My Views On Politics

I'm an advocate of 100% political and economic freedom, i.e., of laissez-faire capitalism.

The biggest influences on my political views (apart from current and historical observation) are the political philosophy of John Locke and the philosophic system of Ayn Rand. Locke argued that each individual possesses the rights to life, liberty and property, that these rights exist in nature prior to the formation of government, and that the only legitimate government is one whose function is limited to protecting these rights. Rand argued that man's essential nature is to use his reason to produce the values on which his life depends, which in turn requires a government whose function is strictly limited to protecting him from the initiation of physical force by other men. Locke's ideas were the basis for The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution the United States. Rand's essential contribution was to give Locke's best theory of rights a consistent philosophic foundation that eliminates any possibility of misunderstanding or misapplication.

Of course, these principles are highly abstract, and for someone unfamiliar with the writings of Locke and Rand, probably raise as many questions and objections as they answer. Complicating matters immeasurably for most people is the prevalence in the culture of the antithetical moral, political, and economic ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, and Karl Marx. (Just as Locke's ideas provided the intellectual foundation for the relatively free governments of the 19th century, such as England and the United States, the ideas of Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and Marx provided the intellectual foundation for the totalitarian governments of the 20th century, such as Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.) Unfortunately, these antithetical ideas have come to completely dominate higher education during the last century, with the amazing result that most Americans are now, quite unwittingly, better versed in the political and economic premises of Vladimir Lenin and Adolph Hitler than in those of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Therefore, as a corrective, and to become an intellectually balanced and well-educated person, I believe that everyone owes it to himself to become acquainted with the intellectual case for political freedom.

To do this requires a dual educational course in politics and economics. A proper political philosophy demonstrates that the free market is moral. A proper economic philosophy demonstrates that the free market is practical. One field deals with the moral principles guiding government, the other with the practical results flowing from the implementation of those principles.