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Politics Time
So the time has come for me to declare, as comprehensively as I'm able, what my political beliefs are. Cue massive debate, if anybody reads this...

Okay, domestic politics, there's a simple starting point. The obvious question is "Who did you vote for last election?", to which the answer is nobody. But I put a lot of effort into voting for nobody, so here's how it goes... Firstly, I researched all the candidates, and looked at the respective manifestos of the various parties. I looked into four possibilities - the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens, since those were the four largest in my constituency. I looked at both the local and nationwide political convictions of these entities, and spent a long time making sure I knew the issues. Then I very deliberately stayed home on election day.

The reason? Because I figured that if an educated, politically motivated and informed member of the public can feel so strongly that the system is broken, then that proves a bigger point than voting for any of the parties, regardless of who is around to observe said point being made. At the time, I knew why I'd abstained, but didn't really have the words to express it, so I told people I had voted Liberal Democrat. Largely because Labour is beginning to represent a lot of political ideas that I disagree with, and because the Green party is still a little too small (although in our area, due to the large number of liberal students, their popularity is increasing).

On the political spectrum, you'd find me towards the Left end of the scale, and on another (perpendicular) spectrum, also towards the Libertarian end. What this means in practical terms is that I believe in freedom and equality for just about everybody, and I would tax the rich into bankruptcy if I thought it would improve the lives of the masses (not strictly true - I'd only tax them until they were on a more equal footing with the masses, otherwise it would just be a role reversal). If it were up to me, taxation would be at around 95% and food, housing and education would ALL be nationalised, and would be provided to every single person in the country. Of course, due to the socio-economic state of the world right now, this wouldn't work, and I accept that - but that's not to say that it would always be impossible.

I strongly believe that the love of money is indeed the root of all evil, and I've yet to find any evidence to the contrary. Greed is one of the most dangerous aspects of the human condition, and any culture that embraces greed (i.e. most of the western world) is rather frightening. The notion that, in order to be a success, you must be independent, achieve things for yourself, and often have little regard for others is one that I don't buy into.

I believe that war is the answer to a lot of the world's problems. However, at the same time, I believe it is also the worst possible thing that can come about. I won't deny that war can often fix a lot of things, but the ends do not justify the means, especially where human lives are involved. Personally, I find it very difficult to get my head around why it is that people can't get along. We're all human, we're all fundamentally the same.

On the subject of Asylum Seekers, I find it hard to think of any good reason not to let them into our country. The notion that they will take our jobs, or bring crime with them, or any of these things is totally flawed, and a large amount of the negative press that the situation gets is due to the government's handling of the situation. They stick them in camps, where boredom rules all, and then expect them to play by their rules while they get bogged down in the beaurocracy of examining each case.

I don't believe in countries. The idea that living in one place makes you French and in another place just ten miles away makes you German - what's that about? The very concept of a country is divisive, and is merely a mechanism to enable better control of citizens. Much like in the UK, where we have county councils which have control over a given area - the world works in a similar fashion. But where many people say they are proud to be American, I would never say I was proud to live in Oxfordshire. I don't find that the county where I live or where I was born has any bearing on my identity, nor on my role as a citizen of the world. So why should the country make any difference either?

Culture is something I do believe in, and it's the main reason that I oppose a global state. While I can't get excited about being British, I do like the culture of the country, because it's familiar to me, I was brought up in it. Likewise, I don't value a citizen of my country above a citizen of any country, but I might value somebody of the same culture as me higher than somebody of a different culture - on a purely personal level; I'm not talking about valuing them as a human being, so much as valuing their views since said person has come from the same background as me. Then again, I will also value the opinion of somebody from a different culture more highly, since they won't have been exposed to the biases that I have in my life.

Overall, it evens out. And a global state would be a step towards homogenisation, and a global, singular culture. And I think that if that were the case, we'd lose a lot of the diversity that makes being human fun (or fatal, if you live in a troubled area). People are people are people. And everyone in the whole world is created equal, but are free to be as different as they want.

Which essentially means that while I believe in equality of opportunity, I don't believe in equality of outcome necessarily. People make their own choices in life, and the world should reflect that. Take elections for a second - I don't believe that everybody should have exactly the same amount of say. Because people aren't all equal, we all take different paths. How's this for a system:

Everybody in the country gets a default 1 Vote. However, if one attends an independently run training course on politics, where they are shown all sides of every argument, and are informed on the actual issues at stake, then they get 50% extra - 1.5 Votes. Everybody in the country is free to go on this course, and provisions would be made to ensure that no voter would ever be denied entry to it, regardless of circumstance. In what way is that unfair?

I just tend to think that if somebody wants to ignore politics and votes for the party that they always voted for, then perhaps it's not very fair if somebody who has studied it, is politically motivated etc., gets no more say in the running of the country. I know it's an unattainable system at present, but this is about ideals, not calculated plans for how the world should be.

Education should be free to everybody, and money shouldn't ever be a factor in determining the quality of your learning. If I had my way, private schools would be closed immediately, and more money would be poured into state education to make it.. well.. good. I don't begrudge anybody who goes to private schools - a great many of my friends do, or did. Nor do I blame any parents who sent their kids to private schools - if you have money, there are far worse things you can spend it on than an education for your children. But the system is wrong, and needs changing - if everybody is to be given an equal start, then money has to be less important.

I'm not sure if State Comprehensives are the way to go... Grammar schools are, by definition, divisive and can often lead to elitist attitudes, but fully mixed education tends to fail students. I know that had I been singled out earlier on, and been surrounded by people of a similar ability, I would have achieved far better than three A's and a B. That that was the second to top grade in the school is laughable - there were a good many people who should have been able to get far better than that, but were held back by the fact that teachers have an obligation to everybody in the class, of varying abilities, and this meant that extension work was harder to get through.

So yeah, I'm undecided on that - a system where nobody gets quite what they need, or a system where they do, but at the cost of not mingling with 'the other kids' much... Having different ability kids on different school sites isn't a thought I like. That's why I went to Sussex Uni - you get a much broader range of ability there than I would at Warwick (elitist fucks), and that's enriching.

On another matter, life is important. Human life, animal life, everything. Nature is the most valuable thing that the world has, and I'd sooner that humankind pissed off and sent itself extinct than destroyed the world with pollution. Having said that, I'd never actively pursue extinction for mankind just to save the planet - I'm not quite that motivated... Having said that, secondary to the survival of the entire planet and the beautiful system that has evolved over the millenia is human life. If we assume that the world isn't about to go kaput, then human life is the most important thing, and anything that can be done to protect it is good. The death penalty is bad, there are other ways. The only time I can POSSIBLY condone killing a person would be if he were about to kill others, and if the ONLY way you could stop him was to kill him (note male pronouns, subconsciously I guess I just think men are more likely to be evil or something (despite evidence to the contrary ;o)).

So, in summary... Money is a bad thing, it encourages people to be selfish, and that's not what the world needs. War is also a bad thing, and people shouldn't even need for it to happen because things shouldn't get that bad. Death is a bad thing, and as evolved creatures we shouldn't allow it if it can be avoided. Everybody should mix with everybody, but they shouldn't be treated as though they're all the same if they're not because that destroys individuality. However, one should only treat people as different if they are different by choice, and even then, never in a negative way. If you choose to be better educated, then you can get a better job. And EVERYBODY should have that choice of whether they want to be educated or not. Equality of opportunity. And generally, a world where people can just be happy, and care for each other. Please.

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So, being towards the libertarian end of the political compass, would you say that it's right to impose social change on those who don't want it? Or is it always people's own responsibility to decide what's best for them, and how to achieve it?

And, where do all the odd socks go to?

I'm more of a lefty than a libertarian, so that should be taken into account... :o)

As for social change, I think that I've made a convincing argument for why it's for the better for most people - if people decide that they'd rather be selfish and do what's best for themselves, then that's where it runs into difficulties. The problem is, everybody who would be worse off under the system would immediately leave the country for the US, leaving only the poor people (who stand to gain the most), and the system would not be able to sustain itself. Selfish people break fair systems.

I have your odd socks. And no, you can't have them back.

i see views rather similar to mine own there. right-o, my belief in your political conscience is now cemented.

your morals, however, have reached a new all-time low.

you should make your own party. (plus, i think we should abolish money and just trade everything :) )

I would, but unfortunately there are a good many reasons why what I've outlined won't work. It's only operable under a closed system, and a single country isn't. It would need to be applied worldwide, or not at all. And that's simply not feasible...

And I can see an advantage to money - I think a more barter-like system is the way to go, but money is important as an intermediate stage. After all, if I need a service from somebody but I have nothing I could offer them that they need, I'm screwed. The problem with money is its ability to accumulate - take away the ability to save money up in the way that it currently exists, and you remove a lot of the greed that people have.

And then you're 'taxed', if you like, to help the needy. For instance, the elderly or the disabled - 20% of your work every month should be to help those who can't help themselves...

Your opinions are wrong - but I respect your freedom to be wrong. ;)

Thank you - that's more than I'd expect of you ;o)

In a perfect world...

I must say, you have many and good views of how the world should esscence you sound like me. If the world could be perfect, there would be no money, no war, no famine, and no shortage of natural resources. There is no such thing as a perfect world tho, only dreamers like us. If I could, I would tax those damn "elitest fucks" (I think that's what you called them) till they knew what it was like to live a life as a normal, lower-middle class citizen like the rest of us. Since we can't, I relish in the fact that I am a happier person for the struggles I have endured. I vote democratically, help who I can, which definatley goes with my personality. Personally, I think you need to choose the party that speaks to you, fits YOUR personality. Happy searching!! ~~Ashley

I totally agree 100%....before I clicked on the lil read more thingie, I was prepared to lash back with my views and be just as opinionated as I was certain you'd be, but then I read what you had to say and you basically said everything I would have said. However, even though Money, Death, and War are horrible things, looking at the nature of human beings you see that it's completely inevitable.

oh posh I'm getting myself into something I dont feel like typing up tonight. okay. rain(e) (haha im so lame) check! :P

my eyes just refused to read that text. they said they'd murder me in my sleep if i forced them to take it all in. so i surrendered to them. since i probably agree with 80% of it anyway and the other 20% would be primarily how things could be changed. or something. my eyes now control me.

The gist was that people should be nicer to each other and everybody is in part responsible for humanity as a whole.

And I think your demon eye has possessed you :oP

the demon eye was defeated, but now i believe both oculars have been compromised. aargh!

(fluffy liberal bastard! ;D)

since i am only 15, i know people dont think i know enough yet to have views but i've lived in both the us and the uk and experienced those systems and their cultures so i do have views.
i agree with most of what u say apart from:
1. war
i do not think war is the answer. EVER. because innocent people die. life is the most precious thing we have. i think that those that refuse to listen or cooperate with the rest of the world should be made to. there are ways. ie. the un. which i believe should have greater power. and that george w. bush and his country should have the un's permission before they do things like dealing with suddam hussein, osama bin laden, etc.
2. voting
i think that everyone that can vote, should.
for the majority of people( those that are not white and male) people had to fight, and even die, to get that vote for you. i assume that u are white and male however, but still.
i think that u should vote. if there isnt a party running that u like the views of completely, vote for the party that opposes the party that's views u dont like. if u dont like the conservatives views vote for labour even if u dont agree with them completely. if u dont vote or vote for a party that u know wont win than u are just giving the party that u dont like one more vote.

however i do like your 1.5 vote idea.

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