Get your scorecards out, my friends!
Let's start scoring bad political ideas and bad political actions.
With the self-righteous media in America finally surrendering to academic Marxism, and with Leftists forcefully lecturing their bankrupt moralities to the rest of us Americans, and with the Right electing a guy who says he wants to cripple free speech and free trade, I thought it might be time for a qualitative assessment of just how coercive certain political ideas and policies really are or could be -- on both the right and left.
Let's end the smugness and self-righteousness of the politicians and elitists by declaring in concrete terms, with a Number, just how dangerous they and their ideas are.
All political thought and action can be measured in the societal realm by the amount of coercion they use or seek to use against individuals and businesses. Are they freedom-oriented or are they not? Every government policy affects someone! A Leftist insisting on the forceful funding of the arts or a Rightist seeking to forcefully ban abortions both seek coercion against individuals.
There can be no self-righteousness on either's part for the above coercive policies -- for forcing some people to do what they don't wish to do with their own money, or for preventing others from doing what they wish to do with their own body.
But how bad are those particular policies? How coercive is each one on individual rights? How much do they violate freedoms?
Perhaps we can attempt to measure this. Perhaps we can measure the amount of coercion of these two proposals and all other political policies and political ideas on a Freedom Condition scale.
FreeCon would give qualitative measure, on a scale of 1 to 5, to the amount of coercion being used or sought to be used against individuals via political policies and ideas -- with FreeCon 1 being total control of an individual's (or business's) action in a certain scenario, and FreeCon 5 being total freedom of action in a certain scenario.
This would give at least a general sense of just how coercive and dangerous some ideas are, so that we can carry that sense with us in conversation, judgment and political action. For example:
"Obama's executive action on punishing energy businesses via stifling pollution controls is FreeCon 3. It still honors the businesses' rights to run their own businesses somewhat, but violates property rights to a large degree and limits maximum production and other alternatives that may be essential for growth and prosperity. And it raises the price of energy for consumers."
The discussion just on the energy scenario could last for days, of course, with hundreds of facts determining a proper FreeCon number, pertaining to the violation of the right to property.
Because of the variables involved, there will not always be agreement on the FreeCon scaling on any particular political policy or idea, but the discussion helps give clarity to the concrete facts surrounding the idea, and the eventual FreeCon scaling itself.
FreeCon can also be used to give a general assessment of a country or the world, much like DefCon does in its realm of imminent threat to the U.S.
For example, a FreeCon 4.5 might've been given to a nearly-regulation-free America (with almost no taxes) in the 1890s. But with the weight of Progressive intrusion over the last 120 years, we might now give a FreeCon 3 or FreeCon 2.5 assessment concerning loss of rights, loss of freedom.
An overall assessment would include such areas as free speech, gun ownership, unbridled capitalism, taxation, property ownership, stifling fees and permissions, immigration/emigration, etc.
We could even give FreeCons to Supreme Court decisions, to media outlets, to particular reporters, to entertainers (Dicaprio gets FreeCon 2), to businessmen (Soros gets same as Dicaprio), to family members (hmm), to other countries, to politicians, to movements, to religions, to activists, etc.
Objectivists understand that the right to one's life, body and property is absolute, based on the fact that we are rational, volitional animals who must have that right (the freedom) in society in order to act in accordance with our own minds and values to be happy and productive. Governments and their policies cannot rightfully interfere with our right.
Government's only job is to protect individual rights -- to protect freedom. Anything else is intrusive, taking it below FreeCon 5.
All assessment on FreeCon assumes this objective fact about reality, humans and freedom. It assumes that humans have a complete right to their life, body and property -- so any political idea or policy that would violate that right in any way would bring us below the ideal of FreeCon 5.
Let the assessments begin!