Enjoy Capitalism
Existential Threats

Political Compass

By Jonathan B. Wight

I’ve been incommunicado for several weeks while traveling in Asia (some blogs may eventually appear on what I learned). 

Meanwhile, I saw an interesting graphic on determining one’s political compass.  These surveys and tests are probably meaningless, but for fun I took it (link here).  In the interest of transparency to any readers of this blog, here it is:  Political compass

No surprises—I’m generally pretty confused!  What is a left-leaning libertarian? 

To me I think it means I’m a pluralist.  I’m not satisfied with simplistic answers, but rather always try to overcomplicate things.  That’s both a negative and a positive.   In terms of ethics it means I am not an absolutist, so I wouldn't make a good Kantian.  At least as I understand it, Kant would require you never to lie, even to the madman who comes to your door wanting to find your father to kill him.  

I tend toward libertarian ideals but like Adam Smith have pretty big exceptions. Smith, for example, favored financial market constraints--he didn't trust financial markets to allocate capital without causing too much risk for society.  

Readers—where do you fit in?


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My chart says I am more Left and more "Libertarian" than you.

I believe the authors of the test are using the term "libertarian" in its more traditional civil liberty sense as opposed to the modern "propertarian" sense that folks like Friedman and Hayek perverted it into. Left leaning libertarians exalt the individual over government and the market. Right leaning libertarians (propertarians) exalt the market over individuals and government.

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