Some of the Touchstones of my Socio-Political Philosophy

– by Gitabushi
Several years ago, I tried to capture a bunch of philosophical touchstones: things I believe to be true, and use as axioms to reason my way through contemporary socio-political issues and events.
Here’s what I came up with.  I added everything past number 17 this morning. I could probably add another 100, if I really thought about it.
Which do you disagree with? Which do you think need better explanation or more thought?
1)    Choice means influence, not control
2)    All people want the same thing: Love & Security
a.    What differs is strategies & implementation to achieve
3)    Life is result of your choices
a.    Racism/sexism exist, but less impact than individual choices & actions
4)    People respond to incentives
5)    Greater reward requires greater risk
a.    Time
b.    Effort
c.    Money
6)    To have peace, prepare for war
a.    As wealthy information-producing society that consumes luxury goods, US benefits most from ensuring safe, global free-trade.
i.    As such, US benefits most from being the world’s policemen
ii.    All nations benefit, even if they resent US
7)    Freedom is a pure good
a.    If you have ever said, “There oughta be a law (against something I find annoying)”, you are part of the problem
b.    Freedom to choose means freedom to make bad choices
c.    Freedom to choose doesn’t mean govt should suppress information on good/bad choices
8)    Knowledge is always good
a.    Never stop learning
b.    Never stop training for your next job
c.    Trend is to lower standards in education, trend should be to raise standards
i.    Not everyone needs to have liberal arts education
ii.    Liberal Arts graduates favorite entertainment seems to be television, i.e., waste of education
d.    Never stop reading
9)    Taxes are parasitic drag
a.    Some taxes are necessary
b.    Taxes should be lowest possible
c.    Stealth taxes (fees, licenses, penalties) should be strictly limited
d.    Tax revenue should not be fungible: for specific purpose & used only for that specific purpose or returned
e.    Progressive taxes are not moral
f.    Regressive taxes are not immoral
g.    Taxes should be mix of progressive/regressive to provide incentives for effort
10)    US Constitution, when followed, is best govt/society legal controlling document in world history
a.    Not followed
b.    Effective elements of Federalism have been degraded
c.    Govt way outside originally-established bounds
11)    Bureaucracy sucks, but necessary
a.    All bureaucrats are motivated by the Bureaucratic ABCs:
i.     Acquire more resources
ii.    avoid Blame
iii.   increase Credit/Commendations
b.    Bureaucracy exists because it tends to prevent:
i.     Huge disasters, accepting constant low-level failures
ii.    Huge successes, preferring stability to disruptive success
c.    Effective leaders must learn to use bureaucracy to advantage/success of organization
i.    Must actively manage, i.e. lead
d.  Bureaucrats perform to look good
i.   If the organization isn’t getting the results you want, change what you measure and track.
12)    Citizens should strive to be leaders
a.    Should think independently
b.    Should advocate for positions
c.    If you say “there oughta be a law” against a pet peeve of yours, you are part of the problem
13)    Good/Bad choices are knowable
a.    Citizens & govt should advocate for good & smart choices
b.    Good/Bad choices must not be enforced via law
14)    Free speech protects uncomfortable speech
15)    Legality is not license
a.    Power to discourage, or even shame, should always be within the range of acceptable actions
i.    Discouragement must be based on incentives, not legal punishments/enforcements
16)    Strive for maturity
a.    Empathy, understanding
b.    Long-term good
c.    Never ascribe to malice what may be ignorance
17)    Easy way is usually worst way
a.    Corollary: Best way is usually hardest way
18)    Humans are biologically programmed to exploit any system
19)    True wealth is wanting less than you already have
20)    Wealth cannot be redistributed, wealth can only be formed and destroyed
a.    Wealth is formed by creating value.
b.    Money is a marker for created value
c.    Money flows to creators of value
d.    Redistributing money breaks the link between creation of value and accumulation of wealth; as such, it destroys incentive, and thus, destroys wealth
e.    Money for Nothing is corrosive to human spirit
21)    TANSTAAFL always applies
a.    If something seems too good to be true, it probably is
b.    Get Rich Quick schemes are scams because if there were an easy way to create something of value, masses of people will flock to it, increasing competition and driving down the profit
money pink coins pig
Photo by Skitterphoto on

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