Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Libertarian Party test‏ and practical Liberalism

The UK Libertarian Party have a very useful test too see how Liberal you are here are my results;

Well done!
You scored 80% (well its 70% see why below)
You are a liberal

1. We should raise taxes on the rich so we can redistribute wealth to the poor? Answer No

Your answer was liberal

It is illiberal for people to be taxed at a different rate based on their income. Also rich people are the most mobile members of society. If they are over-taxed they will simply move themselves, their assets and capital offshore. Which will in turn decrease investment in the country.

2. We should get rid of the minimum wage? Answer No

Your answer was illiberal

The minimum wage is an illiberal restriction on free trade. It also places an artificial value on the cost of labour which makes it more difficult for low skilled workers to find work, and therefore gain experience and training.

3. The state should bailout large corporations in financial distress? Answer No

Your answer was liberal

This is an illiberal incursion on the free market — at the taxpayer's expense. No company should ever receive a taxpayer backed bailout. It encourages bad financial practices and corruption between the state, corporations and unions.

4. It should be illegal for members of the public to own guns? Answer Yes

Your answer was illiberal

In a liberal country people can protect themselves as they see fit. Remember if someone owns a gun it does not mean they will murder anyone. In addition it is very dangerous for a people to allow their state to have a monopoly over weaponry and therefore force.

5. People who hold racist or extreme views should be allowed to publicly express their ideas? Answer Yes

Your answer was liberal

To not would be a gross and illiberal infringement on freedom of speech. And it sets a dangerous precedent for further reducing freedom of speech. It must be noted that defining things as extreme or dangerous is a purely subjective activity. Therefore the state will only define things as extreme if they pose a threat to it. But not necessarily to the people.

6. The state should make people change their behaviour to tackle climate change? Answer No

Your answer was liberal

In a liberal society the state will not force any law abiding person to behave in a certain way as this is an infringement on freedom of thought and action. This is an especially acute issue when you consider there is still great debate about whether climate change is caused directly by human action. People should note that the state have a lot to gain in terms of social control from climate change catastrophe. Along with large corporations who will find it easier to cope with environmental regulations than their smaller competitors.

7. It is wrong for the police to retain the DNA of anyone not serving a prison sentence? Answer Yes

Your answer was liberal

There is no reason why in a liberal society that the state should be allowed to steal the property of a person when they have not been convicted of any crime or are currently serving a prison sentence.

8. The state should ban people from watching violent pornography? Answer No

Your answer was liberal

This is an illiberal incursion on freedom of thought. It is not the business of the state to involve itself in the sexual preferences of consenting adults.

9. It is wrong for democratic nations to overthrow foreign dictators? Answer Yes

Your answer was liberal

It is illiberal, and a sign of gross arrogance, for one state to impose their will on another in this way. These issues are for the people of said state to resolve themselves with their leader(s).

10. Free market capitalism should be forced on other nations to help create a better world? Answer No

Your answer was liberal

It is illiberal for one state to impose their way of life on another. A liberal foreign policy involves free trade with all willing participants. It does not involve forcing states to behave in a certain way if they do not wish to.

It's not easy to say a straight yes or no to some of these questions because I would say its 50 50 for me on a few of these questions. Question 1, I would simply not tax the poor but I do believe the richest people pay the least amount of tax and they should n my view pay a fair share so I'm say 5% less liberal there.

Question 3, I wouldn't bailout large corporations in most cases as this does encourage bad management, however I would of bailed out the banks as this could of most businesses and the whole economy that seem very illiberal. so again its 5% so therefore I award myself 70% with these amendments (80% less 10%).

Question 6, I do believe there is climate change so im not sure about LPUK answer here on 'social control from climate change' I just think this should not be forced upon people and education and argument can be used here.

So for the above reasons I believe I'm not as Liberal as I would like to be for practical reasons and I actually think that the above demonstrates that it is impossible to be 100% Liberal when faced with the realities of the world. I personally try to be Liberal but I do believe in small socialism like a benefit safety net or even sometimes big socialism like the NHS. Therefore I can't claim to be 100% Liberal. This is a problem for LPUK as some of their great ideas are not fully workable just like some of the ideas in full socialism, full capitalism, full communism or full fascism.

I would add that I have a soft spot for the Libertarian Party UK who believe the Liberal Democrats are not Liberal. I agree natually with many of their policies like small government. But unlike LPUK, I would say the Lib Dems are Liberal but not as Liberal as LPUK, just a bit more practical and socialist with a small 's'.

Please do let me know your results at

Today's Link
Is to Duncan Scott who blogs at Split Horizons. Duncans tweet directed my attention to this Libertarian Test (he is 80 percent Libertarian).

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  1. I was in the Liberal party when it was taken over by the SDP. Believe me the Lib Dems are a Social Democrat party, who believe in a big State

    Andrew Withers LPUK

  2. Libertarians are not Liberal, in the classical sense, because in order to be free, you first have to have the opportunity to be free. There is a reason why on our membership cards that it says nobody should be enslaved by poverty, and lots of people would be under LPUK policies.

  3. Libertarians tend to take a more anarchist analysis than a liberal one, emphasising negative liberties at the expense of positive liberties.

    Frankly, the perceptions of popularity for a libertarian position is a reaction to current authoritarian government policy, which emphasises positive liberties.

    Proper liberals understand that positive and negative liberties need to be balanced effectively, which can only be done using democratic elections.

    Whether more people feel restricted by material or existential circumstance is not for me to determine, but to try to evaluate - libertarians fail to note the irony that they tell people what we should think which is something a true liberal would never do!

    As a LibDem I'm proud to say the LibDem party is a liberal democratic party, not a social democratic party.

    So I also have to ask: what kind of party is the LPUK? On the evidence that it is unable to save a deposit at any election makes it seems like an incoherent disorganised mess.

  4. 9. It is wrong for democratic nations to overthrow foreign dictators? Answer Yes

    Thank God Churchill and Roosevelt were illiberal.

  5. Guthrum I believe Lib dems do not believe in a big state however it would be bigger than a LPUK one but much smaller than a labour state.

    Jennie - that makes alot of sence thanks

    Orangepan - LPUK policies do seem more anarchist than Liberal and they appear to change when it come to immigration for example. I know Lib Dems are a democractic party and not called social democrats but we do have elements of social policy just like the Tories do. to adress fairness rather than redistribution.

    Good point anonymous although Churchill was once a member of the old Liberal Party for quite a long time

  6. Of course there's nothing in that test (in which I score 100%) that is remotely anarchist though, and most of the answers infer the continuing existence of a state - not a lot of point in being an electoral party if there's nothing to be elected to!