The Libertarian Purity Test

Seems that bloggers have a strong urge to post their scores for Bryan Caplan’s Libertarian Purity Test. So here’s a spot where you can post your score and find blogs with similar (or different) scores.

[Go here to see the table and the form.](

The test does seem to be another one of those tests that tries to convince you that you are a libertarian. It said that I was a “soft-core libertarian”, which I don’t think is right, but it’s still fun as long as you don’t take the results too seriously.

If you are in a test taking mood, you can visit my other postings that let you post test results.

Update: Joe Carter also has a collection of results of the test.

And here is Caplan’s original posting of the test in 1993.

Update 2: Since some people have entered their results for both this test and the Political Compass I thought it would be interesting to see how the Libertarian/Authoritarian score on that test related to the score on the test. The answer, shown in the graph below, is there is no relation at all. The next graph shows that the higher your Left/Right score is, the higher your libertarian score is. The last graph plots the actual Libertarian purity test scores on the political compass. In theory, the high numbers should be in the bottom right quadrant, but that is not particularly true.

Libertarian Political Compass graph

Libertarian Political Compass graph

Libertarian Political Compass graph


  1. #1 Stephen Bainbridge
    March 9, 2004

    Tim: My post listed both Will Baude’s score and mine. You used Will’s score for both of us, but I scored a much lower 24. Steve

  2. #2 Kevin Baker
    March 10, 2004

    I scored 54.

  3. #3 PZ Myers
    March 10, 2004

    Ugh. Awful, crappy test, poorly designed, that doesn’t adequately evaluate much of anything. I’m an anti-libertarian, if anything, and that this test somehow assumes I have libertarian leanings because I have liberal views about legalizing drugs and private sexual activities is vaguely offensive.

    I’m more likely to think that maybe anyone who scores above 50 on this thing ought to be dragged away to a good Socialist Reeducation Camp, than to think I need to explore libertarian ideas further.

  4. #4 Jim Henley
    March 11, 2004

    I took the test a second time and scored only 82. Another couple of attempts and I’ll be Atrios. Hey, I could use the traffic.

    Now, as to the results page. Might I suggest that there is some dry humor in the rank descriptions that some people are freaking oblivious to??

  5. #5 Jim Henley
    March 11, 2004

    And in honor of the venue, doesn’t the test seem strangely devoid of gun-related questions?

  6. #6 countertop
    March 11, 2004

    Well, i just took the test again for this page and scored a 103. Previous times, making certain assumptions (my pre and post 9/11 mindset) retuned the following results – 88, 91, 110

  7. #7 Ralph E. Luker
    March 11, 2004

    Tim, For my findings of scores on the net, see:

  8. #8 Clayton E. Cramer
    March 11, 2004

    I scored 45, but part of this is that some questions really don’t have such simple answers. For example, the question about abolishing Social Security. I answered NO, even though I think it is a bad idea, because so many people have retired, or are about to retire, based on the promise of Social Security. Many government programs need to be phased out, to avoid disruption and unnecessary suffering.

  9. #9 uh_clem
    March 12, 2004

    Just 10 points for me, thank you.

    I probably would’ve scored up in the 80’s when I was a teenager, but I’ve grown out of my Libertarian phase. Contact with reality does that to a person.

    Some of the questions in the last section are just plain bizarre:
    “Should the law itself be privatized? “
    That’s a notion so far out, I’m not even sure what it means.

  10. #10 Ampersand
    March 12, 2004

    Just a six for me, thank you. I would have scored higher if there had been some questions designed more to capture left-wing libertarian impulses, though (why no questions about abortion rights, for instance?).

  11. #11 Al Maviva
    March 12, 2004

    41 on the Libertarian Purity Test.

    On the political compass: Economic Left/Right: 4.50 (pretty far right); Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 1.44 (a little more authoritarian than libertarian). Wonder how my mates at Sasha the Blogatrix would do?

    As I always tell people, Hayekian/Burke-ian. I may have to switch the order of that around, though, based on the political compass. I’m not so sure though – they put Maggie Thatcher awful close to Adolph Hitler, a popular stance for the Guardian & the Nation, but doesn’t hold much water elsewhere.

  12. #12 Walter Olson
    March 12, 2004

    I scored a 75.

  13. #13 Failed M.C.
    March 13, 2004

    I’m consider myself a small-l libertarian Democrat, but somehow I got an 8. Apparently my aversion to private currency and/or bartering is weirder than I thought.

  14. #14 theogon
    March 13, 2004

    I’m a socialist, but the test says I have “libertarian leanings” (13). Stupid cultural/foreign policy questions.

  15. #15 SayUncle
    March 13, 2004

    32. Heh! that surprises me, thought i’d be higher.

  16. #16 The Lonewacko Blog
    March 13, 2004

    The Lonewacko Blog is most definitely neither a statist nor a “liberal.” The Lonewacko Blog is a realist. Neither does The Lonewacko Blog want to return to the halcyon days of feudalism.

  17. #17 Publicola
    March 13, 2004

    I scored 105. As has been pointed out, some of the questions could have been a little more detailed. I’m sure a lot of people hit “no” on the one about abolishing SS simply because they think it should be phased out instead of cut off abruptly. But what can you expect from a yes or no political evaluation test? To be more precise it’d have be more time consuming & possibly a lot less fun.

  18. #18 Ravages
    March 14, 2004

    Personally, I am surprised I didnt get a higher score. But that may be due to the fact that I didnt answer a few questions.
    I think the quiz is too US of A centric. I am from India and therefore the questions dont apply to me. If they were more general, I would have scored more.

  19. #19 Pathetic Earthlings
    March 15, 2004

    A cool test, but the weighting of it seemed odd. Also, there’s the problem with gradual v. immediate libertarian policies. I biased toward answering in the affirmative where a reasonable interpretation of the question could be defended.

  20. #20 tgirsch
    March 15, 2004

    Somebody posted “tgrish” for me, but that’s a duplicate. I’m really “tgirsch” 🙂

  21. #21 Lee Killough
    July 5, 2004

    The voucher questions are the biggest fallacy of the quiz.

    Answering “no” to “would [school/housing] vouchers be better” should be counted as “more pure” instead of “less pure”.

    I answered “no” to “vouchers” and “yes” to abolishing public schools. That is more pure than “yes to vouchers”. At least the abolition questions count more than the voucher ones do.

    I scored 116.

    I do not expect to be considered “100% pure” by any measure.
    Where I differ with anarcho-capitalists the most, is in the area of criminal justice. I believe there should be a monopoly, whether it is called the “state” or something else, which ensures “equal justice under the law” (but not necessarily the 14th Amendment’s version of it), through
    public trial by jury, and all the rest.

    But as for institutions which do not involve coercion, and which involve transactions unanimously consented to by all parties, yes, I think they should be “privatized”.

    I think that “vouchers” and government “sub-contracting” (which the quiz was right to clarify at the beginning with respect to “privatization”), are worse than the status quo. “Partial deregulation”, “vouchers”, “drugs legalized but by prescription only through state doctors”, “gay marriage by state license”, “euthanasia by state doctors”, “private mercenary armies”, “subcontracting of government police state coercion”, etc., are cures worse than the disease.

    So I would actually improve the quiz to tell the pure from the “impure” libertarians on the basis of how strongly they agree with these concerns and reject half-measures in favor of full ones.

    Also, I would, on all online quizzes, randomize the answers so that there is not the appearance of any “right” answer to all of the questions, forcing the reader to think about each one separately.

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