The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Archive for October 14th, 2008

No one in this election is a true “leftist”

with 3 comments

UPDATE:  With election hoopla at full frenzy, I hear scare-words (like “socialist”) being thrown around.  Truth is, almost no one in American politics is genuinely left of center; nearly all fall into the center-right regions, including both of the remaining presidential candidates.

It seemed like a good idea to re-post this graph from the primary days. As you’ll see, this being America, we’re pretty much all capitalists.  Our “left” and “right” are merely debates about how much leash we give our capitalism.

Meanwhile, pooh-pooh the idea that Obama’s palling around over there next to Karl Marx. That’s a long, long ways from true. -M


Notice the old labels don’t work any more? Political Compass politicians Used to be that a fire-breathing politician could cry “LIBBRAL!” and everyone in the room would look shocked as linebackers near a penalty flag. Nowadays, no one looks up. Must be disappointing.

As The Political Compass points out, the old terms don’t express much helpful information:

The old one-dimensional categories of ‘right’ and ‘left’, established for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, are overly simplistic for today’s complex political landscape. For example, who are the ‘conservatives’ in today’s Russia? Are they the unreconstructed Stalinists, or the reformers who have adopted the right-wing views of conservatives like Margaret Thatcher ?

On the standard left-right scale, how do you distinguish leftists like Stalin and Gandhi? It’s not sufficient to say that Stalin was simply more left than Gandhi. There are fundamental political differences between them that the old categories on their own can’t explain. Similarly, we generally describe social reactionaries as ‘right-wingers’, yet that leaves left-wing reactionaries like Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot off the hook.
So, Political Compass stirred in a couple more ingredients, then made a test to sample views. Try it—it only takes a few minutes, and I’ll guarantee it will give you something to think about—at their web page.
And, if you’re curious, my results are after the break: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

October 14, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Politics