#libertarians asking “conscience building” questions Retweet
In this Plans & Progress report…
- How our new Nolan Chart test will deploy the libertarian USP (unique selling proposition)
- A list of the questions we’ll use in our new survey
- How you can get your name on the Conscience Builder’s roster
Here at the Zero Aggression Project, we believe it’s time for an experiment. We love the various quiz-based Nolan Charts, especially the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Using a quiz to plot someone’s political view dates back to the early 1970s. We…
- Want to create our own Nolan Chart survey.
- Call it the PCT (Political Conscience Test).
Why do we want to conduct this experiment? Because we want tools that feature the libertarian USP (unique sales proposition). As we explained in our last message…
- A USP is your position in the market. It’s the thing your team does better than anyone else. It’s a huge plus if your USP simultaneously highlights your opponent’s greatest weakness.
- The libertarian USP is “persuasion instead of aggression.” Statism means threats backed by actual violence. Someone will be harmed. But for libertarians, the Zero Aggression Principle is our moral heuristic (rule of thumb). Every libertarian is seeking to solve social problems by using peaceful persuasion and voluntary cooperation, NOT state aggression.
So we wondered…
What if we had a Nolan Chart exam with questions that focused on the libertarian USP?
After all, the persuasion vs aggression USP cuts to the heart of the matter. It…
- Counts the full cost of the statist approach.
- Doesn’t ignore the aggressive violence.
- Applies to all issues.
Best of all, it’s powerful, exposing moral inconsistencies. That’s why, we call a libertarian willing to feature this morality-based USP a…
We’re Conscience Builders ourselves. The Zero Aggression Project is largely about conscience building. And we want tools that will help us make a compelling case, that’s both moral and practical.
THE KEY TO CONSCIENCE BUILDING IS THE QUESTIONS YOU ASK.
We’re eager to ask…
Just how much aggression are your neighbors, family, and friends willing to use against their neighbors, family, and friends?
Seriously! Just how much statism do they really want, when they’re compelled to consider its actual costs, including the violence? That’s why all questions on the PCT will start with the same prefix…
How much should your favored politicians be able to…
The next word in each question is something like… Force. Punish. Restrict. Limit. Control. Imprison. Right away, the test-taker confronts the truth about political policy decisions. How much do they love violent solutions? Should their favorite politician have the power to expand punishment, intensify restrictions, and increase imprisonments?
Now, let’s get to the questions!
Our approach allows us to ask 20 questions. Remember, they all start with the prefix…
How much should your favored politicians be able to…
…Punish companies that broadcast obscenity?
…Limit financial expressions of support to political candidates?
…Control who can or cannot be married?
…Punish adults who engage in prostitution?
…Penalize adults who use marijuana?
…Incarcerate adults who use heroin?
…Force people to fight in wars they find morally-objectionable?
…Spy on citizens without a warrant?
…Prevent foreigners from entering the country without permission?
…Force people to carry a national ID card?
…Compel people to subsidize industries of environmental and national security importance?
…Force people to subsidize causes such as Planned Parenthood, abstinence education, and DARE?
…Restrict consumer choices to protect domestic industries from foreign competition?
…Punish people for hiring illegal immigrants?
…Restrict the number of people who can operate taxis?
…Fight climate change by regulating CO2 emissions?
…Force doctors and patients to only use drugs approved by the FDA?
…Force people to fund universal health care, supplied by the government?
…Tax unwilling people to fund foreign aid that ostensibly serves national interests?
…Imprison people who refuse to pay taxes for wars they find morally objectionable?
We want to give you a chance to digest these USP-oriented questions. In our next message, we’ll elaborate on how these questions are…
- Current — stuff that’s hot in our century
- Powerful — questions that need to be included in a Nolan Chart survey because they loom large in how a person views themselves
- Tension-paired — exposing contradictions right off the bat!
There’s ONE OTHER WAY you can be a “Conscience Builder,” right now and for always!
Get your name listed
on the Conscience Builder’s roster
of the Political Conscience Test
- The estimate for building the PCT = $16,500.
- A generous patron invested $10,000 to create it. That’s why we got started and can show you these questions, and soon, the web design we’re working on.
- We’ve raised $916.11, so we only need $5,583.89 more to finish it!
For the month of August — or less, if we achieve our goal faster — every contributor or pledger will be…
- Recognized in these Zero Aggression newsletter messages. See the P.P.S.
- Remembered, perpetually, on the About Us page of the Political Conscience Test site as a “Conscience Builder.”
Conscience Builders are listed in rank order, based on the size of their contribution. The larger your contribution, the higher your list-position. However, the minimum is $1, so everyone who gives is on the list. [Note: There’s a checkbox on the bottom of the contribution form if you do NOT want your name listed publicly.]
And if you’re an existing or new pledger, we’ll multiply your pledge for ranking purposes. That is, we’ll take the size of your August pledge and multiply by 10. So, our average $15/month pledge attains the list-standing of a $150 donor!
Remember, contributions to the Downsize DC Foundation, the parent organization of the Zero Aggression Project, are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE if you itemize. And one more thing…
Once we reach our modest goal, we’re done — even if there are weeks or days to go in August. So you don’t want to wait! Someone, on this list, can make the list of Conscience Builders quite short, with their name at or near the top, with a tax-deductible contribution at or approaching $5,584.
Zero Aggression Project
An initiative of the Downsize DC Foundation
P.S. We’re also working on website design for this new tool, starting with the desktop/laptop version. We’ll share that with you very soon!
P.P.S. The first wave of Conscience Builder’s are… John McAlister, Martin Johnson, Robert Davis, Ben Bachrach, David Brown, Franklin Davis, John DiLiberto, Randall Enterline, Barbara Haskins, Len Hofferber, Anne Marshall, David Yett, Jack Bruns, Gary Cavener, Odetta Pierce, Tom Serkowski, Brian Mason, Lance Cheney, Robert Herzfeld, Wayne Zachery, Ronald Pond
Ok, I know my choice on every question is the same: ZERO!
But what about others? The question “How much…” is vague. It invites essays. It invites answers that can’t be evaluated due to ambiguity, e.g., “not much” or “somewhat” or “a little” or “a lot” or “as much as needed” or “whatever keeps us safe” or “whatever protects us” or “as much as serves the common good” or “as much as needed to promote national security”. Mainly, it does not address the question of who decides the definition of “national security”, “common good”, or how much is too much or what to do about overreach.
I want a quiz to address violence by some against others, e.g., When is deadly force justified, who should decide, and by what principle? Who is responsible for controlling unjustified violence, ultimately? Who suffers most, ultimately? How does personal sovereignty conflict with delegation of sovereignty? Can sovereignty be delegated? Can one lose sovereignty by granting privilege, in principle? In fact?
These questions address the essence of social interaction.
I would slightly reword this one:
“How much should your favored politicians be able to…Restrict consumer choices to protect domestic industries from foreign competition?”
I would change “to” to “in order to.” It would then read:
“How much should your favored politicians be able to…Restrict consumer choices in order to protect domestic industries from foreign competition?”
Here’s why I would make the change:
As it is currently worded, I start to read it as referring to consumer choices to protect domestic industries, which is not what is being restricted. Rather, consumer choices in general are what is being restricted. By adding the words “in order” before “to,” we make it clear that the protection of domestic industries from competition is the reason proffered for the restriction, not a limitation on the types of consumer choices being restricted.
Other thoughts: (1) We might prefer “undocumented immigrants” over “illegal immigrants,” as the latter implies that there even is any legality behind restrictions on and regulations of human migration. (On the other hand, using “undocumented immigrants” might lead some to infer that we’re not referring to the same exact humans to which they themselves are referring when they use use the term “illegal immigrants.”) (2) In the question about the FDA, we might want to say “medicines” instead of “drugs.” We shouldn’t assume that the reader is as informed as we are regarding the difference between the FDA and the DEA. The reader might assume that this is just another question referring to the drug war topic, of which we already have two questions (one dealing with marijuana and the other with heroin), and while it is certainly the case that we libertarians see little difference between the categories of these restrictions, the reader may be more willing to reject what she/he sees as clearly-medicinal regulations that what she/he sees as scary “drugs” regulations. (On the other hand, perhaps we want to subtly drive the point home that the “drugs”/medicine distinction is subjective and that the DEA’s effect on medicinal care can be just as deleterious as the FDA’s by specifically keeping the word “drugs” in that question.) (3) In the foreign aid question, we may wish to change “that” to “which,” since “that” implies that there is also foreign aid that does not ostensibly serve national interests, and that the question is referring only to those forms of foreign aid that do. If the point of wording is to clarify that foreign aid invariably does ostensibly serve national interests, then “which” is the word we want.
Further thoughts: Is there a reason the questions are limited to twenty? Perhaps there can be two forms of the quiz, the short form (with only twenty questions) and a long form (with more). Then, we might be able to add such topics are wage controls, rent controls, control over the education sector, sin taxes (alcohol, cigarettes, sugary sodas), regulations on firearms, the forced wearing of seat belt or helmets, forced involvement in Social Security, conscription in the military, forcing people to bail out failing firms, the prosecution of whistleblowers, and even the forced monopolisation of defence and adjudicative services (i.e., government policing and government courts respectively).
Final thoughts: This only sort of touches on Mr. Duncan’s concerns above, but I couldn’t help but to notice that actual options from which the reads will be free to choose are not indicated. You could give five (or so) options for each question, thereby allowing the reader to choose a range fitting with her/his beliefs, with the most extreme answer being that the politician should be free to execute the offending individual, and the least extreme answer being no power whatsoever. If you do give five options for each question to allow this expression of range, the quiz will remind me to that extent of the old Politopia quiz that the Institute for Humane Studies use to make available. (Said quiz is no longer available, but one can read the questions and possible answers here. It really is a shame that that quiz is no longer available for users, as it was always my favourite of the online political quizzes.)