Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Political Continuum -- Left, Right, and Correct.

Mark Jeftovic does it again. My friend likes to drill down to the essence of everything while seeking clarity and understanding. This, from his most recent post on his own blog:
  • Libertarians think they know how to live their own lives.
  • Conservatives think they know how to run everybody else's lives.
  • Socialists think they know how we all should live.
I like it, Mark.

I also like my take on it:
  • Left (socialism, communism)
  • Right (conservatism, fascism)
  • Correct (libertarianism, rational anarchism)
My point is that libertarianism cannot be placed on any straight line traditional political continuum. The point is best made by taking the World's Smallest Political Quiz and then grokking the resulting graph. Go ahead, have some fun, take the quiz.

Finished? Where do your political views fall on the graph? Maybe you are more libertarian than you think. But if not, don't worry. You will always be welcome here. That is another thing about libertarians. We tend to be more tolerant of other people's views, and certainly are never going to try to force others to live or even think in a certain way.


  1. I fell on the line of a centrist, in the Libertarian section of the grid:

    CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice. Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.

  2. That's not a bad place to be, Freddie. And keeping an open mind and seeking practical solutions is OK in my book. If only everyone felt that way!

  3. I fell into the Libertarian group, towards the Conservative border. Interesting indeed, although I don't fully trust the quiz being that it's on a Libertarian site. =)

    However, it seems Libertarians have a good mix of both sides. Indeed, I agree with some points, and less with others.

    I also wonder whether our Canadian Conservative government is truly conservative. Compared to the Liberals, yes, but in the big picture, they might be more in the center... compared to the US Republicans, I'm certain they seem more center.

    In any case, I appreciate the Libertarian idea that we can take care of ourselves and should be allowed to... and perhaps not just allowed to, but responsible for taking care of ourselves (that's what I think anyway).

    Thanks for the poll.

  4. Blogger ate my comment. I hope it gets gas. :)

    Anyway, I don't have much faith in the political process, preferring a more cultural or spiritual approach.

    In looking at general standards of behavior, I believe we need to agree on certain principles and customs. There's a lot of wiggle room on that continuum though. Personally, I'm not all that invested in trying to run other people's lives. I plant seeds, say what I have to say, and if someone likes it or finds value in it, they might decide to adopt a new custom or a new way of thinking.

    I don't believe in legislating or mandating certain customs that do not have any relevance to the larger good.

    This is a big world and there is something out there for everyone, something that will fit with their own needs and desires in a society. I adopted another culture. That is what worked for me... and I certainly think others should be free to do the same thing.

    Be back later...


  5. Trooper: One of the areas in which both the far left and the far right meddle is with religion. Both the far left and the far right are totalitarian an d each detests religion. They want everyone to have only one master, the state. No competition allowed.

    Chani: I like the idea of everyone following their own dream, as long as that dream doesn't involve interfering with anyone else's rights to life, liberty and property. I like your dream. It doesn't fit exactly what I might wish for myself, but so what? I would love to visit Thailand one day and I'm sure I would like it and its culture as much as you do.

  6. Centrist, but, just one line away from the point of Liberal and Liberatarian. I call myself independent. I was thinking the quiz was surely slanted also!

  7. I scored way up in the Libertarian field. You know, the whole notion of people being straight party-line(though I understand the urge) has always left a bad taste in my mouth. I think people have more complexity than may be ably serviced by one political party. The whole idea of our system seems designed to achieve some sort of balance, but instead the scales seem to swing wildly rather than gently adjusting.

    I find this very unsatisfying. I suppose if everyone is equally unsatisfied, maybe that is the goal?

  8. It is true that the quiz is simplistic. I think it is the simplest way to make the point that most people want to run their own affairs to some degree. The quiz offers up some of the most extreme political issues for consideration. If you are for (or against) these, you are likley to maintain that position on issues of lesser import.

  9. I view libertarians as "fighting for the radical center", because middle-ground is a foreign and undiscovered country to extremists of the right and left.
    In America, we worry less and less about right-wing extremism, as those who campaign as conservatives quickly turn into "pragmatic" milktoasts and wet noodles when exposed to the Washington power- and money-grab machine. It is the "for your own good", social(ist) engineering left that are the bulk of the extreme problem now, and it seems they never listen to the people because they already believe they have it all figured out, while ignoring 2000 years of historical evidence to the contrary!
    The state which governs least governs best...NEVER forget that.