Surprise! I'm a Libertarian!

I just took the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz.” It says I am a… libertarian!

The RED DOT on the Chart shows where you fit on the political map.

Your PERSONAL issues Score is 100%.
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 80%.

According to your answers, the political group that agrees with you most is…

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.

I think the quiz is correct. If I have the policy views that I do, then I’m a libertarian in the sense of the term dominant in contemporary public discourse. I notice that the quiz didn’t ask me any questions about the conditions under which I consider state coercion legitimate. I may have views on this question similar to those of liberal political philosophers, but I apparently have strongly libertarian policy preferences anyway. So I guess I’m a libertarian anyway. It also didn’t ask me any questions about whether I think emotional and social coercion can be as liberty-limiting as state coercion. So I guess if I do think this, it has no bearing on my being a libertarian, right? Why don’t I get 100% on economic issues? Because, like noted socialists Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek, I support a redistributive safety net.

One might be a WSPQ-libertarian for many, many different reasons. I happen to think principled constraints on government power are extremely important for the very same reasons I think rooting out sexism and racism are important: because people need to be free.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center