If you’ve been on social media for any length of time you’ve no doubt at some point seen one of your friends post the results of a test that some website has generated. The vast majority of these tests are nothing more than humorous time wasters and I normally ignore them, but several times a year I’ll come across a test that catches and holds my attention. Such was the case recently when I took the Political Compass Test. Unlike all those tests to determine which character of a particular fictional universe I was, this one actually seemed worthwhile, given that I couldn’t remember when, if ever, I had taken a test to gauge where I stood on a political map. The test is formatted to six pages of political statements, and for each statement you are asked to indicate how much you agree or disagree with it. After completing the test you are taken to a page that explains the methodology of the political map the test employs, as well as how to interpret your standing on that map, though I suspect most people just scroll past all of that to get to their results at the bottom of the page. Below is a screenshot of what I got.

According to the test I’m slightly right of center with a touch of libertarianism, which seems about right. That said, I acknowledge there are always limitations and flaws to these sorts of tests, so I take the results with a grain a salt. For my part, I did take issue with two or three of the political statements that I had to rate my agreement/disagreement with, since in my mind they were highly situational. For example, one of the early statements you have to rate is “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” In my mind that really depends on who the enemy of my enemy is and what I know about him. If this enemy of my enemy is of noble character and I have good reason to believe he won’t turn on me once my enemy is defeated, then yes, he is my friend. However if this were not the case then maybe I wouldn’t consider allying myself with him. It’s all about the details. I also do wonder how certain responses are interpreted, such as with the statement “The most important thing for children to learn is to accept discipline.” While I do think it’s very important for children to learn to accept discipline, I don’t think it’s necessarily the most important thing for them to learn, so I’d be inclined to disagree with it, but I wouldn’t want the test to interpret my selection of disagreement with the statement as my being against the disciplining of children.

Despite a few personal qualms about the Political Compass test, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from taking it, as any flaws with it are fairly minor in the grand scheme of things and I think it does a decent job of gauging where people fall on the political map. If you’re curious to take the test yourself and see how where you fall, you can follow the link below.

https://www.politicalcompass.org/test

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