Friday, May 18, 2007

Party of Principles vs. Party of Favors

In response to : Party of Principle - the Inherent Contridiction

I have always found it interesting and sad when people attack principles. Principles are general core truths that guide ones actions. One needs principles to guide ones actions. I have found pragmatism to usually entail that you make decisions based on individual situations with out regard to how that situation plays out in the context of the big picture or what the long range results of such actions are. When asked what should I do, the pragmatist answers, "What ever works for the range of that moment." The funny thing is we all need principles and that is the pragmatist's principle of action. In other words stealing can be okay depending on what the situation is, because stealing is not wrong as a principle of its own. It is only wrong depending on the situation. At least this is the normal view for a pragmatist. So smearing some libertarians as purist because they are principled is sad. A purist is someone that does not follow principles, but follows due to blind faith. Are their purist in the Libertarian party, you bet. However, their are just as many principled Libertarians. So what is the basic core principle that our Libertarian party should follow? It should be the protection of Individual rights which includes property rights. That the government's job is the protection of these rights and that the only moral use of force is to defend individual rights. That is the core principle. So the question is do you believe that in every situation that individual rights should be protected or do you believe that in some situations the individual's rights are null and void? If you say yes to the latter, here is an example of how not following principles leads you to the opposite of individual rights. Once you say there is exceptions, then you have to name who will decide on whether an exception is applied to a particular case. Now how do make sure that person is fair? We decide to vote on who is appointed this task. In the end result, it is some one that is voted in who decides if you have rights in a give situation. What you have here is not a right to do certain things, but a matter of permission to do certain things. Permission can be revoked and rights can not. Is this what you would call protecting Individual Liberty? Rights are principles that are necessary for individuals to prosper and live in a society. Is it these principles that you do not want the libertarian party to follow? If we throw our principles out the door so that we can have more influence- then we would not be any better than the republican or democratic parties. We would be a party of favors instead of a party of principles. As far as out reach, what attracted me to the Libertarian party was that they were a party of principle and their principle was protecting Individual Rights in all situations. Since the take over, I have with drawn my support for the Libertarian party. I am politically homeless again and will vote for the person that is more principled to Individual Rights. After all, if the Libertarian party's new principle is some times we follow individual rights and some times we don't, then how does one choose between the other candidates (democrat or republican) that some times votes for liberty and some times doesn't. This is why we need principles and a party that is principled. If not we divide our votes even more amongst all the parties.

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