In the political world, every idea conveys a sense of hope to one group or another. Perhaps I should analyze all the different groups I know from my own perspective:
- Communists – This group is largely extinct mostly due to the fact that every major communist regime has effectively proven itself to be an utter waste of time and a needless waste of human lives. There are still plenty of communists out there, who still believe in the foolish illusion that it can work because the next time we will get it right.
- Socialists – What makes this group distinct from the Communists is that they will try and get approval of the people before enslaving them to the State instead of just outright conquest. This was the key difference that Karl Marx introduced as pretty much all of his other ideas were just repackaged from older ideas like those of Robert Owen. I suppose Marx’s greatest achievement was his superior marketing strategies that involved coercion and violence. As for the Socialists, their marketing strategy always has something to do with the rich being against the poor and that if you elect them, they will make things right. Their policies, however, tend to favor the rich and spite the poor as they need to maintain their voter base. I mean think about it: if you had a solid group of people devoted to keeping you in power, would do something to fix their problems and risk getting voted out or would you keep their problems going in order to maintain your lot in life?
- Corporatists – This group makes up the heads of the Republican party as well as many of the Democrat party. They are the ones who will insist on regulations, mandates, controls, and making government better for everyone, in whatever way they suggest. This is probably the core premise of modern politics with the banks being at the front of the line when it comes to receiving power and prestige. In any case, the corporatists do not call themselves such and usually refer to themselves as “capitalists” in the respect that they believe in a free market, provided that the options given are at their discretion.
- Conservatives – When I refer to conservatives here, I mean the ones who come from the vein of William F. Buckley, Jr. In other words, these are group of yahoos who believe that government should be limited and constitutional but when it comes to foreign policy, we should spare no expense (or the expense of our children to the 20th generation). In other words, the constitution, which they so revere in one sentence, is not important when it gets in the way of their inherent militarism. Then it is usually said that the Constitution is “not a suicide document” and rationalizations are made for their hypocrisy.
- Constitutionalists – This group is often confused with the libertarians, but in fact they are a group that seeks to take most national issues back to the states. While it is certainly a noble cause, I find that most state laws are meaningless and stupid, much like many of the Federal laws. The problem is that while I agree that our national government should be limited by the boundaries outlined in the Constitution, they tend to forget key things. For example, I have yet to come across one Constitutionalist who demands that the House of Representatives be increased in to 10,334, since the ratio is supposed to be 1 for every 30,000.
- Libertarians – This group I identify as the minarchists, those who wish to minimalize government in all aspects of life and only keep them around to maintain justice and peace when necessary. While I do admire their goals, I have a quick question: if people sometimes have a tendency to act criminal, which necessitates the intervention of government, then why would the criminals not attain the reigns of power? While their model is certainly something of reverse-Utopian hope, where all problems are solved once government gets out of the way, mostly because government creates these problems in the first place. But it is not government itself that is the problem, but the individuals in government. I know, this is probably a straw man argument here, but I think the point that so long as individuals are prone to acts of irrational aggression against other individuals, there is always a chance for them to take over.
- Anarcho-capitalists – This group largely believes that a total free market is the solution for people in that it asserts the individual is sovereign (I agree) and that you can live in a world without institutional coercive force. The problem is that when coercive force is employed by one individual against another, a reactionary force is needed to rectify the problem. This is not something that can be solved by the lack of government necessarily. They also say that their system would limit the movement of hardened murderers, which I find laughable as well as tragic for said murderer’s victims.
- Anarchists – I know, this group is distinct in that they believe in no government but also that we should be organized in a communal nature. If you ever read Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel The Dispossessed, you’ll get an idea of how their ideal society works. The problem is that if someone wanted to do something on their own, they would have to be forced back into the fold of the commune as it were. Or face rejection when they needed help from others for turning their back on the community. Another possible straw man, I know, but I think keeping people in communes would require the use of coercive force in conjunction with some central planning of some kind.
In essence, there is no system or ideal that can fix the problem of man. As far as I am concerned, one should not advocate a particular ideology per se, but instead advocate an introspective nature where one creates a better version of oneself before setting out to change the world. The best way in which you can change someone else is through the example of your life, which is the sum total of your decisions, not checking some box in a voting booth or writing a blog to complain about the countless assholes running our world. Many of them are there because of the massive human desire to be ruled over by someone else and thus outsource their own responsibilities.
Personally though, I say everyone should go away and leave me alone to live my life how I choose, provided I bring no harm to others. Unfortunately, that sentiment hardly ever crosses anyone’s mind these days.