C4SS: Find Your Political Philosophy

The Center for a Stateless Society has a new version of one of those “find your political philosophy” quizzes up. This is actually much better than most others I’ve encountered. There are more questions and the questions are more nuanced and varied in content. Here are my results:

67% Economic Leftist (Economic Leftist / Economic Rightist)
81% Anarchist (Anarchist / Statist)
100% Anti-Militarist (Anti-Militarist / Militarist)
74% Socio-Cultural Liberal (Socio-Cultural Liberal / Socio-Cultural Conservative)
77% Civil Libertarian (Civil Libertarian / Civil Authoritarian)

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7 replies »

  1. Is ‘Economic Rightist’ someone who says “what’s mine is mine”; and ‘Leftist’ on that scale someone who believes in “sharing the wealth”? Or is there more to that aspect of the test?

  2. Keith, thanks for taking the quiz and posting your results. I think that Gary and I both would be especially interested in any feedback you might have about the quiz contents. A number of issues have been raised in the comments at http://c4ss.org/content/2426 which need to be addressed, and your input would be most welcome. The quiz ultimately belongs to Gary, with me as implementer, but I personally would like to subtract out as many explicit and implicit biases as possible within the confines of our woefully inadequate language.

  3. “Is ‘Economic Rightist’ someone who says “what’s mine is mine”; and ‘Leftist’ on that scale someone who believes in “sharing the wealth”? Or is there more to that aspect of the test?”

    All of the questions can be viewed here:

    Whenever I take one of these tests, one thing that can really skew the results are my economic views, which are so far out of the big business vs big government or capitalist vs socialist conventional framework as to be off the scale. But this quiz had a good number of economic questions where these kinds of differences can be accounted for. I’m as anti-Communist as any John Bircher, and as anti-plutocratic as any Marxist, but that puts me way out of the usual left/right framework.

  4. Mike,

    There were only a few questions that might have skewed my results on the quiz:

    “An entity that offers vital services to the public must be able to require everyone to pay for its services to keep some people from being “free riders.”

    This does not necessarily imply a state per se. Such an “entity” could be a proprietary community, a syndicate, commune, seastead, etc. that charges its members dues to cover collectively provided services or even some kind of welfare system.

    “Birth and breeding fit some people for positions of command and others for positions of service.”

    This does not necessarily imply mere inherited privilege, like nepotism. Some people may have greater innate abilities or display greater merit than others.

    “Children should generally be subject to the authority of their parents until they are economically self-sufficient.”

    As the adage goes: “As long as you are living under my roof and I’m paying the bills….”; This doesn’t mean anything parents do to dependent children is justified. For instance, a father isn’t just in raping his daughter just because he buys the groceries.

    “I should participate in and support social institutions that assist people who are poor, sick, or handicapped.”

    This doesn’t necessarily mean a statist welfare system supported by taxes. There are all kinds of such “social institutions.”

    “If there were no government, life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

    In some instances it might be, such as a state of civil war.

    “People should be able to move freely around the world in search of work, not limited in their search for work by borders.”

    This is one of the main things that sets me apart from your camp, Mike, but while in a world of small nations and autonomous villages, perhaps free migration would be fine, in a world of massive nation-states and international plutocratic rule, “open borders” is a dangerous idea.

    “People who wrongly cause harm to others deserve retributive punishment.”

    I see nothing inherently wrong with retribution or revenge, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of a legal system. The legal system’s focus should be restitution and incapacitation of dangerous people.

    “Rich societies should share wealth with producers in poor societies by allowing free entry to the goods and services they produce, rather than imposing trade barriers on them.”

    “Free trade” is fine among neighbors, villages, communes, and small producers, but among nation-states it’s economic suicide.

    “The authority of parent over child, husband over wife, learned over simple is an inherent part of reasonably ordered human society (even if it should be limited because of its potential for abuse).”

    See above.

    “There are good reasons for me to support arrangements in accordance with which people who can’t afford decent health care can obtain it anyway.”

    This does not necessarily imply state health care.

    “Tariffs and subsidies should be used to encourage people to buy the products of domestic rather than foreign manufacturers.”

    Within the context of the system we actually have, yes.

    “States have the right to control their borders and determine who does and does not enter their territory”

    Not states per se, but peoples yes.

  5. Hey Keith,

    Thanks for taking the time. As far as “economic leftist/rightist” goes, I’m not sure I could articulate the distinction properly. However, when we update the quiz in a few weeks, incorporating the feedback received, we’re definitely going to include some explanatory text about the five scoring axes.

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