As a teenager, I was a statist, a borderline fascist. I may have believed in liberal ideas in theory – my grade 11 politics class group was the only group to propose a liberal constitution instead of a utopian one for a project – but I thought the government should draft the unemployed. I was a horrible person. Spiritually I was some kind of pseudo-Jungian. I hadn’t read Jung I had only heard about his idea of “collective unconsciousness” from some adult. I thought it made me sound smart. And I was a very selfish child so the notion fit in with my idea that the world was against me.
In first year university I became an individualist (read: right wing) anarchist, completely repudiating my statist past, as frosh are wont to do. I don’t think I spent to much time dwelling on deeper philosophical or spiritual issues, as I was too concerned about my rights. But if I did, I was a deist, more than likely.
Sometime in my second year I stopped being an anarchist and turned into a libertarian. I didn’t know I was a libertarian at the time, I didn’t figure that out until third year, so a better description is that I was a lapsed or former anarchist. Spiritually I was confused, if anything. But I was a borderline atheist beyond a minor deism.
In third year I committed to being a libertarian but couldn’t figure out my stance on deeper philosophical ideas.
Sometime during my fourth year or my master’s year I stopped being a libertarian and became what I styled a ‘recovering libertarian’. I also used to call myself a ‘libertarian social democrat with a conservative streak’. I like reveling in incoherence as I figured few people were true libertarians, social democrats or conservatives. This appellation came later as I believe it was inspired by Kolakowski’s “Credo,” which I didn’t read until either 2005 or 2006. Spiritually, I was still confused. I once told my students that I was neither atheist nor agnostic, even though I was a bit of both, because I didn’t want to be pigeonholed. I hadn’t read the existentialists and considered them depressing even though the views I held were becoming very “existential.”
Sometime after I graduated, I dropped the labels and declared myself a liberal. I am a liberal because I believe that an enforceable (or “existential”) constitution, institutional checks which balance government power and private property are all part of a better state and better society. I am an existentialist because I believe that this is the only reality there is and that this reality is inherently absurd / meaningless. I am an atheist in that I believe every human religion is completely wrong about the nature of the universe. I am agnostic in the sense that I make no claim to know what caused the universe, and I only guess at the possible end of the universe. Deism could be correct as far as I know. So could the marble-playing dinosaur theory of Men in Black. I don’t know.