Politics, Society

A Brief Attempt at Elucidating my Political Views

  1. A liberal form of government – i.e. a government which is restrained by an enforceable bill of individual rights and complementary “checks and balances” – is necessary to protect individuals from the great power of the state. This is true and will continue to be true as long as the “state” has more power than anyone or anything else. As a result liberalism is necessary and the best – or rather least bad – of our choices.
  2. Democracy is necessary because we will always have leaders so in order to control these leaders we must be able to replace them (through elections). Again, democracy is the best of a bad lot.
  3. The combination of liberal democracy is the best we can do.

One reason that liberal democracy is better than the other options for human government is because we do not know the meaning of life or the meaning of the universe. Because of this fact there are basically few if any right answers to moral and social questions. We do not know the purpose of civilization or society and therefore we do not know the purpose of government, beyond self-perpetuation of the human species. Because of this fact we cannot assign a purpose to such things. (And there is no point – and very great danger – in assuming a purpose when we can never know.) Some people who have assigned such purposes – and have been successful enough to find themselves at the heads of movements – have ended up killing a lot of people. (Well, way more than a lot of people.) So we are forced to pick a directionless form of government – liberal democracy (as I conceive it anyway) provides no purpose and no direction for society – and live with it while we try to sort out our lives.

Is that a little better?


  1. I agree – to a degree – the trouble for me is that liberalism presumes democracy only works at the ballot box (and perhaps in political re-presentation; eg speech), but that economics is subject to the arbitrary dominance of the rich. Democratic control of, say, the workplace by the workers has no place in liberalism and, to me, is as fundamental to the true meaning of democracy as are the other freedoms you espouse.

  2. Hey, I have two people reading my blog. Incredible!
    The only problem I have with democratic ownership of enterprises is that we can't force it. Compelling democracy in the workplace involves the state to way too much extent and probably would destroy private enterprise (acidentally). I have a huge problem with this as I see private enterprise as an (perhaps the) essential extra-governmental buttress against the power of the state. I can't help but worry/suspect that any law made by a government to enforce communal ownership of private companies would by used by a government to ill-purposes which would eventually outweigh the intended good of the measure.
    On the other hand, if I ever got my act together, I would participate in this new-fangled community supported farming that's going around.

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