May 072010
 

Some FormSpring Questions and Answers on politics and activism:

What is worse? Anarchy or the current system of government in the USA?

Anarchy is worse, undoubtedly. Compare America today to a concrete example of anarchy, namely Somalia a few years ago. At the time, the territory lacked a functioning government; it was dominated by various competing warlords. It was an absolute nightmare. I’d pick America over that in a heartbeat. I’m sure that almost every self-described anarchist would too.

Anarchists will tell you that’s not what they mean by anarchy, of course. It’s not a peaceful patchwork of voluntary defense agencies! That’s right, but hardly reason for protest. We have no reason to expect peace — or the slightest hint of respect for individual rights — when force is open to “competition” rather than limited by objective principles of individual rights. We have every reason to expect oppression, violence, and war.

Anarchism is wrong in theory — and that’s why it would mean death and destruction in practice.

What are the 3 to 5 most important questions you would ask a political candidate today? At any level of government?

Hmmm… I’m not too sure, but I’d say that the critical issue to find out a politician’s view of what individual rights are and whether they plan to uphold them.

Here’s my attempt:

  • Do you plan to govern according to the principles of individual rights or based on something else?
  • Why or why not?
  • What do you think that entails for you in [xyz] position?

    Thoughts?

    Do think Objectivists should steer clear of the organized Tea Parties on tax day, because the media could associate Objectivism with the nutty aspects of the Tea Party Movement?

    No.

    At least in Colorado, I’ve only seen the occasional nutter at tea party rallies. And people’s signs are almost always quite good. So I don’t worry that I’m associating myself with bad people.

    More generally, however, I don’t believe in forgoing great activism opportunities — particularly handing out flyers for FRO, TOS, FIRM, etc to very interested people — because of the potential for distortions of the media. That would be second-handed — and ensure our defeat if adopted as a policy.

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