The burning issues of today are considerably different from those of 1999, when I wrote the first edition of Quiz2D. The last change to the Quiz was in 2004, and that was primarily a rewording of the previous question set, attempting to make the tone a bit less strident.
Think of this post (and other posts under V7 Update) as forum thread kickoffs more than blog posts. Feel free to add your comment even for months old posts. I want opinions from a wide range of people – from liberals to conservatives, from libertarians to totalitarians – on what subjects the next edition of the Quiz should cover.
Property Rights Issues
I originally called this axis the economic axis in accordance with the traditional Nolan Chart, but gun rights are more of a civil liberties issue than an economic issue. But gun rights do fall under property rights; you can use guns to defend your property. This is why America’s political Right tends to defend gun rights more than the Left does. (But we do have plenty of examples of liberal gun rights defenders ranging from the early Robert Heinlein to the Black Panthers. Gun rights are a civil liberty issue as much as it is a property issue. It’s just that today the defenders of property rights are the louder defenders of this right.)
Some possible issues for the updated Quiz:
- Affirmative action
- Eminent domain
- Monetary policy
- Civil asset forfeiture.
- Environmental regulations
- Workplace regulations
- Contract enforcement
- Farm subsidies
- Consumer protection
- Trade policy
- Wealth transfers (either by progressive taxation or other means such as a universal stipend)
What have I missed? Which of the above do you consider the most important? The least important?
Personal Liberty Issues
The person liberty issues have perhaps changed even more than the property issues since I last changed the Quiz. Since I created the first edition of the Quiz we have had the War on Terror: monitoring, torture, and humiliation by the TSA. In parallel, many police departments have moved from the Mayberry Sheriff to the Imperial Storm Trooper school of law enforcement. And then we have Hollywood and the music industry wanting to have storm trooper rights of their own in order to crack down on pirates.
Back when I first wrote the Quiz I had a hard time coming up with enough personal liberty issues. Today, I could come up with many more. Maybe I’m becoming more liberal. Anyway, the current list off the top of my head:
- No-knock arrests (storm trooper policing)
- Torture/Detainment (of foreign combatants)
- National Service (military draft or mandatory bedpan service…)
- Rights of the Accused (perp walks, rough treatment in jail before trial, delayed trials, etc.)
- Punishments (Three Strikes laws, etc.)
- Hard drugs
- Sex Industry (porn, strip bars, prostitution)
What have I missed? Which of the above does not belong?
Issues Left Out
I have intentionally left out some major hot issues of the day because they don’t cleanly fit into the Nolan Chart political model.
Consider global warming. Currently, action on the issue comes mainly from the Left. But this is not inherently a Left/liberal issue. One could call for a carbon tax on purely conservative grounds: an excuse to get rid of the income tax, a tax on the enemies of the U.S. (if on oil), a tax which is not on labor or capital, but a sharing of God-given resources. One could imagine an ultra progressive Leftist (say, Lyndon LaRouche) attacking environmentalists as reactionary. We should turn Earth into a socialist Trantor, or be building artificial habitats on Mars or some such. In light of such sci-fi views, staying on Earth and preserving nature as is is a conservative, or even reactionary, position. That climate action is associated with the American (and Western European) Left was a choice by the respective factions. It could have gone the other way.
The same holds for some other controversial issues such as abortion and military intervention. Maybe I’ll have a future post delving deeper on why I have avoided these issues in the Quiz.
But maybe I should include some of these anyway, but just not use the results for scoring. Might gather some interesting data: how many eco-conservatives are there? How about pro-life liberals?
What do ye think? Worth recording? Or would this make the Quiz too long? Please discuss in the comments below.