Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

For some time now, libertarians have been trying to spread the idea that the one-dimensional Left/Right spectrum should be replaced with a two-dimensional scheme. The two axes are economic coercion vs. liberty (Left-to-Right, socialist-to-capitalist) and personal coercion vs. liberty (authoritarian vs. libertarian). Various questions on various issues are used to plot one's position on this grid.

In my own case, I am -- according to this test -- a perfect "centrist" with a "Personal Self-Government Score" of 50% and an "Economic Self-Government Score" of 50%. According to this one, I lean slightly to the Right and even more slightly Authoritarian -- 3.75 points and 2.31 points, respectively.

Now, when I myself try to quantify these things, I have always thought of a one-dimensional Left-to-Right spectrum with seven degrees, 1 being the farthest Left and 7 being the farthest Right:

  1. Communists and anarchists
  2. Libertarians
  3. Liberals and socialists (as if there's a difference)
  4. Moderates
  5. Conservatives
  6. Yours truly
  7. Racists and fascists

The problem with this system is that it is partly empirical (based on how individuals and groups actually line up in the real world) and partly intuitive (to me, at least -- some people find it counter-intuitive to put libertarians on the Left): it is not strictly logical and analytical.

Well, one day it occurred to me that maybe we should not extend the Left/Right dichotomy into another direction, but jettison it altogether, and start from scratch. The obvious (to me) basis for a new dichotomy: anti-Americanism vs. pro-Americanism. Come up with a list of statements on various issues concerning the survival and success of the USA; respondents can measure themselves according to whether they

  1. strongly disagree (i.e., are strongly anti-American)
  2. mildly disagree
  3. don't know/don't care
  4. mildly agree
  5. strongly agree (i.e., are strongly pro-American)

Add up the total score, divide it by the number of questions, and presto! -- a logical, analytical, and quantitative measure of how anti-American or pro-American you are.

And now, the test:

Equal Rights

1. All people are endowed by nature with equal rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

2. All citizens should have the same civil rights (as distinct from natural rights): e.g. the right to "the equal protection of the laws" (14th Amendment), the right to vote.

3. Aliens have equal natural rights, but should not have any civil rights.

4. "Affirmative action" is just a euphemism for discrimination against white people.

5. Laws against "hate crimes" are unjust and unconstitutional, because those not specially protected by them are thereby denied the equal protection of the laws.

Immigration and Naturalization

6. No one has a "right" to immigrate; immigration is a privilege granted by law.

7. Immigrants who enter America contrary to the law are criminals, plain and simple, and ought to be deported.

8. Whether or not immigrants will be allowed to enter America, which would-be immigrants will be let in, how many of them -- these questions should be answered solely by reference to the interests of native Americans. The interests of native Americans should never be sacrificed to the interests of foreigners.

9. No immigrant should ever be given welfare. Why are we letting in deadbeats?

10. Immigrants who don't want to speak English should go back where they came from. American taxpayers should not be forced to accomodate their obstinacy and ingratitude.

National Defense

11. America should continue to be the greatest military power on Earth.

12. We should only have allies who pull their own weight.

13. We should use military force only in our national interest, not for "humanitarian" reasons. (If there's a humanitarian byproduct of our intervention, that's just gravy.)

14. If a regime supports anti-American terrorists, we should go in and change that regime by force.

15. In war, there is no substitute for victory.

National Sovereignty

16. Get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US.

17. We should withdraw from NAFTA and the WTO.

18. America should have no foreign possessions: Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands should be given their independence as quickly as possible.

19. If Quebec finally decides to secede from Canada, or if any English-Canadian provinces apply for statehood, the United States should welcome these developments.

20. The Moon belongs to America because we got there first.

Economic and Fiscal Issues

21. Socialism saps the moral and material strength of nations.

22. The soundness of the dollar is sacrosanct.

23. Deficit spending, unless in wartime, is stealing from future generations.

24. It is obviously preferable to tax foreign imports rather than domestic incomes.

25. If Americans must be taxed, all should bear the same burden, proportionate to their respective means.

Home