A Fun Test - Are You Liberal Or Conservative?

Click on the above image and it will expand to a large grid. And from top to bottom are gradations of AUTHORITARIAN to LIBERTARIAN personalities and left to right are LEFT leaning to RIGHT leaning personalities, or perhaps better phased, liberal to conservative. On the grid are 66 fairly well known individuals that I have attempted to place on the grid relative to each other and relative to these two dimensions of personality.

Now there is an online test where you can (for free) test where you land on a similar type grid. It only takes a few minutes and is easy to do and I think pretty interesting. So, if you are curious about how you might score, I recommend you try it.

Ever since this red/blue political divide came into focus, and especially since it has become a part of the poplar lexicon, I’ve been captivated by the question of, ”What Is the underlying causation that steers one person to be an authoritarian right winger and another to become a left leaning libertarian” – often within the same family?

And I was further spurred in my interest when recently John Dean, the former White House Counsel to Richard Nixon, came out with his book, “Conservatives Without Conscience”. An unsettling notion is that perhaps some 27% of the population are identified as “authoritatively controlled conservatives” who for yet to be understood psychological reasons, even as adults, look to “father figures” they trust and respect to lead them to life choices and conclusions. There is actually an emerging field of scholarly study devoted to this area of psychology.

With a layman’s interest in history I tend to analogize what is happening today in America, in American politics, and in the ascendancy of the religious right into politics, to other social and political movements in other places and other times – and the comparison in unsettling. It suggests to me that, particularly in times where people begin to feel less secure (e.g. fear of no Social Security safety net, increased personal debt, attacks on our homeland, a tilt in power to the executive, soaring energy and medical costs, exporting of jobs, etc., etc.) that a drift to a charismatic alpha male is more probable – especially for “authoritatively controlled conservatives”. And energized by socially explosive issues such as illegal immigration, gay rights, reproduction rights, and similar other socially conservative hot buttons, this electorate might be marched lock step to the polls.

Well similar things have happened before – by the way, I’d love to hear back if you disagree with my placements on the above grid or have any suggestions for other inclusions.


Daniel said…
I'm interested in why you think Gandhi is over on the right side? Every other presentation of the compass I've seen puts him over with Mandela and MLK. Regardless, I do think it's an important tool to help us break out of the binary view of politics.
Bill Garnett said…

Thank you for your comment.

As to your question, when I made the placement, only God and I knew why -- now only God knows. Most of what I know about Gandhi is from the movie. And perhaps I saw him in his adoption of traditional dress and practices, as opposed to say Nehru who seemed more modern and progressive, as suggesting that Gandhi was conservative. I'll consider revising that placement.

You mention you've seen other compass placements -- I was hoping there were other one's around but hadn't seen them. Can you direct me to those compass presentations. I'd very much appreciate the information.
Mark said…
”What Is the underlying causation that steers one person to be an authoritarian right winger and another to become a left leaning libertarian” – often within the same family?

Some folks choose to stop 'admiring' things of this world, and start serving God who gave us everything. Pretty simple, don't you think? especially when you understand and accept what Christ did for all of us.

Bill, you mention God, does He serve you or do you serve Him? and how do you know?
Mark said…
...oh I should have added, and one's politics usually follow suit. usually not always.
Bill Garnett said…

I believe that God addressees me through my total experience of living – and not only just in the pages of one book.

I believe that it would be arrogant of me to insist my spiritual beliefs trump another’s.

I believe that each individual is and should be accountable for their choices in life.

I believe that my mind is perhaps the greatest gift to me from God, and that I have it for a God given reason, and that I am unique as an individual because of it.

I believe that knowledge and reason is a path somehow to God, and that in the information all around me are clues to both the truth of God and to His intent.

I believe that I have an inherent common sense and goodness and understanding of right and wrong that is given by God and is independent of any one book or any isolated message – and that it is the balance of my experience and understanding that God uses to guide me through life.

Should you desire and where we may have common ground in our spiritual selves, I would anytime be willing to have a conversation with you about our beliefs in God.
isiselite said…
My political views? What is yours?

Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -4.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.15
Bill Garnett said…
For information, my results are:

Economic Left/Right: -3.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.67
Anonymous said…
MY coordanites are:
Economic Left/Right: -8.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.97

very interesting quiz
You are insane to the point of being criminally neglegent. Reagan wasn't authoritarian, Jimmy Carter was. You're defining authoritarian as someone who doesn't use the government to give people what they want, Reagan shrunk the gov't and Carter made it grow. Nelson Mandela on the Libertarian Left? You need your lights punched out. Mandela was a communist who helped commit a train massacre in S. Africa, then went to prison when he was caught with a quarter million Soviet made hand grenades and almost 50 thousand AK-47. Sharpton has tried to use every bit of authority to exercise government control and so has Obama. If someone wants to use the Gov't to solve a problem they are the opposite of Libertarian. You've completely perverted this political model and you ought to be ashamed of yourself.


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