Political Orientation of the Freethinker

light spell
CC - photo credit: pbo31

Soon after I implemented the member pages in the ACP I noticed something interesting. It seems that most people who are irreligious, atheist or generally freethinkers have a tendency to orientate to the left libertarian quadrant of the political compass. This was further solidified when Waldheri, who noticing the same trend, inquired on it at the Atheist Nexus fora.

The results were impressive. From out of the 20 people who took the test, 80% were in the left-libertarian quadrant, with a lot of them being on the far left/libertarian end, three were in the right and just one firmly in the middle. All of them were in the libertarian quadrant.

To me this is quite…invigorating (for lack of a better word). It means that most atheists are indeed free spirits and have an intense dislike for authority. I cannot claim to know the reasons but it seems to me that this is quite probably because we are always at odds with the authority of organised religion and have realised that authority is always at odds with freethought.

Even though libertarianism was a bit to be expected, the amount of socialist-leaning freethinkers is the real news in this case. I am immensely happy that most of us realise the inherent superiority of socialistic principles over the “free market” and that contrary to the Objectivist claims of growing popularity, the economic leanings of most Atheists are to the left[1. This also explains why the Libertarian party of the US is so weak. Many Atheist must be turned off by the far-right political leanings it has, even though it is libertarian].

I guess that is another reason for U.S. Atheists to be disheartened, since they are living in a country where there is no left & right but rather right & extreme right. 😛

So I’ve been thinking. If so many of us are in that quadrant, shouldn’t we have an appropriate name? Unfortunately “libertarian” has been hijacked by the right-libertarians and generally when one hears that, they immediately imagine laisez-faire capitalism.

We have the other terms for our disposal of course: Libertarian Socialist, Anarcho-Communist etc, but due to the McCarthyist propaganda the immediate negative connotations (especially for US Americans) are too large. Furthermore, these are all two-word descriptions and I’d really like to see a description that is distinguishable and easily digestable.

Personally, I believe that Communist is the most appropriate term but due to people being in the habit of confusing Communism with Stalinism or Maoism, that would probably do more harm than good (I’m also curious to see how many of the people who took the test realised how close they are to true Communism – No that’s not a “True Scotsman” fallacy).

I’m afraid that at this point I don’t have any suggestion for a better name but I’ll keep you posted if I think of anything.

Most importantly however, this is the first actual common point a majority of atheists seem to have. If indeed there are many of us like this, this could be a way to deal with the “Herding Cats” problem that seems to be plaguing us. An actual political focal point that is absolutely different than all the other political movements out there could be what we need to start having a common voice heard.

In any case, I’d love to hear what the rest of you opine on this subject? Do you think/believe/agree that most of the Freethinkers are leftist libertarian? Do you have a good idea for a left libertarian political label that rolls of the tongue? Finally, can we use this as a way to organise and form the political muscle that is needed?

Religion Awards Coup

In the last few days I’ve been trying to raise awareness in the Atheosphere, to the fact that the Bloggers Choice Awards are in progress and more specifically, that we do not have any Atheist or irreligious presence. Indeed, last year, all the top positions of the “Best Religion Blog” category where taken over by Christians and this year seems to be turning out very much the same.

Thus I took it upon myself to attempt and remedy that.

Initially I nominated some of my favorite Atheism blogs but even though I tried to notify the people running them in order to place some banner or inform their readers, I was largely ignored. I even tried emailing Pharyngula, who apparently loves crashing polls, to let his readers know. But there was no response…

Nevertheless, I then had a better idea: This year, not only should we attempt to get an Atheist Blog to the top of the Best Religion Blog category, but we should do it in the most extravagant way possible. To this end, I nominated The Antichristian Phenomenon as I don’t think there’s a better way to be more “in your face” than this 😉

The ACP is, of course, not the only blog I’ve nominated and ever since I’ve started writing about this, many others have joined me and nominated their own choices. This does not hurt as at all since you are allowed to vote as many times as you wish.

Below you will find a list of all the relevant blogs that are currently nominated along with possibly other links of interest. If you don’t want to visit all of these one by one, just head over to my profile and you’ll see them listed in an easy-to-vote format.

Currently the ACP is the one leading in the Religion category and it’s my personal choice for the top, just because of the LULZ that will ensue. However I do not mind if some of the more heavyweight ones surpass it. I’ve voted all of them up in any case. Unfortunately we still have too few votes. To achieve the top we need at least 250 votes and we have only managed to gather 20 by now.

If you like this idea and want to help further than that, then there is another way: Spread the word.
Currently I’m pretty much the only one pushing for this and I just don’t see any excitement. I am aware of the “Herding Cats” problem plaguing the “Atheist movement” but seriously, this is ridiculous. We can’t even waste 5 minutes doing a symbolic action?

Anyway, the best way to spread the word would be, of course, blogging 🙂 Currently only the Psychodiva has made a small mention of this but I’m certain that if people larger than me talk about it, it will trigger the necessary reaction.

Another way would be to mention it in your own groups. I’v already posted this in The ACP Forum and the newly fledged Atheist Nexus. If you’re at any other place with Atheist presence, consider making a post similar to these and if you have more rights, sending a simple PM to all members to let them know.

Lastly, if you are a nominee, consider placing the Brag code widgets in your sidebars to let your visitors know to lend you a leg up.

Let the Religion Awards Coup begin!