This Election Day, Don’t Let Anyone Tell You How to Act

Come November 6th, this political theorist is going Galt. I’m the only effective advocate for my interests. No voice but mine can adequately represent them. To make a conciliatory choice and vote for a political representative whose ideology departs from mine is an act of self-alienation. Coercion is generally perceived as a negative, especially any time government is concerned. Except, apparently, when it comes to the choosing of political representatives. Then, not only is at…

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The Myth of the Political Center

A set of values always has a middle, but just how representative of a data set is that middle? Democracy imbues morality into numbers. The idea that the majority view should carry the day anytime policy is up for debate is axiomatic to the idea that fairness lies in siding with the greatest number. Politics therefore often favors centrism. If the citizenry as a whole is considered as one enormous data set, it is impossible…

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Is Individualism Compatible with Democratic Strains of Thinking?

A divisive politics is not necessarily a dysfunctional politics. Life is individualistic; an individual’s experiences are filtered through the lens of his or her own person. Personality, past experiences, values and desired ends: all of these create nuances in the rational process. The conclusions around which individuals orient their lives are moved by the substance of their lives, despite the absolute nature of reality. Two important codicils can be drawn from this: First, any politics…

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Voting Is Selfish. Which Is Why Get-Out-The-Vote Drives Are Unseemly.

In terms of public actions, there are few more selfish acts than voting. Voting is an individual act: a vote for or against a candidate or a ballot question is ultimately a reflection of that voters’ interests and value-judgments. And a reflection of that voters’ interests and value-judgments alone. The voting booth asks citizens to grade politicians. The metric for this evaluation? The individual’s interests and the degree to which they have been protected by…

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The Ethics of Production

All productive acts contain, at their root, an idea. And at the root of that idea is a philosophic principle: something of value the individual mind can identify and prize. Production requires two forms of synthesis: physical and intellectual. In the whole history of man, no builder—or no successful builder, at least—ever began by erecting walls at random then set about uniting them, as a kind of casual afterthought. Some vision preceded his construction, preceded…

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Congressional Representatives Should Secure Rights, Not Interests

In the vernacular, the role of representatives is most often understood in terms of how they service the interests of the polity: the average citizen is busy and involved in his or her own life and has neither the time, inclination or requisite knowledge to make informed political choices. Or so the reasoning goes. Enter the representative, who fulfills one of two roles, depending upon whether one buys into the delegate or trustee model of…

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Perception, Virtue Ethics and Identity

We are all products of our own comprehension. Cognition, after all, is affected by the unique set of circumstances that align to makeup an individual’s background, heightening one’s perception of certain challenges and issues. Then, the talents one possesses lead towards particular types of intelligence, impacting the way each mind synthesizes the information presented to it. One cannot step outside the lens of one’s personal experience, even when relating to others. As Adam Smith, that…

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