Thoughts on politics

Content Warning: politics; if you don't like politics, or wanna hear about them, you may wanna skip this one.

I've never really put pen to paper about my political beliefs in a single coherent document. I guess there's no time like the present.

WARNING: my beliefs do evolve over time. I can't promise that this will be authoritative in a month, let alone a year. This is merely a snapshot in time.

A rough overhead view from geostationary orbit

I am probably best described as a leftist. I believe in no true dogmas, but obtain my beliefs from a variety of sources. I believe there is no one source of truth.

I refuse labels like “Anarchist,” “Communist,” “Socialist,” etc., but if you really insist on putting me in a box, “Anarcho-Socialist” would probably be close.

Specific views

Though there is of course nuance to my beliefs, I will do my best to give a rough outline of what I believe here, based on economics, social equity, and governance.

Economics

I believe in equity for all. I also believe that achievement should be rewarded, but no reward should come from the backs of exploitation.

Those who cannot work do not deserve to live in penury. They are valuable members of the community and deserve our support.

Society is nowhere near full automation and we are absolutely reliant on labour. It's foolish to say we can abolish all work at this time. However, those who can work, should not be made to work beyond what they are capable of doing. If that means they only work a few hours a week, so be it.

We should endeavour to match people to jobs that use their talents to the best of their ability. Labour comes in many forms and does not necessarily mean that all work must be profit-motivated. A well-motivated amateur can outclass a jaded professional, every time. The tireless open-source contributor is as valuable as any professional.

Avoidance of burnout is paramount to maintaining productivity. Chasing endless productivity is a fruitless endeavour and at some point, productivity is waste. However, too little productivity does have negative consequences. Balance must be struck.

Working conditions should be as safe as possible. Safety must be job #1. Preventable deaths are a tragedy. There is no acceptable level of death in the name of productivity. Anyone who tells you otherwise should be made to work in a coal mine and then we'll see how they feel about safety.

Those who have too much should be taxed proportionally and help pay for improvements to society. I believe this is an imperative to ensure the survival and well-being of our species. Billionaires should not exist, and any philanthropic niche they fill should be filled by other means. We don't need Bill Gates to cure malaria, anything he can do, we can do.

Social equity

Bigotry of any kind, including racism, sexism, any kind of -ism, any kind of -phobia, is a blight and must be destroyed. The senseless belief in superiority over others is an illusion and is born out of inequality and scapegoating.

I believe everyone deserves to have their needs provided for, and some of their desires.

I don't think that means we should give everyone a toilet made out of solid gold. I also don't think we should give to those who already have or don't need it.

This means we should provide housing, healthcare (including mental healthcare), food, water, electricity, Internet, and basic entertainment.

I believe that rehabilitation services should be made more widely available for those who wish to (re-)enter the workforce. Few people truly wish to remain idle; often they're just stuck in a rut or need a helping hand.

We should work to help those who have trouble connecting with their communities to do so. Helping people make friends is the number one thing we can do to help with happiness and productivity. We are a social species, and we rely on each other to survive.

I believe governments should stay out of private lives unless harm is being committed. This means marriage should not be defined by the government, nor the shape a relationship should take, or anything of the sort.

I believe universal education, and the access thereof, is the key to a well-informed and critically thinking society. We must work to educate people in the way they learn best. Oftentimes, “learning disabilities” are simply the inability to learn based on outmoded and terrible methods that work poorly for many.

Governance

I'm still not sure how we can make an equitable government.

I don't think elections are the way forward, but instead appointing by lottery is the way to go. It may seem counterintuitive, but this selection process works for juries. If we do this for government, we can solve the cronyism problem.

I believe those who are appointed and turn out to be incompetent or corrupt should be able to be removed by popular vote, however.

I don't usually believe in hierarchies, but I also recognise the value in cooperation at multiple levels. I also recognise people often don't do very well without some kind of leadership and tend to wander aimlessly or bicker pointlessly without it. The question of how to ensure leadership doesn't become corrupt is an open one. I believe leadership should be as narrow and limited as possible, and only serve as a place where the buck stops and as a guidepost for where to go, based on the input of others. Leadership does not mean power vested in one person, however. It can be a committee or a group.

I believe in consensus-based governance. This doesn't mean that everyone agrees 100% on everything, just that a general consensus on how to proceed is achieved.

I do not believe in political parties or partisanship. People are multi-dimensional. Parties wind up representing narrow interests of a specific group and do not represent everyone.

I think the way “democracy” presently works is fundamentally flawed and stacks the deck in favour of the wealthy and powerful. Governments at present do not represent the will of the people, and oftentimes they make it transparent that they don't, in the name of some vague “greater good” that usually just means someone is making a buck. I also recognise that any form of elective democracy means the person with the most charisma will usually win, not the person with the most competence.

Conclusion

I hope I wrote my thoughts out coherently. I could write more, but I don't want to right now. I think I've written enough.

I hope this clarifies my positions on some things to people who were curious.

— Elizabeth Myers (Elizafox) Fedi (elsewhere): @Elizafox@social.treehouse.systems Tip jar: PayPal || CashApp || LiberaPay