What % Socialist Are You?

By: Zoe Samuel
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
What % Socialist Are You?
Image: Cultura/Philip Lee Harvey/Cultura/Getty Images

About This Quiz

"Socialism" has a muddled reputation, and before we get into how socialist you are, we're going to get into why this is. Socialism does not actually mean nationalizing all companies and abolishing private capital. That is communism, a separate ideology to the left of socialism. 

Socialism is also not the same thing as liberalism, the ideology to its right. Liberalism is less redistributive and tends to be reformist (i.e., making small changes while preserving the system) while socialism is revolutionary (overturning the system altogether). For example, a liberal might support permitting all people to access the institution of marriage, while a communist would reject the entire idea of marriage, and a socialist might be a mix.

Meanwhile, a liberal might use a carbon tax to stop a fossil fuel company from polluting with impunity; a socialist might phase in a moratorium on fossil fuels; a communist would just nationalize the oilfields and stop digging. To a communist, socialism is an interim step on the road to communism; to a socialist, it is the endpoint. Thus, someone who identifies as a socialist probably isn't a communist. Socialism can also include community (i.e., non-state) regulation of activities and companies; by some definitions, a church is a socialist enterprise, as is any company offering stock to its workers.

There are three main reasons that socialism gets mixed up with its neighbors. First, the Cold War resulted in lumping anything even vaguely left-wing together. Second, most liberals and conservatives actually like some socialist policies like highways and Medicare. Third, Karl Marx called communism "scientific socialism" to distinguish it from what he saw as woollier brands of socialism, a branding exercise the USSR later found useful.

Like society, most healthy people are a blend of ideologies, which means we can identify how socialist any given person is. What's your number?

Should the state simply cease to exist?
Yes!
No, then the market will kill us all.
No, then warlords will kill us all.
Only if I get to be either one of the warlords or on the right side of the market.

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What's the best solution to climate change?
Nationalize all means of production, then simply stop using carbon-intense fuels.
Green New Deal
Carbon dividend
Innovation is the only option.

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How do you feel about for-profit companies?
They are Satan.
Big ones are evil. Little ones owned by Mom and Pop are OK.
Most are good. Some are bad.
They are saints.

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For what cause would you go to a march?
Destroying capitalism!
Fairer wages
Women's rights
Gun rights

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What deceased political thinker do you admire?
Karl Marx
Robert Owen
J. S. Mill
Edmund Burke

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What sort of car do you drive?
I don't believe in cars.
I generally use transit but when I drive, it's either something really old or something electric.
Tesla
Hummer

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How do you feel about the institution of marriage?
It's evil!
It needs to be totally overhauled if it is to stay.
It's great, and everyone should join it who wants to.
It's great, but it is only for some people to join.

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How do you feel about communists?
They're great!
They're like that embarrassing drunk uncle who I hope people realize I can't stand either.
They're utter idiots but currently less dangerous than fascists.
I hate them!

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Is healthcare a right?
Of course!
Healthcare that is free at the point of need is a right. Obviously, unlimited healthcare is impossible and probably a bad idea.
No, but it is the only ethical choice for a society to provide it.
No, but providing it can be a good investment.

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Who is a voice you admire in today's politics?
Jeremy Corbyn
Elizabeth Warren
Nick Hanauer
Howard Schultz

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Which country is a good role model?
The one that Marx describes in "The Communist Manifesto"
Norway
Germany
Russia

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Would you describe yourself as a feminist?
No! Feminism is not inclusive enough!
Mostly. It's not perfect, but it's the leading force protecting women's freedom.
Yes. Duh.
No. I am an equalist.

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Does socialism automatically mean a high level of government involvement in your life?
Nope. It's a step on the road to communism and the ultimate withering of the state.
Nope. That's authoritarianism. It's not even on the same axis.
Not necessarily. Depends if it is liberal socialism or state socialism.
Yes, obviously.

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Should workers have a seat on corporate boards?
Corporations shouldn't exist, so no.
Yes, it is the only way to ensure they are heard.
That's a fine idea but it depends on the company.
No, only investors should.

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How do you feel about labor unions?
They won't be necessary in the coming utopia.
They're great and necessary.
They're good, but they can go too far and kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
They are the work of Satan.

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What is a good example of socialism doing a good job?
Socialism doesn't do a good job. It doesn't go far enough for that.
Literacy rates thanks to free elementary and secondary education.
Decreased maternal and infant mortality thanks to broader healthcare provisions.
Decreased pandemics because of sewers, which some say are socialist.

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Where would you say socialism went wrong?
It didn't turn into communism where I hoped it would.
In the UK, where it scared people off and handed control to the Conservatives for 18 years
In France, where they strike at the drop of a hat and you can't fire anyone, meaning that hiring is also lower.
Venezuela

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Who should be allowed to serve in the military?
The military should be abolished!
Ideally, the military would be much smaller, but within that, anyone can serve.
Whoever can pass the tests and wants to serve should be part of our big military.
Straight people

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What is something that you think of as kinda socialist, that almost never gets called socialism?
Church
Highways and sewers
Medicare and Medicaid
Income tax

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Who is "the economy"?
The workers
Workers and corporations
Workers, corporations and the state
Corporations

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What's a good reason to have a war?
To help an oppressed working class overthrow the bourgeoisie.
You've been invaded.
Another country has been invaded and you're helping them.
Another country has stuff you want.

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What should the hourly minimum wage be?
$40
$22
$15
There should not be one.

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Who should you never trust?
Corporations
Fascists
Communists
Liberals

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Who is likely to take away your rights if they get a chance?
The state
Corporations
People with guns who want to hurt me.
People who want to take guns away so they can hurt me.

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What is the biggest reason for growing inequality?
Fatcat capitalists
Weakened unions
Automation
People are lazier now.

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Assuming everyone was going to obey it, what one law would you like to pass?
I'd abolish the state.
I'd make a rule about the maximum ratio between worker and CEO salaries.
I'd pass a revenue-neutral carbon tax.
I'd make sure everyone has a gun.

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By a quirk of fate, you have become president on a manifesto to be very, very socialist. What spending priority will your socialist administration have?
Resigning en masse so as to trigger the end of capitalism
Infrastructure
Climate change
Colonizing Mars

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What one modification could we each make in our lives to bring about more socialism?
Don't buy anything.
Refuse to buy from companies that don't pay a living wage.
Vote in every election.
Give up our freedom!

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Why do you think socialism is so misunderstood?
The right-wing media wants it to be.
Because honestly, Marx was kind of a twit.
People are stupid.
It is Hitler's fault for co-opting it in the early 1920s for its populist appeal, shortly before he murdered anyone vaguely socialist in his party.

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What is a reasonable tax rate on marginal incomes over $10 million?
Nobody should make that much, so 100%.
70%
50%
35%

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You Got:

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