I’ve seen the Political Compass quiz a couple of times, most recently on Arguing with signposts. It’s an interesting twist on the “what is your ideology” genre but rather long and methodologically dubious.

This is the first statement to what I am to agree/disagree:

If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.

What does that mean, exactly? The point of business is to make a profit, yes? But I also agree that, on the whole, individuals/corporations out to make a profit will serve humanity by building the proverbial better mouse trap and supplying otherwise unmet demands. I further believe that, so long as monopolies aren’t created and firms aren’t allowed to pass on their hidden costs to society (i.e, by polluting streams and the like), competition will keep prices down and so forth.

So, what bubble should I check?!

How about:

I’d always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.

Well, if I thought my country was wrong, wouldn’t I–by definition–be not supporting it? And, for that matter, why the reification? “Countries” can’t be right or wrong; only people can. It’s not like 100% of the citizens ever agree on anything of any substance.

Ditto this statement:

Our race has many superior qualities.

First off, does this mean the human race? Caucasians? People of German extraction? And, regardless of the meaning, the answer would be Yes. But I sense an implied “that render us better than other races” here. Hmm.

There are more questions on that page and five more pages. I believe I shall stop.

FILED UNDER: Political Theory
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:

    This is the second time I took this test, and I came out with the same result both times. I was troubled by some of the questions as well, especially the race question. Also, some of the questions were not either/or questions to me.

    Anyway, it was a fun graphic. I thought it was interesting that I almost hit the bulls-eye. 🙂

  2. James Joyner says:

    Heh. The people who are supposedly behind it look fairly credible, but either there is a hidden agenda or they just expect people to “react” rather than think when answering.

  3. Ryan says:

    I agree with you – I think it’s composed with a bit of a left/libertarian bias. Almost everyone I know who’se done it ends up at the bottom left corner (oh, not Bryan!). I think it has a good point about the inadequacy of the left/right axis on it’s own, though. It could do with some way more sophisticated questions.

    Go on, finish the thing, see where you end up!

  4. It put me between Jean Chretien and Gerhard Schröder; in a word, [expletive deleted]. I’d say, give this one a pass.