I recently took the online political quiz at politicaltest.net. It told me that I am a Social Democrat who is more extremist than 88% of the population. That’s no surprise. But the really interesting part of the results, for me, is the way that it correctly identified the few small ways in which I am not a stereotypical liberal.
My most obvious deviation from the liberal archetype is in the last dimension that they measured: ecological vs. anthropocentric. I could nit-pick a little about the way they identified the two sides of this dimension: one can be both ecologically-minded and anthropocentric. I don’t know what the true opposite of “anthropocentric” is, and I suspect the people who created this quiz don’t either… which is why they ended up with “ecological.”
Personally, I love the environment. I recycle. I’m for green energy. I think we should give up fossil fuels.
But I am also drastically, perhaps horrifically, anthropocentric. Animals are cute, but they are not people. I eat animals, I use beauty products that were probably tested on animals, and if I were thus inclined I would have no moral objection to wearing animals as clothes. Human beings are predators, and I make no apologies. Life may suck for some animals, but it sucks equally much for a lot of people. If you are a Vegan who wears Nike shoes, you are a freaking hypocrite. So there you have it: I’m anthropocentric.
Apparently I’m more nationalistic than the archetypal liberal, as well. I’m not surprised by this, although once again I’ll object to their choice of terms. The opposite of “nationalistic” would be “globalistic” not “cosmopolitan”. But regardless of the term used, the fact remains: I believe in protectionism and “fair trade” rather than “free trade” and I think that the United States is right to attend to its own interests first and the rest of the world second. I don’t necessarily envision utopia as a place without national borders at all, because I value heterogeneity of beliefs. If a group of people half-way across the globe want to run their government as a kingdom instead of a democracy, I think that’s their prerogative and none of our business. I also believe that trading with the rest of the world doesn’t mean we need to lower our standard of living or our minimum wage to meet the “lowest common denominator.” So in that sense, I’m nationalistic. Go U.S.A.!
The other thing that may have affected my “cosmopolitan vs nationalistic” score is the fact that I said that I “somewhat agree” that illegal immigrants who have committed a crime should be deported. I’m not a “border hawk” by any means, but I also have difficulty accepting the idea that the only solution to the difficulty people have getting into the United States is to enter illegally. If they came here illegally, they committed a crime, and they are not citizens. If you believe that the barriers to entrance to the United States are too high, then that is where to fight the battle. Change those laws. Change that bureaucracy. The way to fight the battle is not do dismiss or accept criminal activity.
So all-in-all I think this is a great quiz. Not only did it accurately peg me as a Social Democrat (which is not difficult), it did a very good job of identifying the ways in which I diverge from the stereotype.