Originally Posted by Ikki
I didn't really want to get into this here - in a way it'd be like Shane Warne joining the forum and deciding to pick a fight with CWB about whether Ian Bell is in fact Class B rubbish or Class C rubbish and exactly whether he should be dropped because of Reason X or Reason Y, while everyone else looked on in horror - but it's probably a bit unfair for me to keep jokingly treating you like poison without actually explaining my position. I don't really intend to have an argument about it though so if you do reply, I probably won't reply back to much if any of your post.
Ideologically I do think we have pretty similar positions; for example I imagine you'd be a little south and a west of my (+9.5, -7) political compass result but without too much deviation from it especially compared to the rest of the forum, and even in this test we got very similar results based on the ideological questions it contains. I'm a very firm believer in the free market and feel that any failure in it to deliver a fair and just outcome economically would be principally derived from social difficulties and inequities rather than intrinsically faulty economics within itself. Furthermore, I don't believe victimless crime should exist; everyone should be able to live by their own moral code as long as it doesn't trample on the rights of others, and as such moral policing should be kept to an absolute minimum. For me this does extend to a few things that the authoritarian, largely bible-bashing, nanny-state enforcing sector of the Republican party would find abhorrent, like the legalisation of many banned substances and prostitution.
Where we differ is that I don't actually much like ideology; not as a cover-all practical fall-back stance anyway. Ideologically I am, yes, a libertarian, just like you, and any political alignment test I do is going to ask ideological questions and back that up entirely. I do agree with Paul and Johnson a lot more than the other candidates and hell, I'd be lying if I didn't say I agreed with you politically more than any other member as well. However I find the notion that any one ideology can be used as an automatic position for any problem the world throws us to be lazy, naive, shortsighted and often, in my case anyway, somewhat embarrassing to those who belong to that ideological group. Whether you're a libertarian, a socialist or whatever else, reaching to an ideological fall-back as an answer to any problem vastly under-estimates the complexity of the world and the need for case-by-case analysis. Instead of letting one's ideology drive one's opinions automatically, one should form opinions individually and honestly, and let those opinions form his own ideology. Governance is just as much about finding what works as finding what's fair, and I think that's where a lot of us get lost a bit.
I don't want to bring back many of the same debates but I feel I should actually give some examples of what I'm talking about, so I'll point out that when you suggested the FDA should be disbanded completely and that we should let the free market determine which restaurants are safe to eat at, then I thought that was an absolutely absurd application of ideology put forward merely to make the ideology itself seem bullet-proof. I actually do agree that it would work, particularly in the information age in which we live; word of mouth would eventually would rank each establishment fairly accurately and the free market would then incentivise improvement and competitive, so those restaurants with absolutely disgraceful h&s standards would eventually close down. However I don't think anyone really thinks it's acceptable to wait for 200 people to get food poisoning and 20 of those to die before a place is actually closed down. It'd be an example of the free market working but at a human cost far too high for anyone with an ounce of humanity who wasn't trying to apply an ideology to a situation it wasn't capable of truly handling. And that's before we even examine the possibility of some health standards costing more to uphold than any resulting poor reputation would actually cost. It doesn't mean you should throw the baby out with the bathwater but it does show things need a more case by case approach with all the variables examined.