I am often asked, how do “I” know where I land on the political spectrum? What do the terms liberal and conservative, actually mean? Usually I point the person to this really really short political quiz.
It is all over 10 questions, and will probably take you at most 1 minute because the questions asked, at least in most people, cause a sort of gut reaction. Also, it doesn’t ask for your e-mail address which is surprisingly refreshing in today’s internet. According to the website, the quiz has been taken more than 14 million times, so I am not claiming that I found a diamond in the rough.
As most Quizes do – it provides the answer you were looking for, but it also provides the answers you could have received and that is where the definitions are.
What are the Definitions of a Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian and Statist (Communist)?
- Liberals usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded “safety net” to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.
- Centrists espouse a “middle ground” regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice. Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose “political extremes,” and emphasize what they describe as “practical” solutions to problems.
- Conservatives tend to favor economic freedom, but frequently support laws to restrict personal behavior that violates “traditional values.” They oppose excessive government control of business, while endorsing government action to defend morality and the traditional family structure. Conservatives usually support a strong military, oppose bureaucracy and high taxes, favor a free-market economy, and endorse strong law enforcement.
- Statists want government to have a great deal of power over the economy and individual behavior. They frequently doubt whether economic liberty and individual freedom are practical options in today’s world. Statists tend to distrust the free market, support high taxes and centralized planning of the economy, oppose diverse lifestyles, and question the importance of civil liberties.
- LIBERTARIANS support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.
These definitions are black and white, but your answers and feelings don’t have to be. Just a side note, I have never heard of the term Statist before but it seems like a Communist to me.
So What Does Evan’s Quiz Look Like?
Take the Quiz and come back here I want to know how you did!