Followup to: How To Construct a Political Ideology - Summary
Now that I've completed my guide to constructing a political ideology it's time to use it myself. Here are my lists and my conclusions from them:
(1) My most important political goals.
- No one should have to die any more, unless they do not wish to live any longer.
- An end to unwanted suffering.
- Liberty and self-determination for anyone who wants to be free.
- Happiness for anyone who wants it.
- Knowledge about the laws of our universe, and existence generally, should be readily available for anyone who wishes to know about them.
- No one should create a sentient being that cannot love life.
- Those who have trouble finding meaning in life should receive whatever help can be given to find it.
- Those who have trouble excelling in life should receive whatever help can be given so they may become better.
- Everyone should have access to all the luxuries in the world.
- Risk towards the good society, as defined by the earlier points, should be minimized.
(2) All political systems.
Variants of these economic systems.
(3) My most far-reaching beliefs about human nature and how societies function.
- "Humans are distinguished from other primates...especially by their relatively larger brain with its particularly well developed neocortex, prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes, which enable high levels of abstract reasoning, language, problem solving, and culture through social learning."
- Humans have the most sympathy for themselves, and their families and friends.
- All societies are based upon a system of a division of labor.
- Humans have seemingly unlimited wants and needs, and there are not enough resources to fulfill every one of them.
- Humans are predictably irrational with the ability to counteract those biases.
- "Motivation is the driving force of desire behind all deliberate actions of humans. Motivation is based on emotion—specifically, on the search for satisfaction (positive emotional experiences), and the avoidance of conflict."
- "For humans, sexuality has important social functions: it creates physical intimacy, bonds and hierarchies among individuals, besides ensuring biological reproduction."
- Societies become wealthier with extended markets, more savings, gaining better knowledge, producing more advanced technology, peace, and institutions which support these activities.
- To wield power over others one generally need superior military strength.
- Most people fear being ostracised.
(4) My most important beliefs about what makes some societies better than others, according to my preferences.
- To be completely sure if a particular policy or society works best it needs to be tested.
Therefore, any system which does not allow some people to test different policies or complete societies is less good than one that does.
- When people are in free competition with others they have an incentive to serve their customers to keep getting their support. ("A Legal Strategy for Immediately Creating Private Free Cities".)
Therefore, any system which keeps up man-made barriers of entry for the production of goods (those which are instrumental in reducing suffering and fighting diseases, don't cause substantial negative externalities, are necessary for the enjoyment of life, and so on; war material are seldom goods) is less preferable than those that don't.
- Power corrupts; people who get to control others will start to care less
for them and be less able to see things from their perspective. They also usually don't receive as much feedback from the effects of their decisions on the ruled, nor know as much about their own particular circumstances. ("5 Scientific Reasons Powerful People Will Always Suck".)
Therefore: A society where no one has power over those who work towards good goals is more preferable than the opposite societies.
- People have heterogeneous preferences; we usually prefer to do different things.
Therefore: Societies where only one or a few cultures are accepted are generally less preferable compared with those where there are many.
- Detrimental laws become worse the more people are affected by them; systemic risks have larger effects the bigger the system.
Therefore: Those systems where new laws, policies and societies are tested on a small scale first are better than those which test them on a large scale.
- Economists enjoy a consensus only on a few policies. ("An Amazing Consensus among Economists: Not".)
Therefore: Societies that actually test all the different ideas of what policies work best are better than where they are not tested at all.
- To know what societies or policies seem plausible to complete one's goals, everyone needs to be able to discuss them freely, as the truth of a matter will best be solved in an open discussion.
Therefore: A society where there is no censorship or legal barriers towards discussing any matter is better than any other.
Also: Open cultures where everything can be discussed, at the appropriate time, are better than closed cultures.
- When choosing among alternatives on a market one has a stronger incentive to be informed of the choice than if one only had a single vote on the question with a few hundred others. And most people are, more or less, prone to do good in developed society, and will do more good with better information.
Therefore: Market societies are better than democratic ones.
- Most people today in democratic states give in to pressure to support policies which they are unable to know if they actually are for their own good or not.
This points toward: Free societies are better than democratic ones.
- The more economically free a society is, the more prosperous it will be. (Berggren, Reisman.)
Therefore: A society with more economic freedom is better than one with less economic freedom.
(5) Those ideas which could discredit the largest number of societies if they were true.
- Society X would best promote the spread of my moral values.
- Society Y has the best incentive structure for people to cooperate in producing public goods.
With this information it's possible to determine the basic structure of the society I want to live in the most. That is a society where everyone has some basic right to determine how they can live their lives, while not infringing on the same right of others. It's a society where everyone can test to live in any sort of voluntary society, where people are free to walk away from any bad relationship, where political decisions will take place with the consent of those involved (so new decisions will probably be quite small), and where the full range of human flourishing is permitted.
(6) All strategies for changing a society.
Winning elections, the many forms of starting a revolution, secession or establishing a new society on uncontested lands, and some general techniques.
(7) My most far-reaching beliefs about how we change our behaviour. (I haven't thought about this issue that much but I found the advice from Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard to seem sensible):
- FOLLOW THE BRIGHT SPOTS. Investigate what's working and clone it.
- SCRIPT THE CRITICAL MOVES. Don't think big picture, think in terms of specific behaviors.
- POINT TO THE DESTINATION. Change is easier when you know where you're going and why it's worth it.
- FIND THE FEELING. Knowing something isn' t enough to cause change. Make people feel something.
- SHRINK THE CHANGE. Break down the change until it no longer spooks the Elephant.
- GROW YOUR PEOPLE. Cultivate a sense of identity and instill the growth mindset.
- TWEAK THE ENVIRONMENT. When the situation changes, the behavior changes. So change the situation.
- BUILD HABITS. When behavior is habitual, it's "free"-it doesn't tax the Rider. Look for ways to encourage habits.
- RALLY THE HERD. Behavior is contagious. Help it spread.
- Direct the rider, motivate the elephant, and shape the path.
(The authors use the metaphors the rider and the elephant for our minds, originally from Buddha, recently written on by Jonathan Haidt and Daniel Kahneman. The rider is the self-aware part of the brain and the elephant is everything that does stuff automatically, sort of.)
(8) My most important beliefs about what makes some strategies less costly than others (while also not going against my preferences).
- If the strategy isn't incentive compatible with the ones who can be a part of it, it won't happen.
Therefore: Those who are essential to bringing forth the plan needs to believe that it won't involve more dangerous risks or higher costs than what they're willing to take, and that the benefits of partaking are high enough.
- People can, roughly speaking, be motivated to engage in politics for two reasons: improving their own lot or making their societies better.
Therefore: The strategy should appeal to both sentiments.
- Using violence against others will make them, their friends, and any one who cares about them less likely to join your cause.
Therefore: Any non-violent strategy is generally preferable to a violent one.
- Deceiving, being rude to, or threatening (implicitly or explicitly) to do something bad to others will make them, their friends, and any one who cares about them less likely to join your cause.
Therefore: Any strategy which demands you treat others poorly is worse than those that don't.
- Creating an example of the best society should make it much easier to convince others to emulate that.
Therefore: A strategy that seeks to create a society as quickly as possible is more preferable than one that takes longer.
- Trying to gain control of a state and changing its policy means changing it into new, foreign, and probably unwanted ways for a majority of the voters.
Therefore: Any strategy that doesn't seek to overthrow a government in power is preferable to ones that do.
- Trying to gain control of oneself means changing the policy of others relatively little compared to gaining control of a state.
Therefore: A strategy that seeks to establish a new society should be easier than to take control of a political entity and using it to change an existing society into one's best preferred society.
- People don't like to move far away from where they live most of the time.
(9) Those ideas which could discredit the largest number of strategies if they were true.
- By doing X any one would become convinced that my ideal society is the best and would put his/her heart and mind into working towards establishing it.
With this in mind it seems that the best strategy is to ask and persuade others to join in starting a new society. This society should either be on uncontested land (like the sea) or on contested land and then on a specially designed area (such as a special economic zone) or anywhere (an extraterritorial society). There is a trade-off between them: the first, then the second is easier to achieve politically but the last, then the second is easier for participants to engage in.
(10) Answers to F.A.Q.
(11) Thoughts experiment against other preferences.
- Against total utilitarianism: Torture vs. Dust Specks/När utilitarism kan vara omoraliskt.
- Against inviolable/absolute rights.
(12) Facts which dismiss particular systems.
- Against societies that do not allow secession: All facts from (4).
This part can be much, much longer.