Ideology is overrated

 

A "centrist moderate social libertarian", am I? You learn something new every day.

Left- or right-wing, socialist, liberal or conservative – it seems everyone who talks about politics has to neatly fit into one of these categories. According to the Political Spectrum Quiz, I am pretty much a centrist, as well as being moderately libertarian (a “centrist moderate social libertarian” in their words). 

This sounds about right, but I have to admit (and my Twitter followers will have found out) that I do find myself sympathising quite a lot more with right-wing people, groups and ideas than left-wing ones. I suppose, though, it is an American website, from a country where our Conservative Party – not that I support them – wouldn’t really be seen as right-wing (although we forget that the Americans have a media and a Congress that is a lot more diverse than what we have), a bit like how my views would probably be considered far-right in countries like Sweden.

Taking all these quizzes can be an interesting exercise (well, sometimes) but I do think people put a bit too much value on ideology. It’s good to have principles, and I do like to think of myself as an all-round (or “classical”) liberal – despite being rather conservative on immigration etc. But what works, and what really does change people’s lives for the better, is the most important thing.

Someone the other day said they couldn’t work out whether I was left-wing or right-wing. I take that as a compliment. I don’t have any loyalty to either. In practice I may be slightly right-leaning, but – no matter what the ideology attatched – if something maximizes and balances everyone’s liberty, is fair and is democratic, I will support it.

PS Something rather amusing is that even Wikipedia editors have their own ideologies (or “Wikilosophies”), like “inclusionism“, and “deletionism“.

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2 thoughts on “Ideology is overrated

  1. I have attached myself to Ukip right wing, but there are 2 right wings,right wing loyalist to Britain out of E.U.and right wing traitors in the E.U.removing political branding,and putting my own
    branding I would realy say I was a “Propheter”because the prophets
    told us all our mistakes before we made them and the outcome thereof.Isiah gives one great insight, better than all parties.

    • Thank you for the comment. I do like that idea of a ‘Propheter’, and I think that would attatch well to UKIP. Back in the 1990s, they saw the EU – and of course the Euro – for what it was, but everyone thought they were just extremist nutters. Since then, as they ‘prophesied’, our government’s signing of treaties, helpless submission to integration and refusal to give the public a say in any of this, has taken away our democracy and identity. And people are realising that they were right all along.

      However, I think it’s a bit simplistic to say that Euroscepticism is simply one of the right wings. Some left-wing people are Eurosceptic as well – for example the Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, who has recently come out in support of an EU referendum. And I think that all pro-democratic reform people on the left would agree with Ms Lucas if they applied their domestic ideas to the EU. It is, after all, tremendously backward in its rejection of democracy.

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