Saturday, March 14, 2009

Political Ideologies

I just came across these interesting survey results on “The State of American Political Ideology, 2009,” which documents the findings of a study by the Progressive Studies Program at the Center for American Progress about political values and beliefs in America.

According to their tastefully red-white-blue website decorated with stars and stripes, the Center for American Progress is “a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.” They have hijacked the words “progress” and “innovation” and explain their “work builds upon progressive ideals put forth by such leaders as Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK, and Martin Luther King,” and “draw from the great social movements of the 20th century—from labor rights and worker safety, to civil rights and women's suffrage” to “translate those values into new ideas and action firmly rooted in the economic and political realities of the 21st century.” That's just so you know what page we are on.

The results in the report are based on 1,400 interviews with adults 18 years or older. They have put political ideologies on a sliding scale from 0 to 400 with 0 being the most conservative position on the continuum and 400 being the most progressive (according to their report “an innovative categorization of ideology”), and calculated the score from responses to 40 statements about government and society.

They find a mean ideological score of 209.5. Interestingly, Americans are apparently most progressive about the role of government and least progressive on cultural and social values. Ideas about economics and international affairs fall in-between. Less surprisingly for what is essentially a two-party system in which every party is trying to adapt to the popular opinion of the day, they find there really is no “far right” or “far left,” but rather “far center-right” and “far center-left.” Do I need to add that a one-dimensional sliding scale with a pre-chosen notion of “progressive” for political, economical as well as social questions doesn't quite accommodate plurality either?

As a PS to my recent post on The American Dream, let me quote these replies in regard to the present economic situation

“The economic recession is clearly affecting many Americans. A full two-thirds of Americans (67%) report that their family’s income is falling behind the cost of living, with 23% saying their income is staying even and only 6% saying it is going up faster than the cost of living. The belief that family income is failing to keep pace with rising costs is uniformly held across ideological, partisan, race, and income lines.

Despite the harsh climate, many Americans continue to believe that they have achieved or will achieve their own understanding of the American Dream in their lifetime. More than one-third of Americans (34 %) say they have already achieved the American Dream and another 41 %believe that they will achieve it in their lifetime. Roughly one-fifth of Americans (18 %) say they will not achieve the American Dream in their lifetime.”


You can read the full report here, and find out your own score here. Readers of this blog won't be surprised that apparently I'm “extremely progressive”




Humor me and leave your score in the comments.

92 comments:

Peter Turney said...

356

Bee said...

You beat me :-) The questions on foreign politics and terrorism and similarly I find almost impossible to answer with a number from 0-10. I just don't think there are general recipes that always work, and especially not in such case dependent areas.

Rae Ann said...

no surprise 135/400 which makes me "very conservative"

jk said...

272 - surprising ... I usually score at 12:00 on the 2-dimension liberal-conservative/libertarian-authoritarian "chart

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

My score was 294/400 this has me as very progressive. Actually I was hoping for 247.21356/400 which I consider a more natural balance:-) I will leave a comment latter yet for now my biggest problem with this is they are all mostly leading questions like the classic "have you stopped beating your wife".

Best,

Phil

Isabeau said...

354
The questions are aweful.

TQA said...

315

My own comments are up on my blog:
http://scienceblogs.com/authority/2009/03/a_weekend_ideological_survey.php

Daniel de França MTd2 said...

365 here. Socialist thinking lead me to limit freedom of access of porn to children, so I guess I lost some points.

Daniel de França MTd2 said...

But I agre with Isabeu. Some questions had more than 2 meanings for me, so I had to take a "gut" average.

rillian said...

336. And yes, the questions are silly. Even interpreting them in an American coded-debate sense quite a few of them were just silly.

I did like the ones that helpfully included absolutest language. Those were easier to vote on. :)

organiker@lycos.com said...

You are not authorized to view this page. You might not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials you supplied.
HTTP Error 403 - Forbidden
Internet Explorer

Cute and not unexpected. Let's try Mozilla

154/400

Uncle Al is devastated, having hoped for a clean zero. Why are having Christ up your ass and denying empirical reality necessities for being Conservative? Oh, yeah - the Republicant strong plank of aggressive ignorance in its political platform. Whatever happened to the 14-year old Baptist psychotic who was going to render them reborn?

Plato said...

I am not sure why people would confine themself "to a box" other then to feel they belong somewhere?:)

What about that Mensa, mensha, stuff, as if the lone wolf here is somehow thought to expunge themself from such rules of order, to have themself face a new economic and systemic process willingly, whether you liked it or not?? You'll be dragged kicking and screaming, but it will be good for you?:)

Does not mean I will not give it for others to take. The message "should be" to rise above it.

Assuming the mathematics it means a new political ideology. Obama turns his back on the Chicago school.

Best,

Lumo said...

My insanity score is only 85, nuts.

LyleDAL said...

331

Kris Krogh said...

294 -- same as Phil.

Jens said...

197. No room for libertarians in one dimension.

Chris Granade said...

376.

Sure this survey has problems, but it's still interesting, IMHO.

stefan said...

277

Some of the questions are quite sterotypic... that may explain the wide range of results?

Andreas said...

353

a quantum diaries survivor said...

352 here bee!
Cheers,
T.

Anonymous said...

Bee:

Notice the manipulative wording of the questions. All the classic techniques for slanting surveys are employed to the fullest extent.

One technique is to present a generally-recognized problem together with the left-wing solution as a package deal, as in

21. America's economic future requires a transformation away from oil gas and coal to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Supplies of oil and gas being finite, the problem is obvious, but wind and solar cannot possibly replace oil and gas as the prime-movers of transportation and industry. So there is no meaningful way to answer this question.

Another technique is to predicate the question on unspoken presuppositions, as in

37. Religious faith should focus more on promoting tolerance, social justice and peace in society and less on opposing abortion or gay rights.

There is no way to answer this question without tacitly accepting the presupposition that anyone has the right to tell anyone else what their religion should focus on.

The most common technique is to use ill-defined words so that the question means different things to different people, as in

10. Government policies too often serve the needs of corporations and the wealthy.

The answer entirely depends on the size of corporation, and the amount of wealth that come to mind. One person may think of ExxonMobil and Jay Rockefeller, while another thinks of the neighborhood grocery store and the guy down the street whose house is paid off, so not only are they are answering different questions, but there is no way to know what those questions are.

By the way, Bee, my score was 135. Yet we have seen in the "American Dream" thread that we agree far more than the difference in our scores would lead one to expect. And that illustrates my point about this survey rather well.

In any case, without further ado, here are the questions, so those who haven't taken the quiz can judge for the validity of the results for themselves.

1. Government spending is almost always wasteful and inefficient.

2. America's security is best promoted by working through diplomacy, alliances and international institutions.

3. It is unpatriotic to criticize our government leaders or our military during a time of war.

4. African Americans and other minority groups still lack the same opportunities as whites in our country.

5. America must play a leading role in climate change by reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions and complying with international agreements on global warming.

6. Government has a responsibility to provide financial support for the poor, the sick and the elderly.

7. Human life begins at conception and must be protected from that point forward.

8. Free market solutions are better than government at creating jobs and economic growth.

9. America should spend more to help meet the basic economic, health, and education needs of people around the world.

10. Government policies too often serve the needs of corporations and the wealthy.

11. Healthy economic growth requires eliminating budget deficits, which discourage private investment and raise interest rates.

12. Social security should be reformed to allow workers to invest some of their contributions in individual accounts.

13. The war in Iraq has proven that the U.S. cannot impose democracy on other nations.

14. A positive image of America around the world is necessary to achieve our national security goals.

15. Limited government is always better than big government.

16. Americans should adopt a more sustainable lifestyle by conserving energy and consuming fewer goods.

17. Military force is the most effective way to combat terrorism and make America safer.

18. The gap between the rich and the poor should be reduced, even if it means higher taxes for the wealthy.

19. Cultural institutions, the arts and public broadcasting play an important role in our society and should receive government support.

20. Changes in the traditional American family have harmed our society.

21. America's economic future requires a transformation away from oil gas and coal to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

22. The primary responsibility of corporations is to produce profits and returns for their shareholders, not to improve society.

23. Our country has gone too far in mixing politics and religion and forcing religious values on people.

24. America has taken too large a role in solving the world's problems and should focus more at home.

25. Immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs and abuse government benefits.

26. Talking with rogue nations such as Iran or with state-sponsored terrorist groups is naïve and only gives them legitimacy.

27. We must do whatever is necessary to protect America from terrorism, even if it means restricting civil liberties or engaging in methods some might consider torture.

28. Free trade is good for America because is creates markets for our goods and services and lowers costs for consumers.

29. Government programs for the poor undermine individual initiative and responsibility.

30. There should be stronger regulation of sex and violence in popular culture and on the Internet.

31. Government must step in to protect the national economy when the market fails.

32. Cutting taxes for individuals and businesses is the key to economic growth.

33. The federal government should guarantee affordable health coverage for every American.

34. Government regulation of business does more harm than good.

35. Government investments in education, infrastructure and science are necessary to ensure America's long-term economic growth.

36. Homosexuality is unnatural and should not be accepted by society.

37. Religious faith should focus more on promoting tolerance, social justice and peace in society and less on opposing abortion or gay rights.

38. Rich people like to believe they have made it on their own but in reality society has contributed greatly to their wealth.

39. Labor unions play a positive role in our economy.

40. Government regulations are necessary to keep business in check and protect workers and consumers.

Anonymous said...

Phil:

You are exactly right in comparing the questions in this survey to the classic, "do you still beat your wife?"

Of course, sly trickery of this kind is exactly what one would expect from an extreme left-wing web site whose primary purpose is to spread the gospel of Obammunism.

Adam Solomon said...

168/400

I agree with organiker, a 0 would have been nice but (coming from a left-wing think tank this isn't surprising) a lot of these questions are equating "conservative" with "GOP party line." What, I can't like civil liberties and not be a born-again Christian without being "progressive"? Pshaw!

Low Math, Meekly Interacting said...

I got a 267/400 making me "very progressive".

I'm surprised I didn't score a bit higher, but then again, I'm a bit schizoid in my point of view. I tend to approach some political issues ignoring how I would like things to be, since that's often irrelevant, and working strategically with how they are. I think in a more progressive climate, my score would go up.

Michael said...

280

But I agree with some other commenters that these questions are loaded.

Thomas Larsson said...

"12. Social security should be reformed to allow workers to invest some of their contributions in individual accounts."

This has been implemented in socialist Sweden since 15 years.

Giotis said...

339

Bee, now that you have seen that the governments around the world are covering the debts of the big corporations, have you been convinced that the politicians are employees and puppets of the economic elite?

The debts to the people and the profits to the economic oligarchy, using unemployment to blackmail society.

Tell the bitter truth to your audience:-)

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Like I said earlier they phrase many of these questioned in such a way that it has as predetermined what the limit and range of solutions can be. As for instance as anonymous pointed out totally ignoring a nuclear component so that fission or fusion and more importantly future discovery are not considered at all. Some how or other I wouldn’t be so certain Kennedy or King would have associated themselves with the most radial sector of tree huggering.

More importantly they also confuse what it means to be tolerant and what constitutes being endorsement or advocacy. Like for instance I would most definitely admit that homosexually has long been a (naturally occurring) minority component of humanity. Also, like some others I suspect there is probably a genetic component to this. That being the case and as it having survived mankind’s evolution to this point suggests it provides for those individuals some type of protection or advantage to have survived. However, what this is has not been identified yet, so I wouldn’t even speculate what that is. It does have a frequency and persistence though such that it should be tolerated and perhaps to some degree protected; yet its an entirely different thing to extend this to advocating to promote it.

As an admittedly a crude analogy it’s been long known that things like sickle cell anemia have survived in such manner, yet this is hardly sound reason to advocate increasing its frequency. Tolerance arises out of understanding, while promotion should only be initiated when such understanding includes to identifying things as having a clear general overall advantage. The problem is if one reasons things as this such as I have, you are branded by some as one who condones harming the social fabric, while by others as being a homophobe. In general I’ve found that polarization of opinion in most cases no matter of which direction to be simply wrong.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Plato,

“I am not sure why people would confine themself "to a box" other then to feel they belong somewhere?:)”

I would have thought that you above all others would recognize there is a distinction to be made between responding to a need to fit in and evaluating (if it be only for yourself) as to what part of the spectrum you may be found:-)

Best,

Phil

P.S. Christine if you happen to read this I hope that you don’t mind me pointing to your blog, as it was only out of wanting to give credit where credit is due.

Bee said...

Hi All,

Seems the readers of our blog are over-averagely progressive :-)

Of course I agree with you that the questions are not particularly well suited to determine political opinion. In addition to this, as I wrote in the post, they have apparently defined some set of possible answers as 'progressive' because that's how they liked it. Well, what do you expect from a center of American progress? Take eg the issue of environmental protection. It is possibly the most 'conservative' opinion you can hold - in the sense of the word - even if it is not the opinion of your 'conservative' party. A one-dimensional scale is not 'innovative' but just inappropriate if you mix social with economical with political questions.

But either way, interpretation aside, some of the survey results are still interesting eg because they are mere statistics (like the one I quoted). You should also keep in mind that they did not aim at performing a survey to determine actual political opinion. They were looking for political ideologies, and that's what their questions are aiming at, that's why they seem so polarizing. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Giotis,

Bee, now that you have seen that the governments around the world are covering the debts of the big corporations, have you been convinced that the politicians are employees and puppets of the economic elite?

As I keep saying, Giotis, as long as we live in a democracy, l'état sommes nous. The problem is with us. Or, more precisely, with the lack of flexible, up-to-date and timely democratic systems on a global scale. The presence of these might not have helped to solve the problem but it might have helped to avoid it altogether. It is a mystery to me why people so willingly give up their power and blindly trust in trickle-down. Best,

B.

Giotis said...

Bee, I don't agree. They let you live in a democracy because they know that they are not threatened by this political system. Nothing can really change with elections because people are manipulated and brain washed. You don't know how far the economic oligarchy can go to protect its interests if they feel that they are threatened; from dictatorships to global wars. They control the police and the army. Look what happened to Chile with Allende for example. The government must be approved first by the establishment in order to govern; you just have the illusion that people have the power in a western type democracy.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“They were looking for political ideologies, and that's what their questions are aiming at, that's why they seem so polarizing.”

I agree with most of your conclusions, except perhaps for this one, since the poles as defined do not in actuality; be it resultantly flawed by intent or a such out of ignorance, allow for what forms to be the total range of possibility that should be considered. Data is one thing, while how relevant it should be considered in terms of how complete quite another. Of course that has always been the vulnerability in restricting science to primarily the inductive approach to begin with, as since premise is still present, yet seldom recognized as a component.

Best,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

Well, I agree, the possible replies don't even remotely cover the range that should be considered. You just can't decently break down questions as involved as the ones posed into a 0-10 scale. I guess that few participants felt appropriately described this way. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Giotis,

They let you live in a democracy because they know that they are not threatened by this political system.

It is either not a democracy or there is no 'they'. If you look at how it works in reality, it's that WE accept to live in the circumstances we do. We'd have the power to change it, but we either don't want it or don't use it. That's reality. There is nobody else to blame but us.

Nothing can really change with elections because people are manipulated and brain washed

Surre. But we know that and don't do anything to save our democracies.

you just have the illusion that people have the power in a western type democracy

The power is always with the people for it's us what makes the world go round. Not money, as the saying goes. Problem is, people don't use their power as much as they should. Or sometimes with a lot of delay. Look at Chile now.

Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Glotius,

“The government must be approved first by the establishment in order to govern; you just have the illusion that people have the power in a western type democracy.”

Whether you believe Obama to be sincere or not (which I would admit I also wonder), he has told every one the truth in respect to this and that it is people themselves are the only ones capable to constitute change, as the government can only at best aid in facilitating their choices. He asked us to pick “ourselves” up and dust “ourselves” off, as he has no intention to do so for us, since even if he did it wouldn’t work. So take (peacefully and unitedly) to the streets with others or write a letter to your congressman to say what it is about yourself you are prepared to change and require support and assistance in doing so, rather then pointing to others as being the problem, while not even considering personal individual change be to what is actually required.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

As to the nature, substance and timing of our replies to Glotius, I am further now brought to wonder if the conscious is an aspect of individuals or perhaps just demonstrates that each of having one aperture into a central one in the overall. The matrix is certainly a strange place, when we are confronted with the choice of which pill we will take:-)

Best,

Phil

Giotis said...

Phil you know that politicians have the ability to use big, fancy words. At best Obama can make small corrections to the system in favourite of the working class. I don't expect something more. Despite the fact that I believe he is a good man, he is also part of the establishment; otherwise he couldn't be elected.

Bee, Yes, this is a pseudo-democracy not a true democracy. In order people to take their fate into their own hands, you must first educate them. The societies have been organized in a way to preserve the current social, political and economic structure; they don't really educate people to be free men and women with judgment. They want us to be cattle in order to be able manipulate us.

Bee said...

Hi Giotis,

The societies have been organized in a way to preserve the current social, political and economic structure; they don't really educate people to be free men and women with judgment

I am not sure which country you refer to, I can't say this is true for my education. Besides this, as long as it's a free country you have all possibilities to educate yourself. People just don't use their possibilities. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Glotius,

Your statement forms the same paradox as that of the chicken and the egg. Yet the root and therein the solution of this entirely rests with there being only one thing to learn at first; which is the necessity of self examination combined with reflection. In the past religion in the noblest of its form taught us this and now we have to face the same in using reason alone, rather then unquestioned faith. So to have one practice to look inside ones self is not a lesson that can be taught, yet only something that can be realized.

Some would say this is impossible, yet I would insist that faith still be required, yet not found in anything external, yet found by beginning with ourselves. That been called other things, such as confidence, conviction, bravery or boldness; yet it is of and all in the same. It can only come by acknowledging, reasoning and to celebrate our successes, while using the lesson of failure to quicken them further and achieve it more often. Then when we look around we find nature in itself presents as to reflex exactly the same.

Best,

Phil

Giotis said...

Don't blame people Bee. For most people it's hard to educate themselves when they are trying to just survive and make a living. The system keeps pressing them and pressing them.

Bee said...

Giotis, not Glotious.

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“Giotis, not Glotious.”

I both humbly and sincerity apologize to Glotis. As such I also offer myself up to him in future to be addressed as Philius, as I would so aptly deserve:-)

Best,

Phil

Giotis said...

Phil, although you've butchered my name once again, I forgive you and I won't call you Philius:-)

Kea said...

Also extremely progressive - duh.

Bee said...

We could blame it on the script font. Sometimes an 'i' is hard to distinguish from a 'l'.

Bee said...

Hi Giotis,

Don't blame people Bee. For most people it's hard to educate themselves when they are trying to just survive and make a living. The system keeps pressing them and pressing them.

Well, I agree. As you know from reading this blog, I think the problem is in the system itself. That however is not, as you previosly said, the government or big companies. And the only way to change the system it is to mobilize people who constitute it. It really is a chicken and egg problem, since the very cause of the problem is that the system disables its own improvement. If things get only bad enough people will eventually wake up - I just hope they wake up earlier if somebody shouts loud enough. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Giotis,

Damn I did it again. So as I was made to do in my early days at school when I spelled something incorrectly , I will write it 25 times. Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis, Giotis.

However as to bare myself once again that as in school I would tie multiple pencils together to hasten and make easier the completion of the task, here I used copy and paste :-)

Sorry again,

Philius

P.S. Now come to think about all again, since I took a short cut method this could form to be part of the reason I still have the problem:-)

Giotis said...

You mean that the system is us? Interesting thought. I have to ponder about it.

Plato said...

Phil:I would have thought that you above all others would recognize there is a distinction to be made between responding to a need to fit in and evaluating (if it be only for yourself) as to what part of the spectrum you may be found:-)

Well with a new focused perspective on things( this principle always existed, one just ddi not recogize it.) and a relative position assumed, "a high mountain peak" takes precedence over "confined views" of "dualistic nature contained to the valley."

A sorting then, from individual to individual, and what defensible mechanism is raised here, but to seek to rise above, and be very fluid in our actions(finer then this blade of a knife) when striving to a higher principle.:)

Your American dream, your home, is where the heart is?:)Some call it a house we live in, a body of thought with any rooms? Who is to know of these polarizations in society better then these scientists? A philosopher perhaps?:)You can be both.

A new foundational principal in economic terms will dictate the political agenda. If you know this, then you know that foundational problems of quality of life, must be addressed within the system. An executive, and quality recognition, not part and parcel too "entities over other entities."

Best,

Anonymous said...

Bee:

Giotis is right. We live in an increasingly totalitarian oligarchy, which is disguised as a free-market democracy to facilitate blaming the victim:

No man is more hopelessly enslaved, than he who falsely believes that he is free.

-- Goethe

For this reason, schooling is explicitly designed to prioritize indoctrination over education. If you came through it without damage to your ability to think freely, you are one of the lucky few. But the school system does not operate in a vacuum; it operates in concert with mass media, social services ministries, and the medical establishment:

There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.

-- Aldous Huxley, from a speech at the University of California medical school, 1959.

The FINAL revolution. Think about it.

This is most certainly not a "chicken and egg problem," as you put it. It is a deliberate plan, carried out by the cabal of big government and big business. Warnings have been raised many times:

The question is a philosophical, anthropological and psychological one, and perhaps also a religious one. It is: can human nature be changed in such a way that man will forget his longing for freedom, for dignity, for integrity, for love -- that is to say, can man forget that he is human? ... None of the three authors can be accused of the thought that the destruction of the humanity within man is easy. Yet all three arrive at the same conclusion: That it is possible, with means and techniques which are common knowledge today.

-- Erich Fromm, from the Afterword to the 1961 New American Library edition of 1984 by George Orwell.

And many of these warnings come from men who practice realpolitik at the highest levels:

We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily, the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration.
...
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present -- and is gravely to be regarded.
...
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, from his farewell address on stepping down as President, 1961.

Of course, the two dangers that Eisenhower calls equal and opposite have both come to pass, and they are mutually reinforcing with a wide variety of other mechanisms by which globalists are transforming the Earth into a prison planet.

The FINAL revolution. Think about it again.

Tkk said...

I refuse to take the test. The questions are loaded and deliberately ambiguous. And totally unscientific unlike those used by professionals in polls. Second, whatever the score, the classifications (very conservative, etc.) are based on the current 'norm' of American culture and politics. Take same scores and judge them relative to say European or Canadian politics and the classification will change significantly.

They may want to fool themselves, or you, but I won't fool myself.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Anonymous,

“We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily, the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration.”

You speak of victims as individuals, yet the perpetrators as groups, such as big government and big business. So then who are these as to who its members are and who be their leaders? I ask you to identify them, so that they can be recognized as to be dealt with, rather then feared. Is Obama the one or Bush before him or perhaps someone before that? Which was the last of what you consider not the enemy, but rather the usurped?

That is who concocted this plan to begin with and who are it’s heirs that continue to perpetuate it? I’m not poking fun here, yet rather recognize as you there has been a shift. Yet there is also a myth and that being at some point all was much better and the vast majority content and free. So where and when was this utopia, Shangri-La or was it Eden that you speak of and who is it that has taken it away from us?

I would admit to agree you point to things that we should be mindful and wary of, yet totally obscure when it comes to clearly identifying and make exclusive those responsible. I to share many of the same concerns, yet I do claim to be able to indentify those who have brought us here and who it is that can change it for the better, which for me are both one and the same, as being each one of us and all. So the next time you see written on your cup of coffee “caution hot” look inside before going outside to think, who was responsible that we be thought to be so mindless and helpless that we require such warnings to protect.

Best,

Phil

anonymous snowboarder said...

Bee,

197! Shockingly high but libertarians are an unusual bunch..

Tim said...

I scored 90/400.

A silly set of questions. As others have noted, libertarians cannot answer many of the questions as stated. The "Nolan Chart" uses a 2-axis system, containing a dimension of economic liberty and a dimension of personal liberty.

Still far from perfect. Physicists should not let themselves be confined to a single-axis system.

--Tim May

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
toomuchcoffeeman said...

305/400, which would reflect some kind of averaging between the USA and mainland Western Europe I guess ;-)

(and I agree, the questions are terrible. I'm currently rereading an excellent little book called The Tiger That Isn't, which is in a sense a spiritual descendant of the classic "How To Lie With Statistics", and so the loaded questions which alternate vagueness with extremely particular scenarios seem particularly specious)

Ewan said...

373; but echo others that the methodology is dodgy at best. [The one that vexed me most was the "The purpose of corporations is..." which I am confident was interpreted as "The purpose of corporations should be..."]

Overall, about what I'd have expected as a score, though.

Anonymous said...

Lubos : "My insanity score is only 85, nuts."

Well I'm not surprised, but based on a singing test your insanity score is much higher ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZxPTRfztsE

Alice (as in Wonderland) said...

292. My score was probably affected by my answer to the abortion question: I answered "strongly agree" that human life should be protected starting at conception.

I also believe that contraception should be available to ANYBODY who wants it, regardless of age or circumstance.

All of my other answers were straight lefty -- right down the line.

Bee said...

Hi Anonymous,

Very funny. This is possibly the worst video quality I've ever seen even on YouTube. As always, the comments are endlessly entertaining: "wtf is wrong with u this is fuckin retarted" - "Moron, I'm not the person in the video. It's surprising how someone as stupid as you managed to get on the internet" - "wow u really r retatred i never said u were in the video dumbass" --- "You do kinda deserve to die. Just look at your comments people hate you. Just do it. Jump..." - "I'll only jump if I know I'll land on you and kill you in the process. Anyway, who the hell are you?"

And so on and so on. Kinda sad what mankind is coming to, isn't it.

B.

andy.s said...

Bee, as always, Randall Munroe said it best: http://xkcd.com/202/

Raw score: 137.
Whoo hoo! I am 1/alpha!

Giotis said...

Hi Bee,

BTW, what is your opinion about this Zeitgeist movement? I like some of their ideas but they give me the impression of some kind of a cult. I would like to hear your opinion. Check their F.A.Q if you want.

Mum said...

As an old lady (60!) I think 295/400 is quite good.
Best Mum

Anonymous said...

Yes the video is indeed pretty funny, and I hardly see how we can take seriously anything Lubos says after seeing that video, his credibility gets a serious drop ;)
(he was probably just very drunk...)

But back on the Political ideologies, I scored a 270 which makes me far less progressive than I though I was. The only time I picked extreme choices were for moral issue where I don't think there should even be a debate (we're in 2009 for god sake, let gay people be gay !), but as for the role of the government I was a lot more moderate ...

changcho said...

311/400

Anonymous said...

339/400 I am still ticked off at the last president, but I lost a few points for not having an opinion of what deists think as long as they do it elsewhere.

Tim said...

It's amazing to me to see how many people are bragging about their scores that are way up above 250.


B asked us to comment, so I will. My score was a 90, for which I apologize. It was that high because so many of the questions were ambiguous.

Any score above 150 is shameful, deeply, deeply shameful.

B. will probably remove this comment, but she should not be faulting political comment about "progressivism" while also inviting us to submit and discuss our scores.

A lot of academics are "progressives." This is true.

And deeply, deeply shameful.


--Tim May

Anonymous said...

Phil:

The words you quoted were Eisenhower's, not mine, but that’s okay -- I quoted him because I agree with him.

I don't think there was ever an idyllic Eden that has been taken away from us. Life has always been more or less of a struggle. And there has always been a hierarchy -- a food chain, if you will. However, throughout most of history, its overall geometry has been that of a mountain range, with many local peaks of approximately equal height.

The problem we face now is that the global geometry is beginning to resemble a pyramid, having a single peak with exponentially decreasing width as a function of height. And this is a fundamental structural change, which will result in untold misery for the exponentially large majority of mankind who find themselves at the base of the pyramid.

In the mountain-range geometry, players at every level are mostly concerned with competing with a large number of other players of roughly equal size, and this strictly limits the resources available for systematically exploiting those below them. As the number of players at the top level gets smaller, proportionately less effort is required for competition and proportionately more resources can be devoted to exploitation. And when the number of players at the top level is reduced to one, that one can devote all the resources of the entire planet to the task of perpetuating the exploitation.

Let me rephrase that in terms of the food chain analogy. When bigger fish are fighting with each other and eating smaller fish all up and down the line, things may be difficult at every level, but not hopeless at any level. But when all that is left is one huge whale feeding on plankton, life is very easy for the whale, but the plankton have no hope at all.

The express intent of the globalists is to bring this about. They are doing everything they can to change the mountain range into a pyramid -- complete with the proverbial all-seeing eye, provided by ubiquitous computing, cashless commerce and biometrics.

As to who is behind this global push to replace free-market democracy, once and for all, with plutocratic oligopoly, I suggest you look into the doings of those who have the most to gain from it: the giant tax-exempt trusts, the global merchant banking families, and the entrenched noble houses. Start with names like Rothschild, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, du Pont, Morgan, Windsor, Habsburg…

In this endeavor you will be hampered by a great profusion of nonsense: secret societies, reptilian aliens, demon worship, and who knows what else. It makes the trail hard to follow, which is perhaps convenient, from a certain point of view.

However, if you take the effort to filter out the cacophony of incendiary screechings (which runs the gamut from slanderous innuendo to delusional psychobabble) and stick to the verifiable facts, you will uncover a cooperative / competitive dynamic which extends backwards in time until its traces are lost in antiquity.

We must start somewhere, so lets start with the fall of Rome, which was divided secularly into the Byzantine and Holy Roman Empires, and ecclesiastically into the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. For brevity’s sake, let's just trace one of these branches forward. For interest's sake, let's choose the lesser known one, from Byzantium through the banking families of Venice (who precipitated the first -- and worst -- global financial collapse in the 1340's, with their speculations in European silver and Chinese gold, mediated by their partnership with the Mongols) to Holland and Britain, and finally to America. Along the way, you might ask questions like, who financed Napoleon? And who financed Hitler? And who financed Stalin? And so on.

The way the answers to such questions fit together should be enough to dispel all doubt that you are following the trail of something real.

I’ve already quoted Eisenhower and Lincoln on this subject, but let me add two more presidents’ views on the matter:

Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.

-- Woodrow Wilson, 1913, The New Freedom, p. 13-14.

Notice the fear and self-exculpation in Wilson’s tone. He was, of course, the president who participated in the creation of the Federal Reserve. But if we go back to the previous attempt to create a central bank for the U.S. in period between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, we find a very different tone:

Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the grace of the Eternal God, I will rout you out.

-- Andrew Jackson, 1832

These words were spoken to a delegation from the Second Bank of the United States, as he was throwing them out of the Oval Office. Jackson paid the national debt down to zero by 1835, vetoed the Bank Renewal Bill in 1836, and annulled the bank’s charter.

America could use some of his cojones today.

But this post is now quite long enough; it should be enough to get you started. Whenever you find yourself disoriented, just remember one guideline, which will never fail to restore clarity:

Always follow the money.

Nirmalya said...

I got 335 too :)

Plato said...

PLato:Well with a new focused perspective on things( this principle always existed, one just did not recognize it.) and a relative position assumed, "a high mountain peak" takes precedence over "confined views" of "dualistic nature contained to the valley."

For anonymous above, in terms of following the money, most certainly.

But your interpretation of the pyramid is steeped in mythical valuations about some eye?:)Some such history that goes back to some blood line and the Grail Cup?

Yes, I know of what was Plato ideal was in terms of the "cities of the sun?" An ideal state?


In 1623 Bacon expressed his aspirations and ideals in The New Atlantis. Released in 1627, this was his creation of an ideal land where "generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendor, piety and public spirit" were the commonly held qualities of the inhabitants of Bensalem. In this work, he portrayed a vision of the future of human discovery and knowledge. The plan and organization of his ideal college, "Solomon's House", envisioned the modern research university in both applied and pure science.

IT is more that we should empower each person, to rise to the point of "critical thinking" which awakens, and not represents the 1% of the population that the symbol "you've empowered" thus represents, as acceptance of the sleeping nature of the masses.

You have to fight such denigration symbolically while it seeks to destroy another's model valuation, that is more to the core of our striving to become better human beings?

So there is conceptual modelling of the sort to explain the following.

The symbol to me represents energy. Bee might use it differently based on her interpretation. Penrose in another way.

And from a perspective, over top, it about overcoming "the lower centres in man." You recognize the square, as a earth value, the base, and from this, thought takes on new meaning.

You realize the matter formation of such thoughts while there is a rise to the ability to a finer disposition of the thought process. Emotively raising it to a place in mind, that is inspiration to the potential well being within us all.

Of course there is always baser emotive attachment in colour to such thought processes encapsulated around it. Not fanaticism, that is deceptive and very ugly in colour about replacing the wills of people with some other plan.

What you can't follow is what you have not yet in your understanding. Some "will realize" after taking the time.

Now is a confusing time, where dualistic natures intermingles and one looses sight of what is really important. That we all can rise above, while we recognize the mental capabilities that such thoughts have in relation to the Colour of Gravity.:)

You call it psychobabble and yet, you do not know me?:)

Zeitgeist is good to a point about understanding who were good men, who turned their back on the reserve, had done so, or were about too, and it cost them their lives. Kennedy and Lincoln?

To understand the mysticism is to understand "the psychology that a Hitler Played with" and is embedded in some Wagner Ring Cycle, was better understood in the book, The abandoned Child, The Authoritarian Father and the Disempowered Feminine( a Jungian understanding of the "Wagner's Ring Cycle" by Jean Shinoda Bolen.

Best,

Anonymous said...

189 Rates conservative, but I'm really more civil libertarian, as well as a pragmatic, analytical, EE professor.

John G said...

"But your interpretation of the pyramid is steeped in mythical valuations about some eye?:)Some such history that goes back to some blood line and the Grail Cup?"

Tony Smith has a friend named Ark Jadczyk who posted a few years ago on Peter Woit's blog (there were two Ark's there back then so you had to be careful). Anyway's Ark's wife has this book on Amazon with this description:

"If you heard the Truth, would you believe it? Ancient civilizations. Hyperdimensional realities. DNA changes. Bible conspiracies. What are the realities? What is disinformation? The Secret History of The World and How To Get Out Alive is the definitive book of the real answers where Truth is more fantastic than fiction. Laura Knight-Jadczyk, wife of internationally known theoretical physicist, Arkadiusz Jadczyk, an expert in hyperdimensional physics, draws on science and mysticism to pierce the veil of reality. Due to the many threats on her life from agents and agencies known and unknown, Laura left the United States to live in France, where she is working closely with Patrick Rivière, student of Eugene Canseliet, the only disciple of the legendary alchemist Fulcanelli. To this day, Laura continues to undergo ad-hominem attacks on her web pages, her blog and even as faux book 'reviews' on book seller websites, by those threatened by the information she reveals in this definitive work. Yet, with sparkling humour and wisdom, she picks up where Fulcanelli left off, sharing over thirty years of research to reveal, for the first time, The Great Work and the esoteric Science of the Ancients in terms accessible to scholar and layperson alike. Laura Knight-Jadczyk was interviews on BBC radio on February 12th, 2007. To read a transcript of this interview, go to the Red Pill Press (.) com."

I've been harrassed a bit myself after getting interested in Ark's ideas. It spooked my wife enough that she now keeps oxygen bottles in front of the door at night, though I'm not really sure how that helps against a government psyop.

John Fudjack was a 60s war protester and has protested recent government documents like PNAC so I don't know if that association helped get me on a watch list too. There's definitely something wierd and dangerous out there.

Anonymous said...

Plato:

You are right that the all-seeing eye, which appears in the capstone of the thirteen-step pyramid on the Great Seal of the United States and on American paper money, is also used as an occult symbol in certain esoteric teachings.

But I was speaking from a very practical point of view, using it as a metaphor for the surveillance society.

In your pursuit of higher levels of consciousness, remember:

Only the free can allow themselves the luxury of "striving to become better human beings."

Slaves have no option but to be what they are told to be.

Lord Acton, speaking on February 28, 1877, put it this way:

Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.

Anonymous said...

John G:

Perfect example!

On the one hand, Laura Knight-Jadczyk claims to communicate with reptilian space aliens with a ouija board. On the other hand, she makes the following insightful remark about Western populations, which are made narcissistic by the industrial psychologists of Madison Avenue and rendered helpless by the statist legislators of Capitol Hill:

"It is not group helplessness that leads to narcissistic rage, it is narcissistic rage that produces group helplessness ...

And a helpless group can be driven to any evil, even to their own destruction."

So I repeat: take the effort to filter out the cacophony of incendiary screechings (which runs the gamut from slanderous innuendo to delusional psychobabble) and stick to the verifiable facts!

Plato said...

John G. and Anonymous,

Maybe a study then of Political Ponerology?

See Wikipedia description as well here.

One has to be well suited to understand the play on words/symbols which can become a the decadent agenda to subvert the population away from empowering them with the responsibility of deciding what kind of future they want.

They cannot be asleep while doing this. Allocate this to future to the aggression of a warring and police state of a neolibertarian view.

To know what was shown previous in terms of recognizing the energy we have contained in our own thought processes, would be to point out the need to empower the individual as to choice and the future. Prepare them for this responsibility then to not be swayed by rhetoric that is far from the truth of the orators.

Socratics knew to listen for the best of them and listened for the truth to be drawn out.

So how do you do that? Know thyself?:)

Best,

Plato said...

WE have discussed Glenn T. Seaborg here before.


Best,

Anonymous said...

Plato:

You speak of "the need to empower the individual as to choice and the future," and that is exactly what we need to do! Which, incidentally, is exactly the Libertarian point of view.

The way to accomplish it is to
stop disempowering the individual.

Schooling, which sacrifices education for the sake of indoctrination, disempowers the individual.

Advertising, which cultivates narcissism and neuroses leading to compulsive consumption, disempowers the individual.

Mass media, which promotes the secular slave-religion of cowardice and learned helplessness called political correctness, disempowers the individual.

Taxation, which confiscates the fruits of a person's labors to further the agenda of the state, disempowers the individual.

Law, which renders a person defenceless against thieves and oppressors, disempowers the individual.

These are the fundamental evils that are destroying civil society.

Repair them and society will repair itself.

On the subject of ponerology, consider the following:

The evil of the corruption and falsification of law, religion, education and public opinion is so enormous that the minds of ordinary people are unable to grasp it.

-- George Bernard Shaw

John G said...

Laura Knight-Jadczyk is a co-owner of a ponerology blog too.

http://ponerology.blogspot.com

Until shortly before the economic collapse became public, they very much realized it was beneficial for their cause to de-emphasize the more esoteric stuff (even though they do study that stuff very scientifically).

Given how bad they see things getting, they are emphasizing everything they can now, no time to break it to the public slowly any more.

They don't channel the so-called reptilian aliens (who are better described as hyperdimensional entities than space aliens), they channel a different group.

Plato said...

Anonymous,

You speak of "the need to empower the individual as to choice and the future," and that is exactly what we need to do! Which, incidentally, is exactly the Libertarian point of view.

More a "social democracy" perhaps, then a social liberty?

I seem to be confusing things in terms of Neoliberalism.

The degradation of armies and police forces are seen when we remove the "watchdog" so to speak, to let it run a muck under such a "libertarian view" as to ensure their own political agendas?

How does the libertarian point of view stop this dis-empowerment?

How does libertarian encourage education, while suppressing indoctrination?

How does a libertarian view, stop the neuroses leading to compulsive consumption?

How does a libertarian view stop the promotion of an secular slave-religion of cowardice and learned helplessness called political correctness?

....and so on.

John G.,

I would tend to an recognition of a road leading to "communication and openness" of an "all possible outcome." Yet, by such attainment having arrived, not to be supplanted beyond "our father in heaven," whose voice is it then?

WE are one and the same?

We use energy all the time in our thought processes? The voice and orator, as a concept, and "Violet?" Who are these people then, besides the names you mentioned?

Best,

John G said...

Yes yes yes. One group is us, the other neighbors, in what we would call the future.

Libertarian ideas could use a little more heart, they sound too cold.

Anonymous said...

Plato:

A free man needs no standing army and no police. These are tools of the state.

One supports education and interdicts indoctrination simply by boycotting schools that indoctrinate. Most importantly, one refuses to allow the state to have anything to do with education.

People who are brought up strong and free are typically sane. The systematic induction of mass neurosis -- the creation of an entire nation of narcissists -- was accomplished by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, which exist in their present malignant form only because too much wealth and power are concentrated in too few hands.

Political correctness should better be called by its true name: Cultural Marxism. A society of free, informed and independent citizens would not be fertile soil for such an intellectually and morally poisonous weed, which would naturally wither for lack of any institutions that could propagate it artificially.

There is very little difference in practice between neoliberals and neoconservatives, except the rhetoric they use to justify their atrocities. Both are collectivist and that is their fatal flaw: the one leads to totalitarianism and the other leads to fascism.

Collectivism in any form can only result in untold misery for the individual.

Plato said...

Anonymous,

Just so you see how the deterioration has crept into your thinking, so as to show, my confusion, has also become yours.

This is the dualistic nature that has allowed us to intermingle language in constitutions that speak a different language when assigned "to entities" that are real or not? Under law most certainly, but it has escaped the thinking mind to "allow robots" to think they are human.

Neoliberalism

It could also be realistically theorized that a less influential government, weakened by the over-empowerment of the economy, would result in the formation of coercive market elements that could not be easily controlled even as they cause harm to the economy, citizens and the environment. Rationalized by the idea of the corporation as a individual with all the rights normally associated to the average citizen, in essence the corporation is allowed to become an above average equal to the citizens of the nation (as it has great power in the economic sphere as well as equal civil rights in jurisprudence reality), within the scope of this rationalization the state is seen as infringing on the rights of the entity in the same way personal rights can be recognized as having been violated by state limitations to the freedoms given to every person.

When I said Obama would need to turn his back on the Chicago school, you would have got my meaning very well under that rote system.

It was Lincoln himself who provide for the means to discern, with experiment, that was to confront the reserve and revealed the entropic value of printed money and how it is disseminated throughout the system.

If you only have so much money to print and assigned a number to each bill to keep track of, where are the numbers of those dollar bills that have become the method of barter that suddenly appeared out of no where?

Lincoln's Greenback?

If the energy is conserved, how can "new energy" be injected? More dollar bills?( yes I always appreciate a science mind to correct if I have failed to keep true to the science value.)

Best,

Anonymous said...

Plato:

The egregious flaw in reasoning under your heading of "neoliberalism" is that it takes literally the legal fiction that a corporation is a person. Starting from this false premise it reaches the false conclusion that government needs to be bigger and more powerful to deal with these big powerful so-called "corporate citizens."

Corporations are not persons. All actions attributed to corporations are actually the actions of the owners, directors or officers of that corporation. Including the actions that constitute crimes.

So the correct way of looking at this is to remove the fiction from the equation. Then it becomes clear that the least harm and greatest benefit to the people will result from making both governments and corporations smaller and weaker, while strengthening the individual.

But of course, neither the collectivists of the left, nor the collectivists of the right will do this, because it does not further their agenda, which is the exact opposite: to strengthen governments and corporations, while weakening the individual.

Dollar bills with serial numbers account for only a small fraction of the money in the world. The majority of it has no physical existence at all; it is merely an entry in an account ledger. It can be created and destroyed at the whims of bankers, subject only the laws passed by the governments with which they are incestuously intertwined.

Money is not what you think it is. It is not like energy or electric charge. It is not conserved. Its value us easily manipulated by those who can create it and destroy it, but unpredictable to everyone else.

Plato said...

Anonymous:The egregious flaw in reasoning under your heading of "neoliberalism" is that it takes literally the legal fiction that a corporation is a person. Starting from this false premise it reaches the false conclusion that government needs to be bigger and more powerful to deal with these big powerful so-called "corporate citizens."

You answered what I had already put up for consideration. I already knew what was fiction and what was not. The analogy of the robot came up for a reason.

By my example of Lincoln's Green back I already understood what paper money exists and what doesn't and what is created out of thin air and who does it.

United States Note

The difference between a United States Note and a Federal Reserve Note was that a United States Note represented a "bill of credit" where the currency was transferred into circulation free of interest. Federal Reserve Notes are based on debt, and thus bear interest to bank with stockholders which serves as a lending intermediary between the Government and the citizenry.

You see, Credit and debt?

So if you understand so well, then what pray tell am I saying? Apply it to what is happening today. Why I might suggest Obama must turn his back on the Chicago school.

Best,

Anonymous said...

Plato:

You are right, I did misunderstand your intent. And I must admit, I often find myself unsure how to interpret your phrasing.

So, then, we agree about the corporation... though the image of the Golem may fit even better than the robot.

As to your remark about the Chicago School, I guess you are referring to the so-called Freshwater School of Economics. Problem is, there hasn't been a real economist around there since the days of Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman. These days they have lost their way and are all full of Keynesian Poisonomics and the Efficient Market Fallacy. To associate this point of view with libertarian thought is misleading, to say the least.

What is true is that libertarianism embraces the Austrian School of Friedman, von Hayek, Rothbard, and von Mises. Where I personally differ from their views is that I favor much more radical empowerment of the individual. I have already laid out in previous posts what I mean by this, in terms ceasing to disempower the individual and ceasing to infringe on individual rights.

And if you are serious about stimulating the economy, the best way to do it is to make sure people have more money in their wallets. And the best way to do that is to stop taking the money out of their wallets! Let the living-dead zombie corporations die, so their remains can fertilize a spurt of healthy new growth, put an end to income tax, and see how fast the economy recovers!

But of course, neither the collectivists of the left, nor the collectivists of the right will do these things, because it does not further their agenda, which is to strengthen governments and corporations and weaken the individual.

mike cassidy said...

335/400 which is no surprise for anyone who has known me since the 60's

John G said...

Oh yea I never mentioned my score. 296, not bad for someone who voted twice for Reagan and four times for Bushes.

Wes Peters said...

177, which doesn't really describe just how conservative I am when it comes to government. Many of the questions are rigged, having two unlinked parts, so you can't agree with one without agreeing with the other.

Yes, America should lead the world in the race away from fossil fuels. No, that doesn't involve signing up for idiocies like the Kyoto protocol, which legally no US Government can sign up for; it's unconstitutional to turn over control of the USA to a foreign power.

Yes, America needs much better schools. No, it's not EVER going to get them from the federal government, so why keep wasting 40% of our education dollars on a giant bureaucracy that serves only to detract from the schools?

Anonymous said...

243/400 .... and I wind up mumbling unhappily, because my self-image is more "skeptical conservative" than "progressive." I think there's some bias built into that test, to be honest.

-mike shupp

Joe said...

My problem with most of these questions is that they reflect the spectrum of allowed opinion in American society, and don't go outside those bounds. The questions don't allow for any kind of socialism, for example.