It has been more than a while since my last posting here. This is largely due to an insecurity of mine about posting something that isn’t worth writing. Not to say that life hasn’t been interesting or exciting, but it is a very specific skill one must have to sit down at the end of the day and reflect on their thoughts. It is skill still more elusive to be able to translate these thoughts to paper (or in this case, the ‘cloud’). However, a blog not updated is even less worthwhile than a blog poorly scribed.

And this brings me to today, and to the idea of an examined life. In my philosophy class we are reading ‘Confessions’ by St. Augustine. This is largely an autobiographical work, and my Professor spoke briefly to the difficulty he has in writing about himself. I laughed and nodded in agreement. What is there to say about yourself? You can always address the simple facts; I am 21, I am white, my name is Tyler, I go to school at Seattle University, I major in Economics, I like computers, I (when I can afford it) fence, I run everywhere, I drive a fast car, I am short. But these don’t really tell who a person is. That is much harder to communicate, and much harder to even notice about oneself. I had a conversation with someone last year and they asked me the question ‘What is your philosophy? How do you live life?’ This was a pretty memorable night, November 22nd, 2008. It was the first time someone had really challenged the basic question ‘Who are you?’ and was genuinely searching for who I was. It was here where I first started to think about that question. I formulated a few basic rules, which have since grown in volume. Tonight, while smoking a cigar, and sipping a beer, I reflected on a similar conversation(s) I had had in the past few days. I’ve recently been talking to people a lot about relationships, but not the concept itself, but the issues they raise with conflicts of perception and personalities. How well do people really know each other, and how well do we know ourselves?

That is when I decided to examine what I had originally termed ‘rules’, but now consider a basis for who I am; a philosophy.

Most of you who know me, have heard me quote one before, or offer it to you as a guideline, but I don’t think I’ve ever reflected on them, no explained where they come from. Each does have a story behind it, and each does impact how I operate. The official  list is as follows:

1. Do the least to get the most, but don’t take the easy way out.
2. Do it for the story. Always.
3. Don’t stress. Everything always works out.
4. It doesn’t matter how much you plan ahead, you’re wrong.
5. Don’t wonder “What if?”

Rule number one is the primary summary of how I approach all things in life. Although I find it to be the most misunderstood and confusing rule I have. I never like things that I know, I never like things that are easy, and I never want to try hard to achieve something easy, no matter its importance to my life. An A in a 101 class would be harder for me to achieve, on lack of effort alone, over a 400 level class. Mystery. Difficulty. Puzzle. Challenge. All these things are something attractive to me. I’ve found myself spending hours on approaching an issue from ‘my way’ rather than doing it a much easier way, mostly to prove to myself that it can be done. Reverse-engineer the cyphered answer over solving the actual puzzle; fix the monitor over getting a new one; write the paper on something ridiclious over writing it on a ‘normal topic’. All of these examples that people have pointed out to me in the past. And while I understand the merit of ‘attacking the puzzle’ or ‘solving the mystery’ I think there is something more to it than that. Picking the impossible girl, choosing the difficult (to pay for) school, trying to improv presentations and tests; is it to prove my own worth to myself? I don’t know. I don’t feel like I’ve ever sought validation or praise above the next guy in line. There is something about the act of doing things differently that brings meaning to the telos of my actions. Simply put, I think I really do just like to be difficult. So in this I find that life’s rewards are greater when you can find that feeling. For some it may be in a sport, or in being the best, or in being sucessful. For me, I think the attempt itself is the fun. ‘Motives matter’ is something I say a lot, and I feel like that motive is most suited to me. So, don’t take the easy way out. You might fail at the hard way, but there’s something (whatever it is) to be said for even attempting the hard way.

Rule two, ‘Do it for the story’ is a rule that I borrowed from a friend of mine, Eric Gordon. I credit him with being that friend in college who really showed me that you can have fun and take chances. It won’t kill you, and you get killer stories. Stories are a small sense of immortality. History was once nothing but stories passed down family lines, and today they range from verbal, to written, to movies, to games. But if you have a story to tell, a piece of you is communicated down wherever that story goes. In essence, you can travel with it, and people who have never met you (or even just people listening to you tell it for the first time) get a perspective on you that you probably don’t communicate otherwise. Don’t let fear stop you from trying; Do it for the story. Always.

Rule number three was one of the inital three rules created on November 22nd, but I don’t think I truely understood it until recently. Life sucks. In no person’s life can there be a fairy tale as the autobiography. Life will be hard, life will be bitchy, and life will shit on you. Not to sound overly Sartre’y, but there is little you can do about it. It is in how you react that you discover, and convey who you are. People will get sick, relationships will fail, classes will kick your ass, and things generally won’t go your way. If you’re following rules number one and two, then you’re especially bound for some poor luck. Yet, amongst stress, worry, fear, apprehension, aversion, none of these will improve the situation. They will only lead you further from correcting what you can, or reacting in a way that would at least placate you in the present. The slippery-slope of stress, pity, self-pity, and anger only serve to make the problem worse. Although life tends to fuck each and every individual who lives it, life also has a way of working itself out. Patience, optimism, determination, and any other cheesy noun will, eventually, help you to work through the issue. I can thank Heather Hanson and my Sister for this view. Things will work out in some way. It may not be how you want, but it will always be better than you think. Don’t stress, it’ll work out.

Rule number four is just a combination of rules 1,2, and 3. I am a disorganized mess. Everyone knows this, I know this. I get done what I need, but it’s usually through some combination of dumb luck, and off-hand ability, that allows it to occur. Yet, I never find myself wishing I had a ‘plan’. Plans fail, and this leads to stress. I’m not advocating jumping in to the burning building, but I am saying that life, again, will fuck you, and relying too heavily on how things ought to be, will distract you from how things are. Plans are excellent, but not concrete, and adaptability is essential to staying sane. Don’t plan ahead (too much), because chances are, it isn’t going to work out exactly the way you’d like.

Rule number five is the most recent addition to the family, and the one with the most noticably defining moment. I did, or rather, didn’t do something recently, and I have questioned that decision since. I never question my choices, and it shook me a little bit. Life isn’t that long. 100 years if you are lucky, and often less. There isn’t time for you to wonder how things would be if they had gone differently. Also, if you did it the hard way, and for the story, there should be no reason to stress over alternatives (See what I did there?). If you find yourself thinking ‘What if I had done that thing the other day’, you clearly are not happy with the results. We don’t wonder (I realize this is a broad statement) about our choices if we enjoyed them. So go and do whatever it is you didn’t. Don’t wonder ‘what if’.

And those are my rules, but moreso, those are who I am.

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My Ethics Final

June 15, 2009

Anyone who can even pretend to know me should realize the irony in this paper.

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Tyler Doyle

Dr. Cohen // Phil-351-03

WC: 1024

The Anthem of Freedom: Collectivism is Slavery

“I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them. I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for any others. I covet no man’s soul, nor is my soul theirs to covet.” In Anthem, Ayn Rand establishes what she calls the monster of ‘we’.  She asserts that each man is an absolute individual, with no obligations or debts towards other men.  The main character of Anthem rediscovers the concept of individualism and breaks away from his collectivist community. Through an implied natural right of self-realization, Prometheus (the main character) dares to embrace the Unmentionable Word: ego.

The idea of ‘ego’ is central to the theme of Prometheus’ development. From the beginning he has wishes that are not that of the collective will, but are aspirations of his own. He wishes to become a Scholar, something that he desires. With no regard for his wishes, the collective decided that he would best be used as a Street Sweeper, and cast him in to that role. He accepts this, though is disappointed, as he had never known a concept of ‘I’, and merely followed the commands of the collective ‘we’. This is an example of the kind of coercive forces mentioned by Hayek. These forces are necessarily required to maintain the order of the collectivist state. If one individual were to reallocate the goods of the society (in this case occupation and human capital), that individual could leverage a competitive advantage over the state. If this were to occur, the allocation of goods chosen by the group would be disturbed, and shortages or surpluses would follow. If Prometheus were allowed to choose his own occupation, he would be acting on the fuel of his ego, and not that which is in the best interest of the state.

It seems the state derived its power from the fear of the market. The ‘invisible hand’ of market forces ought to guide the properly efficient allocation of goods and services. What happened was as Hayek describes the inevitable road towards an authoritarian coercive force, justified by the need to maintain strict control and order over the markets. The population of this world became increasingly obsessed with equality over efficiency. Just as in The Road to Serfdom the process began with good intentions, and evolved in to a system that can only be sustained by force. The World Council is responsible for the oversight of all the smaller councils, which are in turn in charge of every aspect of life. Occupations, schedules, where people live, what they may own (nothing), are all established and maintained for the good of the ‘we’.

If we establish that every man has a right to pursue his own ego, then it follows that each individual is free to achieve his own end. It is with this principle that the scope of a state is restricted by. No man in a means to any other man, or a means to the group, but an end in himself. By being an end in himself, each man carries an obligation only to serve himself. It isn’t unreasonable to think that men would eventually find the need for a standard system of justice or laws, through which they can address disputes over contracts or other voluntary exchanges. This system must respect each person as an end in themselves, and interfere in their lives only to the extent needed so that each man is required to interact reasonably with other men. Equality of opportunity arises from this system, where each man is equal to choose how they will progress toward their end. Equality of any of any other kind is unjust, for to alter any man’s means to benefit another is exploitation.

Collectivism imposes a type of slavery on men. The collective desire to achieve fairness or equality necessarily requires some men to alter their chosen means, in turn altering their intended ends. In doing this, the will of the state becomes Machiavellian, justifying the means by promoting the ‘beneficial’ end.  Hayek warns against the call of the ‘greater’ good. Collectivism cannot accommodate the full ends of every man, for each must necessarily give something to the state (liberty, taxes, control) so that it may be redistributed to achieve equality.

Prometheus discovers the peril of the state. With no concept of an ‘I’ he is slave to the will of the group. By breaking their laws he disobeyed his occupation and began to work towards his own end. In doing so he (re)created the light bulb, and presented it to the council. Here the evidence of the necessity of coercive force shows. In order to provide for the entire population, the state had carefully planned the occupation and allocation of each man. The new invention would present a disturbance to the candle makers, the wax makers, the oil suppliers, and all people who are involved with the making of the candle. Without markets to absorb them, or the free ability to move to different ends, these people would be unprovided for by the state. Alternatively, the world could choose to adopt the new light bulb technology, and the state would be scrambling to equalize the wealth and labor associated with the invention. Regardless of the adoption, it shows the coercive force necessary to maintain the collective balance; Prometheus is set to stand trial, probably to the result of his own death. The invention would be destroyed, and the state would return to the desired status quo.

To follow that collectivism is slavery is the next step in understanding the situation. If it is so that each person is necessarily his own end, and that he has the right to pursue his own end, then the state may not interfere in his ends. It also follows that the state may not interfere in his means, other than what every man agrees is necessary to prevent one man’s means from interfering with their own ends. If the state may not interfere with a man’s ends or means, yet coerces men to alter either, it is imposing involuntary rule, a sort of legal slavery.

FEE and Wall-E

April 28, 2009

Since James was going through his old blogs, I thought I’d post this old draft. It is unfinished, incomplete, but here it is. Enjoy:

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The title rhymes. Isn’t that great?

I’m now back in Seattle, amongst the rain, the cool air, and the ‘evil leftists’ (More on this later). If you don’t know, I spent a week in New York (Or Tarrytown if you’re picky. Think of it as New Yorks Everett) to attend a weeklong seminar hosted by the Foundation for Economic Education. (FEE) I attended History and Liberty as the seminar I would attend, and my friend Kelsey made all the arrangements. Booked a flight on American Airlines, and off I flew. (Airport’s taking forever is a lie; I’ve never had to wait more than 30 minutes to get through everything. Granted, I travel light, am white, and generally efficent, but still. Arriving 3 hours before your flight is unneeded.)

Now, before I went to FEE, I did expect it to be a little more conservative. I knew they were economists (I am an econ major, for reference), so they would probably be advocating a more free-market approach to government, liberty, and the economy. I didn’t think that would be much of an issue, the market is, afterall, one of the most efficent ways of allocating resources in a world of unlimited wants.

Boy was I wrong. I sat down for the first lecture, at an hour I wouldn’t normally be ‘learning’, and prepped by brain for information.

“Government is an organized band of robbers, who use violence, or threat of violence to rulle at the expense of others,”

My brain instantly fired up. What about Natural Rights? Social Contract? Mutual Protection? Locke. Hobbs. Democracy. Public Goods. Natural Monoploies… The list in my head ran on and on. I felt the lecturer had a valid point; the government does ‘rob’ us of our money via taxes, does threaten violence via courts and police, and can even take our land if for public use. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let him continue; but he failed to impress me beyond the original statement. Let’s say for a moment he is correct, and those with a comparative advantage in violence, rule at the expense of others, and that is the only definition of government. Why does government continue to exist? Would the oppressed not overthrow the state? Well, that would simply replace the first ‘state’ with another ‘state’ of violence, but wouldn’t we eventualyl get the hint? History has shown that people can overcome political patterns when looking towards new governments. The United States worked hard to establish a government of least opression, ancient Greece, and later Rome, grew tired of Kings, and developed another system. If violence were the only motivating factor behind government, I doubt it would persist so often through history, especially thousands of years ago when running away or leaving your state was a matter of packing and going…

The works as far back as Plato suggest that government is an establishment for the mutual protection and benefit. The ‘Social Contract; theory. Glaucon offers this definition of Justice to Socrates, who rejects it for a more internal definition of Justice, but it is still offered. (The Republic). Marx addresses this class struggle (which FEE rejects, though I think they are more similar to Marx than they want to admit) in his writings, and suggests that the reason rebellion may not happen, is because the economic base (Capitalism in our case), provides the superstructure of society from which we draw our opinions. Due to this, we don’t see the problems, but what the ‘owners’ want us to see, and continue along being ‘oppressed’. Marx said it, and FEE agrees; though they won’t admit it.

New Years Resolution

January 2, 2009

1. Start everything anew.

2. Follow the 3 rules:

  • 1. Do the least to get the most, but don’t take the easy way out.
  • 2. Do it for the story. Always.
  • 3. Don’t stress. Everything always works out.

Fuck everything else

16 Random Things

December 20, 2008

You have to write a note with sixteen random things, shortcomings, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end choose sixteen people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them. You have to tag the person who tagged you.

I refused to do this on FB, but since it will be imported anyway, sure, why the fuck not.

1) After you meet me, you will think I am either the nicest person you’ve met, or the meanest person you met.

2)  I can’t fall asleep unless my feet are touching, crossed, or otherwise

3) I am OC in many ways, but the worst: All piles must be neat piles. Legos, Quarters, Cards, Papers, whatever, stacked NEATLY.

4) I think Bread + Cheese + Mayo is the most delicious thing ever.

5)  I play with the cowlick in my hair, I always have.

6)  Most people who meet me in Vancouver think I’m gay, but no one I’ve met in Seattle has said so.

7) I don’t like fruit, of any kind, in any form (except for Cherries, and Watermelon). Don’t try

8) I used to be hard core in to science, and wanted to be a paleontologist, my 9th grade history teacher changed that

9) I have 16-ish Neices and Nephews, 2 are older than me

10) I have an obsession with leather coats. I own 7, and keep buying more.

11) I love dark chocolate, all the way up to 100%, fuck you if you think it’s bitter, and one of my favorite snacks is Earl Grey tea, and some chocolate

12) I am blunt, cynical,  sarcastic, direct, and abrasive:  if I say fuck you, it probably means I care

13) I obsess over my hair a little bit, or a lot a bit, but it is damn perfect hair, I’ve been known to wash it in a sink

14) I always walk on the left side of groups, if I am on the right, I will drift over eventually, it is uncomfortable otherwise

15) I do my best thinking when driving, and I go over daydream-like stories in my head that evolve in to 10-minute narratives. It’s how I entertain myself

16) I am always attracted to the mystery, the hard way, the cheat, or whatever isn’t the easy way to do something, sometimes it makes my homework hard.

Summer is ending!

September 7, 2008

When helping a friend out with an essay, I realized that I would soon need to be doing the same, writing papers, thinking, homework, etc. It makes me stop and take a look at what I’m doing, summer went by so quickly, and college is 1/4 over already. I found this essay I wrote, and thought it was fun to read. Not the best writing ever, but hey, what is? Read the rest of this entry »

James and I were talking a week or so ago about doing a joint-post, or some responses to each other on what we believe. It all centered around FEE, something I will post about as soon as I feel that post is ready. James went ahead and took the initiative. This is my response to ‘What it means to be a conservative‘.

People who know me now may have a hard time figuring out where I fall on the political spectrum. In High School it wouldn’t have taken more than a few minutes to figure out that I am a liberal. A flaming, left-wing, hippie, tree-hugging liberal. I align myself as a Democrat, I am blue, I am from Vancouver, I live in Seattle, and I am proud of every ounce of it. I am also an Economics major, and am not afraid to admit there are problems with liberal ideas. There are problems with conservative ideas as well. When I got to college, I found it hard to explain myself as a liberal, when everyone heard and saw me questioning so many of what I said I stood for. Think of my as a Stephen Colbert of sorts (though no where near as funny); I act conservative out of parody.

I managed to find a good quote from Geoffrey R. Stone, a law professor at University of Chicago about what it means to be a liberal.

1. Liberals believe individuals should doubt their own truths and consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others. This is at the very heart of liberalism. Liberals understand, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once observed, that “time has upset many fighting faiths.” Liberals are skeptical of censorship and celebrate free and open debate.

2. Liberals believe individuals should be tolerant and respectful of difference. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support the civil rights movement, affirmative action, the Equal Rights Amendment and the rights of gays and lesbians. (Note that a conflict between propositions 1 and 2 leads to divisions among liberals on issues like pornography and hate speech.)

3. Liberals believe individuals have a right and a responsibility to participate in public debate. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion expansion of the franchise; the elimination of obstacles to voting; “one person, one vote;” limits on partisan gerrymandering; campaign-finance reform; and a more vibrant freedom of speech. They believe, with Justice Louis Brandeis, that “the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people.”

4. Liberals believe “we the people” are the governors and not the subjects of government and that government must treat each person with that in mind. It is liberals who have defended and continue to defend the freedom of the press to investigate and challenge the government, the protection of individual privacy from overbearing government monitoring, and the right of individuals to reproductive freedom. (Note that libertarians, often thought of as “conservatives,” share this value with liberals.)

5. Liberals believe government must respect and affirmatively safeguard the liberty, equality and dignity of each individual. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion the rights of racial, religious and ethnic minorities, political dissidents, persons accused of crime and the outcasts of society. It is liberals who have insisted on the right to counsel, a broad application of the right to due process of law and the principle of equal protection for all people.

6. Liberals believe government has a fundamental responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support government programs to improve health care, education, social security, job training and welfare for the neediest members of society. It is liberals who maintain that a national community is like a family and that government exists in part to “promote the general welfare.”

7. Liberals believe government should never act on the basis of sectarian faith. It is liberals who have opposed and continue to oppose school prayer and the teaching of creationism in public schools and who support government funding for stem-cell research, the rights of gays and lesbians and the freedom of choice for women.

8. Liberals believe courts have a special responsibility to protect individual liberties. It is principally liberal judges and justices who have preserved and continue to preserve freedom of expression, individual privacy, and freedom of religion and due process of law. (Conservative judges and justices more often wield judicial authority to protect property rights and the interests of corporations, commercial advertisers and the wealthy.)

9. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, for without such protection liberalism is impossible. This, of course, is less a tenet of liberalism than a reply to those who attack liberalism. The accusation that liberals are unwilling to protect the nation from internal and external dangers is false. Because liberals respect competing values, such as procedural fairness and individual dignity, they weigh more carefully particular exercises of government power (such as the use of secret evidence, hearsay and torture), but they are no less willing to use government authority in other forms (such as expanded police forces and international diplomacy) to protect the nation and its citizens.

10. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, without unnecessarily sacrificing constitutional values. It is liberals who have demanded and continue to demand legal protections to avoid the conviction of innocent people in the criminal justice system, reasonable restraints on government surveillance of American citizens, and fair procedures to ensure that alleged enemy combatants are in fact enemy combatants. Liberals adhere to the view expressed by Brandeis some 80 years ago: “Those who won our independence … did not exalt order at the cost of liberty.”

Since James started with what he didn’t agree with, I’m going to be more positive and say what I DO agree with.

Item one is the most essential part of being liberal. Accept nothing. Question everything. Are we really under terrorist threat? Is global warming real? Does it hurt to be eco-friendly, even if it isn’t? Is Obama a good choice? Is McCain a good choice? Should the free market prevail? Should a mixed market prevail? Is history correct? What’s the other perspective? Question. Question. Question. There is no right answer but the one you believe 100%, you don’t think something half way; or you shouldn’t. If you want to invade Iraq, be 100% committed to the cause, if you want to be environmentally friendly, then do it, discuss it, practice it. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is too soon to be discusses, joked, made fun of, honored, praised, blamed, debated, or talked about. America is, in theory, a beautiful democracy, and we were intended, nay required, to debate. If you are a liberal, don’t be afraid to talk about it. If you are a Muslim, don’t be afraid to talk about it, if you are conservative; don’t be afraid to talk about it!

In concurrence a good man once said: “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislation? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.” (Henry David Thoreau)

Second, Geffoery states the other most important aspect of being a liberal. Tolerance Acceptance. I’m going to amend him here. I can be tolerant of a cold, I can tolerate rap, and I can tolerate traffic. I need to accept and respect other people. If I meet a Republican in a dark alley, we should be able to discuss (ITEM ONE) and then AGREE TO DISAGREE. I may think A, you may think B, and we are both allowed to think what we wish. Ideally we should discuss and arrive at a median C. That’s how the system is supposed to work. Perhaps I am borrowing too much from Aristotle here, but the middle is often the best road, and I whole-heartedly believe that. Socialism isn’t the answer; Anarchy isn’t the answer, but a healthy mix of both! I think many liberals fail at this key point. Our answer isn’t always right, on that note their answer isn’t either. It’s a battle, a constant struggle to improve and advance, but people are remarkably resilient, they will get better. But no one will get ahead if everyone is beating everyone else down. I agree with competition, I don’t agree with discrimination. To be liberal, you must be open to being wrong, being right, and not knowing.

Item three goes with what I was saying above. Liberals must discuss, debate, but we must also act. Once we decide that global warming is a problem, and then we work to fix it. If blacks in the South are being wrongfully denied their right to vote, action must be taken. Everyone has a duty to express their opinions. If you have none, fine. If you are still deciding, great. If you are silent, leave. It is perhaps the most Un-American thing you can do. Do you realize the United States, while originally an escape from religious persecution, became the first federal constitutional republic? Borrowing from lessons of the past, American’s founded a country not based on a common language (though by de facto it was English), not a common ethnicity, not a common religion, but a common political belief. America exists to be political. I’ve struggled with the issue of voting. I feel that not voting is wrong. A denial of the freedoms given to you. And I would never advocate apathy in voting. However, I must respect your decision, I ask you to reconsider, but if ultimately you choose your voice to not be heard via a vote, so be it.

Question. Question. Question. Government, liberal or conservative. Obama or McCain, question everything. That’s al I’ve got to say on 4.

Liberals defend those who can’t defend themselves. This is the first item I can say really doesn’t agree with a conservative. A libertarian or conservative would say “I earned it, it’s mine,” or “They can defend themselves, they are just lazy,” or some other equivalent. They are right; sometimes. But not always, and less common than they’d like. The funny thing about some conservatives is that they had a poor background, and feel that if they can make it, so can everyone else. Well, I have a very sad truth for everyone. The American Dream is a lie. I can’t be a NBA basketball player, I can’t be an artist. The idea of the dream IS true, work hard, believe in yourself, and you can achieve your full potential, that society will let you achieve… A single mother who can work through college, and have 2 kids, and work 18 hours a week, works harder than any person I will ever know, and I respect you more than any CEO. But not everyone can do this. Luck, medical problems, money, assistance, location, color, and many other factors play into it, and many arise from social inequalities. A single mother who is still working 18 hour days, with one kid, may never be able to make more than $30,000, and will struggle until their death. They are working harder than you or I ever will (and I am going into Law). We (liberals) need to speak for this woman who can’t speak for herself. Society tells her she is worthless because she doesn’t own a BMW, have 2.3 kids, and doesn’t live on a street named after a tree. We tell gays they are worthless because they can’t have ‘families’ as we define them. We tell blacks that because they are darker, that they are worthless. All of this is simply untrue. So I am declaring right now, right here: No one is worthless, no one is better than anyone else, as a person. Bob may be a better CEO than Janet who is a better painter than Nick who is an asshole, but a better accountant than John. But as people, as fucking human beings, they are all the same. That is what liberals mean when they say we are equal.

Government isn’t the end-all-be-all answer. Socialized Medicine? Maybe, I am still discussing this one. But the idea, and the promotion behind it, cannot exist outside of a mutual care. John Locke believed we enter into government via a social contract, sacrificing some liberty to protect our rights. The debate is where the line should be drawn. A wise friend said to me: “The best way to determine whether or not anyone knows what they are talking about in relation to politics is to ask them this: What do you think the role and function of government is?” Tie, you are a genius. I will answer this.

The role and function of government is to promote the general protection of the entire group’s rights, and to promote the advancement of society as a whole.

In my world, this is what government is for. This is where welfare, social security, unions, labor rights, abortion rights, civil liberties, and everything else comes into play. The FDA (though in need of reform) protects the food I eat, and I know that chicken is chicken, period. There is no ‘snake oil’ unless I want snake oil. Unemployment can help me while I look for a new job (and everyone I know has never ‘cheated’ this system, and genuinely used it to live while they ACTIVLY searched for work). The list goes on. I do not want the government to pick my job for me, or force anything on me, but I know that if I stumble, I can have some help getting back on my feet, so I can walk again.

When everyone walks, everyone wins. It’s that simple. You may disagree, but a class that has all 3.5’s is better off than a class with all 1.0’s and a single 6.0 raising the average. In the first class, there is more prosperity, more happiness, more innovation, than one where the top guy may have ‘the life’ but no one else can contribute, and he ends up having to deal with their problems in the long run.

I believe in God. I have a faith, and my faith has changed over time. But in the end, I believe in, pray to, and respect God. But I also respect Allah, Yew*h, Buddha, Shiva, what have you. My God is my God, and yours is yours. Since politics involves everyone, and God is individual, keep them separate. Jesus stated (roughly) that we “take no part in the world”, or, keep religion out of politics.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory. The government, following the role I described above, should never violate (in my opinion) and of those items. If you are denying a group their rights, that’s wrong. If the courts fail to follow the legal procedures, that is wrong. If the executive doesn’t uphold the just and proper laws, that is wrong.

A few people may ask me, how can I firstly advocate disagreement and compromise, then call various things wrong? Well, in short, I don’t think the world is 100% subjective. Though I feel our perception is more-or-less subjective, and different things are different for different people, nothing can be 100% subjective. Why? If one person’s perception is that something does not exist, while another’s is that it does exist, there can be no compromise. Something can’t half-exist. This is an extreme, but it makes my point that there would be a chaotic and infinite combination of subjections. I don’t want to get into this too much, but there is a line. There’s a point where something is wrong. That is when it violates the ‘rules’ of the social contract, or the Constitution, or your religion, or whatever rules govern your life. I believe in an objective perspective of many things, and liberty/freedom/rights is one of them. It is wrong for people to needlessly suffer. Period.

James went on and on about his various beliefs, and that’s not how I role (no disrespect to him). I like to be as concise as I can, and talking about my beliefs on issues isn’t the same as what it means to be liberal. However, if you want to know what I feel on something specific, ask me. According to rule number one, I’d love to discuss it with you 🙂