Can We Guess If You’re More of a Socialist or Capitalist?

By: Zoe Samuel
Estimated Completion Time
8 min
British 20 Pound Notes Is greed actually good or not?
Yes
It can be good within limits.
It is mostly bad, but reasonable ambition is OK.
It is the source of all evil.

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UK Income Tax Form What should the top rate of income tax be?
Taxation is theft.
50% over £1m, 45% over £350K, 30% over £100K, and nothing under £20,000
70% over £1m, 50% over £350K, 35% over £100K, and 25% or less under £50K
From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs

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No amount is too much, obviously.
It's not about absolute amounts. It's about inequalities and lack of mobility.
There is no reason to allow billionaires to exist. If you are a billionaire, you are being selfish.
Money is evil.

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Women on London bus If you were to spot a liberal, which way would you have to turn to look at them?
I might be one. You don't know me!
I could look just to my left.
I could look at most of my friends.
I'd have to turn to my right then use a telescope.

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Factory Should the means of production be owned by the workers?
No. Capital will not invest if it cannot get a return.
Giving equity to workers is a good motivator, so some of it should be, yes.
Yes. Workers should have a seat on the board, a say in the company, strong unions and ideally some ownership.
Of course. All of it.

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Car edge of cliff Karl Marx and Milton Friedman are stuck in a car on the edge of a cliff. You can save one. Who do you save?
I push both those communists into the ravine.
I save Friedman! What a guy.
I save Marx, but not because I like him, it's just because he's the one I recognize.
I save my hero, Karl Marx, then I give the car to the workers.

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Healthcare What's something that you would be willing to nationalise (that is, single payer, if not provider)?
Nothing. It's absurd that we don't fund the military privately.
Defense, some infrastructure, most of healthcare and education
Healthcare, education, infrastructure, transit, defense, parks system, housing
Everything

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Workers celebrate Your business is going well. How do you ensure the workers share in the good times?
I consider a raise if they threaten to leave, can find other jobs, and can't be easily replaced. Otherwise, nuts to 'em.
I give them a bonus that includes equity and cash. I also add generous perks like a gym, extra time off and so on.
I already made them stakeholders, with equity, a seat on the board, and working with the union. Also, bonuses!
It is a worker-owned co-op so we all share!

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Halloween Candy Your neighbour posts a photo of herself taking away some of her children's Halloween haul of sweets, "To show them what socialism is like." Is this clever of her?
Yes, but she should pay a nanny to do it. Her time is for pursuing profit or mocking commies who give away sweets.
This is not funny and is quite cruel to the children.
That's literally not how socialism works, so no, it's not clever.
Under socialism, all children would already have sweets, and not need to beg for them.

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University Student If someone asked you to define socialism, then communism, what would the difference be?
They're the same thing.
Communism is more hardcore.
Communism collectivizes the means of production; socialism does not necessarily.
Socialism does not go far enough.

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Pay bill What percentage of your friends couldn't meet a surprise £1,000 expense without borrowing?
Why would I be friends with such a failure?
It can't be more than one or two.
Some of them
All of them

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Last Will and Testament Lisa a self-made woman who might leave her fortune to her layabout son, Jake. What would you advise?
Lisa should spend it all before she dies. Jake will make his own.
She should leave some to Jake, but not so much that he becomes spoiled. The remainder is for tax or donation.
She should leave some to Jake. The rest should go to the inheritance tax. Inherited wealth is only OK in moderation.
Lisa's fortune should be redistributed immediately.

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Work Team Some people at your workplace are unionising! What's your leading concern?
I didn't know about it before it happened, so I could fire the troublemakers. Now I might be sued. Sigh.
If I'd been a better boss, maybe they would not have felt the need. I must find out what I did wrong.
No concerns here. We've been a union shop since the beginning.
Unionising is not enough! We must seize control of the means of production.

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Audience applauding What political saying do you find yourself uttering most often?
"Greed is good." — Gordon Gekko
"Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice." — Adam Smith
Sharing is caring." — Sesame Street
"Workers of the world, unite!" — Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels

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Business Meeting Is there such a thing as a win-win situation in business?
No. You must crush your enemies.
Sure, that's the best kind of deal!
Yes, but only if everyone plays by the rules.
No

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Plane flying What's the best way to stop capital fleeing the country?
Abolish tax!
Reasonable tax regimes
Heavy penalties or outright bans on offshoring capital
Collectivise it all

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Beautiful, Modern home A wealthy oligarch has bought all the best homes in town, and now prices are too high. What happens next?
What a winner! Now everyone will have to rent from them.
Rampant inequality that harms the social fabric and increases crime, unless people stop it.
The people vote in a local government that taxes upzones and otherwise regulates the situation back to sanity.
Hopefully, pitchforks followed by a swift guillotining

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Woman standing against wall Who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes?
The revolution won't come. The rich have the military on our side.
The most heartless of the capitalists, hopefully
Historically, minorities generally get hurt, which is doubly wrong when it's the billionaires we should be targeting.
The rich

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Woman reading book What lesson did you take from George Orwell's book, "Animal Farm"?
Some animals really are more equal than others.
If you don't treat people fairly, they rebel, and so they should.
Revolution is a dangerous thing, because it can go wrong.
The forces of evil are constantly trying to mess with us.

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Mao Fascism What do you dislike most about fascism?
If you're not friends with the dictator, your company gets taken away.
Crushing of free speech and free enterprise, corruption, and destruction of democratic norms
Bigotry, injustice and, well, all the murders
Everything

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Child Asking Questions A little child asks why it is wrong to discriminate against people who are different to you. What do you tell them?
I ask them what hippie put such nonsense in their head.
I tell them to take individuals as just that, individuals, and not assume things about them or treat them differently.
I tell them everyone is equal, and our differences make us beautiful and special, and we should celebrate them.
I tell them our differences are superficial surface stuff that you can ignore.

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Magician with wand You get a magic wand to make everyone in society do one thing, once a year. What do you choose?
Buy my products
Show up and vote, every time (and not put obstacles in the way of anyone doing so)
Follow news from legitimate sources, learn how to fact-check, and learn how to identify reporting vs. opinion
Renounce the profit motive

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London Fireworks How do you feel when you watch "Last Night of the Proms"?
A little bored
Patriotic, inspired and entertained
Enthralled by the beautiful music
Offended by this gross imperialistic celebration

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Butler In "Downton Abbey," who do you root for?
Lord Grantham
The up-and-coming cousin turned heir
The lefty sister and her chauffeur husband
The servants. All of them.

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UK Parliament What is the greatest British legislative achievement of the last 300 years?
It's really all been downhill in that time.
Repeal of the Corn Laws
The Great Reform Act
The Abolition of Slavery

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Chinese communists Every political and economic group has its enemy. Who is yours?
Commies
Fascists to the right of me, hippies to the left (though the former are admittedly rather more frightening)
Extremists of any kind
Greed is my only true enemy.

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Dinner party At a dinner party, you find yourself stuck next to someone who disagrees with you about everything, but to your delight, it's still a great conversation! What do they believe?
They are an atheist, vegan hippie but they make a good argument.
They are a hardcore socialist who will accept nothing short of total victory (but hates communism).
They are a powerful executive who believes in the market but also has a strong philanthropic streak.
This is not possible.

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Private School You discover the local school is not good. Your parents offer to pay fees to go private. Do you?
Why wouldn't I?
Reluctantly, yes
I would never take my parents' money. I'll move.
No, on principle

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Climate Change A genie offers to pass one climate change rule that everyone will magically obey. What is it?
"Stop talking about it." It's happening but it's scary and boring so maybe we can just pretend it's not.
Carbon tax, end fossil fuel subsidies, prevent polluters avoiding liability
End fossil fuel subsidies, including military ones, eventually leading to a ban. Major economic overhaul of all sectors.
Green New Deal, like they want in America

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Sidewalk You find £5 on the pavement. What happens now?
I have £5 I didn't have before.
Knowing me, I feel rich now, so I spend £10 out of sheer excitement.
I buy a little treat. What a nice day I'm having!
The next "charity mugger" I see meets their quota.

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