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Liberal, or Libertarian?

November 17th, 2006 by Halli

Have you ever wondered whether you are a liberal, conservative, libertarian, or statist/populist? Or are you a true centrist? There’s a quick, painless way to find out – just take the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.

If you have ever been confused about the labels that are bandied about by pundits, politicians and party hacks, this will help you clarify the issue. Of course, there can be differences in definitions, but you will quickly get the idea.

The Nolan Chart.
This quiz is based on an idea of David Nolan, one of the founders of the Libertarian Party. Nolan realized that simply trying to divide everyone between “right” or “left” missed some important differences. Nolan devised a chart with the x-axis representing economic control, and the y-axis representing moral control.

Think about it for a minute. If you favor government exercising high economic control (such as high taxes and trade controls) and low moral control (such as control of pornography and abortion), you are a liberal, or to the left of center.

If you prefer low economic control and high moral control, you are a conservative, or to the right of center. If you prefer high control in both areas, you are a statist/populist. But what if you prefer low control in both areas? You, my friend, are a libertarian.

More Help.
Still confused? Read more about David Nolan. And do take the Quiz. You may be surprised to find your own particular brand of government to be something different from what you supposed. Whatever you find, you will discover a more precise and enlightening way to think about politics.

Posted in Politics in General | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. » Blog Archive » The Tax Shift Part II Says:

    [...] There are, of course, arguments against the Idaho legislature’s shift of some school expenses from property tax to the sales tax. Democrats are aghast that the poor as well as the rich will be paying more in sales tax. Conservatives and Libertarians are pleased that everyone will be paying their share of school funding. [...]

  2. » Blog Archive » Lazy Legislators? Says:

    [...] Well, they might be napping, especially while enduring the agency rules reviews, but how can a good conservative or libertarian complain about fewer new laws? The result will be fewer new encroachments on personal freedoms, fewer new taxes, less government growth. [...]

  3. » Blog Archive » Governor Otter Threatens to Veto Grocery Tax Reduction Unless the Poor Pay Less Says:

    [...] Butch has a long history as a libertarian-leaning Republican. This has rubbed conservatives the wrong way on a few occasions, but it’s important to remember that Libertarianism and Conservatism are not one and the same. If that raises a few questions, be sure to take “The World’s Smallest Political Quiz“, mentioned in a previous post. [...]

  4. » Blog Archive » Senator Larry Craig Should Heed Liberal Professor Says:

    [...] To some, that may seem a contradiction in terms. But interestingly, Prof. Adler often agrees with libertarians and conservatives on such issues as opposing the Patriot [...]

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