There are no true “liberals” or “conservatives,” no simple “leftists” or “rightists.”
As The Political Compass indicates, these labels are only somewhat accurate in describing a person’s position on a single subject such as economics, or social freedoms. The labels are useless for the purpose of accurately describing a person’s overall philosophy or “worldview.”
For a more accurate description of someone’s philosophy, a label encompassing three or more dimensions worthy of Star Trek would be ideal, but a two-dimensional graph covering both economic and social views can serve as a helpful starting point.
The Political Compass offers a brief test to determine where participants are situated on a graph combining collectivism vs. neo-liberalism (free-market libertarian), and fascism (authoritarianism) vs. anarchy (social libertarianism).
An analysis of the graph reveals that one could easily be both communist and fascist in one corner of the political world, and in another corner it is possible to be progressive or “leftist” while still favoring small government. Some people aspire to authoritarian free markets (a current U.S. president comes to mind), while others work for the Cato Institute.
Please let us know if you know of other online tests that intelligently assess or graph a person’s worldview.