L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

07 April 2009 Blog Home : April 2009 : Permalink

Credo v 2.0

Almost 5 years ago I wrote a post called Credo. I just reread it because I wanted to write a post with the same title and realized that I was in danger of repeating myself. Fortunately there is still plenty that I can write about that wasn't in that post, also fortunately I don't see anything in that post that I wish to change beyond a bit of emphasis here and there.

So here is Credo 2.0 looking at more personal issues than the original post did. This post was inspired by some moronic Facebook test of my political position, which claimed I was a "moderate liberal", and I hope this explains why that test result was wrong. I should note that I don't expect many of the positions I state below to be actually implemented by any government I live under.

In my political beliefs, I am a libertarian minarchist - in fact practically an anarchist (not that the average "ransack RBS" anarchist would give me the time of day or vice versa). National government should maintain defence of their citizens from external assault, maintain an impartial judicial system and property title registry. It also probably ought to maintain some kind of standards body and some sort of criminal investigative force. I don't see why a national government should do anything else, however I'm willing to go with the flow and let governments do other things if the citizenry agree.

One way to tell whether the citizenry agree is to make all taxes beyond that necessary for the above armed forces and judiciary voluntary. With a twist which I'll get onto when I touch on representation. This may not be in this post though because I want to look at more personal matters here.

I believe anyone has the right to do whatever they please on their own land so long as they don't inconvenience others. If their neighbours object then a local jury ought to hear the case and decide. To a large degree I'm in favour of the same in public places too. You want to walk down the street naked then go right ahead. On the other hand if the outraged residents of the street complain and dissuade you from so doing by threats or actual violence that's your problem.

Needless to say I'm in favour of the legalization of any and all drugs, prostitution gambling etc. I'm also entirely in favour of local ordinances prohibiting the same within certain areas.

The  same goes for free speech and censorship. I'm quite happy to permit anyone to say, write etc. anything they feel like, with the caveats regarding "Fire" in a theatre, inciting actual violence and plotting to overthrow the state by force. Note that plotting to overturn the state by non violent means is fine by me. I'm also happy for protestors to have to defend themselves if they make their free speech in the wrong place.

I am, of course, entirely happy with an armed citizenry. Indeed about the only educational fiat I would require is that everyone learn how to safely handle firearms because if you can do that you can defend yourself.

I am quite happy with a death penalty. I want it not as a deterrent so much as a way to remove hazards from society. I think pleas for leniency for mental incapacity etc. are bogus. If you can't control yourself then you are a danger to society and hence, if you commit a crime that merits death, you get executed. Crimes that warrent the death penalty in my book are premeditated murder, attempted murder and aggravated rape, however I believe that not all such offences necessarily require death and that the benefit of the doubt should apply, particularly when the only evidence is a single witness.

I am quite happy with corporal punishment too in a strictly limited manner. Essentially I think that corporal punishment should be only used for crimes of violence. I'm also happy with the idea of branding certain varieties of criminal.

I am not happy with speed limits, drunk driving rules and so on. Drivers should be trusted to drive but they should of course also take responsibility. Hence I think that reckless driving should be punished when it causes an accident. Severely if the accident is severe. A person who has a second severe reckless driving accident and kills someone in one of them is, IMO, potentially guilty of premeditated murder and hence liable for the death penalty.

Abortion. Definitely a woman's choice. I would not outlaw any abortion per se, but I do think that beyond a certain point (say 6 months of pregnancy) aborting a fetus should potentially lay the mother and doctors open to a charge of murder. Not that they would necessarily be found guilty of murder, or even necessarily tried for murder, but they should be aware of possible consequences.

Euthanasia, assisted suicide etc. In the presence of a living will that details the circumstances clearly I'm quite happy with euthanasia, I'm also quite happy with assisted suicide for people who wish to end their life early rather than continue to suffer. But I want these deaths to be carefully overseen to prove that death is indeed in accordance with current or prior wishes.

Copyright and patent law. For the most part I think we should at least try not having any. Certainly if we do patents should last longer than copyrights and both should be of short duration. Also any patent/copyright law needs to be carefully drafted so that the benefits flow to the creator not some rent-seeking middleman.

I think that'e enough to be getting on with. So my ideas on government will have to wait.