Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Political Philosophy, Idealism, and the Attractiveness of Anarchy

This is a long-overdue post, and for that I beg your pardon.

Okay, that said...

It occurred to me not long ago that I’ve never really enumerated what, exactly, my political views are. Most of you probably think I’m a staunch supporter of American constitutional “democracy,” and to an extent, you’d be right. The American system of government works for a nation the size of America, but honestly, I don’t think it’s ideal.

Don’t worry, I’m not a socialist.

If you think about it for a moment, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that the founders of American government really didn’t have all that much going for them. They’d just come off a long, grueling war with the current world superpower, their country was all but starving, and to top it all off, they had to come up with a form of government that was at once daring and conservative. Obviously, these weren’t the most auspicious of circumstances, so the Founding Fathers should be applauded for their work.

Now that we’re living in a later time period, however, we can see that the Founding Fathers were not, perhaps, perfect. They knew this, of course, so they allowed for amendments to the Constitution. But has our society changed so much that our current form of constitutional government is no longer a viable option?

I would argue that the Constitution could still work, provided that the people exchanged entitlement for responsibility. But there’s still a huge potential for corruption when a substantial government presides over the people.

In order to eliminate that potential for corruption, one must either eliminate the people or eliminate the government. Either way, it turns out that everyone shares power to some degree. The difference is that if the people are eliminated, we get communism, whereas if the government is eliminated we get anarchy. Neither of these two extremes is necessarily desirable, but I think that the latter extreme is preferable to the former.

Don’t worry, I’m not an anarchist, either. Not entirely, anyway; the technical term for my view is a form of Lockean anarchism.

Ideally, in a Lockean anarchist society, the laws are made by the people directly—thus Lockean anarchism would only be feasible in a very small population—and enforced by private contractors. Everyone owns as much property as he or she wishes; indeed, labor is counted as property and therefore can be traded as such. Thus, if someone labors a lot, he or she can trade that labor for a large plot of land. The only proviso here is, in Locke’s words, that everyone should leave “enough and as good in common... to others” (i.e., enough property).

Taxes, as such, do not exist. There is no obligation to pay for roads or what have you, unless, of course, one wishes to use the roads etc. One only pays for what one uses.

I differ from this view in three major areas. First of all, I think that private contractors would allow for corruption. If one person or a small group of people took over law enforcement, for example, and used it for their own personal gain, the results would be disastrous. Therefore, I think that the enforcement of law and that sort of thing should be left up to the people.

Second, in order for the people to be able to enforce laws themselves, there would have to be a governing document. This document would be written by the founders of the society in very clear language, using precepts learned from the successes and failures of various constitutions. In a way, this document would itself be the government, because it would decide all matters of legality.

Third, for a Lockean anarchist society to truly function, people would have to behave in a non-human manner. I believe in the doctrine of total depravity; thus, I do not believe that people, of themselves, are capable of doing something truly good. With the help of God they can do good, but on their own, good is impossible. In an essentially unconstrained society, the basest parts of human nature would certainly come out, and the society would dissolve in moments. There is then a need for a small volunteer government to keep order.

With this small caveat, I effectively destroy my entire argument for Lockean anarchism. Anarchy does not coexist with government; the terms are mutually exclusive. While I would be ecstatic if Lockean anarchism worked, I know that it is very probably unfeasible on this earth, especially in this modern, irresponsible era. Thus, it is my ideal, but not my working model. And while American representative democracy is not ideal, it is certainly better than chaos—although I would prefer even less government than the Constitution allows, especially in regard to the courts.

That, then, is my political philosophy in a gnarled nutshell. It’s still sort of a work in progress, as I’m still attempting to hammer out a form of Lockean anarchism that would actually work. I could call it Paradoxian anarchism—an apt name.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Here's a random though wich just popped into my mind:
It seems that today there are many, many people who don't properly understand government. (including myself sometimes...) I was thinking that maybe this stems from the fact that nowdays most children in public, private and homeschools are taught mostly American history (and some only classical Roman and Greek histories - almost as bad). Both my parents were only taught American history themselves.

I think that from studying only our government and not seeing other governments and their mistakes (e.x. the French Revolution) people have never fully come to understand our government. This has also led to a generation of ungratefuls who complain about the American government. Although our government has it's problems, like everything in this sin-cursed world, our country has been blessed with the best government ever invented, and some of the best leaders of all time. I really saw all this myself after the last year in school - studying the time form 500 A.D. to the 1800's. It was interesting to see the French and American revolutions paralleled, and the many other forms of government and how that affects the world today.

That's just a random thought for you... I'm not a government or education specialist, so this might not all be true - just wanted to share that with you.

- Ellie

Watch This...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Possibly the shortest "real" post I will ever do

People (esp. government types) need to talk less and do more.

...And that's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


In a follow-up to yesterday's post, how's this for a neat shift of responsibility: "'From the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort,' Obama told reporters at the White House. 'As far as I'm concerned, BP is responsible for this horrific disaster.'"

Okay, maybe it's just me, but I don't get the correlation here. It's BP's fault that this "horrific disaster" happened, so it's the government's job to oversee the cleanup?

This assumes that the government is the only entity capable of cleaning up an oil spill, which is painfully obviously not the case. If someone is responsible for a mess, it's not up to the government to micromanage the cleanup. It's up to the mess-maker. We all learned this when we were little kids. What's changed since then?

Again, the government needs to get out of the private sector. Otherwise, a whole bunch of almost-anarchists like me are going to take over in a few years...

Read the story the Obama quote was taken from
here and read another piece of the saga here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Goodness, how time flies...

Sorry I haven't posted for so long! My life of late has been extremely busy. Since I'm still pretty busy, I'm going to have to keep this post short and (hopefully) pithy.

So here goes nothing...

The environment definitely needs looking after. This BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico certainly is having adverse effects on the environment. But why isn't BP allowed to take care of the problem itself?

Apparently, the current regime believes that it has all the answers. Who in office now, though, has the expertise necessary to clean up an oil spill? No one. Why, then, does the government feel that it can take over BP's territory in such an egregious manner?

It could be any number of things. Personally, I believe that the current government has its own best interests in mind--not the best interests of the people. Throughout history, it is clear that more government consistently equals less freedom, more taxes, and less efficiency.

So the moral of this short "rant": the government needs to get out of the private sector posthaste. It's called the private sector--not the government sector--for a reason.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Slight change...

From now on, The Food Dish is going to be solely a science and current events blog. No more tags. No more silliness.

Now, before you start to wonder if I'm joking or if I've just gone off my rocker, I'll explain.

Ellie and I decided that the content of this blog should be a little more professional and pithy. We also decided that it would be a good idea for me to create another blog for "personal" (read: silly/random/non-political) stuff... which means tags and the like.

So I'm not going away... I've just created a different blog, which you can visit here. Hope you enjoy!