Somewhere Between Gandhi and Mandela

This website is nearly as old as the internet, but The Political Compass gauges your political leanings based on a series of questions they ask you and how strongly you feel about them. Afterward, your score is plotted on a grid and you can compare how you rate to other famous folks throughout history.

They argue the traditional model of describing someone’s political beliefs are too lacking (i.e., “left, right or moderate”). Instead, the use a grid system that measures your political views as plotted against an axis that represents economic dimension and a second axis that deals with the social dimension.

If we recognise that this is essentially an economic line it’s fine, as far as it goes. We can show, for example, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Pol Pot, with their commitment to a totally controlled economy, on the hard left. Socialists like Mahatma Gandhi and Robert Mugabe would occupy a less extreme leftist position. Margaret Thatcher would be well over to the right, but further right still would be someone like that ultimate free marketeer, General Pinochet.

That deals with economics, but the social dimension is also important in politics. That’s the one that the mere left-right scale doesn’t adequately address. So we’ve added one, ranging in positions from extreme authoritarian to extreme libertarian.

For reference, here are my political leanings after taking the test.

This places me solidly in the “Libertarian Left” category. Who else falls into that category?

The also have a special section detailing the political leanings candidates involved in the 2008 Presidential Election.

If you have a few minutes to kill and are curious to find out more about your political stances, I encourage you to take the test!


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