This is the start of my new blog, "Opinions and More." I don't know how many people will discover it -- whether it will become too busy for me to handle, or so lonely that I'll be talking only to myself -- but here we go.
Why another new blog? There must be thousands of blogs around, so why another? Well, it just seems that I never see anyone express the ideas that I think make sense, so I thought I'd try.
Some people seen to feel that you have to be a liberal or a conservative; I find myself uncomfortable with both labels, though I'm with the conservatives on most of what I call the important issues. But while I think I can agree with conservatives on economic and foreign-policy issues most of the time, I can't stand the typical conservatives' attitude that they must be able to impose their opinions on religious and social issues on everyone else, and I usually find myself agreeing with the liberals on those religious and social issues anyway. But even if you divide the issues into economic on the one hand and religious and social on the other, I can't go along with either completely. So I give up on a label.
Perhaps you might call me a libertarian. Well, I'm more comfortable with that label than the others. But many people who call themselves libertarians seem to me to be anarchists, saying that even things like schools and police forces should be totally private. I can't agree. The government is necessary to provide those things that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford. Nobody ought to go without an education or protection from crime, even if they are penniless.
So, I'll begin by stating a few principles that will govern my thoughts, and if anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist. Here are my fundamental ideas:
- Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
- Government, as I said earlier, is necessary prmarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
- No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.
Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)