Notes from underground

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Archive for the tag “left”

Taking your political temperature redux

Some time ago I did a couple of political quizzes — see Notes from underground: Taking your political temperature. I noted that there were two quizzes available — a well-designed one called Political Compass, and a very badly designed one called Political Spectrum.

Thanks to The Anger of a Quiet Man I recently revisited the Political Spectrum Quiz – Your Political Label quiz, and found that though some questions had been revised, they were still badly worded, and far more biased and tendentious than those on the Political Compass one, or else they were vague and ambiguous.

Take this question, for example:

50. A person’s morality is of the most personal nature; therefore government should have no involvement in moral questions or promote moral behaviors.
Disagree strongly
Agree strongly
How much does this issue matter?
A lot A little

This implies that the entire criminal justice system should be abolished. If someone steals from me, I should not call the police, but rather hire a private detective to catch the thief, and bring a private prosecution if the thief is found, to avoid involvement of the government in such “most personal” matters.

And it also implies that the government should not even promote moral behaviours among its own employees — if civil servants take bribes, for example, that is “of the most personal nature”, and therefore nothing to do with the government. Is this a serious question?

But it gets worse:

22. It is wrong to enforce moral behavior through the law because this infringes upon an individual’s freedom.
Disagree strongly
Agree strongly
How much does this issue matter?
A lot A little

What exactly does it mean?

It implies that I shouldn’t even bring a private prosecution if someone steals from me, because even if the government is not involved, the law itself will “infringe upon” [sic] the thief’s freedom.

I presume that indicating agreement with these in the quiz would show that one was on the libertarian end of the spectrum, but the second question, especially, implies that libertarians are not merely anarchist, but antinomian as well.

Well, perhaps that is what the designers of the quiz intended, but I still think that the quiz is badly designed, biased and tendentious. If you want a better way to compare your political views with those of others, The Political Compass still wins hands down.

About International Lefthanders Day

Did you know that today was International Lefthanders Day? I’ve just discovered.

About International Lefthanders Day:

On 13th August 1992 the Club launched International Left-Handers Day, an annual event when left-handers everywhere can celebrate their sinistrality and increase public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed. This event is now celebrated worldwide, and in the U.K. alone there were over 20 regional events to mark the day in 2001- including left-v-right sports matches, a left-handed tea party, pubs using left-handed corkscrews where patrons drank and played pub games with the left hand only, and nationwide ‘Lefty Zones’ where left-handers creativity, adaptability and sporting prowess were celebrated, whilst right-handers were encouraged to try out everyday left-handed objects to see just how awkward it can feel using the wrong equipment!

I’ve done most things left-handed most of my life, and at the age of 16, when I took an interest in the subject, I started doing a few more things left-handed (like holding a knife and fork). The activity I found most disadvantageous for left handers was playing hockey. Driving trolley buses, with the power pedal on the left and the handbrake on the right, seemed to come more easily.

I’ve just discovered that one can get left-handed cheque books — in Britain, anyway, but I can’t imagine what conceivable advantage they would have. On the other hand, I wish they would make computer keyboards with function keys on the left where God intended they should be.

Britain swings to the rift… er… leght

The election of two members of the fascist British National Party (BNP) to the European parliament has been the cause of some concern to British church leaders.

Bishop Alan’s Blog: BNP MEP’s: bring on the clowns?:

The disconnection of the Labour party from its own roots under Blair, Sun style pop Xenophobia, and disillusionment with parliamentarians, produced this result. Politicians must listen, not only pragmatically, but in a way that reconnects with this country’s historic Christian value base, or things can only get worse.

I wonder if the UK Sun is owned by the same people as own the South African Sun, because the latter’s pop xenophobia certainly played a part in inciting the xenophobic violence that erupted at the beginning of last year, in which over 60 people were killed, and which was discussed at the Amahoro Conference this week. Part of the problem in South Africa, as noted at Amahoro, is that apartheid deliberately disconnected the country from a historic Christian value base (while claiming to be protecting “Western Christian civilization” — whatever that means).

The xenophobic violence that lasted most of the first half of last year shows that we have not yet exorcised the demons of apartheid. And the demons that have been expelled seem to have emigrated to Europe, where they found the house swept and garnished, first in the wars of the Yugoslav succession, and now in the growing xenophobia in places like the UK.

But perhaps part of the problem in the UK could be remedied by voter education, which is very much needed, if the following example is anything to go by: Cranmer: Could the BNP now be sued for discrimination?:

The far-Left BNP may have won two seats on the Elections to the European Parliament, but, while this success undoubtedly constitutes something of a political and propaganda coup, Cranmer is not so sure that Nick Griffin will consider it much of a blessing when the lawsuits start being delivered.

“Far-Left BNP”? Perhaps that is the result of a misinterpretation of our Lord Jesus Christ’s injunction not to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, but it seems more likely that it is caused by not being able to tell one’s left from one’s right. What does one call that? Political dyslexia, perhaps? So if the blogger Cranmer’s view is widespread, perhaps a lot of Brit voters simply voted for the wrong party, and thought that the “HITLER” tattooed on the chest of the gentleman in the picture spells “T-R-O-T-S-K-Y”.

US Primaries 2008 — a Republicrat will be elected

Here’s a clear illustration of what many of us have long suspected. Nearly all the US presidential hopefuls in either of the two main parties are right-wing authoritarians. The only ones who aren’t — Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel — don’t stand a chance of being elected.

US Primaries 2008:

When examining the chart it is important to note that although most of the candidates seem quite different, in substance they occupy a relatively restricted area within the universal political spectrum. Democracies with a system of proportional representation give expression to a wider range of political views. While Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are depicted on the extreme left in an American context, they would simply be mainstream social democrats within the wider political landscape of Europe. Similarly, Hillary Clinton is popularly perceived as a leftist in the United States while in any other western democracy her record is that of a moderate conservative.

US Primaries Chart 2008

As Jonty Driver, erstwhile president of the National Union of South African Students, said when B.J. Vorster, then Minister of Justice in South Africa, called him a “leftist”, “There is no shame in being called a leftist by such a prominent rightist.”

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