My politics-- my philosophy of life, really-- is deeply important to me. In all likelihood, I will be doing something related to politics for the rest of my life.
If you're looking for a quick and catchy way to sum me up politically, you might choose to call me a bleeding-heart liberal, a progressive populist, or a radical libertarian socialist. (Note: libertarian socialism is better known as anarchism, and has little in common with right-wing capitalist libertarianism. Okay, so it has some things in common, like the committment to freedom and liberty, but it's anti-capitalist whereas right-wing libertarianism thinks that capitalism is the purpose and salvation of life. They think capitalism is freedom; libertarian socialists think capitalism is antithetical to freedom.) I don't self-identify with any political party, but I typically vote Democrat, despite virtually all Democrats being more centrist than I'd prefer.
Anyway, it's easier to explain my politics by telling you what I believe that by trying to put a label on it. So here it is In Words, and then here are some diagrams from some political tests and quizzes which do a decent job of pinpointing where I am. Enjoy!
I believe that quality education, healthcare, food, and housing are basic human rights that should be guaranteed to all people; at a bare minimum, every child should have food, shelter, healthcare and education. It is deeply immoral to stop short of providing this to every child regardless of the coincidence of their circumstances of birth.
I believe that while economic systems can and should be developed which allow for a decent standard of living for all people without centralized control, currently redistribution is morally necessary within countries and between countries to provide the minimum required for decent living for all people.
I believe that no government should control and plan the lives of its citizens, and that all people should have control over their government as well as the freedom and ability to leave countries in which they disagree with the policies they are asked to comply with.
I believe that people should be able to move freely and work easily in whatever country they choose, and that citizenship privileges should be relatively easy to acquire in all countries.
I believe that democracy is the only political system that is morally justifiable, and that in its ideal state it will produce more desirable results than any other political system.
I believe that institutions crucial to the function of democracy, such as elections and the media, should be sharply removed from all financial, economic, and capitalistic pressues.
I believe that democracy is best served by maximum diversity of views, and that actions should be taken to enable as many parties to participate in politics as possible.
I believe that international cooperation is vital to all foreign policy. Further, I believe that all countries should work towards a layered system of local, regional, national and international control, where national control is in no way dominant.
I believe that no international actions leading to the loss of life should be conducted without international consensus.
I believe that global trade and economic interactions and agreements should be open and controlled democratically by all involved, not secretive and designed for the benefit of corporations and rich countries.
I believe that social and economic stuctures designed to encourage individuals and corporations to seek maximum profit are at best a necessary evil which must be strictly controlled to produce the best human outcomes, and at worst massively destructive to human beings and the environment.
I believe that workplaces should be controlled by the workers, and that it serves workers and consumers best when profits are not sucked out for high-paid management or distant uninvolved stockholders.
I believe that the economy should not be centrally planned by a government, nor manipulated and exploited by capitalist commercialists.
I believe that monopolies should be attacked and destroyed in favor of competitive balance.
I believe that criminal justice policies should be designed for the purpose of rehabilitation and the well-being of society as a whole, not as punishment or revenge.
I believe that people have the right to love people of whichever gender they choose, and that couples should be able to marry, raise children, and have the same rights and responsibilities regardless of the gender of the partners.
I believe that spending time with one's family, and specifically with small children, should be facilitated in all ways possible; consequently, I believe that parents, with no regard to gender, should be able to spend time with young chidren with no negative consequences to their careers, and further that the work hours necessary to support a family should be actively minimized to the extent possible for a functioning workplace and economy.
.. . . More can (and will?) come.
(Click on the picture to link to the quiz.)
"Left-Liberals prefer self-government in personal matters and central decision-making on economics. They want government to serve the disadvantaged in the name of fairness. Leftists tolerate social diversity, but work for economic equality." [This is a short and simple test designed by libertarians.]
Okay, this one doesn't have a nifty little description of where I am (although being in the neighborhood of Gandhi is plenty good by me!) but I want to plug it because it has a great set of questions. It claims to be non-partisan, although it seems somewhat slanted my way.
"SW- You would feel most at home in the Southwest region You advocate a large degree of personal freedom and a large degree of government control over the economy. Your neighbors include such folks as Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, Hilary Clinton, and Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine, and may refer to themselves as 'liberals,' 'left-wing liberals,' 'civil libertarians,' 'democratic socialists,' 'egalitarians,' or 'anarcho-socialists.' " [This quiz is also designed by the libertarian sort.]
Green Party 92%
[This short test at 3pc.net is designed by a group promoting third (and multiple) parties.]
5 September, 2002
Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002