Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spinning the Political Compass

A political indoctrination tool turns out to be inaccurate.

Who knew.

Amplify’d from

The Political Compass, a popular online quiz, was supposedly designed to remedy the simple-mindedness of the left-right spectrum by replacing it with two axes:  political and social libertarianism vs. authoritarianism, and economic Left vs. Right.  Basically, everything nice you say about big business puts you further to the economic Right — which the quiz equates to a preference for free markets — and everything negative you say about corporate power puts you further to the Left (i.e. collectivism).

Some of the questions have a “have you stopped beating your wife?” quality to them.  For example:  “Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation.”  Or “A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies.”

This wretched quiz  takes for granted all the worst assumptions of our dumbed-down political culture.  In so doing, like Newspeak, it reinforces all the ways in which our corporatized political culture obscures critical thought.