Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Political Philosophy

As I mentioned below, this Eric Raymond is hard to classify. As he explains here:
A minor SF writer of radical Marxist political convictions recently uttered a rather incoherent rant in which, among other things, she accused me of “simple-minded right-wing” views. I’m not going to name her because I don’t dislike the woman enough to want to add to her troubles. But I’ve heard this song before from other Marxists, and I can’t resist commenting on why I find such accusations darkly amusing.
A commenter named Chris Byrne left this interesting bit of political philosophy, which makes an awful lot of sense:
It will never cease to amaze me how so many intelligent people can be so utterly stupid.

There are only three political philosophies:

1. The collective has rights, and those rights are superior to the rights of the individual

2. The individual has rights, but also responsibilities to the members of the collective. The collective has no rights, and those responsibilites owed to it’s members are at best equal to the rights of the individual.

3. The individual has all rights which are superior, and no responsiblities

Fundamentally, that’s all there is to it. I personally believe that if YOU believe in 1, or 3, no matter how smart you are, you’re an idiot.

Anarchy and collectivism (3 and 1 respectively) are fundamnetaly wrong. Collectivism requires the subjugation of human freedom to the will of the collective in all things. I believe that this is objectively evil. Anarchy inevitably results in the total subjugation of the weak by the strong, which is also objectively evil.

If you believe in a “balance” between 1 and 2, you’re wrong as well, because there is no balance between the two. Collectives do not have rights. Individuals have rights, and responsiblities are owed by individuals to the members of a collective. There are no collective rights.

If you believe in a balance between 2 and 3 you’re wrong, there is no balance point. Either you owe responsibilities to the members of the collective, or you don’t.

And no, I’m not going to softpedal this and say “this is my opinion”. I believe that what I have said is objectively true, and not subject to opinion. My first principle is that the unwilling subjugation of human liberty is always objectively evil; unless it is to prevent an individual from transgressing upon the fundamental liberties of others.

I cannot comprehend how any other first principle could be correct.

If you are arguing from a different first principle, stop right now, because no useful discussion can occur between individuals who share different first principles on a subject; except as relates to those first principles themselves.
These ideas were apparently influenced by the works of Robert Heinlein, if I read followup comments correctly.


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