28 votes

For how long have you held your current political beliefs/positions/opinions, what opinions did you use to have before and why did you previously hold said opinions?

Asked mainly because:

  1. I'm 14, so I've only been seriously politically engaged/active for a few months at best (for context, here I am not knowing that voter suppression is even a thing literally 6 months ago, go a few more months back and I'm not sure if I even know Biden is a candidate)

  2. In r/politicalcompass (a sub I probably frequent too much) people often posted their 'political journeys' showing how their political beliefs have changed but:

    • There's not enough context for you to know what has changed and why they have changed

    • These changes often happen in a span of 5 years, which seems pretty unlikely (the part about your political beliefs changing is mostly aimed at 40+people who have seen enough change in the world (although from what I've heard from you, barely) to change your political opinions

    • It's literally a sub trying to boil down political opinions into a square/cube, so what else could I possibly expect.

38 comments

  1. [12]
    Algernon_Asimov
    (edited )
    Link
    Here is my political compass result. I'm a hardcore leftie. But at my very first election, more than 30 years ago, I voted for the mainstream right-wing party here in Australia (Liberal Party). My...

    Here is my political compass result. I'm a hardcore leftie. But at my very first election, more than 30 years ago, I voted for the mainstream right-wing party here in Australia (Liberal Party). My politics haven't changed. What changed was who I voted for.

    I was a very apolitical youngster. I knew nothing about politics. When I turned 18 and could vote for the first time, I just voted for the party that my parents recommended. I respected my parents' opinions. Of course they knew who to vote for. So I voted accordingly.

    But then I grew up. I moved out of home. I became an independent adult. Most importantly, I learned who I was when I wasn't under someone else's influence. And, as time went by, I realised that the Liberal Party didn't represent who I was or what I believed. So I shifted my vote to a centrist party: the now-defunct Australian Democrats.

    But they ruined the Goods & Services Tax in 2000. The compromises they forced the government to make on this new consumption tax turned it into an administrative nightmare, with exceptions everywhere. I was disillusioned.

    So I looked elsewhere. By now, I was in my early 30s. I had a better sense of what I wanted from government: fairness, justice, equality. So I voted for the mainstream left-wing Labor Party.

    My beliefs hadn't changed. I was just becoming more aware of what those beliefs were. I was also becoming more educated and informed about what the various political parties stood for, and what politicians actually meant when they said certain things.

    Then the Australian Greens started becoming more prominent. And I realised that this was my one true home, the party I'd been searching for all along. I switched my vote to them in my late 30s, and it has stayed there ever since. I've been handing out Greens how-to-vote cards at elections for at least a decade. I even volunteered for a branch about 5-7 years ago, and got a little insight into how things work behind the scenes.

    Meanwhile, my parents and my brother still vote Liberal. They're very much "reward for effort", "no dole bludgers", "what's it in for me" people with a large dollop of racism thrown in. I'm nothing like them politically. I've sometimes wondered why that is, and I've developed a theory. My politics are different to my family's for two reasons:

    • I started reading science fiction from a very early age.

    • I was bullied as a gay teenager.

    As scientists have found, reading fiction encourages empathy in people, and reading science fiction gave me the insight that "different" is just "different" not "bad". Other opinions are just as valid as mine. No particular point of view is more privileged than any other. Moral relativism FTW!

    And, being bullied for being gay gave me an up-close-and-personal insight into the experience of exclusion and victimisation and "otherness".

    I've also reflected on my own philosophy of life, as evidenced by my actions and opinions, and realised that it can be boiled down to just four words: "First, do no harm." (Or, to paraphrase one of my namesakes: "A human being may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.")

    I can't think like my family because I know what it's like to be different, and I know that being different is not wrong. They pre-judge people. I know the fallacies of prejudice: I've been a victim of it. I know that success isn't about hard work. I know that people fail for reasons that aren't their own fault. I know that people with different opinions are not necessarily wrong.

    So, I turned out to be a soft-hearted bleeding-heart leftie all along. This might surprise some people who know me only through this online persona, but my real-life friends know the truth of it.

    EDIT: Omitted a crucial "not".

    19 votes
    1. [9]
      vord
      Link Parent
      I think lots of people are, even in the USA, but don't see themselves that way simply because it's often framed out of the discussion. The right-wing has claimed exclusive rights to Guns and God,...

      So, I turned out to be a soft-hearted bleeding-heart leftie all along.

      I think lots of people are, even in the USA, but don't see themselves that way simply because it's often framed out of the discussion.

      The right-wing has claimed exclusive rights to Guns and God, even though those are completely compatible with the left as well (admittedly moreso the God than the Guns).

      I think there's also something to be said about the individualism being used as an economic weapon (regulation bad because it hurts individuals!), and not a social one (complete autonomy good!). But group mentality is used as a social weapon (outsiders bad!) and not an economic one (regulations good to save planet!).

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        Bepis
        Link Parent
        Why aren't guns as compatible with the left as God?

        Why aren't guns as compatible with the left as God?

        5 votes
        1. vord
          Link Parent
          This is most in regards to the USA Democrats (and not the perpetually ignored actual left). Gun control is always a big part of their platform, and always rings true to much of their base....

          This is most in regards to the USA Democrats (and not the perpetually ignored actual left).

          Gun control is always a big part of their platform, and always rings true to much of their base. However, it immediately kicks the other Gun folks into a rage and they'll vote solid R to keep it from happening.

          My concern is a lot of the gun control that does get passed is kinda arbitrary.

          My personal stance on guns is that the broader citizen base should have 100% access to anything that would be used against them by our own government. Deescaling and regulating is 100% fine, start with the police and any military that would be deployed internally.

          So, I look forward to my govt issued assault rifle, tear gas, high-grade explosives, a wide range of other torture devices, and a few missile launching drones for good measure. /s

          5 votes
      2. [6]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I want neither of these things. I actively reject both of these things.

        The right-wing has claimed exclusive rights to Guns and God

        I want neither of these things. I actively reject both of these things.

        3 votes
        1. vord
          Link Parent
          Not putting words in your mouth by any means... I'm certainly no God person myself. It's just one example of how otherwise left-leaning people might be going with the right-wing crowd on those two...

          Not putting words in your mouth by any means... I'm certainly no God person myself.

          It's just one example of how otherwise left-leaning people might be going with the right-wing crowd on those two issues alone (especially in the USA). Those two aspects of US politics are still going strong, and without embracing their concerns to a reasonable degree, those voters will continue to be a reliable voting bloc for the right.

          1 vote
        2. [4]
          Kuromantis
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          To be fair, some do, both of those things. See Christian socialism.

          To be fair, some do, both of those things.

          Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary. (By Marx)

          God

          See Christian socialism.

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            mrbig
            Link Parent
            I am a Christian, a progressive, and a leftist (not necessarily a Christian socialist). Possibly the only Tilderino to accumulate all those qualifiers.

            I am a Christian, a progressive, and a leftist (not necessarily a Christian socialist). Possibly the only Tilderino to accumulate all those qualifiers.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              Grendel
              Link Parent
              Not the only one! I'm also a believer who leans this way. Of course, I'm left by Midwest American standards. Anywhere in Europe and I'd probably be considered more conservative. It's all relative.

              Not the only one! I'm also a believer who leans this way. Of course, I'm left by Midwest American standards. Anywhere in Europe and I'd probably be considered more conservative. It's all relative.

              3 votes
              1. mrbig
                Link Parent
                Good to known I’m not the only one!

                Good to known I’m not the only one!

                1 vote
    2. [2]
      MonkeyPants
      Link Parent
      I grew up in a time and place very similar to Algernon_Asimov, and I also started out very conservative. So of course, when I moved to America, I found (much to my surprise) that put me firmly in...

      I grew up in a time and place very similar to Algernon_Asimov, and I also started out very conservative.

      So of course, when I moved to America, I found (much to my surprise) that put me firmly in with the Democrats.

      Lately, I find myself flexible. I was just as excited to vote for Jacinda (liberal), as I was for Obama (conservative by most western standards.)

      Passion, intelligence, morals, effectiveness are increasingly more important to me than nuanced policy stances.

      It's worth noting however, that I've noticed my political views are heavily influenced by who I spend time with.

      So perhaps it's not so much our views that change, but the people we hang out with.

      4 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Just to clarify: I did not start out conservative. I was always a bleeding-heart leftie. I just voted conservative because that's how my parents voted.

        I grew up in a time and place very similar to Algernon_Asimov, and I also started out very conservative.

        Just to clarify: I did not start out conservative. I was always a bleeding-heart leftie. I just voted conservative because that's how my parents voted.

        5 votes
  2. [3]
    Keegan
    Link
    5 years is more than enough to change people's political opinions for any age. In the US, Barack Obama was president 5 years ago. The political climate has drastically changed since then, enough...

    These changes often happen in a span of 5 years, which seems pretty unlikely (the part about your political beliefs changing is mostly aimed at 40+people who have seen enough change in the world (although from what I've heard from you, barely) to change your political opinions

    5 years is more than enough to change people's political opinions for any age. In the US, Barack Obama was president 5 years ago. The political climate has drastically changed since then, enough for many people to do complete 180s. See r/trumpgret for that.

    Also, IMO, the concept of the political compass is sincerely flawed since it oversimplifies all aspects of your beliefs in order to put you onto a coordinate system. I much prefer the multi-category scales of e.g. authority vs liberty over it, but even this system is too simplified. Designating people into groups like this serves no good purpose other than to find people who think similarly, but there's no context for WHY they got a 96% on liberty.

    11 votes
    1. Ihmisluonne
      Link Parent
      I remember a social studies lesson a while back. We were talking about my home country's political parties, and their places on the left-wing/right-wing scale. We had gotten 6 out of 8 placed on...

      I remember a social studies lesson a while back. We were talking about my home country's political parties, and their places on the left-wing/right-wing scale. We had gotten 6 out of 8 placed on the scale, and then the teacher noted, "where would you put these two? they really don't have a place on a scale like this!"

      And that's the reality, in a country with more than 2 dominant parties, and more parties being created every once in a while, these new parties aren't always born to represent a point on the left/right axis or the authoritarian/liberal axis.

      Sure, they will have to take stands on matters that will give them a point, give them a place in a square or an axis, but it doesn't offer a realistic idea of what that party represents.

      4 votes
    2. Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Pretty fair, since unless you take the test, you won't know what wording and biases have been put into it and that matters a lot (unless they do it for you.) Some tests do try to to be more...

      Also, IMO, the concept of the political compass is sincerely flawed since it oversimplifies all aspects of your beliefs in order to put you onto a coordinate system. I much prefer the multi-category scales of e.g. authority vs liberty over it, but even this system is too simplified. Designating people into groups like this serves no good purpose other than to find people who think similarly, but there's no context for WHY they got a 96% on liberty.

      Pretty fair, since unless you take the test, you won't know what wording and biases have been put into it and that matters a lot (unless they do it for you.)

      Some tests do try to to be more creative/elaborate than this however. (6triangles and ISideWith are good examples each.) I think the main problem is converting you political ideology into a policy platform, since tests like these can often be purely abstract.

      1 vote
  3. Autoxidation
    Link
    I grew up in the southern US, where I still reside, but I grew up conflicted. From a relatively young age, I've been an atheist, so have always felt like an outsider in most respects. I vividly...

    I grew up in the southern US, where I still reside, but I grew up conflicted. From a relatively young age, I've been an atheist, so have always felt like an outsider in most respects. I vividly remember polling in the mid 2000s that Americans would vote for a Muslim for president before they'd vote for an atheist. Not to say anything is wrong with Muslims, but this was a few years after 9/11 and the general sentiment was not favorable. My parents weren't particularly religious; my mom believed and all that, but never went to church. My dad has a certain disgust for organized religion but not for any good reasons IMO. He's also rather conspiracy-minded, and, as I discovered as I grew up, generally does not have a way to determine information that is true or not. He listened to Alex Jones well before it was anywhere close to mainstream. I'm sure I could dig through my emails back to 2005 where they are full of infowars and prison planet links. As you can imagine, he's extremely conservative and a huge Trump supporter. Growing up in that household was weird.

    As a teenager, I preferred to identify as a Libertarian to others since that was "not a Conservative, but close enough" to most people in the south. I would say in general that my ideas of the world weren't very well formed. I just hadn't given thought to many issues beyond the big consuming ones at the time. I spent a lot of time online growing up on forums that had healthy debate and it definitely moderated my views growing up. For that, I will always be grateful to have an escape that wasn't the Bible Belt and I felt mostly safe discussing beliefs, politics, and religion.

    I took the mostly familiar path of moving more left as I aged, became more educated, interacted with people from more walks of life, and visited other places. I'm somewhere on the left spectrum in the gray area where people go from being a liberal to a leftist. The funny part to me is it really wasn't college that did it, it was the military. The biggest thing that shapes my worldview now is evidence, or absent sufficient evidence, empathy to others. I consistently reassess my current views to make sure they are well supported. I'm pretty sure that influence came from learning just how wrong my dad was/is, and how much bullshit he believes and how many times he's been conned over the years. I didn't want to be susceptible to that for myself.

    9 votes
  4. [4]
    FishFingus
    (edited )
    Link
    Lessee...I suppose I took after my dad in that I was fairly conservative-minded (with attendant idle bigotries) for roughly the first half of my life, despite growing up in a pretty diverse...

    Lessee...I suppose I took after my dad in that I was fairly conservative-minded (with attendant idle bigotries) for roughly the first half of my life, despite growing up in a pretty diverse society. The tipping point was probably when I had an angry argument with a gay student in high school and was disturbed later by the scale of the resentment I felt for them. This was troublingly at odds with the example my mother had tried to set for me. I think I gradually drifted away from my religion, which I had never greatly practiced anyway, over the next several years. When I began to understand just what I was into online, and what it meant about me, that accelerated the drift.

    I discovered the 'New Atheist' movement shortly afterward, and binged the videos of Christopher Hitchens and others. That moment of deconversion, when you realize that you don't believe it anymore, is such an incredible mental liberation and a wonderful lifting of baggage. It can, however, be followed by a growing anger and resentment at having been lied to, manipulated, mistreated, hoodwinked. This is probably best expressed by the great philhellenes video Science Saved My Soul. For my part, I was an edgy atheist for a while, but I thankfully avoided falling down the anti-SJW and alt-right rabbit holes.

    Now I suppose I'm somewhere on the left half of the spectrum. I enjoy the content of people like PhilosophyTube, ContraPoints, hbomberguy, Shaun and others - stuff that sometimes mock viewpoints, but never comes across as being mean-spirited 'cringe'-farming - and I try to scrutinize what people tell me more than I have in the past.

    7 votes
    1. wcerfgba
      Link Parent
      I love ContraPoints and Philosophy Tube -- I also enjoy hbomberguy and Shaun but I watch their stuff less frequently, not for any particular conscious reason I can think of. The main reason I...

      I love ContraPoints and Philosophy Tube -- I also enjoy hbomberguy and Shaun but I watch their stuff less frequently, not for any particular conscious reason I can think of. The main reason I consider these channels so awesome is because they actually cite their sources, and tie their ideas into the wider discourse.

      5 votes
    2. [2]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Context? Imagining resentment is not very easy.

      The tipping point was probably when I had an angry argument with a gay student in high school and was disturbed later by the scale of the resentment I felt for them. This was troublingly at odds with the example my mother had tried to set for me.

      Context? Imagining resentment is not very easy.

      1. FishFingus
        Link Parent
        Righto. So, imagine that you've had a relatively sheltered and privileged youth, not showing much interest in owt besides video games (the great escape from the bullying, depression or general...

        Righto. So, imagine that you've had a relatively sheltered and privileged youth, not showing much interest in owt besides video games (the great escape from the bullying, depression or general mundanity of school life) and just adopting the political views of your elders because, being on the autistic spectrum and finding socializing with your peers a challenge, it's the easiest thing to do.

        Now imagine that in the middle of a class, somehow the topic of gay adoption rights comes up, and you end up making the "argument" that it shouldn't be allowed because "the kids would be bullied at school" or something like that. Now I think about it more, there were some dense comments about feminism in there too. The teacher eventually gets the class back on topic, and the lesson awkwardly resumes.

        You go back to your room, resentful at being made a fool of, and the longer you sit there simmering at your desk, the more the sneaking suspicion grows that a not inconsiderable part of your dislike for that student and the idea of gay adoption is the somewhat threatening unease you feel around gay people. That's not how your mum taught you to relate to other people, and it seems pretty at odds with your experience of growing up in an international environment. You don't feel morally in the right here. It laters occurs to you that you were probably right about one thing, though you didn't realize how at the time: those kids probably would have been bullied...and it would have been done by people like you.

        4 votes
  5. mrnd
    Link
    The first political party I voted for was the Pirate Party. I cared a lot about free software and open data. And it felt like they were the only party that cared about the truly important things...

    The first political party I voted for was the Pirate Party. I cared a lot about free software and open data. And it felt like they were the only party that cared about the truly important things about modern society. I didn't have a lot of economic views, but generally I positioned myself to the center-right on that regard. It didn't matter to me much back then.

    Then I started to care more about social end environmental issues (and decided that it might be nice to vote for a party that actually gets seats), so I voted for the Green party. At this point I was aware that I wasn't exactly neither cis or straight, so the major conservative parties were off the table. I was somewhat concerned about their anti-nuclear stance, because I believed that nuclear was an important component of climate change action. But all in all, there were no serious alternatives. The other options were either too conservative, or lefty parties which I viewed with suspicion.

    I considered myself mainly liberal, at least in the american sense of the word. World was fundamentally getting better all the time, and with some guidance, markets could fix all the major problems.

    When GamerGate things were happening, and the concept of "culture wars" was introduced me, I viewed it as concerning, but at the same time amusing. It was weird that such conservative viewpoints were getting that much attention in the circles I frequented. But fundamentally, it was just something small and passing.

    Well. Then 2016 happened.

    Of course, I am not an american, so it didn't directly affect me. But it certainly completely shattered some of my views. Maybe world didn't automatically just get better. Maybe the liberal status quo didn't have all the answers.

    The communities that I had found during the GamerGate days were drifting further to the left (from GamerGhazi to BreadTube, so to say). I was exposed to a lot more left-wing viewpoints, and... they made sense to me.

    The socialist view on capitalism very neatly explained everything wrong I was seeing with the world: profit motive is what is wrong with software development and internet communities. It is what drives gaming to grey mush of AAA games. It is what drives economically disadvantaged people to the far-right. It is what stands between marginalized people and freedom.

    And after that I found the left organizations I could work with in real life, and made me realize that the furthest left parliamentary party was actually doing very good work in the areas that matter to me. Most of their positions now made sense to me, and that's who I'm currently voting for.

    7 votes
  6. Flashynuff
    Link
    I've always held the values that my politics are based on, but it's only within the past two years that I have been able to develop my political language to the point where I can think critically...

    I've always held the values that my politics are based on, but it's only within the past two years that I have been able to develop my political language to the point where I can think critically about and describe my positions. As I've examined such radical values as "we should be nice to and help other people" and "we should not fuck up the planet", my actual politics have moved more left and more anti-authoritarian.

    I agree with @Keegan -- the political compass drastically oversimplifies the nuance of people's politics. It's best used for humor or as an introduction to political thought, but only as an introduction. It should not be the only stop on one's political journey.

    6 votes
  7. [3]
    JoylessAubergine
    Link
    I didnt really care about politics until i was out of my teens mostly just a labour supporter because i live in a labour town and 'ate tories. For about 10 years i have mostly been a left leaning...

    I didnt really care about politics until i was out of my teens mostly just a labour supporter because i live in a labour town and 'ate tories. For about 10 years i have mostly been a left leaning libertarian. I tend to fall somewhere around here on the political compass test I think people work best when people are working together and they work together best when its voluntary. I identified as an ancap for a while but that was more experimenting with extremism more than anything. My main thing is that i mostly see how government gets in the way and/or supports the haves already. Less government less problems.

    I've always been aware and accepting of climate change but i didnt work give it any weight other than "something should be done". In the past 5 years i have become more of a "nothing can or will be done" type with a bit of "i should get a cabin in the woods with like minded people as neighbours".

    Most recently I thought i was moving right because the left i saw was so obsessed with idpol that i thought leftism has simply moved passed me and now i am centre-right. Turns out class based leftism isnt completely dead, at least not yet.

    6 votes
    1. thistle
      Link Parent
      Are you me? No, seriously, I almost thought that I had written this and forgotten about it. (Oh, apart from the bit about the ancap. Replace that with anprim and it's fine ;))

      Are you me? No, seriously, I almost thought that I had written this and forgotten about it.

      (Oh, apart from the bit about the ancap. Replace that with anprim and it's fine ;))

      3 votes
    2. rosco
      Link Parent
      I totally understand thinking "government gets in the way and/or supports the haves already" and there is a valid point to that. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but check out regulatory...

      I totally understand thinking "government gets in the way and/or supports the haves already" and there is a valid point to that. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but check out regulatory capture. When the groups that a government agency is support to have oversight on takes over that position it breaks the system. That is why government tends to function that way. What irks me about it though, is to look at which politicians place those people into power and then look at their stance towards government. Usually it's politicians decrying big government that end up driving regulatory capture. If you can make it so government doesn't work, people will believe it.

      I think less regulation, less taxation, and less oversight lead to a government that only supports the haves, and allows them to legally abuse the have nots. Just food for thought.

      2 votes
  8. [2]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    I've steadily drifted leftward since about 15. I was raised by divorced parents, my mom very Christian, my dad... Not. My mom's church was Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, arguably the ideological...

    I've steadily drifted leftward since about 15. I was raised by divorced parents, my mom very Christian, my dad... Not. My mom's church was Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, arguably the ideological center of American evangelical Christianity (aka nondenominational Christianity). I am not exaggerating. This largely affected my outlook on the world at an early age, even if I was actively resisting the negativity it came with.

    I've been continuing in this progressive direction solidly for half of my life, and my dad was pretty good at kick-starting it. He raised my brothers and I to respect and care for everybody. This put us at odds with our church, and we stopped going as teenagers. My mom quit a little after that after people kept bugging her about not forcing her kids to go to church. Trying to fill the moral, religious, and philosophical gaps left by Christianity, I started studying Buddhism very occasionally, which seemed to fill in a lot of the gaps, philosophically speaking.

    I got my first job at 22 (I blame the economy, then resulting depression), and had a bit of an ideological backslide in the years between high school and my job. It followed the internet, which seemed to be going right-wing a bit from about 2008 to 2014, and I was online a lot. I started college in 2013, and the more I learned in the real world and school, the more progressive my ideals shifted, particularly in 2015 with my US Government professor, a social democrat who also did a lot of consulting for a few international news outlets.

    My ideals are pretty simple: Don't hurt people, don't do things that can hurt people, and don't encourage others to hurt people. I mess it up all the time, but nobody's perfect. My politics are a reflection of this, but my definition of hurt shifts. Taxing a rich person more to keep a poor person comfortable? Technically violence, but it doesn't hurt the rich person. A lot of my politics are in regards to the American disparities I've slowly woken up to, and a reflection of my own internal struggles with racism and the resulting white guilt, but typically get absorbed because they align with my principles. I've been something of a staunch social democrat since, even if I had the tendency for it before. I conveniently fit the 5 year model, but I promise it's more of a lifelong trend with some helpful kicks along the way.

    As a bit of a tangent: I went through a year, a year ago, where I attempted to self-radicalize myself. I binged leftist youtubers, and picked up theory where I could, in an effort to try to understand why the internet went rightward, and just out of intellectual interest. I still watch some of these people (Thought Slime and Peter Coffin come to mind), but also see some patterns that are slightly concerning with far-out politics in general (too many "reformed neonazis" who exchanged one extreme ideology for another after an "awakening", or the opposite of alt-righters who had a reverse "awakening"). Through this period, I found I went from something of a center-right to kinda far out left, but short of full-blown Marxist. I wasn't as progressive as I would want to be, but I've also dealt with a lot of my ideological BS and am now comfortable with my beliefs, because I've found the right set of values that align with personal ethics and morals.

    5 votes
    1. rosco
      Link Parent
      Hey, that sounds like a quite the journey! Good for you for coming out on the other side more empathetic and educated. I'm sure it's implied, but one thing that always gets up my skirt is...

      Hey, that sounds like a quite the journey! Good for you for coming out on the other side more empathetic and educated.

      I'm sure it's implied, but one thing that always gets up my skirt is discussing taxes as violence. In my mind, whatever process allowed someone to accumulate large sums of money is usually built off of incredible violence towards either the workers, customers, or both. In comparison to the state taxing and distributing those funds, as you said, there isn't really violence to the wealthy. Just more defense for your current way of thinking!

      2 votes
  9. wycy
    Link
    I grew up in a Republican middle class household with Fox News on all the time, so I started off thinking I was a Republican in middle school and maybe the first two years of high school. I...

    I grew up in a Republican middle class household with Fox News on all the time, so I started off thinking I was a Republican in middle school and maybe the first two years of high school. I watched Bill O'Reilly. I read the Weekly Standard. I wanted W to win in 2000 and 2004. I clung to every piece of evidence that the war in Iraq was a good idea ("Look at all this mustard gas they found in Iraq? WMD!") I worked hard in school and pulled myself up by the bootstraps, and so I thought personal responsibility was the single factor in determining success in this country.

    Sometime in W's second term and my final two years in high school everything changed, and I don't know why. Maybe it was the disaster that was the Iraq war. I wish I knew exactly what it was so I could help others replicate those conditions. I just started getting the sense that conservative ideology was bullshit. By the time Obama came around I was completely sold on him and his politics. I voted for him in 2008 and 2012.

    Then the same thing happened: sometime in Obama's second term I started getting the feeling that mainstream Democratic politics were not quite as bogus as Republican politics, but still pretty bogus. Obama's hope and change had fallen flat. I saw Pelosi on with Jon Stewart, and Stewart was saying politics is corrupted by money, and that the Democrats are helping themselves to that cash too. Pelosi repeatedly insisted it wasn't corruption. I disagreed.

    Nowadays I'd be considered hard left by American standards, moderate by global standards. I support Medicare for All but would prefer a completely socialized system like the UK's. I'm not particularly into anarchy or communism. I think the idea of personal private property is fine. I support significantly higher taxes, including on myself. I'd tax income over $10M/yr at a marginal rate of probably 70%, and over $50M/yr at a marginal rate of 90%. I support significant increases to our social safety nets. I like applying "free" markets (with government oversight) to the types of problems that free markets are good at solving (producing goods), and having government programs for the types of problems for which markets are ill-suited (healthcare).

    5 votes
  10. mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    More than a decade ago I investigated right wing thought as a possible alternative to the then prevalent leftist atmosphere in Brazil. For a while I even defended some right wing positions, which...

    More than a decade ago I investigated right wing thought as a possible alternative to the then prevalent leftist atmosphere in Brazil. For a while I even defended some right wing positions, which I used to criticize current administrations.

    But I soon realized there was nothing of substance in the right, just perverse impostures. This small foray was suddenly ended after I started being treated for ADHD. The absurd inconsistencies of the right became evident as I regained my cognition and ability for empathy.

    A narrow scope for empathy is a characteristic of the contemporary right.

    I’ve been a lefty ever since.

    I still believe doses of neoliberalism can be a great thing for some areas of the economy (technology, for example), but it’s a recipe for disaster as a general economic philosophy.

    4 votes
  11. viridian
    Link
    My political compass score is roughly (.2,-.9) in the ranges -1 to 1. Used to be a socialist, then a literal meeting attending, card carrying member of the American Libertarian party. Both groups...

    My political compass score is roughly (.2,-.9) in the ranges -1 to 1. Used to be a socialist, then a literal meeting attending, card carrying member of the American Libertarian party. Both groups of associates just sort of wore me down with bad rhetoric, same with the atheist community, or any mass movement I've found myself apart of. All-in-all, one of the biggest lessons I've learned in the last few months is that I'm an extremely poor zealot/advocate, and I can and will eventually be flagged as a member of the outgroup of any group I find myself a part of.

    Still, I won't complain or bemoan the trend though. It took me a long time to understand who I really was, once I escaped my origins of extreme poverty/homelessness and found myself in the upper-middle class. Most middle class and wealthy folks form homodox social pockets, and there are a lot of unwritten rules about what you can and cannot say.

    4 votes
  12. vord
    Link
    IMO we should probably sticky this topic and only whitelist political commentators who share their beliefs beforehand (only half-joking :) I grew up in a Fox News household. Rush Limbaugh playing...

    IMO we should probably sticky this topic and only whitelist political commentators who share their beliefs beforehand (only half-joking :)

    I grew up in a Fox News household. Rush Limbaugh playing on every car trip. I was a horrible bigot. My political compass from roughly 14-17. It didn't get much better until I escaped that bubble and began interacting with people I was bigoted against and it clicked for me 'I've been lied to for years, and every belief I held needs to be re-evaluated because I've been brainwashed with hate.' As I questioned and shed my bigotry, I also questioned and shed many other things I had been taught, which dragged me across the whole political spectrum over ~2 decades. I was roughly here until my mid-20's. I understood then that social equality meant equality and freedom for everyone, but still believed that that social equality was not affected by economic equality. Extra credit to my wife for having the patience to swing me out of misogynistic mindsets towards feminism. I started to learn this relation in my late 20's, which had moved me closer to the center, embracing the positions in ~2012 that hit the national stage when Bernie Sanders ran in 2016. Between ~2012 and ~2016 I briefly flirted with the authoritarian left, before swinging fully into Anarcho-Communism. Since then, I had a child and witnessed the horror of Trump with a clear eye to the fact that people like who I was at 17 were supporting him. So now I'm even harder off in that diagonal to the bottom-left, to the point I think civil war may be inevitable if the bigots perpetuate even more violence.

    There's not enough context for you to know what has changed and why they have changed

    The big ones that triggered the changes were:

    • Positive interaction with previous 'out groups'
    • Discovering just how big the 'War on Drugs' and 'War on Terror' lies were
    • Consuming massive amounts of content on everything from history to economy to social activism.
    • Having a kid

    These changes often happen in a span of 5 years, which seems pretty unlikely (the part about your political beliefs changing is mostly aimed at 40+people who have seen enough change in the world (although from what I've heard from you, barely) to change your political opinions

    I disagree, 5 years is plenty of time. Many of my more drastic changes were a literal eureka moment that built over a few years. As I outlined above, I went through 3-8 of these changes (as I transitioned from one quadrant to the other) over the span of ~2 decades.

    It's literally a sub trying to boil down political opinions into a square/cube, so what else could I possibly expect.

    I think you're seeing it from the reverse lens. Most American discourse (and politicians) get boiled all the way down to Right and Left (Far-Right and Center-Right by political compass standard). Political compass actually doubles the axis. I agree though that it's insufficent to stop there, as there are potentially dozens or hundreds of potential axis.

    4 votes
  13. ohyran
    Link
    I'm in my 40's, when I was a kid I don't think I was very politically motivated (my parents where careful to not push any political stand point on us to the point that I kinda missed a lot of...

    I'm in my 40's, when I was a kid I don't think I was very politically motivated (my parents where careful to not push any political stand point on us to the point that I kinda missed a lot of early 80's tropes from my countrys kids shows) - but I was oddly extremely class conscious. Class was something that was relevant and real, but I don't think I got the specific 'isms that much.
    Which was common where I grew up (a working class / cultural middle class area). The main conflict was between "snobby kids who listen to electronic music" and "us who listen to metal".

    But I guess my parents ideologies rubbed off pretty much so when I was a teenager I shared their sensibilities about stuff. They landed somewhere in "way too libertarian for the Marxist-Leninist, way too revolutionary left for everyone else" (they met during the FNL demonstrations, it was the times) - but I was mostly "lefty in general" I guess.
    Then I moved a couple of times growing up - and then in my early 20's I went to the anti-EU demonstrations here and the police radicalized me way more than anything else which oddly landed me smack dab in my dads political opinions which was fun. Truncheons and shields and dogs and horse rushes and gunshots really puts an edge to any ideology.

    After that I tried to find some footing in the libertarian socialists but never really had the head for it. I understand it just fine I just felt more and more alienated from the groups available (I am still a member of the anarcho-syndicalist union though) and.... I want to say "from the ideological constraints" but that feel sort of false. More like "the focus on words and banners" if that makes any sense. Plus the idea of belonging never felt appealing to me (I have never gone looking for ideologies to agree with or groups to join). So perversely enough I kept sliding back to a less ML version of my dads political opinions (a sort of anti-state, Marx-brothers-more-than-Karl style of political view point but in his case with some odd bits like a The Green Book by Khadaffi and some arms smuggling involved).

    I have a dislike for wordy political things. Not that I think they are meaningless but not as meaningful as they are presented either. Lately this has kinda bummed me out a bit more - the focus on terms and terminology regarding identity is such an internet-text-based-concept and an academical bent to define others based on whether "they know the code or not". At the same time I obviously get WHY these new words and things pop up and think personal allowance to be who you are is obviously critical but when it more or less just alienates people who's only crime is not knowing the academic code words, it rubs me the wrong way.

    So basically no change. I still have a lot of opinions on core things, I dislike and tbh fear authority, my main motivations are fairly easily summed up. Generally lefty. Generally anarchist. Likes guns.
    (last I did one of those tests I got in the bottom left corner)

    4 votes
  14. spctrvl
    Link
    More or less since since I was about 15 or 16. I was always super interested in politics growing up, and for most of the years before then I was a (right-wing) libertarian, which pretty neatly...

    More or less since since I was about 15 or 16. I was always super interested in politics growing up, and for most of the years before then I was a (right-wing) libertarian, which pretty neatly aligned with my parents' political beliefs, no surprise. But the whole thing eventually came crashing down with, among other things, the 2008 economic collapse, the occupy movement, the growth of pirate parties, and my exposure to libertarian socialist ideas by way of interaction with the free software community.

    I was always very much in to the personal freedom and human rights side of libertarianism, and eventually it just sort of clicked that:
    A. Private corporations are just as capable, in many cases more capable, of oppression and human rights violations as are governments. And:
    B. The bulk of right wing libertarians couldn't give less of a shit about that. Government bans on abortion? Bad. Getting fired and becoming destitute because you had an abortion? Just the invisible hand man, can't do anything about it.

    Veered into anarcho-communism in short order. It's a surprisingly short ideological hop from Libertarianism if you're actually interested in liberty and not just using it as a front for corporate or ancap neo-feudalism. I've bounced around a little bit since, I'm no dogmatic ideologue, but at no point in the last decade would it have been inaccurate to describe me as a libertarian communist who's happy (or at least resigned) to hedge their bets with social democracy.

    3 votes
  15. aymm
    Link
    I haven't actively tracked how my views changed over time, so this is all from the top of my head. For reference, I'm German. So, when I was younger (<15 or 16) I didn't really think about the...

    I haven't actively tracked how my views changed over time, so this is all from the top of my head.

    For reference, I'm German.

    So, when I was younger (<15 or 16) I didn't really think about the topic. I knew that there were more than two parties in the country, but I only knew the rough political agendas about the two big ones (social democrats, and christian democrats) with the former being more socialist and the latter more conservative. I didn't actually follow them or could tell exactly what each of them wanted, but I preferred the social democrats quite strongly based on what I knew. Small disclaimer: I was pretty heavily annoyed by religion and Christianity at that time, so this might have been purely baseed on trhe fact that oen of them had "christian" in their name

    The first major election was in the same year I turned 18, so when I was 17-18ish the topic came up with friends every now and then. I remember a friend telling me about The Left, a, well, left wing party. I didn't know much about them, but what he descripbed to me what they wanted seemed reasonable to me. I wouldn't have described myself as leeftist or even left-leaning at the time, though. Anyways, I started looking into the topic a bit more, and eventually became left-ish.

    Over the years this became stronger (I'd consider myself pretty strongly left now), but priorities have shifted. Climate becamme increasingly more important to me (sadly, I have major gripes with The Greens in general, and they're even worse in my state than the federal ones), and anything to do with digital and internet politics has risen in priority.

    I'd consider quite a few friends of mine more radical than myself, although for the majority of our differences I don't disagree wit the idea as much as I think that I's just not going to work as simple as they tend to make it out. (IMHO you can't just go ahead and start disowning the rich, because if you tell them that they'll just leave the country)

    3 votes
  16. Icarus
    Link
    My father was a proud union boilermaker/pipe fitter. I learned at an early age that non-union jobs makes 30-40% less pay, with shitty health insurance, and no pension. Because of his union, my...

    My father was a proud union boilermaker/pipe fitter. I learned at an early age that non-union jobs makes 30-40% less pay, with shitty health insurance, and no pension. Because of his union, my family always seemed much better off than other families. I've always understood that health care should be a right, and I vividly remember getting into shouting matches with people in my high school lunchroom (I grew up in what is now considered "Trump" country). One of the people I was always arguing with eventually became a doctor, and reached out to me to apologize after like 10 years. That was pretty wild. Currently, I would consider myself most aligning to Bernie Sanders, although even he and I don't line up 1:1. My views haven't changed much from when I was 16, as I have always been most focused on the right to live a happy life to its fullest, and lowering the amount of harm that is inflicted upon society because of greed.

    I do feel like nowadays, I have to be more thoughtful about my views. It is easy to get into a trap where outrage is disguised as political activism, and the ability to think and have discourse with others becomes non-existent. There is a distinct lack of empathy that resonates from the highly political keyboard warriors that I hope never sticks with me. Over the years, I have had many views be changed by others who granted me the grace and humility to make mistakes, that type of discourse has to continue.

    2 votes
  17. Litmus2336
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    I want pretty lefty in early high school, after reading a lot of left wing stuff. I then quickly grew disillusioned with socialism in late high school/early college. Now I'm a milquetoast US Democrat.

    I want pretty lefty in early high school, after reading a lot of left wing stuff. I then quickly grew disillusioned with socialism in late high school/early college. Now I'm a milquetoast US Democrat.

    2 votes
  18. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    I guess I'll firstly tell my own opinions. I've written about my political beliefs in hopefully enough detail to believe I'm not just repeating whatever you say here. A brief-ish description is...

    I guess I'll firstly tell my own opinions.

    I've written about my political beliefs in hopefully enough detail to believe I'm not just repeating whatever you say here.

    A brief-ish description is this

    I personally believe that private involvement in government affairs and unrelated companies' affairs is much worse than the other way around ("Says the guy whose country's economy was destroyed by corruption within a state-owned company"). This naturally implies no campaign finance, no conglomerates and no monopolies

    I believe in the separation of news from most things so no ads in news companies, all finance should come from the people who watch that news. Other things also includes other news agencies, who all must be independent from one another.

    I believe that unionization should be probably unopposable, since collective bargaining is a very good way of having a way to affect the world outside of electoralism.

    I believe that outside of speaking a different language than the primary one in a place, (since languages are uniquely difficult to learn), there shouldn't be such a thing as an outgroup in any society, since if you can understand what someone is saying, you can talk to them and they can return the favor. There is no reason to preserve or identify anything as national "culture" or "tradition" or "people" or ""faith"", since that does not exist.

    So in short, a culturally progressive social democrat, or mainstream leftist.

    The biggest challenge to my beliefs so far has been the behavior of police unions, which if reflective of a majority of the workers there, implies that if a job is overrun by corrupt employees, unions will empower them just the same, and probably makes evident that the working class is not perfect by default, which while somewhat obvious is a pretty big deal for leftism.

    I haven't had much influence when it comes to politics other than reddit and Tildes.

    My mother is vaguely leftist, she watches more leftist critiques of the current government in Brazil (kinda the same as Trump's government, but with a multiparty system), and my father is vaguely rightist (in the bitcoin-zoomer, day-trading sense), mainly because he seems to see clickbait-y content on his Facebook feed, but I don't spy on it that often.

    Either way, they're not all that politicized IMO and my mom is the only one that really bothers to share me articles.

    My paternal grandparents are a little more politicized, but only because they're religious and dumb. (as in fake news listening dumb.)

    My maternal grandfather seems right wing on the law-and-order sense, but he was once a job seeking immigrant, so not truly right-wing. Grandmother seemed to be a Christian left type, the kind that uses God as a therapist and church as a charity. She lived in a undeveloped, famine/drought-having rural area, so I suppose that makes sense.

    Anyway, we don't talk politics that much, so they never really affected me. My political opinions really are all from reddit/this site.

    I also used to be an 'edgy atheist' type when I was 11 or 12. Now I think the problem with religion is that there's typically a big book of centuries-old opinions and many, many characters that tries to take the role of a set of values, often also present in the same religion that is more decent. I think it was because my grandma took me to a church once and when I left I told myself never again. Might've been too boring to 6-year old me.

    2 votes
  19. emmanuelle
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    i am not a long-winded person, so in short: i’ve pretty much had the same political outlook since i was 15 when i started caring about that sorta stuff; i am, essentially, a social liberal. i like...

    i am not a long-winded person, so in short: i’ve pretty much had the same political outlook since i was 15 when i started caring about that sorta stuff; i am, essentially, a social liberal. i like regulated capitalism, i am very socially progressive, i think non-public unions are good, etc. i think one belief of mine that doesn’t fit is that i don’t think landlords are necessary and that housing should be free.

    my parents couldn’t be more different to me. they’re conservative, catholic, racist, and homophobic. so maybe this is all a reflection of me trying to distance myself from them politically (and, unrelatedly, also physically, because i genuinely don’t like them, but that’s something else)

    2 votes