Friday, February 8, 2013

Are your really a libertarian?

The CATO Institute finds 9 to 13 percent of the US population are libertarians in the Gallup surveys, 14
percent in the Pew Research Center Typology Survey, and 13 percent in the American National Election Studies.

The latter is generally regarded as the best source of public opinion data.

However, the libertarian movement is fragmented. There are different kinds on both the left and right side of the GOP. And these libertarian groups are not contiguous on a political spectrum 

There are Anarcho-Capitalists, Civil Libertarians:, Classical Liberals,Fiscal Libertarians, :Geolibertarianis, Libertarian Socialists, Minarchists,  Neolibertarians, Objectivists; and Paleolibertarianins.

Steve Kangas has written that liberals and libertarians were one group when the nation was founded. His view is present minded. The term libertarian appeared when Ayne Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead and she stated her objectivist school which was a reaction to Soviet collectivism. Rand was born in the Soviet Union. 

Rand's ideas were never really accepted by academics. In the 1960s her books were popular on college campuses. 

Many people think they are libertarian because of an online test called the Political Compass that was organated in the UK. If you were to take this test, you would end up in one of these quadrants

Rightardia finds this test simplistic because the political spectrum has many shades of gray that the terms "authoritarian" and "libertarian" really don't define. Authoritarians on the left are usually called Marxists or communist. Authoritarians on the right are called fascists. 

However, how did the political compass authors determine "libertarian" is the opposite of 'authoritarian?"

The antonyms for authoritarian is democratic or liberal and there are far more liberals and progressives than libertarians.

Rightardia suspects the authors of the Political Compass have a libertarian bias. 

Rightardia believes the opposite of authoritarian should be democratic.You would then have one lower quadrant marked liberal and the other libertarian. 

Until the Political Compass fixes its model, we discourage people from taking this test. Classifying people only as authoritarian or libertarian is clearly erroneous. 

Rightardia suggests the lower left quadrants should be labeled liberal and the lower right libertarian. Liberalism is not a philosophy of the left, it is centrist. In the US most libertarians are on the extreme right. These changes would work in he US, but perhaps not in other countries.

It would also be useful to break up the X and Y axis in thirds: on the X-axis, authoritarian, centrist and democratic,. Likewise on the Y-axis, left. center and right.

The Political Compass model is flawed and has a libertrain bias. It confuses liberalism with libertarianism.  


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