further, it would benefit from either tighter definitions or different wording: it is possible to simultaneously believe that public services would be more efficient if run by the private sector _and_ to believe that this would be undesirable for other reasons. For example, I would guess that by almost any measure, the US health-care system is more efficient than the NHS. However, the US system is much worse at serving the poor. As it stands, the questions ask only about efficiency, which is probably overly limiting.