First Principlies of Politics
People usually divide economic and social issues into conservatism and liberalism.
Liberalism - the political philosophy based on the essential goodness of the human race, the autonomy of the individual and the protection of political and civil liberties.
Conservatism - the political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions and preferring gradual development over abrupt change.
Liberalism by its classic definition has the government subservient to the people while Conservatism has the people subservient to the government. But today this seems contradictory to what we know about the two systems at a conventional wisdom level.
Liberal Issues vs. Conservative Issues
Start from the first principle of maximizing freedom and compare the two
Universal Health Care (Less Freedom)
Gay Marriage (More Freedom)
Minimum Wage (Less Freedom)
No Prayer in Public School (Less Freedom)
Free Trade (More Freedom)
Drug War (Less Freedom)
Mandatory Prayer in Public School (Less Freedom)
Reducing Taxes (More Freedom)
By thinking about politics in the 'traditional' way you are stuck with accepting issues that reduce freedom. Is there another way to think about politics.
Viewing Issues - More Freedom vs. Less Freedom
The real world is more complicated than most politicians will let us believe. We will in two spheres, the economic and the social (And the two often overlap) So whether talking about social or political ideas we should always look at them in terms of increasing our freedom (deomcracy) or decreasing our freedom (totalitarianism)
The Social Sphere
How we choose to behave.
The Economic Sphere
How we enter into contracts with other people.
The Axis of Freedom
Instead of looking at issues in terms of how the left and right define them, we should instead look at them in terms of more/less economic freedom and more/less social freedom.
More Economic Freedom
Mandatory Prayer in Public Schools
No prayer in Public Schools
|Less Social Freedom||More Social Freedom|
Universal Health Care
Less Economic Freedom
With the above system, we get rid of logical contradictions and retain consistency.
Thinking About Politics in Terms of First Principles
The liberal/conservative dichotomy leads to logical contradictions because it encourages people to think about politics in terms of the 'hot issues of the day' instead of first principles.
What are first principles? They are not derived from other truths. They are either assumed to be true or so self-evident to be beyond dispute.
When you build your political views based on first principles instead of issues you avoid holding contradictory or inconsistent views.
What are Some First Principles?
- The Right to Life
- The Right to Property
From these two we get can three principles that most of your political decision making can be derived from: don't hurt people, don't take their stuff, leave them alone unless they are hurting someone else.