I’ve had some interesting conversations with people recently that have me thinking we need to get back to some political basics to build up to the practical policy questions of today, otherwise many of us are talking past each other. Here are three founding principles, which I hope to build from in an occasional series of posts. Hopefully, we can get consensus that these are correct:
People vary. Some people are shorter than others, some are luckier than most, some are smarter, some dumber. With most qualities, there are a few people at the extremes and most distributed around a norm. That goes for propensity to violence, honesty, initiative, just about anything. That fact that people vary means they will also act in varying ways in the same situation.
All humans have a right to live a life worth living. There may be exceptional circumstances when that is over-ridden by a greater good (eg during war) but, generally, that right applies regardless of wealth, class, gender, sexuality, ethnic group, or other characteristic. It is an acknowledgment of a universal humanity. To reject this to to argue that the powerful ought to do what they will with others; that, strength and will should triumph.
Capitalism is an economic system in which most capital is controlled by a small portion of individuals and most people sell their labour to live. Capital owners own the means to produce goods and services and those goods and services once produced. As all people need to consume good and services to live but most do not own capital in a capitalist system, most people must sell their labour to capitalists in return for a right to a share of goods and services (represented by money).