A Bargain with the Devils of “Liberalism”

I have said many times that government should (a) stay in the marriage business and decline to honor homosexual “marriage,” and (b) reverse Roe v. Wade to allow the criminalization of abortion. My views are distilled here, where I say that

“rights” like abortion and homosexual “marriage” [are] government-imposed social innovations with potentially harmful consequences for civil society. If social custom, as embodied in legislative acts, rejects such things as abortion and homosexual “marriage,” it does so because those things undermine the fabric of society — the bonds of mutual respect, mutual trust, and mutual restraint that enable a people to live and work together in peace.

I am still against homosexual “marriage” and abortion, but I am willing to trade my support of government involvement in both matters for the cessation of government action in a multitude of other matters. Now, if I could persuade the other several million opponents of homosexual “marriage” and abortion to do the same, here is the deal we would offer:

We, the nation’s right-minarchists and right-statists, are willing to accept the possibility that some states will allow homosexual “marriage” and abortion. We are willing to do so, and end our attempts to regulate homosexual “marriage” and abortion at the federal level, if you, the nation’s left-minarchists and left-statists, will accede to the following conditions:

  • Eliminate all federal departments, and their functions, excepting justice, defense, state, and treasury.
  • Roll back all regulatory enactments and enabling laws to their status as of 1900.
  • Do the same with the federal tax code.
  • Except for the core federal functions of justice (in truly federal matters), defense, and foreign policy (which ought to serve our defense needs), devolve all federal functions to the States. (“Homeland security” is properly a  defense function, as are matters having to do with veterans’ benefits.)
  • The citizens of each State, through their legislatures and other avenues consistent with republicanism, shall determine questions such as access to marriage (if it remains in the purview of a State) and abortion, as well as such other matters as agricultural policy, regulation of commerce, provision of education, energy policy, justice (intra-State), health care regulation and subsidies, housing subsidies, labor policies, the disposition and use of public lands, urban affairs and transportation (including agreements with neighboring States about the construction and maintenance of highways and other means of transportation), and welfare (including State-level equivalents of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid).

I wouldn’t expect left-minarchists to want States in the driver’s seat on marriage and abortion. Nor are left-statists likely to give up on the idea of pressing every citizen into the same, Washington-dictated mold. But left-minarchists might be attracted by the opportunity for some States to offer their citizens more liberty. And left-statists might be willing to accept certain victory for dictatorial “liberalism” in many States, especially as they hail from the States most likely to give them all the “liberalism” they can stand.

I, for one, would welcome the opportunity to live in a State that rejects homosexual “marriage” and abortion, along with the imprisoning, impoverishing baggage of modern “liberalism.” Surely, there would be at least a dozen to choose from, right off the bat.

Why would I be willing to allow some States to legalize homosexual “marriage” and abortion if I am so strongly against those two things. One way of looking at it is this: The world is never going to be perfect, so you make the best you can of it. In this case, making the best of it allows some States to swim against the tide homosexual “marriage” and abortion.

It is likely that those same States, freed from the shackles of Washington, would take other actions to restore civil society and thus advance liberty. I suspect that the policies of those States would be so popular that other States would follow suit to avoid massive emigration and its result: a fiscal death spiral, à la Michigan.