Politics is the ethics of society, implemented through government.

What violent corporations should we want to exist, and what should we want them to do? The nature of these broadly determines the operation of human society on this planet. Moreover, given that we know how we want the world to be ordered, how do we get from here to there?

The political system should be stable, preferably in a way that avoids nuclear annihilation of the planet. All former political systems share one fact - they failed. Therefore they were all flawed. So it's no good just saying we should go back to a previous system, without trying to work out why it failed and how we can stop it happening again. It's possible that if we do manage to implement a system, that it will fail for some unforeseen reason, or that a system will fail because we failed to implement it completely. It's very likely that this would happen as it's next to impossible to predict what's going to happen in the future, as everyone knows. In general the more variable the situation is, the less we can predict how the system will adapt. It may be possible to implement a feudal system which is stable,1 but on the other hand has little technological progress. That's not ideal, because I believe in progress, and this system would not be able to defend itself against asteroid strikes, or for that matter the Sun becoming a red giant star. It's a romantic picture to imagine people escaping the solar system for the first time as Earth explodes in nuclear war, which juxtaposes conflict and progress. However, that's not likely to happen and the extinction of humankind is much more likely. We need to find a golden mean between stability and progress.

It's perfectly acceptable to be "apathetic" about politics. There are many ways to make a difference in this world of polycausality, other than a voting preference.


I would like to lay out the pros and cons of various political systems. There is a quote from Winston Churchill people like to use: 'Democracy is the worst system, except for all the others.' I don't approve of this dismissive approach. It's like a fundamentalist Christian saying, we can't understand evolution, so the only reasonable thing to do is to accept the truth of the Bible and accept Jesus into your heart.

I say to you, evolution may be false. But we shall never learn what is true with this dismissive, closed-minded attitude. You only learn and progress by being open to new ideas, by thinking about things and not shutting things off with dogma. By making up new scientific theories and generally being intelligent. Liberal democracy may be the best system, but it should be something that is subject to rational inquiry.

Autocracy versus mixed government

Autocracy describes a system where one person substantially decides what the state does, and may occur in greater or lesser degrees. (For example, the dictator could leave it up to the civil service to decide whom they buy their stationery from.) (Obviously it is impossible for the dictator to control the bodies of the state's operatives as he controls his own, and even more to extend the state to the whole of society and leave no one any freedom as to what they do.) The state should work towards good, and in an autocracy knowledge of that good comes directly from the moral leanings of the dictator.

If for whatever reason we don't want a dictatorship, then instead we have the various branches of the government circling round in a never-ending dance - in the American system: the populace and the various social groups therein, POTUS, SCOTUS, Congress and the House of Representatives, the states, various police forces, and so on.

If a believer in bicameral representative democracy, using Single Transferable Vote, acquired dictatorial powers, we should expect him to immediately institute such a system and resign. He believes that this is the best way. Even though he wouldn't be able to impose his morality any more, he still thinks that there will be more morality or probability thereof, perhaps after his death when another, more immoral dictator would have taken the reins of power.

Hereditary monarchy

I am opposed to hereditary monarchy with laws of succession that determine completely who should accede to the throne. (I'm not including figurehead monarchy in this statement, where the queen is the high priestess of the national cult.) A young child shouldn't rule, and in the interests of truth and clear language I oppose calling a child a king when he does not rule and a congregation of barons or courtiers rule in his name. I would be less opposed to a hereditary monarchy where there is an age limit (perhaps even an old-age limit) for accession. But still, this might yield an incompetent ruler. Having a vote by a body of noblemen among several candidates might be better, with a process for removing the incumbent by the body.



Positive liberty and individual empowerment

Let's be honest, I completely despise and hate the government. (Even road markings piss me off.) This makes me reluctant to come close to arguing their case. If I display a form of virtue that my enemy believes in, I want it to be as a magnanimous gesture after I have won, and in no way the consequence of weak submission to its will. I am not saying that the actions of the government are mainly based on a reasonable (if wrong) moral position, or that pandering to the electorate and colluding with the rich and powerful are peripheral motivations. Nonetheless, to some extent, some left-wing policies (where 'left-wing' is defined as something I disagree with) can have an appeal which is based in universal moral principles.

Equality is not, for me, a fundamental moral end. The appeal of equality is the appeal of improving the condition of the impoverished. It would be universally agreed that it is good for someone who is starving to be fed, for someone living in a warzone to live in peace, and for someone who feels afraid, marginalized or inferior to instead feel secure, involved or valued. It doesn't seem unrealistic to compare various potential historical frames and to pick the one you prefer. The problem is when you skip right to direct government intervention to achieve your desired outcome, with at most meagre knowledge of the dynamics of society and government intervention. It does seem preferable for hundred people to have medium wealth than for one person to have massive wealth and ninety-nine people to be in poverty. The latter case is not 'wrong,' just less preferred. At the moment, I largely believe in the free market as a method for reaching desirable historical frames.

Advocates can like to muddy the waters, by implicitly identifying the positions of disliking something and of believing that the state should outlaw it. These two positions are obviously different, but an explanation of the fallacy would need a sufficient complexity of expression that such would have little effect on the democratic process, compared with easily parsed and absorbed rhetoric.

  • One dislikes: Children being left out. Solution: Interfere with their party invitations.
  • One dislikes: People telling perceived lies about racial science, history, or social organization. Solution: Introduce laws restricting the freedom of expression.

I think libertarians believe in ‘fairness’ too. Theft is seen as getting something for nothing, unfair because the victim has to work for it, but the criminal didn't have to. The same is true of the dislike of members of the government and their greedy, crooked ways — somehow they are getting more than they deserve. Libertarians would be likely to claim that no moral imperative towards equality exists but I don't think that is true. Put some free-market libertarians in a room with a cake and they will be likely to divide up the cake equally between themselves.

  • But then again, ownership is just sovereignty and control. There's no reason why people have to use their property for their own pleasure, and in fact many rich people give a lot to charitable causes. Even if our theory of capitalism has everyone completely out for their own interests, it could be made not so quite easily.

Social welfare and capitalism

Poor people starving to death is bad. In a capitalist society, we wouldn't have social welfare programs run by the government. Some people would have to rely on charity, or die.

When talking about government welfare, we should remember that it is only welfare for one section of the Earth's population, those living under the jurisdiction of the particular power centre in question. I believe that it would be impossible to establish a system where everyone on the planet was sufficiently fed and free to breed as much as they like and have the state pay for their offspring. If such a system could be put in place, it would soon collapse when the population boomed without a corresponding boom in food production. (In fact to some degree this is what has been happening. The third world is full of starving people, but has had a rapidly growing population over the last hundred years, which, I understand, is down to foreign aid to some extent.)

If we don't think the state should pay for African mothers to have umpteen children, or implement social welfare programs in other countries, we might wonder whether the state should do the same in this country. I should like to lay out some ideas behind a possible social system to replace the current one where there is no state welfare system.

This system applies the dynamics of capitalism to communities. A principle of capitalism is that successful enterprises and practices grow by means of their excess profits, and the unsuccessful shrinks. We could view culture and communities as enterprises. If we had a patchwork of local communities, corpuscular states, each with their own culture and moral norms, then those communities and local administrations whose moral systems and government policy led to increased wealth would be able to buy land from neighbouring communities, to grow their community and spread their moral beliefs. This would allow the most successful moral belief to be discovered by a market process.

The foregoing assumes that morality and the result of capitalist competition are the same. I am inclined to agree with this. Imagine a new religious sect appears which teaches sexual abstinence to its believers. They hold themselves to be morally superior to the wicked, worldly outsiders. They claim that this practice will lead to wonderful things - unending life in heaven with the Creator, and so on. But of course they all die out, and heaven is neither here nor there, but the sect is wiped from the face of the earth. Maybe they could have engraved "We were right" on their tombstones. It is my belief that the long-term wellbeing and progress of intelligent life in our universe is a very important moral aim, and maybe the only one.


Anarchism cannot exist because to have no rulers means that everyone is free to do what they like, as long as they don't restrict anyone else's freedom (thus becoming a kind of ruler themselves.) Since assaults will doubtless occur, law enforcement is necessitated, but then again we have a ruling corporation. It is a mistake to say the market can provide enforcement of civil order, like some Anarcho-Capitalists do. The market is the free exchange of goods and services and presupposes non-coercion.

We could imagine a world of free moral agents who obey the law because they're afraid of law enforcement, and do often consider the possibility of doing something against the law. Each individual would be his own source for moral guidance, without being influenced by culture. (but why does everyone have to be like this?)

Various thoughts

My views are a mixture of libertarianism and authoritarianism. I am right-wing in that I believe that the state should reflect human nature rather than the state trying to change human nature. I refer to leftists and their attempts at social engineering. They feel that they have a right to impose their ideas about (for example) homosexuality upon the general population in the name of progress.

I support private firearm ownership for a more immediate imposition of social order than waiting for the police to arrive, but believe the state should restrict any militia if it should become a risk to the existence of the state.

I am against immigration and believe the state should seek to preserve the national character. I believe that communication technology will damage the ability of the state to exert its power, and to live in safe environments smaller political units will become much more common. In the future we'll be amazed that you could just travel across country to another town, walk down the high street surrounded by strangers, go into shops and buy something without learning the local dialect, go in to office blocks, perhaps get in an elevator alone with an absolute stranger, and not worry at all about your safety; furthermore that no one else worried about who you were or what you were doing. However you could be acquiring bomb-making materials, or trading in weapons, or selling crystal meth. You might be mentally deranged and go and stab someone. I think cities will be decommodified, becoming places to call home and a community where you have to put something in, with more of a sense of belonging. This situation will arise because of increasing crime and acts of non-traditional decentralized warfare (known as 'terrorism') and the ineptitude of law enforcement in doing anything about it. You're less likely to rob a neighbour if you know them, or if you're related to them. People will want to live in communities where they feel secure.

(enter phantasy mode)

At the top of this patchwork of local communities would be a small but brutal world government who occupied the world's uranium mines with whatever force proved to be necessary. If they found out about a large scale buildup of military capability using their spy satellites which threatened to destabilize the world they'd have to do something about it. If some state tried to place weapons of mass destruction in orbit then they'd be blasted to pieces with giant death lasers (the weapons would be, that is, not the states). They would work to maintain the global balance of power. This would not be a world empire or a domination by one ethnic group of the others. This agency (maybe it could be called "Terra Administration", a nice practical, secular term, and it could have a fancy logo where the last A in Terra overlapped with the first A in Administration, or "Admin" for short) could be formed by agreement of the rump Russian, American and Chinese governments. It wouldn't get involved in economic or social causes or try to alleviate world poverty. The people in charge would realize the impossibility of trying to micromanagement. It could happen sooner than you think! Roll on anonymous assassination markets!

It's good to think about what kind of structures could replace direct governmental rule. We'd have new industries:

  • Identity management - In the future you will be able to buy a new identity from a private company. The private company will then be able to certify that you are who you say you are when you are doing things like opening bank accounts or signing employment contracts.
  • Airspace trading - As well as land being owned, airspace will be owned too. Owners of neighbourhoods could buy the airspace above to stop planes and helicopters flying above and annoying the inhabitants. Market forces will make the world a better place to live. Much of the horribleness of the environments we live in is the government's fault - urban planning, noisy and dangerous roads. Unfortunately the government has a monopoly on such things and we don't get the opportunity to explore alternatives.

I support the legalization of drugs. Any fight against a particular drug should be justified both by it doing immense social harm and by the fight against it not restricting personal liberty in too great a way.

I am against income tax because to enforce it properly you need to know absolutely everything someone does in case they do something which counts as earning income. I don't mind corporation tax and land tax as much because they seem easier to enforce.

I do not believe in a specific right of freedom of religion. Persons should have the right to follow their religion as long as it is within the law.

I believe in free trade and free markets. I don't see the need to justify this - it's just economics.

I believe in freedom of speech, apart from communicating passwords to bank accounts and the like, and where restricted by contractual obligations. To enforce copyright requires surveillance and any increase in artistic output isn't worth it. Child pornography should be legal to possess, although not of course to produce.

Gun control

(section pending re-evaluation)

On the face of it, killing people is bad. Guns are bad because they're used to kill people. The state, therefore, does a good thing by stopping people having guns.

I disagree with this. I believe in a small state and also a stable society. If every household is armed there'll be less robberies. If everyone walking down the street is potentially armed how safe would you feel trying to mug someone in broad daylight? Freely available guns mean less crime and a smaller police force, which is a good thing. Also, if the state were to disappear one day, say the Houses of Parliament fell into a seismic gulf during an earth-quake, or the police went on strike, a fully-armed society would carry on pretty much as normal. The state isn't there to fundamentally alter the nature of society, and if it would all go to pieces the second the state disappears then this is symptomatic of a deeper problem in society.

I do not believe private citizens should be allowed to have their own nuclear missiles. There should be some restriction on the strength of arms that people can use.

There should be restrictions on the strength of private armies, in case such should try to overthrow the state or do other nasty things. It might be possible for militias to organize in secret, but to actually do anything they'd have to lose their secrecy. At that point the state's army would crush them.

Political spectrum

It annoys me when people describe themselves as political 'moderates' when they have opinions I disagree with. (In fact, it annoys me when people have opinions I disagree with.) Here they are using 'moderate' as a code-word for 'correct', 'sensible'. Any question can be phrased in such a way as to make a desired answer seem the moderate one. For example:

Question: How many unborn babies should we kill?
A1: All of them (Pro-death extremist)
A2: Just when the baby is retarded or if the mother really wants to (Moderate)
A3: None of them (Pro-life extremist)

The idea of a political spectrum is mostly used to disregard ideas that disagree with current prevailing opinions.

One's political views spring from one's view of the world. From this, with the help of one's logical and perceptive powers, one gains answers to certain political questions. These answers may place one on a position on various political spectra. Such positions make one's opinions seem to be compromising between various pure positions, when actually this is not the case. The same view that might make one believe that sex should be left until after marriage may also lead to believing that we should drop taxes. One is a political opinion and the other is a social one. We need world-view spectra instead.

It is instructive to consider, not just politics at the present time and in the current world situation, but also what politics we would have practised in situations similar to how the world has been at other times, with weaker technology and a smaller population. We should ask how our preferences change with the world situation, and how they transition from one form to another. At the current stage, you might hypothetically desire a global libertarian society, with strong laws against theft and violence. However, you couldn't advocate that for a time when the population consists of disperse bands of hunter-gathers. If you were one of those hunter-gatherers, what would you do? It's good to considering this question because there may be maxims that you would follow in that situation that would still apply in today's situation.

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