Libertarian Purity Test

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My score is 21. That puts me right in the 16-30 range, which says: "You are a soft-core libertarian. With effort, you may harden and become pure."

If you take a look at the questions, you'll realize how hard it is to score too much higher (Cobb suggests above 50) without being either completely uncaring or pretty much a moral wimp (believing lots of things are wrong but not being willing to stand up for what you believe is right). The 51-90 range is a medium-core libertarian, too. The high score is 160!


Ok, I'll bite. Why is it uncaring to think that the government isn't necessarily the best organization to take care of/pay for many things. I think it is pretty uncaring to say "Just let the government take care of it so I don't have to worry about it".

I agree that some of the questions seemed to assume that the market will take care of everything and no government is necessary, and that does seem a bit out there (to me). But a person can have compassion and yet think that big government is not the answer.

I'm not sure how someone scoring well into the 70s or beyond can easily squeeze out of the two possibilities I gave. One was being uncaring, and the other was not standing up for what you believe. People scoring that high better have some pretty good reasons for suddenly dismantling so many of the programs operating right now all in one shot that are necessary for the working of society with absolutely no one ready to step in to do that work. I don't think such good enough reasons exist, but I left room for the possibility by saying it would be hard rather than saying it would be impossible. A large percentage of the questions involved dismantling the military, police, fire departments, and anything else that would stop terrorism. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the people I know who call themselves libertarians are in the 40s or 50s. (Keep in mind that the suggestion of 50 was not mine.)

OK. I have to rethink how I was assuming these questions were supposed to be answered. Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost has a collection of various people's scores, and some real conservatives (non-libertarian) are getting pretty high results. It seemed pretty clear to me that many of these questions were asking if it would be good to drop government programs completely with nothing to replace them, which is indeed cruel and morally wrong (hence the uncaring charge). I wouldn't mind eventually having a situation that would allow for a removal of welfare, many bureaucratic organizations, social security, etc. I don't think you can just get rid of stuff like that overnight, as anyone answering these questions with a 'yes' would seem to be advocating.

My guess is that people who are scoring higher aren't making such fine distinctions between what seemed to me the intent of the question and their desire to have these government functions eventually replaced by private ones. Much of it is pretty silly, though. To get a perfect score on this test you basically have to be an anarchist, not a libertarian.

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