In my district there is a candidate on the ballot who favors
- complete abolition of laws regulating prices, wages, hours, plant closure, family leave, hiring, firing, occupational licensure, zoning, rents, etc,
- completely private provision of education, health care, health insurance, agriculture, and retirement savings; and
- complete legalization for adults of gambling, suicide, drugs, "assault rifles", polygamy, sexual services, reproductive services, cloning, and organ sales.
There is another candidate on the ballot who thinks the US government knew that the WTC was to be attacked on 9/11 and that NORAD may have been remotely controlling the jets, and runs on a campaign platform that says
- "We must take aggressive steps to restore a fair distribution of income"
- "Restructure our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy: those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, etc."
- "All people have a right to jobs that pay a living wage"
- "a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health insurance program"
- "We encourage the social ownership and use of land at the community, local, and regional level."
- "consolidating housing into such structures as ecolonies, to free open space, and to move about by bicycle, train, bus and on foot so that roadways may be converted to parkland and agriculture."
- "phase-out man-made pesticides and artificial fertilizers"
- "Allowing municipalities to approve or disapprove large economic projects"
- "The concept of a "job" is only a few hundred years old; and the artificial dichotomy between "employment" and "unemployment" has become a tool of social leverage for corporate exploiters."
- "Adopting a reduced-hour (30-35 hours) work week"
- "The government should ensure that low- and moderate-income persons and communities, as well as small businesses, have access to banking services, affordable loans, and small-business supporting capital."
- "Thoughtful, carefully considered gun control laws such as the "Brady Bill" and the waiting period for record search before gun dealers may sell a gun should be supported."
- "A clear living wage standard should serve as a foundation for trade between nations, and a "floor" of guaranteed wage protections and workers' rights should be negotiated in future trade agreements."
- "Reducing consumption to minimize outsourcing"
- "More progressive taxation. Raise corporate taxes. Increase the burden on large and multinational corporations and the super wealthy. Raise the state income tax for higher income people. Re-establishment of the inheritance tax. Inheritance tax revenues should be dedicated to health and welfare benefits for the poor"
- "Broadband access should be a taxpayer-funded utility"
- "We oppose privatization of Social Security. We support increased funding for Social Security, public housing, higher education, public transportation"
Robert Noval calls himself a Libertarian but announces his support for the second candidate over the first in this 4am blog posting. Why? Because Noval is a SingleIssueTarian on the question of overthrowing aggressive tyranny in Iraq. (For readers unfamiliar with the backwards world of puritarianism, that means Noval the anti-aggression absolutist opposes overthrowing aggressive tyranny abroad.)
Of course, Noval lacks the intellectual courage to actually say: "the duty of a liberty-loving polity to defend human liberty vanishes completely at lines drawn on maps by statists". And if that's not his position, then he lacks the polemical courage to engage 1) my taxonomy of 14 flawed arguments by libertarians against overthrowing Saddam, 2) my marshaling of over a dozen factual predicates motivating the overthrow of Saddam, or 3) my analysis of the near-perfect 2000-2004 natural experiment empirically demonstrating that anti-war is not a lever that will grow the libertarian electoral share.
But this is completely predictable. The goal of a puritarian like Noval is not to advocate the policies and tactics that have the highest expected value in terms of minimizing the net amount of aggression suffered by humanity. No, the highest value of a puritarian is to not be exceeded on a simplistic metric of moral superiority in the little circle that passes for his intellectual community. That metric is so simplistic that it can be dominated by a single issue with sufficient visual and emotional punch -- like the sectarian strife that has troubled Iraq since America deposed its aggressive tyrant. Never mind that the issue is ephemeral and tangential to America's historical march toward increasing personal liberty and decreasing economic liberty. Never mind that to support the Greens is to give aid and comfort to the political force that poses the greatest danger to liberty in America in the next half-century. Never mind that to support the Greens is to solidify their claim to being America's third party despite the LP having the enormous advantage of working in an unoccupied quadrant of Nolan space.
Puritarians can't maintain sufficient rage over the creeping socialization of America, because it isn't being shown on TV. Dubya is on TV every day, and he's not a libertarian, so ipso facto he must be the greatest threat to liberty in the world. Impeach Dubya for the thousands of cases of Iraqi fratricide enabled by liberation, but give Saddam a free pass for a couple million deaths directly caused by tyrannical aggression. "Look at me! I call for impeaching more American leaders than you do! I'm clearly more puritarian than thou! And if I shock some fellow liberty-lovers by endorsing a Green, so much the better in my value system of moral exhibitionism. I'm the village puritarian, so I say: Red-Queen racing in the exhibition of extremism is no vice, and rationality in pursuit of increased liberty is no virtue."