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#1
Old 02-03-2005, 06:27 AM
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Political Compass #50: Mature people make peace with the establishment.

Many political debates here have included references to The Political Compass, which uses a set of 61 questions to assess one’s political orientation in terms of economic left/right and social libertarianism/authoritarianism (rather like the “Libertarian diamond” popular in the US).

And so, every so often I will begin a thread in which the premise for debate is one of the 61 questions. I will give which answer I chose and provide my justification and reasoning. Others are, of course, invited to do the same including those who wish to “question the question”, as it were.

It would also be useful when posting in these threads to give your own “compass reading” in your first post, by convention giving the Economic value first. My own is
SentientMeat: Economic: -5.12, Social: -7.28, and so by the above convention my co-ordinates are (-5.12, -7.28). Please also indicate which option you ticked. I might suggest what I think is the “weighting” given to the various answers in terms of calculating the final orientation, but seeing for yourself what kind of answers are given by those with a certain score might be more useful than second-guessing the test’s scoring system.

Now, I appreciate that there is often dissent regarding whether the assessment the test provides is valid, notably by US conservative posters, either because it is “left-biased” (??) or because some propositions are clearly slanted, ambiguous or self-contradictory. The site itself provides answers to these and other Frequently Asked Questions, and there is also a separate thread: Does The Political Compass give an accurate reading? Read these first and then, if you have an objection to the test in general, please post it there. If your objection is solely to the proposition in hand, post here. If your objection is to other propositions, please wait until I open a thread on them. (And for heaven’s sake, please don’t quote this entire Opening Post when replying like this sufferer of bandwidth diarrhea.)

The above will be pasted in every new thread in order to introduce it properly, and I’ll try to let each one exhaust itself of useful input before starting the next. Without wanting to “hog the idea”, I would be grateful if others could refrain from starting similar threads. Finally, I advise you to read the full proposition below, not just the thread title (which is necessarily abbreviated), and request that you debate my entire OP rather than simply respond, “IMHO”-like, to the proposition itself.

To date, the threads are:

Does The Political Compass give an accurate reading?
Political Compass #1: Globalisation, Humanity and OmniCorp.
#2: My country, right or wrong
#3: Pride in one’s country is foolish.
#4: Superior racial qualities.
#5: My enemy's enemy is my friend.
#6: Justifying illegal military action.
#7: “Info-tainment” is a worrying trend.
#8: Class division vs. international division. (+ SentientMeat’s economic worldview)
#9: Inflation vs. unemployment.
#10: Corporate respect of the environment.
#11: From each according to his ability, to each according to need.
#12: Sad reflections in branded drinking water.
#13: Land should not be bought and sold.
#14: Many personal fortunes contribute nothing to society.
#15: Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.
#16: Shareholder profit is a company's only responsibility.
#17: The rich are too highly taxed.
#18: Better healthcare for those who can pay for it.
#19: Penalising businesses which mislead the public.
#20: The freer the market, the freer the people.
#21: Abortion should be illegal.
#22: All authority must be questioned.
#23: An eye for an eye.
#24: Taxpayers should not prop up theatres or museums.
#25: Schools shouldn’t make attendance compulsory.
#26: Different kinds of people should keep to their own.
#27: Good parents sometimes have to spank their children.
#28: It’s natural for children to keep secrets.
#29: Marijuana should be legalised.
#30: School’s prime function is equipping kids to find jobs.
#31: Seriously disabled people should not reproduce.
#32: Learning discipline is the most important thing.
#33: ‘Savage peoples’ vs. ‘different culture’
#34: Society should not support those who refuse to work.
#35: Keep cheerfully busy when troubled.
#36: First generation immigrants can never be fully integrated.
#37: What's good for corporations is always good for everyone.
#38: No broadcasting institution should receive public funding.
#39: Our civil rights are being excessively curbed re. terrorism.
#40: One party states avoid delays to progress.
#41: Only wrongdoers need worry about official surveillance.
#42: The death penalty should be an option for serious crimes.
#43: Society must have people above to be obeyed.
#44: Abstract art that doesn't represent anything isn't art at all.
#45: Punishment is more important than rehabilitation.
#46: It is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate some criminals.
#47: Businessmen are more important than writers and artists.
#48: A mother's first duty is to be a homemaker.
#49: Companies exploit the Third World's plant genetic resources.



Proposition #50: Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity.

SentientMeat
(-5.12, -7.28) ticks Disagree.


A curious phrase, this - again, one of the propositions in the test which one perhaps ought not “overthink”. Equating acceptance of the status quo with intellectual development is a rather authoritarian premise in my view, and I feel that characterising one who seeks change for the better as fundamentally “immature” is simply a form of ad hominem (to say nothing of the proposition’s sheer defeatism!).

Still, I find it difficult to become impassioned with regards to these rather ambiguous “folksy” sayings. As ever, I would be interested in how others see it, especially those with Strong views one way or the other.
#2
Old 02-03-2005, 06:37 AM
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Hadn’t heard that one before. This one is somewhat similar:
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Bernard Shaw
Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.
I suppose it’s correct to some extend. Rebellion is a necessary phase for young men to live through. Perpetual rebellion and opposition to the establishment as well as thirty year old teenagers is just so tiresome though.
#3
Old 02-03-2005, 06:51 AM
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Somewhat disagree.

While "making peace with the establishment" may be sign of age, I don't think it has much to do with maturity, more to do with increased demands on your time, and less expendable energy. Certainly I have gotten less reactionary, and now choose my battles much more carefully. Certainly this is not because I have "made peace" with the status quo of the other causes that I used to be passionate about. I just don't have the time or energy anymore to attack all of them.
#4
Old 02-03-2005, 07:55 AM
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Disagree - 6, - 6

People will answer this depending on how they interpret the terms 'maturity' and ‘make peace’ in this context.

Maturity
If maturity is a state of 'full development' that a person can arrive at at any age, then making peace with the establishment would be sign of immaturity if the establishment can be improved, since all mature persons should always be striving to improve the lot of themselves and their fellows. And it is always the case that the establishment can be improved and it should always seek continual improvement with input from its constituents. If the establishment does not effectively strive for continual improvement then there is definitely a need to change the system rather than accept it.

If maturity is being a miserable old fart who doesn't care any more, then accepting the status quo is probably an important part of maturity.


Make peace
By accepting the state of affairs at this point in time and not seeking change.

By accepting a system of government that effectively strives for continual improvement and seeks input from all citizens. That is, accepting a process of change. Of course continual improvement means moving the population toward -6, -6.

It would be best to illustrate this with a 2 by 2 matrix, but I can’t.

I interpret this as maturity being a state of full development and making peace as not accepting change, hence I disagree.
#5
Old 02-03-2005, 09:29 AM
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Arwin (Economic Left/Right: -2.13 ; Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.56)

Disagree. But only barely - I don't fully understand that how 'making peace' is relevant to maturity. Children do this at various phases in their development. In fact, making peace suggests you were at war with them, something not all that many children actually are and mostly only during a brief phase of adolescence.

In brief, the only reason to make peace with an establishment that sucks, is if you think you have a better chance of changing it that way.

I can only guess that this is a proposition that conservatives would be more inclined to agree with, because it essentially suggests propagating a status quo is a good, mature thing to do.
#6
Old 02-03-2005, 09:52 AM
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-5.62, -5.49


I somewhat agree with the statement.

Young people are on fire for change, especially college students whose first exposure to how things really are was shocking and upsetting. Many kids leaving highschool have a rosy picture of America as the Land of Opprotunity in which all it takes is hard work to become successful, and social issues are always black and white. Suddenly, in college, they're exposed to myriad viewpoints, and find themselves unable to defend some of their sacred cows. They see that there are no black and white answers, and that there are social stumbling blocks they never thought of before. Some become hostile to the Establishment, believing they've been lied to all of their lives.

But as one gets older, there is first a stage of frustration in which you find that change will not happen, at least, not enough to make an appreciable difference. One can either become bitter, or acccepting. It's my belief that mature people become accepting.

While it's possible for one person to make a difference, it's highly unlikely. Politicians, even those whose ideas you espouse, will always lie to you and break their promises. People will abuse the system. No one really cares about your opinion. People will always be exploited, and you are part of the system which exploits them. Mature people have to accept this.

To paraphrase Churchill, people who are not passionate about change in their youths have no heart, but those who cannot accept things the way they really are as they get older have no brains.
#7
Old 02-03-2005, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Handey, sort of
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

And a big bag of money.
Shodan ticks Agree, mildly. Sort on the level of "pick your fights". Some things are not susceptible to compromise. Some are. Maturity, or at least part of it, is the ability to see which is which.

Regards,
Shodan
#8
Old 02-03-2005, 11:40 AM
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+7/-3 Disagree.

For pretty much the same reasons as the OP. I just don't like the sound of this one-- it seems to imply that you should roll over once you're over 30. And, btw, it says nothing about who "the establishment" is. Would this be true in the former USSR, or in Iran or NK today?
#9
Old 02-03-2005, 01:25 PM
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4.00, -3.44

Agree. One could have differences of opinion with the establishment without hostility. One could look for change or improvement in a system that he or she is still at peace with, and I would propose that too is a large aspect of being at peace with the establishment - the ability to respectfully disagree, without flagrantly violating the law, resorting to violence or aggression, or doing other generally immature things.

Of course, one would typically not consider members of the democratic party to be at war with the establishment. They are in fact essential members of said establishment, despite the fact that they do not presently hold as much sway in federal politics as the republican party. The status-quo is not the establishment, and the establishment is usually not a state of unchanging status-quo.
#10
Old 02-03-2005, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twhitt
One could have differences of opinion with the establishment without hostility. One could look for change or improvement in a system that he or she is still at peace with, and I would propose that too is a large aspect of being at peace with the establishment - the ability to respectfully disagree, without flagrantly violating the law, resorting to violence or aggression, or doing other generally immature things.
How would you answer this question for someone living in North Korea today or in Germany in 1943? There are many instances when "the establishment" is NOT open to disagreement or discussion-- when active resistance against "the establishment" is the most moral option.
#11
Old 02-03-2005, 09:43 PM
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I think the question is once again (drumroll please...) poorly written.

IMHO, "making peace" with the estavblishment doesn't mean accepting the status quo indfinitely. And it has such a vastly different meaning when comparing, say, the US to China that it becomes meaningless. Here in the US, I'd "Agree". In China, I couldn't.

In the US, the establishment allows anyone to try and change things; if you can't, you've a right (but to no good) to act like a pissed-off rebel forever. This is why I can't stand angry leftists (and, to be fair, certain angry rightists). They couldn't change ths system, so they assume it must be keeping everyone down. They confuse failure with conspiracy.

In China, as well as a fair portion of world governments, there's no question about it: the system is keeping you down. It's not even particularly subtle about it. They just order, and you do. China used to pretend it was more democratic, but it was obvious to everyone then and now. And that, in fact, is one of the reason I can't stand conspiracy theorists in any stripe. The government, if it was really corrupt and a tiny clique always controlled the system, would not need to pretend otherwise.

But that's the plain flaw with these questions. They attempt to ask a question. But very, *very* few ideas can be applied everywhere identically.
#12
Old 02-04-2005, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandit
Here in the US, I'd "Agree". In China, I couldn't.
And once again, from the FAQ: "Some of the propositions are culturally biased...That's why the Compass is being promoted in western democracies. We don't pretend that, for example, the responses of a citizen of a rural region of China can undergo the same evaluation process."
#13
Old 02-04-2005, 06:37 PM
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Well, it's been a long time since I read that. In that case, it is agreeable. Of course, as I said, western democracies include the right to change themselves; rebelling against "the establishment" is only a childish act. You need to be able to deal with people who are different than you. Refusing to isn't a sign of being free-spirited. It just means you refuse to grow up and recognize that there are a *lot* of people who aren't ever going to agree.
#14
Old 02-05-2005, 12:00 AM
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Disagree.

Mostly for the reasons stated in the OP. Giving up on change is a sign of docility, not maturity.

OTOH, "making peace" can be interpreted in many ways. Learning to keep The Man off your back, working within the system to change or undermine it, etc. are more mature ways to deal with frustration at the status quo than rioting and pouting, at least in western democracies.
#15
Old 07-31-2015, 08:37 AM
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Disagree

To me it depends on the establishment. Making peace with an establishment that condones injustices that often stem from a lack of education and understanding, such as racial prejudice, seems immature. Was Martin Luther King immature for standing up against an establishment that permitted racial segregation? No. He was an educated, mature and intelligent man. This was not mere passion.

It is also a form of childish submission, as opposed to demonstrating an intellectual maturity over the sometimes baser establishment. Just because an establishment holds the power does not necessarily make it right and wiser.
#16
Old 07-31-2015, 10:35 AM
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Mature people make peace with eating brains.

I disagree, to an extent. I do feel like there's a recognition as I get older that "the establishment" is the environment I live in and have to deal with no matter how I like it.

If I were on a deserted island or lost in the woods or climbing a mountain or something, I wouldn't be railing against all the shit nature throws against me, I would just have to buckle down and deal with it. I feel a similar way about "the establishment". I don't like it, and I try to change what I can, and avoid what I can't change, but some dealings with government and institutional bureaucracy are unavoidable. So I think the recognition of that is a mark of maturity, without going so far as to say one should "make peace" with it.
#17
Old 07-31-2015, 11:04 AM
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I think I may be less mature than I was 10 years ago...
#18
Old 07-31-2015, 11:49 AM
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I scored a -1.13 and 0.1 on this test, a lightly left leaning moderate.

Not sure if that says more about me or about the test, but I think the latter. IMO voting patterns are the acid test of where you stand on the political scale, and any test that doesn't calibrate to that is flawed.

One place where I think the test goes wrong is that it doesn't adequately distinguish between "do you think X is good/bad?" and "do you think the government should do anything about X?" Someone whose answers to these questions tend to vary can have a very different political orientation than would be indicated by the test.

Re the question in the OP, I think you need to weigh the cost/benefit of fighting the system (as you need to do for everything else you do). I think what happens as you get older is that your assessment of these two tends to shift. You start to appreciate the costs of fighting the system, and your assessment of how much you can actually accomplish by doing so tends to go down. Not in everything, of course, but on the whole that's the direction things generally go.

Last edited by Fotheringay-Phipps; 07-31-2015 at 11:50 AM.
#19
Old 07-31-2015, 12:42 PM
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Oh, I miss these threads! I haven't taken the test in years.

Let's see....(-7.25, -7.49), strongly left-libertarian. No shock there, and I'm also not surprised to be more extreme in my views than ten years ago.

I also ticked "disagree" on this one, but SentientMeat had it right in the OP: it's easy to overthink this one. I suppose I have made peace with the nature of the establishment, how it operates and behaves, but I have not accepted its inevitability nor have I given up fighting for change.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
Not sure if that says more about me or about the test, but I think the latter. IMO voting patterns are the acid test of where you stand on the political scale, and any test that doesn't calibrate to that is flawed.
Would you mind expanding on that a little? In the broad spectrum, none of our last three Democratic presidents have been particularly liberal; voting for (two of) them did not accurately reflect my political views. I know antiauthoritarians who supported Bush, and pro-lifers who supported Obama. I'm not sure I quite follow how voting patterns, from a generally small slate of options, is an accurate reflection of one's political stances.

Quote:
One place where I think the test goes wrong is that it doesn't adequately distinguish between "do you think X is good/bad?" and "do you think the government should do anything about X?" Someone whose answers to these questions tend to vary can have a very different political orientation than would be indicated by the test.
That's a fair point, but I'm not sure it invalidates the test.

Or are you concerned you're not as conservative as you'd like to be?

Quote:
You start to appreciate the costs of fighting the system, and your assessment of how much you can actually accomplish by doing so tends to go down. Not in everything, of course, but on the whole that's the direction things generally go.
While I absolutely agree about more accurate assessment of the costs, I have found myself feeling more capable of making changes for knowing the rules of the game. But I think you're absolutely right that I'm a weirdo exception to the general rule. It may be a little facile, but I think it ties into the idea that the older we get, the more we have to lose for fighting the status quo.
#20
Old 07-31-2015, 12:58 PM
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I maxed out the economic left axis, moderately authoritarian on the social side.
#21
Old 07-31-2015, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andros View Post
Would you mind expanding on that a little? In the broad spectrum, none of our last three Democratic presidents have been particularly liberal;
I’m not sure how directly relevant this is, but the second sentence suggests that you may be using an idiosyncratic definition of the political spectrum, which may make the rest of this exchange moot. Certainly if you assigned everyone in the US a number based on how liberal or conservative they were, the numbers assigned to the last 3 Democratic presidents would be a lot closer to the left than to the right. By that measure, they were liberal, and that’s how I use it. Not sure what you mean. (I do appreciate that the specific test linked in the OP seems to have an international perspective, and it’s harder to say where these presidents stand vis-ŕ-vis the world, but at any rate, in the political environment in which they operated and were elected they were undoubtedly on the left side of things.)

Quote:
voting for (two of) them did not accurately reflect my political views. I know antiauthoritarians who supported Bush, and pro-lifers who supported Obama. I'm not sure I quite follow how voting patterns, from a generally small slate of options, is an accurate reflection of one's political stances.
Because voting for two of them may not have accurately reflected your views, but they more accurately reflected your views than voting for the other guy would have. So if there was some sort of test which purported to show that you were more closely aligned with the Republican candidates in those elections, it would suggest a flawed test, I would think. And if you multiply that by hundreds of elections across the country and over time in which you overwhelmingly find yourself rooting for the candidate of Ideology A over the candidate of Ideology B, that’s a far better test of where your true political ideology is (on balance) than some 61 question test.

Quote:
That's a fair point, but I'm not sure it invalidates the test.
I don’t think it necessarily has to invalidate the test, but having found the discrepancy discussed above, I think this may account for it, at least in my case.

Quote:
While I absolutely agree about more accurate assessment of the costs, I have found myself feeling more capable of making changes for knowing the rules of the game.
That could be true in some small sense. What I’m thinking of is these youthful idealists who are going to overthrow the system and create some idyllic world. As people age they get more perspective and realize that 1) most of these revolutions fail, and 2) most of the ones which succeed go badly askew and diverge from the idealistic views of the movement founders, and frequently do more harm than good. And that ultimately, most of society’s problems ultimately stem from aspects of human nature which are difficult-to-impossible to change. There are exceptions, of course. But on the whole, younger people tend to be overconfident in this area, and tend to lose some of this as they get older.
#22
Old 07-31-2015, 02:54 PM
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-8.8, +3.64, to be more specific. strongly disagree with the proposition in question.
#23
Old 07-31-2015, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
Certainly if you assigned everyone in the US a number based on how liberal or conservative they were, the numbers assigned to the last 3 Democratic presidents would be a lot closer to the left than to the right.
I agree, but I'd argue that being to the left of the right does not necessarily say one is "on the left." And IME, the "center" has moved right over the past 60 years, particularly when it comes to economic positions. But maybe not. Personally, I find it laughable to call Bill or Hillary Clinton "liberal" instead of "centrist." I'd accept it on spec for Obama, but I think his pro-business stances mitigates that considerably, and he's hardly the fire-breathing leftist that some on the right (looking at you, talk radio) would paint him.

Quote:
Because voting for two of them may not have accurately reflected your views, but they more accurately reflected your views than voting for the other guy would have. So if there was some sort of test which purported to show that you were more closely aligned with the Republican candidates in those elections, it would suggest a flawed test, I would think. And if you multiply that by hundreds of elections across the country and over time in which you overwhelmingly find yourself rooting for the candidate of Ideology A over the candidate of Ideology B, that’s a far better test of where your true political ideology is (on balance) than some 61 question test.
That's a fair point. I think you're not giving sufficient consideration to the relative weight voters might place on specific issues rather than a candidate as a whole. And "the lesser evil" does not necessarily reflect individual political views. We have seen (again, IME) a fairly distinct shift toward more corporatist economic policy over the past several decades; if I end up voting for Hillary it will be despite her policies in that regard, not an endorsement of them.

Quote:
I don’t think it necessarily has to invalidate the test, but having found the discrepancy discussed above, I think this may account for it, at least in my case.
I get that. But maybe that's a reflection of your "lesser evil" voting choices. I get that you've voted consistently for more conservative candidates, but perhaps you're at heart more of a John Anderson Republican than a firebrand movement conservative?

Quote:
That could be true in some small sense. What I’m thinking of is these youthful idealists who are going to overthrow the system and create some idyllic world. As people age they get more perspective and realize that 1) most of these revolutions fail, and 2) most of the ones which succeed go badly askew and diverge from the idealistic views of the movement founders, and frequently do more harm than good. And that ultimately, most of society’s problems ultimately stem from aspects of human nature which are difficult-to-impossible to change. There are exceptions, of course. But on the whole, younger people tend to be overconfident in this area, and tend to lose some of this as they get older.
I agree entirely. The greatest cynic, in my experience, is a thwarted romantic.

Which is why I'm frankly perplexed at my own continued--and increased--political and social romanticism in recent years.
#24
Old 07-31-2015, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andros View Post
I agree, but I'd argue that being to the left of the right does not necessarily say one is "on the left."
I didn’t say “left of the right”. I said “closer to the left than to the right”, IOW left of the center.
Quote:
And IME, the "center" has moved right over the past 60 years, particularly when it comes to economic positions. But maybe not.
I would say the opposite. (ISTM that some people who hold to your position – not necessarily you - achieve it by measuring “the left” as “steadily moving further and further to the left”.) On the whole I don’t see where government economic policies have moved to the right over the years.
Quote:
Personally, I find it laughable to call Bill or Hillary Clinton "liberal" instead of "centrist."
Me, I agree with 538.com, who said Hillary Clinton Was Liberal. Hillary Clinton Is Liberal. . Bill Clinton is a tougher case, because he was governor of a southern state and went on to face Republican control of congress for 6 of his 8 years in power, making it hard to sort out his natural inclinations from the political reality he dealt with.

Quote:
I think you're not giving sufficient consideration to the relative weight voters might place on specific issues rather than a candidate as a whole.
I think the weight of the specific issues counts in terms of defining your affiliation with one or another ideology. If the conservative “party line” consists 10 dogmas and you disagree with 9 of them but consistently vote for the more conservative candidate because the other one dogma that you agree with is more important to you than the other 9 combined, then that makes you, on the whole, closer to the conservative ideology than the opposite. It doesn’t make sense to define someone based on percentage of items on a checklist while ignoring the relative weight of the various issues, IMO.

Quote:
And "the lesser evil" does not necessarily reflect individual political views.
Of course. But it’s impractical to have a separate category and term for the overall political worldview of every individual voter (and also not too important, since what counts in terms of elections and politics is broader groups). As a practical matter, there’s value in sorting people into loosely affiliated imprecise groupings, and that’s what we’re discussing here.

Quote:
But maybe that's a reflection of your "lesser evil" voting choices. I get that you've voted consistently for more conservative candidates, but perhaps you're at heart more of a John Anderson Republican than a firebrand movement conservative?
Well I’m in general not a “movement” kind of guy and I pledge allegiance to no one. There are a lot of things that conservatives do that I don’t think much of (e.g. this latest contretemps over the Planned Parenthood videos seems to me – based on what’s been released to date – as much ado about very very little). But in general, I tend to find myself rooting for “the most conservative candidate who can get elected”. (Though my threshold for that may be relatively low – in this election cycle I would prefer Bush. Also, that’s based on the current political spectrum, and if this shifted rightwards to the point where Ted Cruz could get elected I would not start to prefer him on that basis.)

[My first presidential vote was for Ron Paul in 1988, running on the Libertarian ticket. Unfortunately he was crushed by the combined Bush-Dukakis forces. After the Libertarians nominated Howard Stern for Governor of NY, I stopped voting for their candidates.]
#25
Old 07-31-2015, 03:58 PM
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I'm shocked that the website is still up after 10 years with little change and still fairly useful.
#26
Old 07-31-2015, 04:11 PM
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The question is wrong ... not sure maturity has much to do with peace with the establishment.

Consider the 18-year-old pulling weeds for Ford working half-time at minimum wage. He can't afford to buy a car. It's not hard to imagine this person thinking the status quo is wrong, that the Federales should nationalize the car industry and distribute cars equally among all citizens. 30 years later, he worked his way up the career ladder and now he's pulling down $600,000 a year marketing in Fiji. He's truly horrified about any change anywhere anytime. Nationalizing the car industry is the worst case for him now.

It's not a question of maturity, rather of wealth accumulation.

Last edited by watchwolf49; 07-31-2015 at 04:12 PM.
#27
Old 07-31-2015, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I'm shocked that the website is still up after 10 years with little change and still fairly useful.
As it matured, it made peace with the establishment.
#28
Old 07-31-2015, 11:04 PM
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My score is -4.13 econ and -1.59 social which I'd say is roughly accurate.

My answer to the question posed here is Agree. To elaborate upon this answer, in virtually all liberal and probably even in most modern authoritarian (though not totalitarian) societies, gradual and evolutionary reform by working with and within the "Establishment" is preferable to any sort of anti-system efforts at change whether by violence or not. The history of the achievement of political, civil, and socioeconomic reform in the modern West and elsewhere largely bears this out: slavery was abolished by goading the South into rebellion after Lincoln's election rather than the absentationism of Garrison or the anti-slavery violence of John Brown, the social welfare states of the West were achieved by the electoral victories of centre-left parties and the integration of the labour movement into the "Establishment", and civil rights for blacks was achieved by the conversion of the northern Democratic Party (while anti-Establishment blacks who rejected the legitimacy of the Republic such as Garvey or the Black Panthers did nothing or even provoked white backlash. The "Establishment", contrary to the aspirations of the madmen of the Left and the Right is not some monolithic bloc of sadistic lizard Jewmen, but an ever-evolving institution that changes with each generation.
#29
Old 08-02-2015, 05:52 PM
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I don't like this or many of the other questions because they are ambiguous. Yes, a mark of maturity is realizing that one must live in a society and obey laws and customs. So in a sense you do "make peace with the establishment." But to imply that one should fail to point out injustice and fight the evil just because society says otherwise? No, I don't agree with that.

Take this one, just as an example:

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

That's a loaded question. If you take it at face value, I think we all answer "serve humanity." But what in the hell does that mean? Maybe I don't see a conflict? Maybe laws which favor these corporations also favor humanity as a whole? Just because I think people are important doesn't mean I support the implication that I will be in favor of any feel good left wing law proposed under the guise of this vague statement.

Likewise:

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Sometimes, in some situations, yes. Other times, absolutely not.

Most of the questions suffer from ambiguity.
#30
Old 08-02-2015, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
... Most of the questions suffer from ambiguity.
Yes. I just took this (Economic Left/Right: -3.75; Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.87 ) and found myself irritated by the wording of many questions. I gather that the intent was to come up with statements that would generate strong agreement or strong disagreement: for example, many people with close to "+10, +10" scores would eagerly agree to #17 ("the rich are too highly taxed") while people closer to the "-10, -10" corner would strongly DISagree on that one.

But the effort to speak in the voices of the various corners fails in some cases, I think--and I believe that this is because the question-writers backed off from the "characters" they were trying to embody. They didn't go all-in when impersonating the corner people: +10,+10 folks, or the -10, -10 folks.

My theory is that this could be remedied by making each question more clearly the product of a corner-person's voice. Case in point: This thread's topic, #50 ("Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity"), could have been a better gauge if it had been more like one of these:

Making peace with the establishment is the only sensible policy for intelligent people.

or

'Making peace with the establishment' is how people label, and excuse, selling out.

These options remove the "stages of life" element from the question; that element adds to the ambiguity of the question-as-it-stands because we've all observed that people DO change their views on The Establishment as they move through life. And our powers of observation of the various stages of life isn't really what the Compass is trying to measure. In this question, presumably, the Compass is trying to measure the degree to which we believe that conforming to the status quo is a smart or sensible or even admirable thing to do...the "our time of life influences our views" aspect shouldn't come into it.

For the first statement, most people in the (-, -) quadrant would clearly disagree, and most in the (+, +) quadrant would agree. For the second statement, these would be reversed.


In short: Many of the more ambiguous questions in the list of 61 could be improved (and become better contributors to the assessment of the test-taker's position on the coordinate plane) if they were to be re-worded so that the Voices of the Corners were better represented.
#31
Old 08-04-2015, 02:15 AM
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A young rebel and an old sage may hold each other's views in contempt, but neither of them is right or wrong. I think diachronically people do make peace with the establishment.

I have taken the test twice. The site had just been launched when I tried it the first time. About five years later, I was curious to see whether or not there was going to be a significant difference in my general political stance. There wasn't. Again I was standing on the vertical axis between left and right, leaning slightly toward Libertarian. I guess maturity comes with not only making peace with the establishment but also attitude sclerosis.

In his youth, my father enjoyed the benefits of the communist revolution offered by the Red Army occupying most Eastern Europe. About fifty years later I participated in the anti-communist revolution only to witness the establishment of an even more corrupt regime.

Acceptance of the establishment enables people to move/advance freely within the system. Also, by accepting the establishment, people can make the best of their resources when it comes to reaching their individual goals. Thus, maturity equates with a time when people focus on pursuing their careers and protecting their families, although they may be still disatisfied or bitter in their hearts. A mature person is simply more practical and less idealistic than an immature one.
#32
Old 08-04-2015, 03:38 AM
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Strongly disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand Russell
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

Last edited by Waymore; 08-04-2015 at 03:39 AM.
#33
Old 08-04-2015, 05:25 AM
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Yes, a certain kind of maturity will lead most people to conform to love.



Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me
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#34
Old 08-04-2015, 10:00 AM
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This is a silly questions, because it depends entirely on what the established order is (and what it means to 'make peace with').
#35
Old 08-04-2015, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune View Post
Hadn’t heard that one before. This one is somewhat similar:
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Bernard Shaw
Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.
Perhaps even more on point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Heinlein
It's amazing how much mature wisdom resembles being too tired.
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#36
Old 08-04-2015, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hector_St_Clare View Post
I maxed out the economic left axis, moderately authoritarian on the social side.
That's an interesting assessment. Are you ok with that?
#37
Old 08-04-2015, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hector_St_Clare View Post
This is a silly questions, because it depends entirely on what the established order is (and what it means to 'make peace with').
Most of the 61 questions contain terms that are ambiguous; nothing is defined. But that wouldn't keep the test from being valid--that is, even in the absence of clearly-defined terms, the test may accurately measure what it's designed to measure (one's position on the coordinate plane as determined by left versus right economic views on the horizontal axis, and authoritarian versus libertarian views on the vertical axis).

I don't know how well the test's validity has been studied. It may be that it has less predictive power (for one's position on the two axes) than it might have, if some questions were re-worded.

But the re-wording wouldn't necessarily have to include clear definitions of the terms used. It could be that people consistently define the terms according to their position on the grid, and if so, the lack of clear definitions wouldn't detract from the test's validity.
#38
Old 08-06-2015, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
I think I may be less mature than I was 10 years ago...
Me too!

There are some things so manifestly stupid and unjust, and the obstacles to making meaningful change so insurmountable that it makes me less mature politically than my younger self.
#39
Old 08-07-2015, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
I gather that the intent was to come up with statements that would generate strong agreement or strong disagreement
...
Many of the more ambiguous questions in the list of 61 could be improved (and become better contributors to the assessment of the test-taker's position on the coordinate plane) if they were to be re-worded so that the Voices of the Corners were better represented.
hmmm... I'm not sure about that. It sounded to me like one of their goals was to generate conversation about the issues, so I think the questions were deliberately ambiguous to serve as a sort of Rorschach test for a person's attitudes about authority, money, etc. But as a centrist, I think it would have been helpful to have the additional options of "slightly agree" and "slightly disagree" to differentiate between things I actually agree with and things I just clicked on because they wouldn't let me sit on the fence. I took the test a couple of days ago and got (-2.something,-1.something); but I wanted the exact values, so I took the test again and got (-2.38,+0.26) - and I don't think I've radically altered my views in the last 48 hours. But then, maybe +1 and -1 people agree with each other more than 8 and 10 people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
These options remove the "stages of life" element from the question; that element adds to the ambiguity of the question-as-it-stands because we've all observed that people DO change their views on The Establishment as they move through life. And our powers of observation of the various stages of life isn't really what the Compass is trying to measure. In this question, presumably, the Compass is trying to measure the degree to which we believe that conforming to the status quo is a smart or sensible or even admirable thing to do...the "our time of life influences our views" aspect shouldn't come into it.
Again, I'm not sure. I think watchwolf49's 18-year-old weedpuller is perfectly capable of embracing The System if he has a reason to believe his hard work will ultimately be rewarded - I'd call that maturity. Similarly, if the 48-year-old marketing exec whines about paying taxes so weedpullers without rich families can have a chance of going to college and improving their lives, I'd say that was immature (unless he was my boss, in which case I'd avoid talking to him more than necessary and tell co-workers how bewildering it is that an otherwise astute investor could overlook the obvious economic benefits of an enlarged applicant pool).
#40
Old 08-12-2015, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truthseeker3 View Post
hmmm... I'm not sure about that. It sounded to me like one of their goals was to generate conversation about the issues, so I think the questions were deliberately ambiguous to serve as a sort of Rorschach test for a person's attitudes about authority, money, etc. But as a centrist, I think it would have been helpful to have the additional options of "slightly agree" and "slightly disagree" to differentiate between things I actually agree with and things I just clicked on because they wouldn't let me sit on the fence. I took the test a couple of days ago and got (-2.something,-1.something); but I wanted the exact values, so I took the test again and got (-2.38,+0.26) - and I don't think I've radically altered my views in the last 48 hours. But then, maybe +1 and -1 people agree with each other more than 8 and 10 people.

Again, I'm not sure. I think watchwolf49's 18-year-old weedpuller is perfectly capable of embracing The System if he has a reason to believe his hard work will ultimately be rewarded - I'd call that maturity. Similarly, if the 48-year-old marketing exec whines about paying taxes so weedpullers without rich families can have a chance of going to college and improving their lives, I'd say that was immature (unless he was my boss, in which case I'd avoid talking to him more than necessary and tell co-workers how bewildering it is that an otherwise astute investor could overlook the obvious economic benefits of an enlarged applicant pool).
Sorry about the delay in answering; in recent days I haven't been able to get to this site much and didn't see your post.

In re the idea of adding "slightly agree/disagree" options: I'd suspect that doing so would add to the validity of the Compass. Of course there's no way to rule out the possibility that some respondents are simply constitutionally more in the habit of 'hedging'--clicking the "slightly" or "somewhat" options far more often than the extremes of "agree" or "disagree," no matter what the topic. But since most Likert-style scales do include the "somewhat" options (typically with five choices per question, such as "disagree, somewhat disagree, neutral, somewhat agree, agree"), inclusion of those options might might serve to make test-takers more at ease.

About the age differences: of course the discussion of how a given 18-year-old might respond to the Establishment question, as compared with how a given 48-year-old might respond, differs fundamentally from the discussion of how a given 18-year-old might change his or her views over the course of 30 years. That's probably an entire thread, right there. ^_~
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