6/15/2004

Foundations

In response to some conversations with friends recently, I've been giving serious thought to my political bias. Anyone who's read this blog knows that I am a "liberal democrat". No surprise there. But I've heard it said of democrats - myself included - that we don't think through the consequences of our biases; that growing up and understanding the real world naturally tends to make you conservative (like this.)

I aspire to be open minded, and I prefer approaching every situation with the attitude of a child, ready to learn. Ultimately, I believe that through constantly refining our political structures, eventually, everyone in the world might be able to enjoy "life, libery and the pursuit of happiness".

Is liberalism a better way towards this goal than conservatism? My bias says yes ... but maybe that's due to my socio-economic background, my education, etc. So I am going to undertake a regular comparison of approaches, to forge a strong foundation for my beliefs.

I'm going to start by reading up on conservatism, and occasionally posting short comparisons between positions. That's as good a starting place as any, I guess.

Most importantly, I want to avoid the trap of partisanship. I am coming to believe this more and more: if you feel like you are exclusively on "the right" or "the left", you obscure the process of understanding issues. You're always looking for the way to prove that your side is correct and the other side is wrong. That's not what I'm looking for; I would be happy to find that "my side" is wrong, if only because it would mean I had learned something.

On that note, I'm off to to some reading.

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