Posted by – September 3, 2019

I usually hate these political quizzes (it all depends on framing, whether you want something done by government, or only if it happens without intervention, whether “more taxes” is relative to Finland or the US, etc.) but I at least got to the end of this one: https://8values.github.io.

Turns out, I am truly neutral! I sort of knew it. I have been feeling more and more neutral over the past years. What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or was I just born with a heart full of neutrality? I don’t know, but it feels right.


Facebook comments:

Sam Hardwick:

NH: No surprises for me either. But the test is totally aimed at the US.
Sam Hardwick: True. Libertarian socialism – I think that actually makes you an anarchist!
NH: Except that I believe in a lot of state interference.
Sam Hardwick: Isn’t that a bit paradoxical?
NH: I don’t think so. I believe in state interference to protect citizens from arseholes who would harm them. I believe the state should look after its citizens and not leave them to fend for themselves.
Sam Hardwick: I like to imagine the state being run by Donald Trump when thinking about how much centralised power I’d like it to have :).
NH: In the US checks and balances have failed. It is essentially a failed state. Ditto the UK at the moment.
Sam Hardwick: I think the best quote on this is from Alexander Hamilton: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
Sam Hardwick: The thing is, apart from possibly Iceland, the US and the UK are something like the longest running democracies. So over the long term there is not much to be optimistic about when it comes to state power. It probably is destined to fail (in some sense) over some timescale, and then you want at least a culture of liberty and limited centralisation of power, which does exist in both the US and the UK (realistically, wealthy people in blue states have only noticed Trump is president from reading the newspapers).

Sam Hardwick: The first step towards centrism: realising that “everyone is wrong”, in that (nearly) nobody has the “correct” opinions, but that “everyone is right”, in that (nearly) everyone has a justified concern they are expressing in their opinions. The next step: realising that society is not a machine that is working well or badly, but an ecosystem, where everyone is playing their part in a dynamic equilibrium with everyone else.

I have a part to play as a conservative in moderating excesses and preserving valuable things from the past, but I wouldn’t want everyone to be as conservative as me: that would lead to stagnation and decay. Worse, whenever there’s an orthodoxy, people start competing in who is most extreme in it, and there’s a totalitarianism hiding in every ideology.

In meta-politics, I’m a positive pluralist: I not only tolerate different political positions, but believe they are a good thing.
TY: kind regards,
J. S. Mill

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