home -> politics

Political Philosophies

There is a great quiz on the internet, where you can learn about the 5 basic political viewpoints in American politics in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

The quize can be found at: www.theadvocates.org

The five Political Philosophies (from their website) are:

Left (Liberal)

Liberals usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded "safety net" to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.


Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.


Centrist prefer a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice. Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.

Right (Conservative)

Conservatives tend to favor economic freedom, but frequently support laws to restrict personal behavior that violates "traditional values." They oppose excessive government control of business, while endorsing government action to defend morality and the traditional family structure. Conservatives usually support a strong military, oppose bureaucracy and high taxes, favor a free-market economy, and endorse strong law enforcement.

Statists (Big Government)

Statists want government to have a great deal of power over the economy and individual behavior. They frequently doubt whether economic liberty and individual freedom are practical options in today's world. Statists tend to distrust the free market, support high taxes and centralized planning of the economy, oppose diverse lifestyles, and question the importance of civil liberties.

4 corners and the centerYou can think of these 5 as the four corners of a square and the middle. Again, from their website, here's a diagram showing their relationship with each other. The red dot is where the quiz said I am, by the way. Notice the 2 scales: One is for personal issues and the other for economic issues. Personal issues refer to how free people can be to life their own lifestyle. Economic issues refer to economic responsibility of the embraced philosophy. Click on the image to go to their quiz see where you stand. After all, you did not "create" your own philosophy, you have embraced one that has probably been around since ... time began!