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04 June 2010

C4SS questionnaire loaded

The Center for a Stateless Society, like many marketist groups, hosts a web-based Find Your Philosophy Quiz. As is par for the course with these quizzes, I can't find my philosophy in the quiz, precisely because the questions are worded in a way that excludes my philosophy.

7. Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
Big business and government ordinarily work hand in hand, though one partner is sometimes more powerful than the other.

I would think at best they are missing an opportunity by not asking the respondents which (business or government) partner they perceive as more powerful.

44. Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
You are obligated to accept someone’s positional authority only if you’ve consented to it, and even then only if that person asks you to do something that is not immoral.

In my view, if I accept someone's positional authority, it's because I've run out of options that don't involve authority. I refer to this process as resignation, not consent. This highlights profound and widespread controversy as to the definition of consent. If the C4SS were seriously interested in exploring the range of public opinion along several 'axes,' one of the more important and interesting ones would be the spectrum of understanding of what constitutes consent, or alternatively, views on what factors determine the scene of consent.

50. Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
Ordinary workers lack the talents, skills, and temperaments they would need if they were to try to organize their work-lives and make managerial or executive-level decisions.

Here's a news flash. Some of us see managerial and executive level decisions as a net-negative. I pride myself on my lack of managerial background, just as I and other pride themselves on lacking a 'civil service' background. You can see this attitude even in pop culture. Those old enough to remember the TV show ER perhaps recall the kinds of resistance nurse characters and even doctor characters made against 'promotions' to managerial roles. Whether or not the stories are realistic, the fact that they are part of our popular culture says something about our national psyche.
Throwing in 'organizing their work lives' with 'mak[ing] managerial...decisions,' is of course an example of package dealing.

55.Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
People who work at a large corporation or non-profit should be entitled to take it over if it is primarily supported by tax dollars or if it is wealthy because of markets skewed in its favor by government-granted privilege.

If they deleted the if clause from the statement, I would have 'strongly agreed,' without reservations. As stated, I have to decide whether an 'agree' answer will be interpreted as support for the idea of worker takeovers or as support for the idea that all unfair advantage (or privilege) has its origin in the public sector. A rhetorical question.

64. Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
Self-employment or work as a member of a cooperative or partnership is generally preferable to working for a boss, all other things being equal.

More package dealing. Self-employment is seen as less preferable than employment-employment by many, for reasons I find perfectly understandable. Many are backed into self-employment by circumstance, and the self-employed on paper (1099 instead of W2) are de-facto temps, counted as business founders as yet another way of cooking the employment and business startup statistics. See for example:
Cooperative economics is something I value in its own right, not only because it is an alternative to working for a boss, but more centrally because it is an alternative to competitive economics.
Partnerships are something I understand to be (by definition) an ownership arrangement, and therefore not a departure in any sense from capitalism, even actually-existing capitalism. Anderson Consulting was an example of a partnership.

69. Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
Someone should be able to homestead land and acquire title to it when the legal owner doesn’t cultivate or otherwise use it for a reasonably long period.

No consistent answer available to someone who believes in squatting but doesn't believe in land titles.

70. Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
Someone who is using her own possessions or is using the possessions of others to which she has voluntarily been given access should be subject to no legal penalties for distributing any text, image, or sound she likes.

They're effectively asking whether I favor censorship, or favor freedom of the press being for those who own one. Another loaded question.

92. Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
True monopolies cannot exist in a free-market economy and ours is a free market economy, so no true monopolies exist in our economy.

As a matter of principle, the word 'and' should be avoided in questionnaires of this type.

96. Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
Wealthy people often use their influence over the government to gain legal privileges for themselves and take resources from poor, working class, and middle class people.

True. They also of course use the built-in advantages inherent in wealth itself.

101. Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree
When people work in sweatshops, it’s often because violence engaged in or tolerated by the state has made it hard for them to support themselves in other ways.

Sweatshop labor is a by-product of economic desperation and little else. Yet I hesitated to answer 'disagree' as I feared I would be interpreted as viewing such work as 'voluntary.'

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