Years ago this quiz, which offers a detailed analysis of your political inclination, was doing the rounds on the web. Though party politics with a small ‘p’ bore me, I’m always intrigued by the bigger picture, ie the philosophies and theories that form different political credos.
When I first took the test (more years ago than I care to count), my result was entirely predictable and accurate. No surprises to discover that I was an extremist belonging to the far left. Most of us – unless we are lumbered with “a certain background” – tend to fall somewhere within this bracket in our teens and early twenties.
A glorious time when everything is black or white; when principles reign supreme; when the establishment is always wrong; when spending the morning drinking wine and debating the finer points of Nietzche’s and Schopenhauer’s philosophies wins over anything as mundane as clocking in to work. Oh did I love those days, or what?
The whole Occupy fad took me back, of course. They were good days and most of the principles I believed in back then, I hold just as dear today. But thankfully most of us outgrow that sense of wanting to rebel against the system at all costs.
A good dose of reality and, dare I say it, maturity (gasp!) help us to eventually find a happy balance between following our principles and respecting the duties that come from being part of functioning society. Not a perfect society, but a functioning one.
The minority that do not go through this necessary coming-of-age eureka moment are usually the ones who end up eating our social security contributions with hefty demands on the welfare quota. Or maybe occupying Wall Street, the Stock Exchange, some random Cathedral or wherever. A small part of me sympathises and would love to rush out and occupy something. Even if it’s just that bench in the sun, maybe armed with a book or two. Work deadlines usually come in the way of that, however.
The whole thing got me wondering whether my core principles had changed without my noticing. So I retook the test today. Turns out I’m still very much a libertarian. And I still feel at home on the far left (though not as far left as I was fifteen years ago, when my dot was placed literally on the border of the square).
My current politics, the analysis told me, can best be equated with those of the Dalai Lama. Certainly no complaints there.
Ah, adulthood. So this is what it feels like.
Where do YOU stand?