Libertarian Socialist

80.8% socialist 75% peaceful 71.5% libertarian 72.6% progressive A while ago (no idea how I found it) I took this 8 values political coordinates test. I retook it just now and got essentially the same result. It's not a bad approximation of my political alignment. The test asks questions about polarizing political topics, but it states them in neutral ways that encourage you to judge the statement rather than the question judging you. But even with its attempts at neutrality, in its very construction the test reinforces beliefs that keep us from coming together and making the world a better place for everyone. Skip to the bottom if you just want a summary.

It's not markets OR equality

Laws make markets

First we have to let go of the fiction that markets exist without governments and laws. They never have, even when the laws were just social expectations enforced within small communities. “Free” markets exist because of laws that maintain their function.

Actively regulate or markets will break

Second we have to accept that complex systems break if they aren't carefully tended. Gardens go to weeds. Bodies go to cancer. Classrooms go to hell. Economies go to ruin or to the rich. It's not hard to see. If economies are run for the purpose of money, then the economy will run for those with money. If government is run to serve money, then the laws will benefit those with money.

And it will break.

Markets should work for us

Governments need to be run for humanity. For people. Not for money. Not for people with money. To produce human freedom, markets must be run with the purpose of enabling or creating human freedom. As long as they are run for the freedom of money, or the freedom of those with money, that's what we will get—people with money will be free. As communities, countries, and a world we will have worse health, less happiness, more war, and more lawlessness (see the research).

There are other choices. We can make our laws to promote the values of humanity. To foster equality which fosters health, peace, cooperation, and lawfulness (the research). I believe in markets as a tool, and that we can harness them to promote both equality and freedom through good governmental policy and strong social norms of care and community.

We don't have to choose free markets or socialism. We have to choose whether we work for markets or whether markets work for us. Right now we work for markets and markets work for the rich. We can change it.

Progress is my tradition

I'm an American

Americans cast off monarchy and started a democracy. That was radical progress.

Americans cast off slavery and declared that ALL men should be equal. That was more progress.

Americans said women should vote, own property, and have other rights. That was more progress.

Americans said workers should have rights to organize and rights to a decent life. That was more progress.

Americans said we should follow through on our promise of equality for all and end Jim Crow laws. That was more progress.

I have no illusions that all Americans were ever progressive. Too many of our revered founding fathers owned slaves and defended slavery. Too many of our fellow Americans have fought every change for good, sometimes with good intentions and sometimes with ill intent. But the stories I claim—my tradition—are the times we kept going until we realized the good.

I'm a Mormon

My Mormon ancestors left homes and family to build a vision of Zion—a place of equality and peace. That always seemed progressive to me.

My Mormon ancestors were willing to question their culture, question their economy, question prophets, and even question God. This too seemed progressive to me.

My Mormon ancestors valued caring for the poor and oppressed more than acquiring wealth.

I've no illusions that these things are true of all my ancestors, or any of my ancestors all the time. I'm very clear eyed that Mormons have done good and ill. But these are the stories of my family. This are my tradition.

You will be right if you call me a progressive. If you say I don't respect some set of traditions you choose, you'll be right again. But I respect the traditions of truth seeking, of seeking peace and equality, of caring for humanity, and of resisting oppression. For me, being progressive is my tradition.

My country AND the world

I don't have much to say on this, but the test sets care for and love of your country, and the belief your country has a right to use military force and control whatever belongs to it, against the view that we are a global community and that we should have global laws and standards. I just can't see how seeking peace and equality across the world is not part of loving my country. I wish I were, but don't think I am, a pacifist. If I were I would be one because I love my country enough to be peaceful at the risk of being hurt by the violence around me. It would be because I love more, not less. It would be because I trust God or humanity more, not less. It would be because I believe my country should be greater, not less.

Differences are real, these labels divide

I really do value things differently than most people I know. But not by as much as these binary labels make us believe. I've lived, and still live, with many who value “free” markets more than I do. Who value religious, economic, governmental, family, and social authority much more than I do. Who value loyalty to our nation or to traditions more than I do. I continue to hope that sharing my way of thinking can help them see better how socialist values, how progressive values, how globalist values, how humanist values are not in binary opposition to the things they desire. Sometimes they are a new way that can bring us hope.

Looks like I'm valuing my tradition again. Can't stop evangelizing.



Regulate markets to work for humans and for equality. That will bring freedom. Markets working for money will free the rich and damn the rest.

Being Progressive is my tradition. It is embracing the best of my ancestors, not rejecting the good they did.

Love of peace, and wanting the world to work together, are inseparable from loving my country.