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The better bits of politics

Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:34 pm
by Psudo
I was curious what political beliefs folks around here have, but I don't want left/right loyalty checks or political party affiliations. I want to know what principles you think a society and it's government should follow in pursuit of that lofty goal, good governance. A list of issue positions is OK, I guess, but I'd prefer to know how you decide what positions to take on issues generally.

I'll go first, both to describe my thinking and demonstrate what I'm looking for.

I believe that:
1) a society without government quickly becomes dominated by whoever is the most willing and able to use force. Thus, we need government to provide basic law enforcement and defense as a protection against worse rulers.
2) a government that ceases to exist or becomes corrupt provides no protection. Thus, a good government should be dedicated to it's own enduring survival and morality (as defined by these points).
3) too much enforcement of laws of whim leads to heavy-handed injustice, so some check against whims and protection of rights is necessary. Rule by law rather than people, based on a constitutional mandate to protect the sovereignty of the individual citizen (including freedoms of life, opinion, and self-determination), is crucial to prevent government corruption.
4) justice is equality of interaction with and protection by government, not uniformity of happiness or success. Government should protect people from systematic societal prejudice or outside imposition of will, it may provide infrastructure and emergency relief and other services so long as all citizens have equal access to it, but it should not attempt to and cannot grant them equality of wealth, success, or happiness.
5) as verification breeds efficiency so should government strive to be transparent to the extent conductive to it's survival. (see 2)
6) a government has a narrow, limited mandate to protect it's society from moral corruption in the same philosophical sense wherein it's citizen's rights are defined; it is not properly protecting it's citizens if it allows their rights to be eroded or their society to degrade into an unendurable cesspool, nor if it prevents it's citizens from open and pluralistic debate on the nature of morality and good government.
7) a government should strive to peacefully coexist with other nations to their mutual benefit; a good government should neither try to impose it's system on other nations, nor allow itself to be imposed upon by them, nor should it isolate itself from the international stage to the extent of political ignorance.

Hrm... that's all I can think of at the moment. You can see how I don't explicitly mention many political issues, yet I give you a little insight into how I consider what side of an issue to support. That's the kind of thing I'm hoping for from you all.