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The world’s dumbest political test

Michael Totten has stepped in that steaming pile on the information superhighway known as PoliticalCompass.org and thereby concluded he is ‘one of us’… well… sort of.

Now as Michael is a thoughtful sort of leftie, it would pain me not at all if he holds onto that thought and bounces it around for a while. Maybe he will conclude that rational libertarianism may indeed be a better intellectual home for him than either the statist left or statist right.

However he will not find the answers to that question by taking the preposterous test offered by PoliticalCompass.org

12 comments to The world’s dumbest political test

  • Maybe that test doesn’t work well for some people. But it put me on the same point on the graph that I put myself. So, at least it works sometimes…

  • Am I really to believe that you required that thing to confirm your own convictions to you, Michael?

    I mean; fools abound: should I think you’re one too, or what?

  • tallan

    I found the test interesting but many questions seemed hard to answer. That it put me, a strong advocate of free markets, strong military, and less govenment, to the left of Tony Blair and way to the left of GWB seems absurd.

    That I was only a little bit below the centerline also seemed wrong until one notices that the authors put all major world leaders much above the center.

  • My, that’s a terrible test! Looking just at the first few questions, I see some that are meaningless:

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

    What does that mean exactly? Are trans-national corporations run by aliens?

    Some that have misleading wording:

    “I’d always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.”

    Of course what they mean is “my government,” but whoever wrote the test is doubtless incapable of distinguishing between a country and its government.

    And then there are the questions where my answer is not one of the choices:

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    It depends on who the enemy is.

    The test was clearly written by a collectivist.

  • Actually the test was clearly written by a fairly conventional lefty trying desparately to look as if he actually knows what he’s talking about.

    I mean honestly:
    “Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment.”
    “It’s a sad reflection on our society that something as basic as drinking water is now a bottled, branded consumer product.”
    “Good parents sometimes have to spank their children, to teach them right from wrong.”
    “There are no savage and civilised peoples; there are only different cultures.”

    So very very bad on so many levels.

  • Guy Herbert

    Just had a look and it is truly terrrible. There are worse, tho’. For a combination of presumption and incoherence at great expense to at least some of us, may I commend to your esteemed attentions the following link.

    (Retires to safe distance.)

  • Billy Beck,

    I did not require that silly test to tell me what I think. I explain very clearly in my post why I put the results of the test online.

    I get tired of being called a “conservative in denial” by the right, and a right-wing stooge by the left. The test results were posted to get such people to be quiet and quit telling me who I really am.

  • h0mi

    Alan- don’t forget the “astrology” question.


  • Tom Grey

    Hey Lib-guys, WAKE UP — where is a BETTER test??? Thanks, Michael, for putting your link; I’m only a +1.8 right, -1 lib guy, and I don’t think it’s a great test, but it IS better than “the World’s smallest political quiz”, much as I like that, too.
    My non-lib friends do NOT like the small quiz. This test, yes by leftist collectivists trying to be objective, is at least meaningful in a lot of questions to most normal intelligentsia — who are left/ authoritarians, by and large.

    I also like the agree/disagree; strongly four choice format. And the fact is, MOST folk do believe that q1 on globalization asks about a true tradeoff, good for corps vs good for poor folk. If most folk truly think that, a good survey test question prolly needs to accept it.

    The poli-compass guys aren’t going to tell us the secret scoring though.

  • Other than the fact that ALL such tests oversimplify things, what is so preposterous about it?

  • Tom Grey: My views have nothing to do with a lack of sleep. There is no BETTER test, just several equally lousy ones. The reason I do not agree that PoliticalCompass.org is better (or even BETTER) than the ‘world’s smallest political quiz’ is that added complexity has not produced added clarity but rather a distorted view as the way they define one of their four axes is deeply flawed.

    Lynn S: I take it you have not read my follow up article on the subject.

  • Ben Arnold

    I stumbled upon this conversation and was surprised. I’ve taken the test and it seemed quite accurate (as far as tests go). In defense of the test’s authors I believe the statements are not meant to be clear statements of political idelogy. They are meant more as samples of political rhetoric.

    I think there is a good reason for this. Like it or not, most people don’t have as firm a grasp of language as you folk appear to, so people who make tests have to dumb them down. One way to dumb them down is to give the only the impression of a political point of view, in tone and language, for the testee to react to.

    When I took the test there were a lot of statements that I would find hard to make a judgement on if I took them word-for-word literally. Instead I considered what nature of rhetoric was being illustrated and responded accordingly.

    You can well argue that a test with more precise or logical wording would be easier for people with precise or logical minds, but the fact is that the average person is deficient in these characteristics.

    If you have the time, I would suggest taking the test again, and respond to each statement considering what the intent might be of someone who uses the statement at a political rally. You might get a more accurate result.