Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Who am I: What I believe – Part 1
My Rights, Your Rights, What’s Right in the World

Disclamer: Like any good Empiricist, I am not locked into these statements. This is the result of my observations. Not what I think SHOULD BE. What I think IS. Based on further data, these conclusions may be proved or dis-proved. Since most of these principals are interwoven into the very bowels of politics, I would go so far as to say this is the basis for my Political Science. Science in the classical sense, NOT Poli-Sci as taught and practiced in today’s world.

OK, here goes:

I believe, first and foremost in Life, Liberty and Property.
In Life, faculties and Production.

I believe these are the fundamental principals that define me and my interactions in the world. They are not ‘granted’ me by some benevolent governmental entity. They exist because I exist. If you are a deist, as I am, you would say they are, as the Declaration of Independence so eloquently states: ‘endowed by the creator”. Even if you are an A-Theist, you have these rights, some times in spite of the government whose reign you endure. WE, the PEOPLE, have ceded certain of these rights to form a government that will promote the general welfare and provide for the common defense. Theist or A-Theist, Red-Yellow-Black-White-Brown-Pink-Green, Jew-Chirstian-Muslim-Hindo-Buddist-Taoist-Wiccan-SATANIST-whatever, our very existence in the material universe is defined and fulfilled in these principals.

Because of this I believe in Markets. I believe that markets are good for everyone, benefit everyone and are the only fair way for human-beings to interact in a civilized fashion.
I believe in civilization and the benefits it affords me through commerce, i.e. the trading of my Production for others Production in the form of items I need and want.

I believe that the virtually instantaneous communications, air travel and shipping available in the modern world make this planet make this entire planet more connected than New York city circa 1776. I can know, interact and am directly affected by events that occur on the other side of the globe in a more fundamental fashion than any Irish emigrant in five-corners was affected by the goings-on on the fashionable streets further North in Civil War era Manhattan. Because of this, I break with ‘classical liberal’ otherwise known as Libertarian thought. I believe we do have to take action to deal with events beyond our borders. We can no more ignore the ‘outside world’ than a principality in what is now known as central Germany could ignore the thirty-years war when Gustavus Adolphus’ forces marched over the horizon. We are, like it or not, living in that future postulated in Science Fiction.

The entirety of ‘civilization’ is embodied, for me, in a simple transaction. My oldest daughter, Megan, was diagnosed with Diabetes when she was in Kindergarten. She is type-1, insulin-dependant. I, lacking the capability to produce insulin on my own, am quite happy to interact in a transaction that trades my Production for the output of another’s application of their Faculties in the Production of Insulin. This usually takes place monthly at the local Medicine Shoppe.

This single simple act is, for me, the symbolic representation of civilization and my personal benefit by its existence. Any Objectivist will admonish you to avoid the reliance on Altruism. As long as I can be left alone and given the chance to freely interact with others in a free society, I could care less what happens on the other side of the street, much less the planet. As soon as I am affected, I feel fully justified in dealing with this anomaly and returning to the state of freedom. If you are willing to deprive me of my Life, Libery or Property by force, I am fully justified in using force to counter you.

Just as a serial killer preying on local residents, whatever their chosen occupation or an armed robbery justifies action in the collective force of society in the form of the justice system, so to, people ready and willing to take my life, merely for believing in these things justifies my/our action to stop such actions. The proximity of that person or group is a mitigating factor on the force possible and necessary, not the justification of the use of force. We do not wish the police to wait for a crime to take place, given evidence of its preparation. The fact that pre-emptive arrest based upon criminal intent is a function of man-power, not lack of justification. Note I am not speaking of sweeps or ‘thought-police’. I am referring to investigative action resulting with evidence that can be presented in a court of law.

Now, perception is everything. How I perceive the world is the only method I have of interacting with it. There are other interpretations. I listen to the opposing interpretation and evaluate its logic to descern any factual input as I do all input available. To many, I will be viewed as a Stupid White Man. So be it. I have, as stated here, reasoned conclusions based on the best evidence I have observed.

You want to debate these conclusions, fire away!

If you don’t like it, fine. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. But not their own facts.

Think what you want. Do what you want. Just leave me alone.

And don’t expect me to sit by and do nothing when you cross the line and disrupt the social order. Be you a petty criminal or a petty dictator.

You hurt my kid (/friend/neighbor/neighborhood/city/state/country/ally/another human being anywhere) you have to answer to me (/us/society as a whole).

Don’t say you weren’t warned…


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