The enduring appeal of The Political Compass lies in its universality, and the fact that it’s neither a fly-by-night election-time survey, nor a shallow personality test. Our test profiles political personalities applicable to all democracies. Our expanding range of features enables you to compare the politics of different countries and political figures past and present. Here’s a brief video introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u3UCz0TM5Q
Our essential point is that Left and Right, although far from obsolete, are essentially a measure of economics. As political establishments adopt either enthusiastically or reluctantly the prevailing economic orthodoxy — the neo-liberal strain of capitalism — the Left-Right division between mainstream parties becomes increasingly blurred. Instead, party differences tend to be more about identity issues. In the narrowing debate, our social scale is more crucial than ever.
We’re indebted to people like Wilhelm Reich, Hans Eysenck and Theodor Adorno for their ground-breaking work in this field. We believe that, in an age of diminishing ideology, The Political Compass helps a new generation in particular to get a better idea of where they stand politically — and the sort of political company they keep.
A key source of revenue has been from the copyright licenses of our images, which appear in a number of education books from publishers like Oxford University Press.
Our weakest point is commercialism, so it was always inevitable that others with those skills would tinker a little around the edges of our basic concept — and even our name — and repackage it as a national issues-based tool for commercial sponsorship for a few weeks during national elections; or perhaps simply as yet another of those “fun” internet personality tests; or maybe just for five minutes of Facebook fame, with the source almost invariably unacknowledged. The Political Compass continues to offer something more substantial all year round, and we look forward to keeping our hundreds of thousands of visitors stimulated for years to come.