"It's The Code You Live By That Defines Who You Are." — Johnny Silverhand (Cyberpunk 2077)
My Foundational Beliefs
When engaging with politics, it's foundational to have a set of philosophical beliefs that you can use to guide your decision-making.
- Part I
- I exist.
- I have an experience.
- I want to maximize my experience.
- Part II
- Other humans exist.
- Other humans have an experience like mine.
- Other humans want to maximize their experience.
- Part III
- Humans synergize to create better experiences.
- If I synergize with others, it will maximize my experience.1
- Others will synergize with me to maximize their experience.
On Maximizing One's Experience
“Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
People ought to try
I am generally opposed to violence as I don't believe it is an effective way to accomplish political change, at least not at this point in time in the United States. That being said, I believe there are plenty of groups of people who could, at points, justify the use of violence in self-defense, even if I don't believe it would be a pragmatic or politically effective thing to do.
Defense of Property
I believe that people have a right to defend their property insofar as three important criteria are met:
- You possess the property in a way that your state and community recognizes your possession.
- You have reasonably exhausted non-violent options to protect your property.
- The other person is effectively "on notice" and understands they exist in an environment where another person will protect their property.
For example, if someone wants to destroy your local business or your house, then you have a right to defend your property by all means necessary.
Many disagreements over whether or not defense of personal property is justified sometimes appear to boil down to a difference of underlying values. The value in question is whether "property can be valued over human life", or some statement to that effect. In my experience, middle-class and well-off people may underestimate the personal sacrifice and the years of time invested into obtaining a business, a car, or even something as simple as a stereo system or a school instrument. As such, they will argue that no matter the value and sacrifice associated with some property, even in the case of people living in poverty, the life of the thief always outweighs said value. This is a conclusion I take issue with.