Skip to main content

Do You Know Who You Really Are? Socialist, Liberal, or Conservative? (Modified 4-5-18)

MY ESOTERIC likes to think of himself as a bit of a polymath with degrees in Statistics, Accounting, Computer Science, & Operations Research

do-you-know-who-you-really-are-socialist-liberal-or-conservative

IN TODAY'S POLITICAL RHETORIC the terms "Socialist", "Liberal", and "Conservative" are tossed around like so much confetti without much understanding by the user what those terms really mean today, or use to mean yesterday. I can guarantee you that 95% of you don't truly know which broad category to which you actually belong. Probably 98% of you don't really know which one of those three broad classifications of political thought your political opponent actually represents.

Are they distinct from each other, as night-and-day, or so the saying goes, until you start getting into sub-sets of each group; then, disctinctions become fuzzy very fast, as you will see later in this hub.

A WORK IN PROGRESS

BELOW ARE VARIOUS LABELS for political thought. Some think a few of these labels are economic philosophies, but, in fact, each is a political structure, most designed to serve economic ends, but one, Liberalism, is solely a political structure at its core. In other hubs, I delve, or will delve into many of these in some detail; even this hub I will get around to providing, at a minimum, comprehensive definitions.

For the moment, at least, I am still trying to gather material to help give me better structure to this hub, and that is where you come it. I fervently hope you will spend a little time to answer this poll and some following quizzes and then come back to see how things develop. For those of you who are politically inquisitive, I think you will find this interesting.

DEFINITIONS

The following definitions come from Wikipedia.

CONSERVATISM: (Latin: conservare, "to retain") is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative.

Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries, oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".[1][2] The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution.[3] The term, historically associated with right-wing politics ...

LIBERAL CONSERVATISM: The tradition in the United States often combines the economic individualism of the classical liberals with a Burkean form of conservatism that emphasizes the natural inequalities between men, the irrationality of human behavior as the basis for the embrace of traditional ethics, the human drive for order and stability, and the rejection of natural rights as the basis for government.[

CONSERVATIVE LIBERALISM: Conservative liberalism is a more positive and less radical version of classical liberalism.[6] Conservative liberal parties combine liberal policies with more traditional stances on social and ethical issues.[2] They are generally supporters of economic liberalism and they often identify themselves as law and order-parties...

LIBERALISM: a set of related political philosophies that uphold liberty as the highest political end.[1][2] This includes emphasis on the primacy of individual liberty,[3]political freedom, and voluntary association. Liberalism's core tenets are Individualism, Egalitarianism, Meliorism, Universalism, All forms of liberals think equality if a natural right, something comes with being a human being. It is the antonym to authoritarianism.[4] Libertarians advocate a society with a greatly reduced state or no state at all.[5]

LIBERTARIANISM, LAISSEZ-FAIRE or MINIMAL STATE LIBERALISM: a form of government in political philosophy where the state's only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from assault, theft, breach of contract, and fraud, and the only legitimate governmental institutions are the military, police, and courts. In the broadest sense, it also includes various civil service and emergency-rescue departments (such as the fire departments), prisons, the executive, the judiciary, and the legislatures as legitimate government function.

PROGRESSIVE or ACTIVE STATE LIBERALISM: a form of government in political philosophy, like its cousins libertarianism and minimal state liberalism where the highest political end is upholding liberty of the individual, Active-staters believe the governments must take an active role in promoting the liberty and freedom of citizens, and that real freedom can only exist when citizens are healthy, educated and free from dire poverty. [Active State] Liberals believe that this freedom can be ensured when governments not only guarantee the right to an education, health care and a living wage but ensures the guarantee is being kept. This is in addition to other responsibilities such as laws against discrimination in housing and employment, laws against pollution of the environment, and the provision of welfare [in addition to the legitimate functions assumed under minimal state liberalism]... (from http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_liberalism.html)

REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALISM: an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.[1] "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. [The purpose of which is to have

"A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow-men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society." - Albert Einstein, Why Socialism, 1949].

Revolutionary Socialists believe the only way to achieve this state is to violently take it away from the capitalists.

EVOLUTIONARY SOCIALISM: Evolutionary Socialists, aka Social Democrats, have the same end goal as their revolutionary counterparts, they believe socialism is, more or less, and end result of capitalism. They "evolutionary" because they believe capitalism will ultimately concentrate power and wealth in so few hands, the government, or other State appointed "supernumerary" for the People, can simply usurp their power and wealth without violence.

FACISM: a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in mid-20th century Europe. Fascists seek to unify their nation through a totalitarian state that promotes the mass mobilization of the national community,[3][4] relying on a vanguard party to initiate a revolution to organize the nation on fascist principles. Fascism borrowed theories and terminology from socialism but applied them to what it saw as the more significant conflict between nations and races rather than to class conflict, and focused on ending the divisions between classes within the nation.[10] It advocated a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky to secure national self-sufficiency and independence through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.

COMMUNISM: is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless[1][2] and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order

Scroll to Continue

MONARCHISM: is a system based on the belief that political power should be concentrated in one person, who may rule by decree or through a constitutional system. A monarchist is an individual who supports this form of government, independent from the person, the monarch.

ANARCHISM: is defined as a political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful.[1][2] Proponents advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical free associations.[5][11][12][13][14]

TABLE 1

CHARACTERISTICFASCISMCONSERVATIVISMLIBERAL CONSERVATISMCONSERVATIVE LIBERALISMLIBERATARIANISMMINIMAL STATE LIBERALACTIVE STATE LIBERALEVOLUTIONARY SOCIALISTREVOLUTIONARY SOCIALISTCOMMUNISM (theoretical)MONARCHISMANARCHISM

Power of the Executive

Total

Strong

Strong

Weak

Weak

Weak

Balanced

Strong

Strong

Non-existant

Absolute

Non-existant

Natural Basis for Class Differences

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Derivation of Natural Rights

State

Monotheistic God, State, and Tradition

Monotheistic God, State, and Tradition

State of Nature, Natural God

State of Nature, Natural God

State of Nature, Natural God

State of Nature, Natural God

State

State

State

Monarch

State of Nature

Belief in Capitalism

Cautious

Some

Some

Laissez-Faire

Laissez-Faire

Laissez-Faire

Lots but Regulated

Mixed

None

None

Minimal

Laissez-Faire

Central Gov'ts Responsibility to Citizens

Minimal

None

Some

None

None

None

Basic Needs and Level Playing Field

Social Programs

Social Programs

Social Programs

Depends on Monarch

None

Religiousity

State First

Religion First

Religion First

Religion First

Religion First

Religion First

State First

Monarch First

Agnostic

Thank You For All Those Who Have Participated In My Esoteric's Survey!

AND ALSO TO THOSE WHO SIMPLE READ THIS HUB. The response rate has been fantastic at 19%; much higher than most other polls I have offered. It makes me feel useful in my old age :-) and happy that that apathy has overcome this small corner of the world.

WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU FALL IN THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM?

Distribution of Votes

N = 350

  • Don't Care - 7;
  • Fascism (conservative) - 4;
  • Conservatism - 32;
  • Liberal Conservatism (conservative) - 21;
  • Conservative Liberalism (minimal state liberal) - 25
  • Libertarian (minimal state liberal) - 39;
  • Laissez-faire Liberalism-(minimal state liberal) - 21;
  • Progressive Liberalism (active state liberal) - 116;
  • Revolutionary Socialism (Socialist) - 11;
  • Evolutionary Socialism (Socialist) - 49;
  • Communism (Socialist) - 7;
  • Anarchism (Anarchist) - 7;
  • Other - 14;

Grouping the fundamental types together you get (last number is % with Don't Care/Other/Anarchist removed):

  • Conservative - 57 (16%)
  • Libertarian - 38 (11%)
  • Other Minimal State Liberals - 46 (13%)
  • Active State Liberal - 114 (33%)
  • Socialist - 65 (19%)
  • Other - 27

Thoughts On the Above Results

WITH OVER 321 RESPONSES, WE HAVE ENOUGH to be satisfied that this is near the distribution of the political spectrum from the population who read this Hub and chose to respond. I can tell you that this is definitely not a cross-section of the general population. For example, based on another Hub, I would bet most of the respondents to this hub are Introverts (who look into themselves) and Intuitors (they acquire information by letting it bubble up from inside their brain. The American population, however, is split roughly 50/50 Extrovert/Introvert while Sensors (those who only believe what their five senses tell them and are the opposite of Intuitors) make up around 75% of the general population. To give you an idea what this means in the political world, see the table below.

Typical People and Professions Who Were Sensors and Intuitors

SENSORSINTUITORS 

George Washinton

Abraham Lincoln

 

Joseph Stalin

Adam Smith

 

Pablo Picasso

Adolf Hitler

 

20 (29) Presidents

Albert Einstein

 

Robert E. Lee

Aristotle

 

Rev. Billy Graham

Benjamin Franklin

 

Alan Shepard

Bill Gates

 

Michael Jordan

Galileo

 

Thomas (Jesus' Disciple)

Isaac Newton

 

Bruce Willis

Jesus

 

Barbara Streisand

Karl Marx

 

Queen Mary I

Napoleon Bonaparte

 

Queen Elizabeth II

Thomas Jefferson

 

Elliot Ness

19 (10) Presidents

 

Accountant

College Professor

 

Actor

Composer

 

Flight Attendant

Probation Officer

 

Legal Assistant

Reporter

 

Police Detective

Writer

 

Teacher

 

 

Corrections Officer

 

 

Film Producer

 

 

News Anchor

 

 

Real Estate Agent

 

 

Budget Analyst

 

 

Computer Analyst

 

 

Electrical Engineer

 

 

Pilot

 

 

Artist

 

 

Social Worker

 

 

Systems Analyst

 

 

Corporate Executive

 

 

Lawyer/Judge

 

 

Professor Alan Ryan

The Making of Modern Liberalism takes a deep look into all aspects of what liberalism is in terms of the past and how it is applied today. It is not the easiest read in the world, but is choke full of things to think about.

Another Thought on the Meaning of Progressivism

PROGRESSIVE THOUGHT WAS BORN WITH THE ENLIGHTENMENT. "In his book On Liberty, John Stuart Mills, the 19th Century philosopher argues that man strives to be 'a progressive being'". That was a paraphrase of the opening line in a November 2013 Harper's article from the "Anti-Economist", Jeff Madrick, titled " The Future Progressive. He goes on to point out that not only does Mills think men need to be progressive, he must also realize that he can't do it without a community.

Built in to the definition of progressivism, as Mills, one of the foremost liberals of his time, sees it, are such ideas as individuality and personal freedom. It was clear to Mills and his counterparts of the day that to achieve personal freedom and individual development, it must be done with in the confines of a community. Madrick argues that this is the starting point of progressivism as a philosophy. This makes much sense to me and puts into a few words what I have written many Hubs about.

Progressivism = Liberty, Individuality, personal freedom, and community. To do progressive things is to advance all four of these concepts. Now, it seems to me, in today's vernacular of liberalism and conservatism, it is the idea of "community" that defines the two sides. Another major defining difference is the acceptance or rejection to the meaning of the root of progressivism - "progress", or, to say it another way, "change". Progressives (liberals) maintain the "change" is a way of life, conservatives of yesteryear and today deny that is the case and, if fact, argue forcefully that change (other than the very slow variety) is harmful to society.

The Anti-Economist refers to a statement by Oxford (now Princeton) professor Alan Ryan, a recognized authority on the development of modern liberalism. He posits something I thought was correct for a long time, that the community has a responsibility to the individual just as much as the individual has a responsibility to the community. And, according to Ryan, that would be to "emancipate individuals from the fear of hunger, unemployment, ill-health, and a miserable old age." and "... help members of the modern industrial society to live in the way Mill ... wanted them to." Further, given that "change is a way of life", that "that change is for the better [to move from a less civil to a more civil society], and that government is the most important way to accomplish this"; by the direction of the People, I might add.

Some, especially those who think of themselves as conservative, think the above sentiment smacks of socialism. While there are some parallels with the role of government helping people to live better lives, there is a decided difference between socialism (and conservatism) and liberalism. And, that is liberalism's focus on personal freedom and liberalism along with the idea that the government is a servant to the People; not the other way around which is the want of socialist and conservatives.

Every move the right makes, from not abandoning Sequestration to trying to defund Obamacare to not raising the debt ceiling to the Balanced Budget Amendment, are oriented toward stopping, or rolling back change. This is accomplished by hamstringing government to such a degree that it is non-functional and non-responsive to the changing needs of the world. Progressives, on the other hand, fight hard to keep the country moving forward to an ever more civil society. Almost by definition, those last two positions are true; Conservatives want to conserve, while Progressives want to progress.

BACK TO THE TASK AT HAND. THE QUIZ BELOW IS STILL IN BETA form at the moment, but I am almost satisfied with its structure. Unlike other questionnaires I have offered in other hubs, such as on Social Dominance tendencies, which were taken from well established sociological studies, this survey on political philosophies is of my own making. Most surveys have been tested, vetted, and put through rigorous validation; this one, however, is in the process of being born, so please help me with the delivery.

Conservatism, Liberalism, and Socialism, three broad categories of political philosophies, each have their own unique combination of characteristics. Of course, all have their own variants, as you can see from the list of political labels in the poll above. The survey I am attempting to put together, based on the answers given, is supposed to relatively accurately fit you into one of the broad categories. In order to make a realistic survey, however, I need feedback from you, the reader and survey taker, to let me know the quality of the questions being asked.

Each question contains a statement which, depending on what your philosophy is, should elicit a different response to the choices provided. For example, If I asserted that "Capitalism is a good thing", conservatives and most liberals will agree while some liberals and socialists will tend not to agree; there would be a response for each.

What I am interested from you at this point is whether statements and the responses offered 1) make sense, 2) are relatively clear (although the answer may be somewhat ambiguous because no one answer is exactly what you feel), 3) goes toward deciding between political philosophies, and 4) is not too redundant, although I do ask similar questions, hopefully each with a different nuance.

Finally, at the end of the survey, you will be presented my guesstimate as to your actual political philosophy, as opposed to what you think your philosophy may be. For now, however, don't pay any attention to it because I want to use your initial feedback to hone the answers. Anyway, below is my first go at this, so please, write me back with your thoughts.

DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHO YOU ARE?

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. Society is best served when some classes of people have more "rights" than others
    • I absolutely, or almost always agree with this statement
    • I generally agree with this statement
    • I sometimes agree with this statement, but generally don't
    • I rarely, if ever agree with this statement
  2. When there is a conflict between Property rights and Individual rights, those of the Individual should win.
    • I always, or almost always agree with this statement
    • I sometimes agree with this statement
    • I generally do not agree with this statement
    • I rarely, if ever agree with this statement
  3. Whether you are religious or not, the social constraints implicit in most Religions inhibits personal liberty
    • This would be a bad thing and I generally agree with this statement
    • This would be a good thing and I generally agree with this statement
    • I don't think this statement is generally true and it is neither good nor bad
  4. The Supreme Court decision on a woman's right to an abortion was a good decision.
    • I agree with this statement
    • I am not sure if this was the correct decision.
    • I disagree with this statement
  5. The Supreme Court decision establishing the principle of "separate, but equal" was right for its time.
    • Yes, the concept of "separate but equal" is race neutral and does not discriminate
    • "Separate, but equal" is inherently discriminatory to minorities
    • The "separate, but equal" philosophy could be a workable solution in theory, but wasn't in practice.
  6. The Civil Rights Acts were not needed, for the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments were enough to establish equality.
    • I agree with this statement very much.
    • I disagree with this statement very much
    • I generally agree with this statement
    • I generally disagree with this statement
  7. National sufferage and right to be treated equally need to be State solutions, not federal ones.
    • Yes, that statement is true in most circumstances
    • National sufferage (right to vote) and the need to be treated equally are different questions with different solutions
    • No, both of those questions are different but still are properly in Federal jurisdiction
  8. Capitalism, left unregulated, almost always will lead to the accumulation of wealth and power in a few hands
    • Yes, I agree, that is most often the case
    • It depends on the circumstances, sometimes it will, sometimes it won't
    • No, this would be unusual as the built-in counter-balancing forces within capitalism will prevent this scenario
  9. When the economy begins to go through a deep recession, the federal gov't should do something to mitigate
    • Yes, in most circumstances it should
    • No, the economic downturn should be left alone to run its natural course.
    • The federal government to should step in only in the worst of circumstances
  10. Social "Darwinism", like biological Darwinism, is good because it separates the economically productive from others
    • Yes, social Darwinism is good for society in the long-run.
    • Yes, soicial Darwinism has its place has its place but needs federal government protections built-in
    • No, social Darwinism works in animal societies, but it should be limited in human ones to where it promotes competition
    • Social Darwinism should be avoided at all costs in a human society.
  11. In a capitalist society, labor should be treated as just another tool to produce a product
    • Yes, I agree, it is the entrepreneur who should reap the benifits of their innovation and ideas
    • No, labor should be treated as humans and not machines, but beyond that, management decisions are final
    • No, without labor, an entrepreneurs ideas are nothing more than pipedreams
  12. The inherent inequity in capitalism means ownership of primary industry should rest w/gov't which represents the People
    • I strongly agree with this statement
    • I strongly disagree with this statement
    • While I agree that capitalism leads to inequality, there are better solutions than eliminating private ownership
    • Yes, there are some problems with capitalism, but there is not much that can be done and still protect individual rights
  13. The Bible is basically the word of God
    • That about sums it up.
    • I totally disagree.
    • While the Bible is not the word of God, but of man's interpretation of God, it does provide many good things to live by.
    • I am not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim, but the Bible is still a book one needs to understand
  14. Human behavior is largely a function of society (Nurture) rather than genetics (Nature, your DNA)
    • I agree with this statement
    • I disagree with this statement
    • I am not sure whether I agree or disagree with ths statement
  15. It is sometimes necessary for America to get involved militarily with the affairs of other nations
    • I firmly agree with this statement
    • I more or less agree with this statement
    • I am not sure whether I agree or not
    • I disagree with this statement

Scoring

For each answer you selected, add up the indicated number of points for each of the possible results. Your final result is the possibility with the greatest number of points at the end.

  1. Society is best served when some classes of people have more "rights" than others
    • I absolutely, or almost always agree with this statement
      • Conservative: +5
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -5
      • Libertarian: -5
    • I generally agree with this statement
      • Conservative: +4
      • Socialist: +4
      • Active-State Liberal: -4
      • Limited-State Liberal: -4
      • Libertarian: -4
    • I sometimes agree with this statement, but generally don't
      • Conservative: -2
      • Socialist: -2
      • Active-State Liberal: +3
      • Limited-State Liberal: +3
      • Libertarian: +3
    • I rarely, if ever agree with this statement
      • Conservative: -5
      • Socialist: -4
      • Active-State Liberal: +5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +5
      • Libertarian: +5
  2. When there is a conflict between Property rights and Individual rights, those of the Individual should win.
    • I always, or almost always agree with this statement
      • Conservative: -3
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: +4
      • Limited-State Liberal: +3
      • Libertarian: +5
    • I sometimes agree with this statement
      • Conservative: -2
      • Socialist: -4
      • Active-State Liberal: +3
      • Limited-State Liberal: +4
      • Libertarian: +4
    • I generally do not agree with this statement
      • Conservative: +2
      • Socialist: +4
      • Active-State Liberal: -3
      • Limited-State Liberal: -3
      • Libertarian: -4
    • I rarely, if ever agree with this statement
      • Conservative: +4
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: -4
      • Limited-State Liberal: -4
      • Libertarian: -5
  3. Whether you are religious or not, the social constraints implicit in most Religions inhibits personal liberty
    • This would be a bad thing and I generally agree with this statement
      • Conservative: -4
      • Socialist: -2
      • Active-State Liberal: +5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +5
      • Libertarian: +5
    • This would be a good thing and I generally agree with this statement
      • Conservative: +5
      • Socialist: +1
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -5
      • Libertarian: -5
    • I don't think this statement is generally true and it is neither good nor bad
      • Conservative: -4
      • Socialist: -3
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -5
      • Libertarian: -3
  4. The Supreme Court decision on a woman's right to an abortion was a good decision.
    • I agree with this statement
      • Conservative: -5
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: +5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -2
      • Libertarian: +3
    • I am not sure if this was the correct decision.
      • Conservative: -3
      • Socialist: -2
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: 0
      • Libertarian: -1
    • I disagree with this statement
      • Conservative: +5
      • Socialist: -4
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -4
      • Libertarian: -4
  5. The Supreme Court decision establishing the principle of "separate, but equal" was right for its time.
    • Yes, the concept of "separate but equal" is race neutral and does not discriminate
      • Conservative: +5
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -5
      • Libertarian: -5
    • "Separate, but equal" is inherently discriminatory to minorities
      • Conservative: -4
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: +5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +5
      • Libertarian: +5
    • The "separate, but equal" philosophy could be a workable solution in theory, but wasn't in practice.
      • Conservative: +4
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -5
      • Libertarian: -5
  6. The Civil Rights Acts were not needed, for the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments were enough to establish equality.
    • I agree with this statement very much.
      • Conservative: +5
      • Socialist: -4
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +2
      • Libertarian: +4
    • I disagree with this statement very much
      • Conservative: -5
      • Socialist: +4
      • Active-State Liberal: +5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -4
      • Libertarian: -3
    • I generally agree with this statement
      • Conservative: +3
      • Socialist: -3
      • Active-State Liberal: -3
      • Limited-State Liberal: 0
      • Libertarian: +2
    • I generally disagree with this statement
      • Conservative: -3
      • Socialist: +3
      • Active-State Liberal: +3
      • Limited-State Liberal: -1
      • Libertarian: -2
  7. National sufferage and right to be treated equally need to be State solutions, not federal ones.
    • Yes, that statement is true in most circumstances
      • Conservative: +5
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +3
      • Libertarian: +5
    • National sufferage (right to vote) and the need to be treated equally are different questions with different solutions
      • Conservative: -1
      • Socialist: -4
      • Active-State Liberal: -4
      • Limited-State Liberal: +2
      • Libertarian: +3
    • No, both of those questions are different but still are properly in Federal jurisdiction
      • Conservative: -4
      • Socialist: +2
      • Active-State Liberal: +2
      • Limited-State Liberal: -2
      • Libertarian: -2
  8. Capitalism, left unregulated, almost always will lead to the accumulation of wealth and power in a few hands
    • Yes, I agree, that is most often the case
      • Conservative: -3
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: +4
      • Limited-State Liberal: -4
      • Libertarian: -5
    • It depends on the circumstances, sometimes it will, sometimes it won't
      • Conservative: -1
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: +3
      • Limited-State Liberal: -2
      • Libertarian: -3
    • No, this would be unusual as the built-in counter-balancing forces within capitalism will prevent this scenario
      • Conservative: +4
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +4
      • Libertarian: +5
  9. When the economy begins to go through a deep recession, the federal gov't should do something to mitigate
    • Yes, in most circumstances it should
      • Conservative: -3
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: +5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -3
      • Libertarian: -5
    • No, the economic downturn should be left alone to run its natural course.
      • Conservative: +3
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +2
      • Libertarian: +5
    • The federal government to should step in only in the worst of circumstances
      • Conservative: +3
      • Socialist: -4
      • Active-State Liberal: -4
      • Limited-State Liberal: +4
      • Libertarian: +3
  10. Social "Darwinism", like biological Darwinism, is good because it separates the economically productive from others
    • Yes, social Darwinism is good for society in the long-run.
      • Conservative: +3
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +4
      • Libertarian: +2
    • Yes, soicial Darwinism has its place has its place but needs federal government protections built-in
      • Conservative: +3
      • Socialist: -4
      • Active-State Liberal: +4
      • Limited-State Liberal: -3
      • Libertarian: -4
    • No, social Darwinism works in animal societies, but it should be limited in human ones to where it promotes competition
      • Conservative: -4
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: +4
      • Limited-State Liberal: -2
      • Libertarian: -4
    • Social Darwinism should be avoided at all costs in a human society.
      • Conservative: -5
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: +5
      • Limited-State Liberal: -2
      • Libertarian: -4
  11. In a capitalist society, labor should be treated as just another tool to produce a product
    • Yes, I agree, it is the entrepreneur who should reap the benifits of their innovation and ideas
      • Conservative: +5
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +2
      • Libertarian: +4
    • No, labor should be treated as humans and not machines, but beyond that, management decisions are final
      • Conservative: -2
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -3
      • Limited-State Liberal: +3
      • Libertarian: +4
    • No, without labor, an entrepreneurs ideas are nothing more than pipedreams
      • Conservative: -4
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: +4
      • Limited-State Liberal: +3
      • Libertarian: +3
  12. The inherent inequity in capitalism means ownership of primary industry should rest w/gov't which represents the People
    • I strongly agree with this statement
      • Conservative: -5
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: -3
      • Limited-State Liberal: -5
      • Libertarian: -5
    • I strongly disagree with this statement
      • Conservative: +5
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: +2
      • Limited-State Liberal: +5
      • Libertarian: +5
    • While I agree that capitalism leads to inequality, there are better solutions than eliminating private ownership
      • Conservative: -5
      • Socialist: -3
      • Active-State Liberal: +4
      • Limited-State Liberal: +5
      • Libertarian: +5
    • Yes, there are some problems with capitalism, but there is not much that can be done and still protect individual rights
      • Conservative: -4
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -4
      • Limited-State Liberal: +4
      • Libertarian: +4
  13. The Bible is basically the word of God
    • That about sums it up.
      • Conservative: +5
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -3
      • Limited-State Liberal: 0
      • Libertarian: 0
    • I totally disagree.
      • Conservative: -5
      • Socialist: +4
      • Active-State Liberal: +4
      • Limited-State Liberal: -3
      • Libertarian: -2
    • While the Bible is not the word of God, but of man's interpretation of God, it does provide many good things to live by.
      • Conservative: -3
      • Socialist: +3
      • Active-State Liberal: +3
      • Limited-State Liberal: -1
      • Libertarian: -2
    • I am not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim, but the Bible is still a book one needs to understand
      • Conservative: -5
      • Socialist: +1
      • Active-State Liberal: +2
      • Limited-State Liberal: +2
      • Libertarian: 0
  14. Human behavior is largely a function of society (Nurture) rather than genetics (Nature, your DNA)
    • I agree with this statement
      • Conservative: -5
      • Socialist: +5
      • Active-State Liberal: +5
      • Limited-State Liberal: +3
      • Libertarian: +3
    • I disagree with this statement
      • Conservative: +4
      • Socialist: -5
      • Active-State Liberal: -4
      • Limited-State Liberal: -3
      • Libertarian: -2
    • I am not sure whether I agree or disagree with ths statement
      • Conservative: -4
      • Socialist: -4
      • Active-State Liberal: -2
      • Limited-State Liberal: -2
      • Libertarian: 0
  15. It is sometimes necessary for America to get involved militarily with the affairs of other nations
    • I firmly agree with this statement
      • Conservative: +4
      • Socialist: +4
      • Active-State Liberal: +3
      • Limited-State Liberal: +1
      • Libertarian: -4
    • I more or less agree with this statement
      • Conservative: +4
      • Socialist: +4
      • Active-State Liberal: +4
      • Limited-State Liberal: +2
      • Libertarian: -1
    • I am not sure whether I agree or not
      • Conservative: -3
      • Socialist: -3
      • Active-State Liberal: 0
      • Limited-State Liberal: 0
      • Libertarian: 0
    • I disagree with this statement
      • Conservative: -4
      • Socialist: -4
      • Active-State Liberal: -2
      • Limited-State Liberal: -1
      • Libertarian: +4

This table shows the meaning of each possible result:

Conservative

You believe that individual rights are subservient to those of certain classes; that relying too much on individualaity leads to anarchy consequently, an ordered society is a stable society

Socialist

You believe the world is divided into the "haves" and the "have nots" and it is duty of goveenment to protect the class of "have nots" from the "haves" by controlling the means of production/

Active-State Liberal

You believe that each individual has "natural" rights that supercede the rights of any class; that the puprose of gov't is to use the rights it is granted by individuals to actively protect individuals from harm by other individuals or groups and classes.

Limited-State Liberal

You believe that each individual has "natural" rights that supercede the rights of any class; but, that it is not the gov't's duty to protect individuals to let "nature take its course" via social Darwinism

Libertarian

A Libertarian is a cross between a Conservative and a Limited-State Liberal in that they hold to ideas in each which are not common between conservatism and liberalism. In some sense, libertarianism is associated with many, but not all of our Founding Fathers in so far as it pertains to belief in individual autonomy.

SURVEY RESULTS

IF ANYONE WHO TOOK THE SURVEY thinks a question or questions were poorly worded, could be interpreted in multiple ways (a friend recently pointed one out), used terms which you didn't really know the meaning of, etc., I really would appreciate a comment pointing them out to me. At this point the survey is in Beta Testing and would certainly appreciate the help.

Also, for those who disagree with the result, it would be very helpful to know that as well along with the reason you feel it gave the wrong result. Thank you.

AND THE SURVEY NOW SAYS

OLD SURVEY CLOSED

BECAUSE OF THE RESULTS THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN so far, I changed the result survey to include "Libertarian" as that seems to make a difference on how well the survey did in predicting your orientation. Consequently, I have closed the survey below.

OLD SURVEY RESULTS

[I didn't close the old survey, with 104 votes, properly and lost the graph results. However, they are reflected in the numbers below.]

In comparing the final results of the old survey (first %) with the initial survey (second %), the third is the percent difference, we find:

N = 104:

  • Conservative - 11% ( 11.4) vs 15% (30.6) ; (-4%)
  • Socialist - 17% (17.7) vs 21%; (-4%)
  • Active State Liberal - 55% (57.2) vs 38%; (17%)
  • Minimal State Liberal - 17% (17.7) vs 24%. (-7%)

COMBINED RESULTS

N = 151

  • Conservative - (11+3) 9% vs 17% ; (-8%)
  • Libertarian - (0+6) 4% vs 12% (-8%)
  • Minimal State Liberal: Other - (18+5) 16% vs 14%. (2%)
  • Minimal State Liberal: Total - (29) 20% vs 26%; (-6%)
  • Active State Liberal - (58+31) 57% vs 36%; (21%)
  • Socialist - (18+2) 14% vs 21%; (-7%)

(note: The Libertarian and Minimal State Liberal must be added together for a while, until we get a bunch of Libertarian results, to make sense.

A Pause To Thank You

For Your Participation. The response to the polls and quizzes in this hub, relative to my other hubs, has been wonderful. I, and anyone else who puts surveys out there quickly realize readers frequently like to keep their opinions to themselves. But, nevertheless, there are enough who are willing to share that we keep at it to the benefit of all. Even more difficult is the kind of question above and that is for readers to self-report on the answer to a quiz (which is hard in and of itself). When enough do respond, however, the insights from these anonymous donors can be very enlightening. So, again, thank you.

At the moment, with 80 self-reports, these numbers are no longer simply interesting, as they are beginning, now they have a modicum of statistical validity. The next level of confidence can be reached when we pass 120 reports (that is allowing for an average of 30 reports per category). Consequently, when 'N' exceeds 60, one can start drawing some real inferences.. So, please let me add these next thoughts.

The "academic" meaning Conservative, Socialist, and Liberal bears little resemblance to the "lay" understanding of those terms in today's society; that is the reason for this hub, isn't it, to point this out. Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Madison were all proud Liberals; an idea to which most of today's self-described Conservatives strenuously object. Some were active state, such as Benjamin Franklin and some were minimal state,like James Madison. Some flipped between the two, depending on the issue, this would be Thomas Jefferson. Yet, in today's lay vernacular, those who rightly or wrongly think of themselves as conservatives want to think of these men as kindred spirits, yet they aren't,

That is why my expectation is the result of the self-reporting is going to show a lower percentage of conservatives and socialists than the initial survey predicted while the self-reporting will show a higher percentage of active or minimal state liberals. I believe this to be true because many minimal state liberals selected one of the conservative choices in the initial survey while some of the active state liberals picked one of the socialist choices.

Some Time Later: My expectation appears to only 1/2 right. Self-reporting Conservatives ARE coming in lower than the initial feelings while Active-state Liberals ARE coming in higher. However, Socialists appear, at this point in time, seem to have a good idea of who they are, but Limited-state Liberals self-reporting is surprisingly lower than their initial beliefs. It s going to be interesting to see how this develops as more results come in.

Some More Time Later (N > 80): The numbers seem to be sorting themselves out. Conservatives and Socialists are coming in below what their initial impressions of themselves were while Active-state Liberals are coming in much higher. What I think is going is this:

  • People who think of themselves as conservative test as limited-state liberals (mainly because, I am guessing, they don't believe in a class oriented society)
  • People who think of themselves as limited-state liberals are testing as active-state liberals
  • People who think of themselves as socialists are testing as active-state liberals (mainly because, I am guessing, they don't believe in a class oriented society)

SURVEY VALIDATION

EACH OF THOSE WHO HAVE ANSWERED THIS LAST QUESTION, answered the first question and also took the survey. Between the three, I can complete a basic validation of the political philosophy survey. With 134 responses at the moment, the validation is starting to take on a little bit of credibility, given the built-in limitations I have described elsewhere.

First consider what percentage of people agree with the results of the survey:

  • AGREE - 81% (104)
  • DISAGREE - 19% (24)

It is the DISAGREEs which I want to focus on now. After 128 reports, the individual results break down this way:

To Help Understand the Socialist Result Better

SURVEY VALIDATION TABLE

TABLE 1

N = 128AGREEDISAGREE% DISAGREE

CONSERVATIVE

12

4

25%

LIBERTARIAN

9

5

36%

MINIMAL STATE LIBERAL

14

1

7%

[Libertarian + Minimal State]

[22]

[6]

[21%]

ACTIVE STATE LIBERAL

56

6

10%

SOCIALIST

13

8

38%

OVERALL

104

24

19%

Analyzing the Validation Table

OF THE CATEGORIES, ONLY TWO ARE CLEAR IN THEIR DEFINITION - They are Active State Liberals and Minimal (Limited) State Liberals - in most people's minds using today's common definitions and not the ones I supplied earlier. Many Minimal State Liberals probably identify themselves as Conservatives, but not the other way around, while Libertarians like to think of themselves of just that Libertarians when, in fact, they are a sub-set of Minimal State Liberals.

Some people who like to think of themselves as Socialists don't actually believe society is Class-based, which throws them into the Active State Liberal category. Likewise, some Minimal State Liberals have the same issue, they don't really believe in Classes, a staple of true Conservatism ... even Liberal Conservatism. Libertarians, well, they are pretty clear as to what they are and it isn't Conservative, Active State Liberal, or Socialist.

As to how satisfied I am with how valid my survey is, that is still under consideration. I can easily live with a 5% negative response for Active State Liberals; I don't see that changing much as more results come in because there are 43 responses; which is sufficient to start being meaningful, the margin of error is +/- 9%. That means the negative response COULD be as high as 14% simply due to chance, but at this point, that's cool too. The same cannot be said of any of the others, so I will just sit back and wait.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Scott Belford

Comments

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on April 07, 2018:

I don't know, right one. It seems to me the word "science" captures the technological advances and tools that are ubiquitous in the political arena. When flip "political science" around to "the science of politics", wouldn't it include all the stuff you have in mind without introducing something new to understand?

The conundrum is when a given label has one meaning through most of history, e.g., "conservative" but, because people start using the term to mean something different, then how does one communicate effectively anymore. In this case, most people who like to call themselves "conservative", they aren't. In fact, they are that most hated of labels, one form of "liberals".

In the above case, in order to call themselves conservatives, they have to redefine conservatism such that it now means "individual rights" (vs state rights). True conservatism was never about the individual, instead, its philosophy was designed to ensure a stable society.

It is that type of situation which makes me reticent to define new labels.

right one from Pale Blue Dot on April 03, 2018:

@My Esoteric,

Thanks for your analytical response.

Tech has penetrated to every facet of our lives and has given it a new outlook.

So, isn't the arena of 'political science' being replaced by 'technological/scientific politics'?

Fingers crossed for your insightful additions..

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on April 01, 2018:

Right one, thanks for reading. I had to look up "post-modernist world" - very confusing. But, I am not sure it applies here. Under discussion are the various types of philosophical underpinnings of various political approaches to managing society.

I imagine post-modernistic thought might add another view, but it won't subtract any.

In 1991, I listened to a futurist give a lecture at Air War College. The Internet was just being born in the non-academic world and he was talking about what the future held in a world of a fully functional Internet. He was spot on.

Information overload was definitely one of his points, but more importantly it was the Internet's soon to be ability to by-pass the normal information channels; to make information egalitarian. As such, it will reduce the upper level (of whatever organization you want to think of) ability to control the narrative and give it to the lower levels.

But I digress ... a lot. It seems to me there is a finite number of fundamental approaches to politics. And then many more permutations of those. I tried to cover the relevant ones in this article.

right one from Pale Blue Dot on April 01, 2018:

And where does the realm of 'post-modernism' lie?

In today's post-modernist world, everything is being challenged. Every individual has the authority to propose his/her own theory.

The culprit is the 'information overload' or 'ease of accessing knowledge'. Perhaps it is the creditor.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on April 11, 2016:

You make great observations, Adagio, thanks for making them. Of course you are correct when down in the weeds, but these kinds of questions don't dig that far down; they are looking for general perceptions.

Further, no single question would determine one to lean conservative, liberal, or any of the others. It is the sum of the weights associated with all of them which point to one philosophy or another.

As to that particular question, it goes something like this. One of the defining differences between conservatives/socialists and liberals (active or minimal) is how they rank, as a rule, class vs individual rights. The gut reaction of a true conservative (not a minimal-state liberal whose outcomes appear to be the same) is that by-and-large the rights of the class should come before the rights of the individual. That is what made our Constitution unique in the world (although idea quickly was lost to real politik).

What defines a liberal, and its off-shoots, on the other hand is the focus on individual rights. So, their gut reaction would tend to be that individual rights most often trump class rights.

It goes without saying, of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.

Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on April 11, 2016:

@MyEso: "Society is best served when the "rights" of certain classes of individuals trump an individuals right." " if you believe that all else being equal, the rights of the individual are more important than the rights of a class, then that is one indication that you are a liberal,

- If you believe in the reverse, then that is an indication you are a conservative.

I found this question to be a problem in that it's possible to be answered in both the positive and the negative and still be a liberal or a conservative.

It could be answered absolutely yes, in the case of the rights of a certain class of people; let's say slaves, to morally trump the individual who claims a right to ownership of that very class of people.

On the other hand, It could also be answered NO in the similar sense that a class of wealthy white plantation owners should trump the individual human rights of a single black slave. Would that make the person answering NO a conservative....or a liberal?

Both answers are opposites of the yes, or no options and yet both answers would indicate that the person answering the question is seeing both sides from a liberal position.

One persons individual right to serve a person of his choice at his restaurant, does not trump the rights of an entire class of people to eat at his restaurant. The currency is the same no matter what race or class you come from. On the other hand, one united group of some class majority should not trump the individual's right to eat at that restaurant or attend a public school or any other public facility based on some class or racial distinction. Which position is the Liberal position?

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on June 02, 2015:

I read your hub and I couldn't find a match for my brand of Conservatism. So I wrote a hub -

https://discover.hubpages.com/politics/Conservativ...

Can you categorize my beliefs?

Joao on January 16, 2015:

Edis: that's where I picked it up from. Technorati sees all, Technorati knows all...As for the LibDems, they'd ceiartnly be "lefter" than Labour on human rights, much like our local Green party. Economically, it's difficult to tell. As I understand it, the LibDems are proposing tax increases on the wealthy to fund the abolition of student fees and better health care. In NZ, this would be a left-wing position; we had exactly that sort of tax increase when Labour took office in 1999, and our local center-right parties have been whining about it ever since. As for abolishing student fees, you need to go to the Greens or the Alliance to see that sort of policy; everyone else backs the idea of students paying significantly for their education (with the center-right wanting them to pay more, and Labour wanting to make it easier through a student loan scheme which isn't really a loan anymore). Things like reserve bank independence and a simpler tax system were done in the 80's, and pretty much the consensus in NZ now.The problem is that the LibDem's policies are very much a reaction to the particular circumstances of British politics (how could they not be), and as we have rather different circumstances (chiefly through having done most of the economic and public sector reform stuff Blair wants to do and wanting to recover from it), their position on the spectrum doesn't really translate well. I suspect that a party with similar principles would be in the "center", but to the left of where Peter Dunne is (he's very soft on human rights, unfortunately).

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on October 14, 2014:

You said "... Unfortunately, the shareholders don't seem to hold the excessive wages of the top management as greed, ..." - That is an easy one. Except in extremely rare instances, it makes no difference what the shareholders think; those that run the business generally have controlling interest and can vote for anything they want.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on October 14, 2014:

You said "...You can list all the statistics about the economy, including the GDP but it won't tell you the effect on the average person....", which is absolutely true; since the 1980s, minus the recessions, the stats have said the economy has perked along nicely, but by digging deeper into the same statistics, you would find it perked along only for a few and not the average American. Without the insight those more detailed statistics tell you, like the ones I have been throwing at @Landmark, you can't define the problem sufficiently well to come up with a solution.

For example, the unemployment rate says we are back to normal (normal is around 5.5% and not 4%); but so what if those who work are still living in poverty because labor income has transferred to the wealthy. The unregulated capitalistic system makes sure of that.

Here is the problem you talk about in statistical form rather than word form; % of people earning between -:

2010:

Less than $1.20/hr 6%

$1.20 and $7.35/hr: 24.4% (up to minimum wage but still true poverty)

$7.35 and $12.00/hr 17.6%

$12.00 and $16.84 13.2% (up to true poverty line)

$16.84 and $24.04/hr 13.9%

$24.04 and $36.06/hr 12.9%

$36.06 and $38.08/hr 5.3%

$38.08 and Up 6.6%

MEDIAN INCOME: $26,197

MEAN INCOME: $38,337

% Diff: 46%

1970:

Less than $1.20 /hr 6.1%

$1.20 and $7.35/hr: 17.6% (up to minimum wage but still true poverty)

$7.35 and $12.00/hr 11.8%

$12.00 and $16.84 9.8% (up to true poverty line)

$16.84 and $24.04/hr 15.1%

$24.04 and $36.06/hr 18.9%

$36.06 and $38.08/hr 7.8%

$38.08 and Up 7.2%

MEDIAN INCOME: $37,485

MEAN INCOME: $42,358

% Diff: 13%

Now, you may not believe it, but to someone who understands statistics there is a major story in the above set of numbers. Each year by itself tells you nothing; it is when you compare one period with another period does knowledge start appearing.

For example, take the % Diff between the Median and Mean incomes for 1970, when things were relatively good for most Americans, and compare it to 2010, things are terrible for the average American. Notice the former is 13% and the latter is a whopping 46%. What that says is in 2010 the wage distribution is highly skewed toward the wealthy while in 1970 there appears to be a reasonable distribution of wages. I can tell that because the less skewness there is, the closer the Mean and Median become to one another.

Another way I can tell this is by inspection. If you look at the distribution for 1970, the concentration of wages is around the $16.84 to $36.08 range while for 2010, it is between $1.20 and $12.00/hr.

This is further verified by the fact that the Median income fell 30% between 1970 and 2010 while the Mean income has fallen only 9%! This means there has been a huge transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich class.

Much more concrete knowledge can be obtained once you break it down by sex, age, race, education, and ethnicity. Bottom line is you can't live your life without statistics. Hell, you need statistics to describe the probability of where an electron is as it circles a nucleus at any given moment in time.

I'll read more of you comment later.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on October 13, 2014:

That would certainly be nice if that did that, @Bradmaster, but few people have the capability of changing such fundamental beliefs such as social Darwinism, which is at the core of minimal-state liberalist's thought and social responsibility which is at the heart of how active-state liberals think how the government should work. Personally, I am a social responsibility kind of guy once a person has made more than a reasonable attempt to play by the rules. But when the rules are stacked against you, it is time for the gov't to step