My definitions of the four cardinal political positions, and a complaint

2008/01/05

Conservatism: The idea that obligation is one way and flows from the individual to societal organs.

Liberalism: The idea that obligation is one way flowing from societal organs to the individual.

Libertarianism: The idea that there are no obligations at all.

communitarianism: The idea that obligation is reciprocal and dynamic.

There is much discussion in Western political thought of rights, as though they exist separate and apart from the real world in an abstract and ideal state, and become sullied by reality. The fact is there are no natural rights. In nature successful reproduction is all that counts. No creature of the wild is as foolish as man, to think it is entitled to anything.

Yet we crave assurance. We wish to be fed though we grow no food. We wish to have shelter though we construct no building. We wish to be clothed though we make none. Economic productivity has reached such an unheard of rarefied prosperity that we are lost: mentally and emotionally lost in obsolete ways of thinking and behaving. In times of shortage it makes sense to take actions that become ludicrous in times of plenty. We have a pre-industrial way of allocating resources and managing governance with an economy that spews out finished goods in historically unimaginable quantities, and allows for instant communication, also historically unimaginable. And we are miserable with pointless work and stress, frightened of bogeymen that will take this prosperity away, and ignorant about ourselves and world. Our greatest injuries are self inflicted. Our current political system and mindset in America are our problem. Like Rome, and the other great states of the past our enemies are ourselves, and the outsiders can only hurt us once we have weakened ourselves.

I am so weary of the vacuous and dumb rhetoric that passes for political discourse in our age. It is cold comfort that most of the world is more screwed up than are we. At our founding some very reasonable men did a remarkably good job of fashioning a political solution, why can’t we? We must get rid of the idolification of the Constitution, and get rid of the dead hand o the priesthood like vested interests that grasp to themselves decision making authority.

We need a new government.

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