21.4.07

Notes

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The Big Picture

The design of the Political Objectives Test is such that it cannot be accurately represented as a chart or compass like many other multi-dimensional politics tests. However, for those who find it useful to visualise, I will try describing an approximate graphical representation of the relationships between the many descriptions.

Imagine a wheel consisting of three concentric rings and six spokes radiating from a hub. The hub represents any and all of the balanced descriptions of Apathetic and Moderate and Confused Extremist. Another way to distinguish these further is to imagine that the hub itself is a ring (moderates) with a core (apathetic) at its centre while there is a further ring beyond the spokes which encircles the entire wheel (this is the confused extremists). From the hub we come to the six spokes (moving clockwise).

Arrayed along the Liberty spoke (from centre to periphery) are Liberal then Libertarian then Anarchist.

Arrayed along the Liberty+Stability spoke (from centre to periphery) are Establishmentarian then Reactionary then Survivalist.

Arrayed along the Stability spoke (from centre to periphery) are Conservative then Ultra-Conservative then Fascist.

Arrayed along the Equality+Stability spoke (from centre to periphery) are Communitarian then Authoritarian then Totalitarian.

Arrayed along the Equality spoke (from centre to periphery) are Socialist then Utopian Socialist then Communist.

Arrayed along the Liberty+Equality spoke (from centre to periphery) are Progressive then Radical then Revolutionary.

Another way to look at the relationships between the descriptions is with reference to the concentric rings.

The innermost ring (in a clockwise direction) has the following conventional forms of politics: Liberal then Establishmentarian then Conservative then Communitarian then Socialist then Progressive then back to Liberal.

The intermediate ring (in a clockwise direction) has the following transitional or alternative forms of politics: Libertarian then Reactionary then Ultra-Conservative then Authoritarian then Utopian Socialist then Radical then back to Libertarian.

The outermost ring (in a clockwise direction) has the following extremist forms of politics: Anarchist then Survivalist then Fascist then Totalitarian then Communist then Revolutionary then back to Anarchist.

Hopefully this text description makes sense and vistors can see the wheel thus traced.

Internationals

Some results of the Political Objectives Test provide links to three major international networks of political parties. Those 'internationals' are the Socialist International (SI), the Liberal International (LI) and the International Democratic Union (IDU) for conservative parties.

A party is an aggregate of many members. And an international is both an aggregate of many parties which are aggregates of many members. As such generalisations of the political character of an international are just that - generalisations. That is why my references to those internationals stresses that they embrace and cut across different forms of political ideology. They also change over time while preserving many aspects of historical nomenclature.

The SI includes many garden-variety socialist parties but both its membership list and its mission statements show a growing progressive identity. A party like the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada is more progressive than socialist and is characteristic of many other member parties. Those SI members that are most successful as holders of government majority tend to be more moderate than anything and include the Labour Party in the UK. Finally there is a small communitarian presence in the SI that cuts across party and can be found in the associate body the International League Of Religious Socialists.

The LI includes many classical liberals but it also accommodates both progressives and establishmentarians and its mission statements are carefully worded to be inclusive of all strands of liberalism (note the use of both phrases "social justice" and 'free trade"). The Democrats-66 of the Netherlands are an instance of an LI member that is progressive. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) of Germany is an instance of an LI member that is establishmentarian. Those LI members that are most successful as frequent holders of government majority tend to be more moderate than anything - consider the Liberal Party in Canada.

The IDU includes many garden-variety conservative parties but both its membership list and its mission statements show a growing establishmentarian identity. A party like the Conservative & Unionist Party in the UK is more establishmentarian than conservative and is characteristic of many other member parties. Those IDU members that are most successful as holders of government majority tend to be more moderate than anything and include the Union For A Popular Movement in France. Finally there is a small communitarian presence in the IDU which can be found as a tendency within parties or in provincial parties such as the Christian Social Union (CSU) of the German state of Bavaria.

Statement of Bias

It is worth stating my own political biases as the author of the Political Objectives Test. My own test result is 'Progressive' with scores of 79% Liberty 79% Equality 29% Stability. This very much fits with my own self-image and past political involvement. But how much does it affect the way in which I have written the test?

If my questions made the Progressive result too attractive then I would expect my survey results to be different. More than 22% of participants would be Progressive and it would be the largest group (rather than one of two largest groups). Likewise those of opposing sentiment would be depicted as unattractive. Feedback says otherwise. The opposite of Progressive within the 'Conventional Ring' is Conservative. Persons who are given a Conservative result by my test with whom I have corresponded say that they find it an accurate and even complimentary description.

I need to draw a distinction however between emotional and intellectual bias. As a progressive I have an aversion to Fascism more than any other political movement. And yet as a student of politics I consider both Communism and Fascism to be as dangerous as one another. My emotional preference is for those movements that champion a combination of liberty and equality but my intellectual preference is for any movement that engages in compromise with others in the context of multi-party parliamentary democracy. As such I am closer to the Conservative than to the Revolutionary.

If one examines my descriptions of different results one will see that criticism and sometimes even a hint of lampooning only enters into my descriptions for non-conventional forms of politics. Nonetheless I think that I have provided descriptions which draw on the statements and concepts of different movements themselves. In this sense I feel I have represented them accurately.

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