Author Topic: Ornery Political Spectrum  (Read 392 times)

Lloyd Perna

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Ornery Political Spectrum
« on: June 03, 2021, 10:44:41 AM »
I thought this might be an interesting way to challenge some of the assumptions we make about each other's political views.  Answer each question with either:

Strongly Agree: 4 points
Somewhat Agree: 3 points
Undecided: 2 Points
Somewhat Disagree: 1 points
Strongly Disagree: 0 points

Add up your score at the end and let's see where we stand.

In 1964, James Burnham, co-founder of the National Review and future 1983 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, outlined 39 sentences liberals would agree with. Do you think they still hold true? Has conservatism or liberalism changed under this assessment?
Political Theory
source material:
https://www.amazon.com/Suicide-West-Meaning-Destiny-Liberalism/dp/1594037833
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Burnham

The 39 statements:

  • All forms of racial segregation and discrimination are wrong.
  • Everyone is entitled to his own opinion.
  • Everyone has a right to free, public education.
  • Political, economic or social discrimination based on religious belief is wrong.
  • In political or military conflict it is wrong to use methods of torture and physical terror.
  • A popular movement or revolt against a tyranny or dictatorship is right, and deserves approval.
  • The government has a duty to provide for the ill, aged, unemployed and poor if they cannot take care of themselves.
  • Progressive income and inheritance taxes are the fairest form of taxation.
  • If reasonable compensation is made, the government of a nation has the legal and moral right to expropriate private property within its borders, whether owned by citizens or foreigners.
  • We have a duty to mankind; that is, to men in general.
  • The United Nations, even if limited in accomplishment, is a step in the right direction.
  • Any interference with free speech and free assembly, except for cases of immediate public danger or juvenile corruption, is wrong.
  • Wealthy nations, like the United States, have a duty to aid the less privileged portions of mankind.
  • Colonialism and imperialism are wrong.
  • Hotels, motels, stores and restaurants in southern United States ought to be obliged by law to allow Negroes to use all of their facilities on the same basis as whites.
  • The chief sources of delinquency and crime are ignorance, discrimination, poverty and exploitation.
  • Communists have a right to express their opinions.
  • We should always be ready to negotiate with the Soviet Union and other communist nations.
  • Corporal punishment, except possibly for small children, is wrong.
  • All nations and peoples, including the nations and peoples of Asia and Africa, have a right to political independence when a majority of the population wants it.
  • We always ought to respect the religious beliefs of others.
  • The primary goal of international policy in the nuclear age ought to be peace.
  • Except in cases of a clear threat to national security or, possibly, to juvenile morals, censorship is wrong.
  • Congressional investigating committees are dangerous institutions, and need to be watched and curbed if they are not to become a serious threat to freedom.
  • The money amount of school and university scholarships ought to be decided primarily by need.
  • Qualified teachers, at least at the university level, are entitled to academic freedom: that is, the right to express their own beliefs and opinions, in or out of the classroom, without interference from administrators, trustees, parents or public bodies.
  • In determining who is to be admitted to schools and universities, quota systems based on color, religion, family or similar factors are wrong.
  • The national government should guarantee that all adult citizens, except for criminals and the insane, should have the right to vote.
  • Joseph McCarthy was probably the most dangerous man in American public life during the fifteen years following the Second World War.
  • There are no significant differences in intellectual, moral or civilizing capacity among human races and ethnic types.
  • Steps toward world disarmament would be a good thing.
  • Everyone is entitled to political and social rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and expression.
  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
  • The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.
  • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security.
  • Everyone has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  • Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions.
  • Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Ornery Political Spectrum
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2021, 10:45:18 AM »
I'll go first
  • All forms of racial segregation and discrimination are wrong.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Everyone is entitled to his own opinion.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Everyone has a right to free, public education.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Political, economic or social discrimination based on religious belief is wrong.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • In political or military conflict it is wrong to use methods of torture and physical terror.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • A popular movement or revolt against a tyranny or dictatorship is right, and deserves approval.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • The government has a duty to provide for the ill, aged, unemployed and poor if they cannot take care of themselves.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Progressive income and inheritance taxes are the fairest form of taxation.
0 - Strongly Disagree
  • If reasonable compensation is made, the government of a nation has the legal and moral right to expropriate private property within its borders, whether owned by citizens or foreigners.
1 - Somewhat Disagree - I think there needs to be a legitimate government purpose.
  • We have a duty to mankind; that is, to men in general.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • The United Nations, even if limited in accomplishment, is a step in the right direction.
1 - Somewhat Disagree - It might have been in 1964, but I think we'd be better off without it.
  • Any interference with free speech and free assembly, except for cases of immediate public danger or juvenile corruption, is wrong.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Wealthy nations, like the United States, have a duty to aid the less privileged portions of mankind.
3 - Somewhat Agree
  • Colonialism and imperialism are wrong.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Hotels, motels, stores and restaurants in southern United States ought to be obliged by law to allow Negroes to use all of their facilities on the same basis as whites.
4 - Strongly Agree - This one is also very dated.
  • The chief sources of delinquency and crime are ignorance, discrimination, poverty and exploitation.
3 - Somewhat Agree - Ignorance and Poverty certainly, Discrimination and Exploitation I'm not convinced.  Maybe in that Era this was true.
  • Communists have a right to express their opinions.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • We should always be ready to negotiate with the Soviet Union and other communist nations.
4 - Strongly Agree - The specifics are dated, but the sentiment still applies.
  • Corporal punishment, except possibly for small children, is wrong.
3 - Somewhat Agree - I think what we consider Corporal punishment today is far less severe than what that commonly meant in 1964
  • All nations and peoples, including the nations and peoples of Asia and Africa, have a right to political independence when a majority of the population wants it.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • We always ought to respect the religious beliefs of others.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • The primary goal of international policy in the nuclear age ought to be peace.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Except in cases of a clear threat to national security or, possibly, to juvenile morals, censorship is wrong.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Congressional investigating committees are dangerous institutions, and need to be watched and curbed if they are not to become a serious threat to freedom.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • The money amount of school and university scholarships ought to be decided primarily by need.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Qualified teachers, at least at the university level, are entitled to academic freedom: that is, the right to express their own beliefs and opinions, in or out of the classroom, without interference from administrators, trustees, parents or public bodies.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • In determining who is to be admitted to schools and universities, quota systems based on color, religion, family or similar factors are wrong.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • The national government should guarantee that all adult citizens, except for criminals and the insane, should have the right to vote.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Joseph McCarthy was probably the most dangerous man in American public life during the fifteen years following the Second World War.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • There are no significant differences in intellectual, moral or civilizing capacity among human races and ethnic types.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Steps toward world disarmament would be a good thing.
3 - Somewhat Agree - I agree with the sentiment, I question our ability to implement such a solution.
  • Everyone is entitled to political and social rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and expression.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Everyone has the right to equal pay for equal work.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions.
4 - Strongly Agree
  • Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
4 - Strongly Agree

My Total - 142

Fenring

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Re: Ornery Political Spectrum
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2021, 12:15:45 PM »
How can you know whether the assessment was full of crap back when it was written? You'd need to know it was accurate, as a control group, in order to determine in what way(s) the definition of "liberal" has changed.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Ornery Political Spectrum
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2021, 12:37:30 PM »
It's not my intention to determine in what ways the definition of 'liberal' has changed.  I'm interested in discovering where other people on this forum agree or disagree with these statements.

That said, I grew up in very liberal Massachusetts during the 60's and 70's.  Virtually all my relatives are life long Liberals, with the notable exception of my Father who was a registered Communist.  I can say quite surely that they would agree that these tenets were a good representation of prevailing Liberal beliefs in that era.

Fenring

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Re: Ornery Political Spectrum
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2021, 12:44:19 PM »
It's not my intention to determine in what ways the definition of 'liberal' has changed.

Ok. I was responding to this:

Quote
Do you think they still hold true? Has conservatism or liberalism changed under this assessment?

I think you will find that the definition of "liberal" is central to checking out what 'liberals' believe, because as belief-systems fluctuate over time (especially in the short-term) you will find the term doesn't have a fixed meaning such that you can compare up liberals against conservatives with fixed goalposts. In fact, you can go ahead and try to determine if someone is a "liberal" at all and the first question you'd have to ask is "you mean now? 10 years ago? in the 60's?" And so forth.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Ornery Political Spectrum
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2021, 12:47:11 PM »
Ahh, I see the confusion.  I was quoting that from the reddit article where I found the questions