Welcome to my world! I have a vision of a world of integrity, compassion, peace, and personal responsibility. This makes me a wacky combination of a “communitarian” and a “classical liberal”; two views which most people think are incompatible. After all, “classical liberal” is most closely associated with “Libertarinaism” which many people view as “right of Republican”. And, “communitarianism” is thought to be a very left-leaning philosophy. I homogenize them very easily. Essentially I believe that people should help each other, work with each other, and support each other but that in doing so they need neither sacrifice self-interest nor their free-will. Certainly, the government should not compel people into caring for each other. After all, where is the blessing of helping others if it’s not by choice but by coersion?
What I hope to share with you is that a view of communitarianism and classical liberalism as incompatible, is naive. On the left and on the right, people care about freedom and the American Constitution. On the left and on the right, people care about peace. But peace, freedom, and constitutional government all come with a price. That price is integrity. Without INTEGRITY, honesty, mutual respect, and TOLERANCE- freedom is meaningless. You can’t ask for freedom without respecting that of others. Such mutual respect is born of integrity.
You might say that I’m neither Republican nor Democrat; and I’m not a stereotypical Libertarian. If anything, I’m an “Integritarian”. My philosophy:
- First, do no harm.
- Second, do it with integrity.
That is my vision of a better world: a world of compassion, integrity, honesty, respect, responsibility, and honor.
It is that which I hope to prove possible.
What I have learned in the 6 years since I wrote that is that there are few others who hold this view. Most people tend to to put dogma before tolerance. You can see that when you watch virtually everyone inside the Beltway in DC looking out for themselves rather than their constituents; when we have a 2 party system where no one even tries to understand the other’s position; when otherwise intelligent, rational people don’t want Evolution taught in schools because they care more about their versions of religious doctrine than they do about rational discourse and scientific method; and on, and on, and on. Maybe I’m wrong about people being able to actually cooperate. Maybe that’s just the way it is in the universe. But, Sorry to tell you this…. I’m not giving up just yet. Eventually dogmatic-everything must give way to compassion, discourse, compromise, and tolerance. If it doesn’t, we’ll just all kill each other. I have to believe that we’ll stop being dumbshits a little bit before that. Not much, maybe. But, until that time comes, even if I’m doing it alone, I’m working for tolerance.