Category Archives: Society

The Futility of the Left-Right Political Spectrum

The left-right spectrum is pretty obsolete, what with right wing w.Caesar running crazy deficits to undermine government’s ability to meddle with individual freedom to become rich and free from social regulation and left wing governments pledging to balance budgets: typically the reverse of the old Cold War Keynesian days.

In November of 2002 a friend sent me a link to a site, Political Compass, to do a survey to see where I would live on a two-dimensional spectrum consisting of left-right and authoritarian-libertarian, like so:

The next two images show estimates of where other well-known people could be on this spectrum.

Currently:

So 2.5 years ago I did the survey and ended up in the bottom left quadrant:

These days, as I get older and wiser and parental and more mature and more committed to the establishment I did the survey again to find myself–shock–even more radical:

Ultimately, I think everyone ought to swing by this website, Political Compass, to see where they are. The sooner we get more and more people releasing themselves from the tyranny of a 1-dimensional political spectrum, the better. The next task will be to create 3 and 4-dimensional models.

Is George W. Bush a Moron or a Poet?

Wednesday this week: the big W comments on his status as a poet while Chretien’s press secretary uses the word moron. Who’s right?

I’m not a fan of the big W’s folksy self-deprecating mask. It makes me nervous.

In an excerpt below from the text of joint statements made Wednesday at NATO meetings in Prague by the big W and Vaclav Havel, former jailed playwright and current President of the Czech Republic, the big W is initially addressing Havel, then he begins to take questions from reporters.

[Beginning of excerpt.]

“PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. President, thank you for having us. This is an historic meeting, an historic city, an historic country led by an historic figure.

“I’ll answer some questions.

“Q: I have one question for President Bush, and a second question for President Havel.

“President Bush, you have said some lofty words here. The Czech Republic —

“PRESIDENT BUSH: I said some what?

“Q: Lofty words. (Laughter.)

“PRESIDENT BUSH: No one has ever accused me of being a poet before, but thank you. (Laughter.)”

[End of excerpt.]

Also on Wednesday in Prague, Chretien’s press secretary, Fran├žoise Ducros, was overheard by reporters calling W a moron in a seemingly private conversation with another reporter. Today, Chretien refused to accept Ducros’ resignation.

Good for him.

The question that remains is this: is the big W and poet or moron or (terrifyingly) neither?