This will probably be a good (analytic) continuation of my last post on nihilism in general.
I hate politics, I cannot listen to it, and I am just not interested in it at all. When I say "politics" I mean the kind of discussions and news you find on the TV and newspapers. I have no interest in candidates, no interest in voting, and no interest in any kinds of bills that get passed. I like political philosophy. But what I really hate about political philosophy is a proper label to put on myself, I always seem to have a tough time doing that. And I know some people will tell me to forget about labels, but labels are necessary, perhaps a necessary evil, but they are necessary, without them it is hard to communicate your ideas.
I have been all over the map when it comes to political philosophy. This does not mean that one week I am a neo-conservative and the next week I am a social democrat. I continuously change, but my change is always within a certain framework. The ideas of the past that I accepted I most likely continue to accept, and I carry them over with me as I evolve my philosophy. Each time I find it hard to find a proper term to use to describe myself.
When I was in high-school I was a communist. Not for any smart reason. I just hated money, I hated people thinking about money, and I figured this causes as lot of destruction in the world. If instead money is no longer an issue people have to think about and if class is eliminated then that would produce the best system. I still remember my first year of college (immediately after high-school) when my professor asked the class which they think is the best political system, I raised my hand and say "communism". I had no problem being a social authoritarian because I was still religiously Jewish back then. This started to change by my second year of college. After I started to read about religion, atheism, and think about these issues I realized that much of what I believe (with respect to morality) was very wrong and cruel. My initial disgust with religion was not a scientific objection but a moral objection. So I started to change my social views slowly. By the second year of college I would be best described as a liberal. I shared basically the same views that most college liberals had. I remember in my psychology class my second year of college when we had an assignment to see how well we pair with our partners one of the questions asked whether we agree with one another politically. This girls asked me what I am and I said that Democrat probably best describes my views. Shortly after, from watching YouTube debates and discussions I learned about libertarianism. It was a philosophy that made a lot of sense to me. But I still retained my leftish economics views. I thought that capitalism by itself is problematic but at the same time rejected mandatory taxation. I reconciled this dilemma with libertarianism and being on the left by making the government something people can buy into and opt out. I supported the decision of citizens to decide if they want to be citizens of the government, if they did the government would take care of them and help them in times of need, but if people did not wish to join this system they did not have to, and be left alone by themselves. This way it is possible to combine liberty and a nanny government (which I thought was a good idea), what is this called, left-libertarian? However, this did not last very long after I learned about Milton Friedman. I watched lots of his videos online and learned about the economics of capitalism. Milton convinced me why the capitalist free market system is preferable to government systems and so I gradually shifted to a right-libertarian (which is just known as a "libertarian"). But I am not happy with this label. I do not think that libertarian really describes that I believe in anymore.
When I come across most standard libertarians they seem to be very different to me. For one thing they treat the Constitution as if it was some sort of infallible document from the founders. I do not care about the Constitution, it can be burned to ashes for all I care. And they also seem to believe that a libertarian country will be a great wonderful thriving and successful country. This is something else I do not believe in.
I have been often asked, "does (laissez-faire) capitalism work?". To that I always responded "sure", and then proceeded to use examples, usually early America, that demonstrated how a civilization can "work" (whatever this even means) in this system. But I have changed my position. No, I was wrong. It does not work. In American history under capitalism people had pretty miserable lives, none of us want to live back then. Under capitalism how many businesses fail? Nearly all of them, few succeed. How is it fair then to say that (laissez-faire) capitalism is "successful" when the failure far exceeds the success. Capitalism itself, like evolution, succeeds because of failure. To have eventual success in a capitalist economy a whole lot of failure must first pass before the system corrects itself to "work". Where exactly is the success in that? How can such a system be called to "work". Yes, it is possible to live under a capitalist economy and organize society under it, but it hardly can be called to "work" and to be "successful".
This is not some coming out moment for me away from capitalism, I support its ideas as I have. I just had a change in mindset. I do not think that capitalism "works" because I do not believe that any system "works". All systems fail. Because all systems are inventions of men, who are failures themselves. I support capitalism not because it "works", but because it fails less than anything else that I know of. Whatever problems, struggles, challenges that exists under a capitalist system will always exist, perhaps in different forms, under any system that people can conjure.
The early American workers certainly had a terrible life under a capitalist system. But they had a terrible life under all systems that existed in the world at the time. And that is my point of all I am trying to say. That all of these systems, in this case, were failures. They did not achieve a great life as they promised to achieve. It is true that things have became better over time. I agree to that, but that is rather just that the system improves, not that it is a success.
If it was really true that the laissez-faire capitalist system was successful and it "worked" then why would so many people of its time seek to leave it and move to something else? Why were there fights against it for an alternative? Because people were not happy with it, it was a failure. But here is the interesting paradox that is created. What people have wanted to replace for something else itself was a failure. In the end all systems that people devise reveal themselves to crumble to their failures. This is why there are constant riots all over the world and protests. Angry people in whatever country demanding an alternative. What is often funny is the alternative that they demand exists in a forgein country in which that population is demanding an alternative the native people are objecting. The embarrassment of mankind that we euphemistically call "history" is filled with revolutions that end up being failures that were reactions to different failures.
This is where I stand now. I think of myself as a political nihilist. All establishments and systems that will ever be devised by people will fail. Either because people themselves fail, or natural disasters and circumstances will prevent success of a system. But whatever is the system it will fail. I do not have a system. I think that people should be able to decide how they wish to live. If the capitalists wish to have their system then let it be, and if the socialists want to unite and have their system then let it be.
I do not have a centrally universally decided upon structure for civilization. That is for the statists to do, they are the ones who always want to universally decide, I do not. I allow diversity of opinion without stopping those who I disagree with to try what they want to try. Hence a lack of a system. I do not have a system.
Well, it is not true. I do have a system. I still support capitalism, even though I have admitted that it fails. I support capitalism because I see it as the smallest failure out of all failures. The paradox is that a system is necessary, but any system fails. I need to choose one even though I recognize its failure.
I once read a YouTube comment that said, "you cannot trust markets". And I agree. Markets cannot be trusted. Sometimes the greedy people on top will decide to screw people over to gain more profits for themselves. Or perhaps even if everyone had good intentions there is a miscalculation problem that makes the whole market economy comes crumbling down. I agree with all of this. But at the same time it does not challenge me, because you also cannot trust governments. Governments have the exact same failings as ordinary people, they consist of the very same pathetic creatures like ourselves, there is no reason to expect them to be angels. Whatever problems resulted from a market economy can just as well result from a government economy, worse in fact.
I do still support my ideas of libertarian political philosophy, because this is the only philosophy that in a way is a lack of a system, since it is not centrally planned, it does not demand a single universal structure to society. However people wish to assemble themselves is up to the people.
So politically I do not have a system, I am a nihilist in that regard, but economically I do have a system, a failed system like all the rest, but that best from the worst as far as I can tell.
I really hope the statists now stop accusing me of being a "utopian". I do not find anything utopian about anything I said above. It is as anti-utopian of a message that there can be. On the contrary, it is statism that is utopian. It is the statist who promises a greater future, a successful world, from a central planner, who can calculate exactly what needs to be. That is a utopian idea. Politicians, dictators, and leaders promising people a great future have plagued this world for far too long, they are liked by the public precisely for their utopian statement. Their promises of a future world. I make no such promise. I rather say that whatever challenges and difficulties that exist will always exist in whatever system is used, perhaps in different forms. I do not promise a great future. I simply assert that if capitalism fails to produce greater prosperity for mankind then all else will most likely also fail.