The Political Compass

In a conversation I was having in the last meeting, some conjecture was performed on political leanings, particularly the concept of libertarianism. For those unaware of the subtleties of the political scope, libertarians advocate that the state should have as little to do with people’s lives, especially in the fields of economics, leading to laissez-faire economies where anything goes, extremely low levels of taxation and minimal social security.

It reminded me of a website I stumbled across a long time ago called ‘The Political Compass’, an exercise by political journalist and a professor of social history which attempts to classify people’s political leanings not through the traditional ‘Left’ or ‘Right’, but on an axis with 2 scales. The X-axis measures economic positions, ranging from the far left, “Communism” (-10) to the far right, “Neo-liberalism” (+10). The labels vary on different versions of the graph, but essentially this range measures how much or little government intrusion in the economy is favored. The Y-axis measures social positions, from “libertarian”/”anarchism” (0 to -10) to “authoritarian”/”fascism” (0 to +10). This range measures a person’s stands on government intrusion in personal or social matters. It should be pointed out that libertarian here isn’t the same as the libertarian I mentioned before. The one mentioned before is an American political concept of economics, the meaning here is more closely regarded as a form of anarchy.

Yes, sorry about the horrific colours.

The Political Compass

The site is basically a list of questions in six categories where you pick on a scale from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’ to a number of statements. It’s not perfect; I object to a number of the questions because they’re either loaded or it postulates an option where I think there’s another alternative, but it’s good for a general gist. It’s also fairly liberal in outlook, I imagine more conservative people objecting to the tone, but I don’t have an issue with that.

In the interests of science harmony nosiness, I’d be interested to see where readers of this site come out. I’ll go out on a limb and claim most of us will occupy the bottom left section (making us the libertarian left), but who knows? Take the test and put your coordinates in the comments section below. If i get enough results, I might collate us all into our own chart.

Take the test here.


For the record, I score at -3.12 on the economic scale and -5.38 on the libertarian scale, putting me slightly more neo-liberal than Ghandi, but a heck of a lot more libertarian than any politician on the scale.

Yes, yes, I know.



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