My stance on politics

After long and hard thinking about politics, I have come up with a political philosophy. It's a short philosophy:

Ideology is bad.

I dislike ideologies in all forms: liberal, conservative, libertarian, whatever. Right at the moment, I think that the liberal/conservative divide is the single most harmful thing about American politics. Politicians don't seem to care about solving problems, they only want to know whether a particular idea is liberal or conservative, and then, presto, they are for/against it.

Ideologies are an excuse for people to avoid thinking. Once people adopt a political philosophy that has all of the answers, they stop thinking and start rationalizing. I find it difficult to take anybody's opinions seriously when it is clear that they started with the answers, and then worked backward to select facts that would support their views, and ignore facts that don't. Most people declaiming their opinions succeed primarily in convincing me that they are too stupid to understand any viewpoint other than their own.

I'm not a liberal. I'm not a conservative. Mark me down as "other."

For more of my opinions, the following points summarize my politics:

  1. Ditch the ideology, and tell me the facts.
  2. Freedom of speech is important.
    Yes, I do know the arguments against hate speech, against child pornography, against allowing terrorist to recruit on the internet, against several other good reasons that free speech shouldn't be unconditional. I understand and sympathize with them. But if anybody is given the power to decide what speech is forbidden... this power is simply too easy to abuse.
  3. Technology is a tool for solving problems. (I'm in favor of appropriate technology: that means the technology that is appropriate to the problem.)
  4. Prosperity is better than poverty.
    Or, to quote the campaign of a former president, it really is "the economy, stupid."
  5. We have a nice planet here, let's not destroy it.
  6. Democracy is good.
    (Winston Churchill said that democracy is absolutely the worst form of government, except for all the other forms of government which have been tried. I agree.)


copyright 2002,2003 by Geoffrey A. Landis