Somewhere around 2003, seven years ago when all of the cells now inhabiting most of my body had yet to exist, I wrote a set of litmus test answers. Let's see if I still believe the same fundamental things. I'll only comment on those things which I think I'd tweak today. Today's addenda will be in italics.
i am principly against abortion, but it's one of those very ugly things that are part of civilization, like armies. just like a nation has to have armies to protect the freedoms that we all deserve (and we hope we never have to go to war), a society which values the freedom of women has to have abortion to protect them. i am also strongly against politicians or religious evangelists telling doctors what medical procedures to do. human beings have every right to make life and death decisions.
I'm generally in favor of allowing states to decide. I think I would like to see a state take a stand and make it illegal. It goes against my prejudice and better judgment against social engineering, but it's how I feel.
is never going to cure the problems of racism or equality in society. substitute zip codes for race, and you have the same thing. it's integration, it works. don't ask don't tell. don't get all bent out of shape about it. but most importantly, don't try to reinvent the civil rights movement with your weenie opposition. you only make yourself look stupid.
animals have no rights a human being is bound to respect. humans have no rights animals are bound to respect. bacteria will win in the end.
is the world in microcosm. it has a million times as many people in it as you have in your little black book, so stop pretending you understand it.
that doesn't make you laugh or cringe is just creativity.
will triple in number over the next decade, if i have anything to do with it.
there is nothing wrong with a little class warfare. the rich and powerful should retain nobless oblige. the poor and desparate should periodically get militant.
civil rights movement
is over and did a good job. vigilance on the back burner is appropriate.
conservatives are the brakes on the engine of society. when society is moving backwards, they are useful and necessary. when society is moving forwards, they are annoying and counter-productive. when society is stable and peaceful, they look for trouble and invent reasons to stop thought. when society is wreckless and nihilistic, they are the saving grace of reason.
Too many changes to cite here. That's basically lower case conservatism which is almost meaningless. Conservatism without an ideological pedigree is worthless.
are more civilized than armies in that they are less capable of direct, concerted action. they therefore, by their nature, allow their membership greater freedom and autonomy. they are amoral and capable of doing anything people will do for money.
Corporations are less civilized than armies in that they are incapable of disciplining people to transcendent moral standards involving matters of life and death. Armies are cruel and desperate organizations whose existence is both regrettable and permanent.
american culture loves violence. american culture hates death.
human beings have every right to make life and death decisions, including the right to punt off that responsibility to the state. but a state which is irresponsible and sloppy revokes its responsibility, as do human beings who are irresponsible and sloppy. the death penalty in america is administered in an irresponsible and sloppy way. find a gulag until the system is reformed.
will be the greatest force of change in the 21st century. human organizations will become smaller, smarter and more mobile.
This is, by the way, the way towards war. Economic decoupling in Europe might just be the seed.
it is a privilege to live in a nation as advanced, beautiful and comfortable as the united states. those who would destroy our civilization do not deserve to live here. we should work out an arrangement with more anarchic nations by which we send certain convicts.
Now more than ever.
awaits an information revolution. theory will yield to empiricism.
the united states of america is an empire. it is possibly both the greatest empire in world history, and the most capricious and irresponsible empire in world history. i don't expect to find out in my lifetime, but i do hope that it works out.
It ain't working out. Depends on the dollar.
fate of the negro
nobody in any other nation cares about the fate of the american negro any longer, so you had better buy yourself a senator, because that's as good as it gets.
this is where the uppper middle class is heading iff it is heading in the right direction. the alternative is the world of devolution and hollywood morality - at least here in the states.
i don't watch any television news.
exists wherever you find human souls.
is inevitable so long as information about free market economics is not strictly controlled. the only way you can keep every human in the world from competing is to destroy every copy of 'the wealth of nations'. oops, too late.
That's overly simplistic. Information about free markets is too vast, deep and complex for the masses to comprehend and most governments to be responsible to. A new class of global economic rules must emerge.
is futile, but worth the effort.
Gun control, like any kind of control, is all too often done in bad faith.
is one of the great re-discoveries of the 20th century.
But it ain't what you think, peasant.
is the single most necessary condition for the attainment of wisdom.
i am sympathetic to good people everywhere who wish to live and work in the united states, and having driven many times across the great southwest, there is no question in my mind but that we have room for them. our greatest hedge against the infidel is crossover.
democratizes literacy, decentralizes power, enables panoptic oppression.
.and is kludgy as all get out.
internal third world
america must determine if its empire will be inclusive or exclusive. an inclusive empire means that we will need to accept the necessity of poor states within which poor people will constitute majorities. our laws and communities must accomodate them and defend their every freedom. an exclusive empire means that americans must be smarter, stronger, faster than everyone else. despite what most people believe, inclusive is easier than exclusive.
the people of iraq are on the the long slog to independence as a second world democratic republic. our involvement has shown the cost of conversion. it is slightly less expensive than traditional war and uses many of the same tactics. given what chechnya has been to russia, the decision to pre-empt has been wise.
Things fall apart.
the people of israel are behaving like abused children, replicating the abuses of their parents. since the deposing of rabin, i have had very little confidence in their governments. there is no excuse for the abuse they heap on palestinians, nor for their ever expanding property grabs and housing developments. there should be a second, pacifist jewish state in the middle east.
The people of Israel remain governed by a reasonable if siege mentality government. The stateless Palestinians have embraced radical and unproductive politics and subversive puppet political parties.
law is a labyrinth of words made real. the walls of the maze are plastic.
is impossible in today's world, and is largely irresponsible.
is the fundamental philosophy of modernism. if you believe in anything but predestination, you are a liberal. see how useless that is?
is the currency of civilization.
love is overrated and underpracticed.
zuboff, drucker & deming rock; hammer sucks.
"The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God."
i am sick to death of hearing the unending news of every body and bomb that falls in that excreble place, as if it were the locus of human suffering on the planet. i have no reason to care a whit more about palestine and israel than i do for siberia or timbuktoo. i ignore it to retain my sensitivities and perspective.
A crass provocative statement unworthy of the man I should be.
bill bennett, stephen l. carter yes; laura schlesinger, deepak chopra no.
should be the first priority of the united nations, and should be the framework for the lion's share of g7 foreign aid.
is indifferent. the planet is alright. (see animal rights)
the people of palestine are behaving like screaming children, expecting that they can escalate their tantrums and bomb their way to independence. arafat is surely one step away from symbolic dictatorship over the palestinians and his inability to rule, his willingness to associate with hamas and other radical militant cells not only cripples the peace but may paves the road to undemocratic rule of any palestinian state.
Yeah but does this kind of talk help?
is a good reason for heroism, but no excuse for lies.
is good. pornography is bad. (see violence in entertainment). don't defend porno itself, just defend people's right to create it.
A bit more libertarian than I actually am.
is bad. porno is good. hugh hefner is porno, pictures of children being raped is pornography.
It's all sin.
undermines the rule of law and should not ever be tolerated. nor should citizens ever fear police.
is the voice of passion. if it's not worth cursing about, then let highschool debate teams decide.
punch in the nose
should be the basic currency of passionate disagreement, as contrasted to small claims court.
is only a subject of discussion in racist nations.
the first american political philosophy that succeeds in making large numbers of nonwhite people successful and rich wins.
there is marriage, and there is everything else. if you are not married, and you are not my child, please don't expect me to care.
religion is the pedagogy of spirit. it is our first education.
Is more complicated and useful than most cynics are willing to admit.
is only acceptable in small towns and small economies, so long as they have open borders.
isn't what it used to be, ain't what it will be. it has fallen on bad times and has no business being so crudely populist.
But it's like that and that's the way it sadly is.
rebellion for its own sake is self-destructive. if it's not rebellious, it's not rock, it's pop. therefore no good rock band (or rap artist) can last.
same sex marriage
is oxymoronic. activists for the cause are disingenuous, solopsistic and mendacious. you don't get my blessing.
if you can look at your parents in the eye and believe they are the best people in the world to teach you about sex, you may be homeschooled. the rest of the world should get the straight dope, from doctors in public school.
no, not really.
is the ecology of civilization. learn it or die.
taxes are the cost of doing business in america, the greatest society in the world for the management of capital. greedy rich people (especially those who inherit) and stupid corporations should get off the tit of tax abatement. i support a flattened progressive tax.
are superior to television in every way.
violence in entertainment
is sustainable in a literate and critical society and paves the road to hell everywhere else. not all america is literate and critical.
violence in general
old people should be able to walk to church, period.
becomes more necessary in a society of people with poor manners. it is coercive.
is impossible. don't sweat it. the larger the government, the more corruptible it is. a world government will have loopholes the size of australia. besides, technology will decentralize autonomy. nations will become federations of distributed networks of power.
is the subjugation of the self to nothingness. i don't do it.
is retarded by definition. it is the direct result of insufficient parenting, surplus capital and arbitrary creativity (see art).
So there. I'm about 65% the same.