So I had quite a surprise the other day after taking this nifty little quiz. Turns out I appear to side with Gary Johnson -- the Libertarian Party candidate for President -- on 87% of policy issues. This is a bit awkward for me. Although I like libertarian views on some things (stay out of our bedrooms, decriminalize drugs, don't drop bombs on on people's heads halfway across the world, etc.), on most matters I have always considered myself a Rawlsian. What gives? One possibility is that I don't practice what I preach -- that I am a Rawlsian in the philosophy room but a libertarian out of it. But I don't think that's what's going on. Another possibility is that I think Rawlsians tend to misunderstand how Rawls' theory applies to nonideal social and political conditions, and this has somehow affected how I judge real-world policies. But I don't think this is what's going on either in this case. No, what I think is going on is that my "libertarian" policy views probably reflect Rawls' sometimes-neglected distinction between the welfare state and property-owning democracy. Rawls, after all, was not a fan of the welfare state. For although the welfare state has social programs for the (unjustly) disadvantaged, it is also marked by enormous concentrations of capital that serve to (A) unjustly influence politics, and (B) encourage the poor to become disaffected in light of the vast inequalities they face. In contrast, a property-owning democracy spreads capital widely throughout its citizenry, encouraging the development of small-business, entrepreneurship, and an independent citizenry that supports the self-respect of its members. This, I think, is the most likely explanation of my results.
What say you, my fellow Cocooners? If you've taken the quiz (and you should!), do your results surprise you?