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The Political Sextant Quiz
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Before you lies the Political Sextant quiz.
If you are unsure of how to answer, you can click on "pros & cons" below each question to get arguments for and against. If you don't care or are just neither for nor against, just choose "No Opinion".

We should strive to remove hierarchy where we can

People would be free to make their own choices without unjustified power structures, a good thing considering the frequent incompetence of rulers. People may not all choose the best for themselves, but their own choice is better than that of some official.

Removal of hierarchy may be an unworthy goal that could lead to chaos and lack of order, not to mention plagues of inefficiency. Hierarchies may also be seen as legitimately created through merit and ability of the people given power.

Capitalism has failed, and should be replaced with another system

Poverty, inequality, and greed are just some of the issues with Capitalism, a system that has brought us all of these problems that are becoming more and more prevalent. No sane person should really suggest that we shouldn't try and handle these problems, but some people claim that the benefits of capitalism outweigh the cons. These people clearly don't understand what it's like to live in poverty, or at best contrbute far too much to capitalism and at worst have obvious contempt for their fellow human beings.

Capitalism has not failed any more than nature has failed. What opponents often refer to as capitalism is a very natural system of exchanging products and services. To claim that this is the issue with society nowadays is fruitless since we can't really make a better system than the organic one that we have.

Large scale civilisations are unsustainable

It is not worth trying to make the megacities and countries of millions of people not harm the environment as these are inherently polluting and use up the resources more quickly than the planet can sustainably produce them. Small societies are also the only way to nurture decent human relationships as large society simply makes us strangers.

Large-scale societies have allowed us to produce such elevated forms of art and science that would have otherwise been impossible to attain.

We should strive to remove borders that separate us as human beings

Borders are arbitrarily defined things based upon arbitrary definitions of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, etc. The fact that we are all human means that we share more than enough to reject these arbitrary borders.

Borders are useful legal, cultural, and linguistic boundaries. They help us to protect ourselves from those with different ideals, traditions, and cultures who may be a threat. Borders may also serve to preserve identities in an otherwise globalised world.

Technological advances often cause more harm than good

We have countless examples of technologies being converted into primarily military ones (gunpowder is mainly used for guns, not fiireworks). Generally speaking, many of the problems solved by new technologies are outweighed by the tremendous capacity for harm that these bring.

It is not generally the fault of technology, which is arguably unstoppable in its progress, for its use. Society finds a way to turn medical technology into bioweapons, but it is absurd to suggest that we should not have fostered the environments that allowed us to eradicate cholera and smallpox.

State involvement is needed to protect citizens' interests

There are many selfish individuals who can easily start disputes that result in all sorts of issues. The state is the only institution which can be relied on to deal with these justly.

The state is just an arbitrary group that is given the authority to decide for citizens and often does not hold their interest at its heart, rather being influenced unjustly by a small share of its citizens.

It is moral and justified for someone to profit from ownership of private property

People who have worked hard to earn a living and wisely invested their wealth so that they can retire and live off of the fruits of their labour are hardly evil people. To suggest that people should not be able to benefit from working hard is to encourage laziness and generally stagnate production of goods and services.

Someone who owns an apartment block and rents it out to earn large amounts of money, despite never having to even visit the apartments, is hardly providing much benefit to society.A CEO who earns millions whilst a poor farmer works just as many hours a day with back-breaking labour , all because the CEO "owns" lots of stuff is similarly not morally acceptable. Private property like this is clearly not moral.

Religious leaders should play a key role in the running of government

Religious leaders tend to be intelligent, moral, and ultimately experienced in running their institutions. As such, if we are to choose a group of people to lead us then they seem to be very well suited to the task.

Churches and organised religions generally have their own moral codes that may conflict with the ideal for the running of society, not to mention that there is bound to be a conflict of interest regarding the creation of laws pertaining to religious institutions.

The betterment of society should be a primary goal of the members of said society

People are inherently better off working together. I don't mind working to help those less fortunate than me since I would want them to help me if I were in their situation.

People who find themselves in worse positions are generally there because of their own choices and actions. There is no reason to me to sacrifice anything when they only really have themselves to blame.

It is important to be wary of change thus we should stick to tradition

Change can be a scary things, for good reason. Unlike tried and tested traditions handed down through many a generation, change can often cause unexpected problems that outweigh any of the expected benefits, especially considering how the benefits tend to be less great than expected.

There's no point in being held back by something just because it's old. We should be judging everything on a case by case, logical basis, rather than letting our grandparents dictate what we do because their grandparents thought it would be a good idea. Times also change, so the "tried and tested" theory is generally misleading considering the new situation we find ourselves in.

Resistance to the system is best achieved through the use of underground markets

The most effective way to undermine the state is inhibit its ability to collect taxes. The best way to do this is by having underground/black markets where goods can be traded at their real value without having to pass on a share of the earnings to the state.

States generally do not make the bulk of their income from the trade of goods and services, but rather from sources like income and corporate tax. Illegal markets are also likely to be easily targeted by law enforcement.

Society should not seek to impose any specific code of conduct on the individual

The suggestion that there is some ideal code of conduct for everyone in a society is laughable, and imposing it on people is bound to cause more harm than good. What can start as gentle encouragement to follow a set of ideals can quickly turn into violence and repression against anyone who goes against them.

There are clearly some codes of conduct, such as those of violent serial killers, that we should do best to not allow. Building from this, we can point to moral ideals that we should be remisce to not encourage everyone in our society to follow.

Most, if not all, government decisions should be decided by a citizens' ballot rather than by fixed-term representatives

The only true "rule of the people" (democracy) is that where people actual decide on policy themselves. Sure, some minor decisions might necessarily be taken by bureaucrats for efficiency's sake, but untouchable delegates don't objectively represent the people and are unacceptably influenced by their own experience.

With countries of populations often in the tens of millions, it is absurd to suggest that anything but the most vital of decisions should be decided by every one of the elegible citizens voting all at once. This would result in wanton inefficiency and would waste resources and time for even the most trivial of decisions to be enacted.

We need to try and protect the environment from humanity and its actions

Global warming, and other big ones like mass extinction, is a very real and importantly man-made problem. If we do not do our best to tackle these, we may not last very long as a species, not to mention that we have a moral duty to protect the planet that we call our home.

There is not enough evidence to suggest that climate change is not inevitable, nor that the planet can not cope. To suggest that we should divert resources into a problem that we are very unlikely to be able to solve is just ridiculous.

Women do not, but should, share the same rights as men

The radical idea that women are people is still a radical idea. Unequal wages, lack of basic rights in many countries throughout the world, and medieval societal and family values persist despite their obvious moral low ground.

Unequal wages are arguably caused by the fact that most women are unwilling to take jobs in the valuable industries that are engineering, computing, and science. Many women are indeed happy to stay at home, leading traditional homecaring lifestyles. The inherent differences between men and women mean that giving them equal rights would be like saying that oranges and apples have the same taste.

State regulation of markets should be minimised

State regulation of markets inhibits the freedoms and infringes on the rights of those just trying to make a living through said markets. Regulation can also lead to bubbles, monopolies, and inherent unfairness that punishes those who might otherwise be very successful.

Neither corporations nor individuals can truly be trusted to keep markets "truly free". Inefficiencies can arise due to unjust or incapable manipulation of the markets, but the unfair economic power of some parties needs to be regulated in order to protect citizens' rights.

The rights of the individual should be paramount

The tyranny of the majority arising from the idea that we should do what's best for most can completely ignore the dire consequences that can be inflicted upon the few. Individuals should have no fewer rights than the groups that could seek to impose suffering upon them.

The rights of the individual are clearly important, but it is a simple choice to decide that one person should die to save a hundred.

Opposition to the system in the form of actions not allowed by the system is a justifiable tool for change

Going through the system is not necessarily a useful way of obtaining change. In fact, morally corrupt systems that supress good changes at least severely reduce the speed with which good reform can be done. It may be dirty, but illegal actions is quite possibly the only reasonable ways to actually force changes for the better.

Going against the system almost always results in unacceptable violence in the form of riots and bloody revolutions that ultimately tend to fail in their initially moral goals. Going outside of the confines of the system is simply too dangerous and likely to fail to be justified.

Money should represent hours of work rather than the value of the work

It is absurd that a farmer should earn less in a full twelve hour day of work than a corporate executive makes in only one hour. The farmer and the CEO are both working equally hard in terms of effort, so it is a simple step to suggest that they should really be compensated equivalently.

Paying people the same amount for the same time spent working just means that people are going to take the easiest jobs they can find, not to mention that in such a society no one would have any reason to try and work harder than their coworkers. This elimination of competition, and lack of encouragement to work in general, would clearly result in unacceptable reductions to efficiency and production.

People should be free to identify with any sexual orientation and/or gender they desire

There is no moral or logical justification to say that people should not be allowed to love whoever they want, or that people should be forced to follow whichever arbitrary gender norms we assign them.

Certain sexual orientations are clearly unnatural and we should actively discourage them. As for genders, these are determined by your chromosomes and/or genitalia and allowing people to choose one doesn't really make sense.

A strong and well funded military is desireable

A strong military is needed to make citizens feel safe from foreign threats. Militaries also reduce unemployment, encourage a sense of unity within a nation, and teach discipline to whoever goes through even basic training.

Foremost, a large military is arguably a waste of money nowadays considering the complete absence of total war for the past seven six decades. Furthermore, a strong military is likely to just encourage neighbouring states to spend (and waste) money on bolstering their own militaries. Apart from the waste, this also ensures that what would have been petty clashes can turn into full-scale war in a moment's notice

I should be proud of my culture and support those of my culture over those who are not

There is no doubt that sharing a common culture with others brings us closer together. Taking pride in such a thing is clearly justified and of great benefit in its encouragement. Naturally, I may find myself prioritising people I share cultural values with over those with different ideals but this is actually how it should be, much in the same way that we should prioritise family.

The idea that we truly share ideals with people just because we live in the same perceived cultural group is quite flawed. I'm far more likely to get along with a person who shares my hobbies than someone who's marginally more likely to have shared an ancestor with me, regardless of the minor differences in the way we might understand social etiquette and/or whatever accents we have.

We have achieved such levels of production that there are more than enough goods to go around

We produce enough food for 10 of the seven billion people on earth, despite a rather significant lack of tractors and adequate transport networks in the very large and fertile African continent. That alone should be enough to make people understand that we no longer live in a society where there's not enough to go around. Not to mention that we're getting better and better at making robots to get most jobs done, so forcing people to flip burgers to make a living when the flip-o-tron 3000 can do it ten times as efficiently and cheaply is also outdated.

We may be producing lots of food, but that doesn't mean that there's really enough to go around. Take fossil fuels for example: we produce lots of petrol now despite the near constant warnings that we'll run out next decade. It is clear that there are limited resources on earrth, and that the debatable abundance is not because we've gotten great at making lots of stuff, but rather just because we overexploit our planet.

Government intervention in markets in order to protect citizens' interests is justified

It's not uncommon for companies to try and flood markets with cheap, immorally produced goods that decent producers just can't compete with. This, and the myriad other dodgy business practices that can wreak havoc on the economy, makes it plain as day that there should be preventative measure. The government is perfectly placed to be this measure.

Governments don't just prevent things that can ruin economies. In reality, it's highly debatable that governments are even capable of predicting which things will really be a problem, and by interfering they exert a potentially unjustified power that may very well just end up hurting sincere businesses and those too small to influence government decisions, a problem that the big players who can flood markets don't have.

Change should be achieved through the apparatus of the system

Breaking the law to achieve change is a dangerous game that, besides being very popular amongst illogically violent individuals with no coherent ideology, can often have unintended and unfortunate results that do so much more to hinder change than anything else. Working through the system gives those who desire change legitimacy and ultimately makes for a much more accepting, safe, and strong transition.

The system is not there to be changed. It's ludicrous to think that the systems that most need change would even really allow those who desperately need change to even attempt it. In reality, just asking for change without is unlikely to even be taken seriously, providing ample justification for other methods of achieving change.

Workers' unions lead to inefficiency and/or corruption and/or unemployment, and thus should not be allowed

Giving organisational power to groups of workers that produce goods vital to the running of society is bound to end in corruption, not to mention that these unions could easily hold society hostage to their demands, however unjust they may be.

It is odd to suggest that unions would bring society to a halt, as they do not stand to benefit from this, just as much as it is odd to think that they would be any more corrupt than the government otherwise overseeing them.

People should elect representatives to vote on government policy in their place

No sane person really believes that there should be a 7 billion person vote on every governmental issue. Most people are even sane enough to understand that even a million people being asked what they think about small, relatively insignificant policies and laws is just a waste of time and resources. This isn't a reason to return to absolute monarchies, but general elections to vote in those deemed capable is the only feasible way of coordinating millions of people in a democratic manner.

The arguments on whether we should have proportional representation or a single transferrable vote stem from the very fact that representative democracy is flawed. Giving some people authority to pass laws and regulations for terms that last for multiple years is a complete betrayal of democracy. A term is more than enough for someone to completely go against their promises without fear of being replaced until their term limit is up.

Religion and government should be kept separate

A religious government brings with it moral values that can go against those of significant proportions of society who follow a different religion. On top of this, the corruption that can come from religious groups unfairly exploiting government policies and practice is hardly a good thing.

Separating religion from government, and by extension the important moral values that religion gives us, is likely to be quite difficult if not nearly impossible in a religious society. Aside from the difficulty, there seems to be little reason to ignore moral values that can guide us and those in government.

Similar ideologies should act in unison to challenge radically opposing ones

There have been countless examples of movements and parties tearing themselves apart at the worst times just because one half disagreed with some minor points given by the other half. Those seeking change often squabble over minor policies that most often than not never become an issue because the split parties never form a government. Surely the minor points can be resolved when the common changes sought have been achieved?

Different policies are different policies, no matter how 'trivial' or 'small' a difference there appears to be. Just as many a rebellion has failed to form because people disagree with each other, many a revolution has seen half of the supposed 'victors' being executed and betrayed by their supposed allies.

Society should adhere to religious tenets

Religious tenets are ultimately good ideas and traditions that provide an important set of morals that help us in our efforts in society as well as in governmenance. Society without the vital guidance of religion is likely to fall prey to depravity and run into all sorts of ethical quandaries.

Religious tenets for some are blasphemy for others. Asserting that everyone should follow religious tenets is unreasonable and immoral considering the discrimination faced the less dominant religious groups, not to mention those that shun religion altogether.

Workers should be organised according to their industry in order to protect their interests

Culture, religion, race, ethnicity, and soforth are all somewhat less significant societal dividers than that of labour. The plurality of time spent working in ones life creates a deep attachment to a profession, a trade, an art, or a craft much more than we often care to admit. Those who share professions most often are the best suited to understand the struggle and needs of those in the same industry, leaving it as a logical step to suggest that it is this organisational grouping of people that most makes sense.

Giving organisational power to groups of workers that produce goods vital to the running of society is bound to end in corruption, not to mention that these unions could easily hold society hostage to their demands, however unjust they may be.

A small group of politically conscious intellectuals should lead us into the revolution

The most knowledgable and politically conscious people are certainly the best suited to lead a revolution. It is also pragmatic for these people to do so . Some would call for everyone to rise up in revolution, but the divisions in education and opinion amongst those that should be rebelling make it impossible for a fully coherent revolution, hence a small vanguard is required to at least initiate the revolution.

Small vanguards may be a fairly natural thing, but they tend to not work out so well (see the USSR). They may lead to a revolution, but immediately afterwards they always seem to just consolidate their power and just put themselves in the seats of the previous rulers. The natural vanguards should instead stick to educating their peers so that they become less small and vanguard.

We should try to limit meat and/or dairy consumption as much as possible

The ecological damage and moral depravity of meat consumption in the modern world have reached unimaginable levels. Whether you want to acknowledge the billions of lives that are forced to experience torturous suffering every year, or the contribution of methane from beef cattle to global warming, or the hundreds of millions of people who go hungry every night because we waste almost half of out crops to inefficiently feed our meat, there can be no doubt we are no longer doing this out of necessity and "I like the taste of meat" is very, very far from being a valid justification

The meat industry is huge. Why? Because peope, who are clearly more intelligent and really more valuable than any other animal regardless of the measure used, have needs and wants that we shouldn't try and limit. Most people can clearly conceive that a life without meat would take away one of the great pleasures in life that they find in food. Let's also not forget the millions upon millions of jobs that rely on this industry, and the domesticated animals that we keep alive as a species that would never last in the wild.

We should strive to abolish wages

Wages are an unfair system that often arbitrarily or unfairly grants more resources to some over others. Someone bound to a wheelchair is likely unable to earn the same wage in a farming community as someone with the full use of their legs, and yet the wheelchair user probably requires more resources and help, a.k.a. "wages". There are now several methods for tackling this, with welfare and benefits set up to ammeliorate the situation, but wouldn't it make sense to just provide for everyone based on their needs rather than using some convoluted monetary system?

We need a system to keep track of the value of products and services so that we can keep producing stuff and providing services. Without adequate compensation for people's labour there's simply no reason for them to work, eventually resulting in nobody doing anything and a complete collapse of the societies that we've spent the entirety of history building. Besides, even paying everyone the same is better than not paying anyone since the spending of wages is a better representation of what we should be producing than any other system could be.

People have the same fundamental worth

To suggest anything less than this is to suggest that certain people deserve more rights than others. One thing leads to another and soon we'll have returned to having nobility with separate rights to the peasantry (a.k.a. everyone else). It certainly seems moral to prevent people from being given different rights on whatever arbitrary basis that separates them from others.

People are not equal. Whether you see this as a problem or not misses the point: people are different and clearly have different value to society and in general. Treating people as equals is pointless when certain people are obviously more intelligent, stronger, more powerful etc.

Government should only be involved in the administration of vital services like the police and fire services

Although it should be left out of most things in our lives because of its inefficiency and illegitimacy, government is necessary for basic things like law and order, the military, and emergency services. The government is at least the only institution capable of adequately running these, and is needed to prevent complete anarchy and enforce legal rights.

Whether you believe in completely removing the government or having a much stronger government, this compromise is not helpful. If you're against all government, this is clearly leaves far too much power in its hands and open to exploitation. If you believe in more government, it seems pointless to grant it control of these services if it doesn't have the power to tackle the underlying issues.

Taxation of land and buildings should be the primary source of government revenue

Taxation of land is probably the best method of government revenue. Not only does this create a more fair system whereby those who own more land and property pay more, but this actually encourages efficiency in business by making it necessary for people and companies to make a profit from their property, effectively ending the existence of empty or unnecessary factories and apartment blocks.

This method of taxation, aside from being unlikely to provide enough government revenue unless taxes on property are sky-high, is not really effective or distinct from other forms of taxation. Value-added-taxes and income taxes both fulfill their purposes adequately and in a much more fair way.

Communism is a failure and it would be detrimental to even attempt any such system

Communism is synonymous with corruption, dictatorship, violation of human rights and freedoms, and an ironic general lack of wealth for all. Many regimes have attempted communism and most have faltered, but all of them have failed to provide any benefit to society. With all the evidence, it is plain to see that it doesn't work as idealised and is emprically abhorrid.

Regimes may have called themselves communist, but most of them were just lying about their beliefs and aims. True communism is possible, and indeed so many systems have been theorised yet never tested leaving us with the distinct possibility that there is hope.Ultimately, we should at least attempt to solve the problems in modern society and prematurely discarding communism is unlikely to help.