ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context: LeftWing

Quora Answer : All left wing tendencies are welcomed here, but to which ideology do you subscribe?

Jan 15, 2019

I'm not much into ideological purism these days.

I'm on the left, and I define left-wing as

  • methodological holism, ie. that on the left we understand that society is a system, a product of emergent / systemic / holistic forces, and not simply a place where individual outcomes depend on individual performance
  • egalitarianism, ie. a moral belief that everyone has equal "worth". Or that society's job is to look after everyone with equal care. Again that doesn't mean stupid things. No I don't think we should take out everyone's eyes to level down in solidarity with the congenitally blind. Nor does it mean I don't see that some people need more help than others. But it means that if you have a politics that basically says "it's OK for this group to suffer because we need to prioritise our own" then I reject that utterly.

I think anyone who is both methodological holist AND egalitarian is "left wing" regardless of what else they believe.

The rest of it I'd guess I outline best on LibertarianLeft

Quora Answer : Why are liberals and democrats against free trade?

Jul 22, 2017

Why are Conservatives against the government printing money?

After all, isn't it a private matter between the government and the people it gives the money to, if the government happens to use its printing presses that way?

What concern is it of any third party?

"Ah, but," you correctly point out, "the problem with printing money is that it DOES affect third parties. Having more money in the economy devalues the money that all those third parties have in their pockets. Even though the government printing new dollars doesn't technically take the existing dollars away from people, it does, nevertheless, affect other people. Negatively."

This is one of those (rare) cases where conservatives and right-libertarians are holists. They recognise that there are systemic effects in the economy, and weird, spooky, "action at a distance" whereby a transaction between two parties : the government and the people it prints money for, has negative effects on other people.

The thing about the left, whether "liberal" or "progressive" or "socialist" or "anarchist" or whatever, is that we tend to be MORE holist. We believe that there more systemic, spooky "action at a distance" type effects in the economy and society; where transactions between A and B also affect C and D negatively.

THAT is why we think that there need to be more constraints on transactions between A and B. Because these are NOT merely the concern of those two people, but of everyone who is affected.

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