The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • 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 is necessary primarily 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.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


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!)

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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

There is no single "centrism."

Sometimes I see the argument that the Left is united and the Right is also, and centrists are weak because they do not support each other. But "centrism" cannot be a united movement. The only thing that unites centrists is that they are willing to take ideas from both left and right. But you can have two people who both call themselves centrists, and wherever one has a "right" position, the other could have a "left" position, and vice versa. They would both be "centrists," but scarcely allies.

Of course, the differences do not need to be as complete and total as that. There is a blog I have sometimes followed called "CenterMovement.org" which is now called Americans United to Rebuild Democracy. One of the first things they have done now is to come out in favor of Congressional term limits. Well, as I have stated, I think term limits — Congressional or otherwise — are a terrible idea. So while I generally like a lot of the "centrist" ideas of that blog, here is one I feel is really bad. I think that as a step to "rebuild democracy," it is totally backwards, and in fact it is desctructive of democracy. So here is an example of two "centrists" with diametrically opposed opinions on an important issue.

And that's an example of why there can not be a single "centrism."

1 comment:

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

Term Limits don't have anything to do with ideology. There is no conservative, liberal or centrist position on term limits...

And there is a actually quite a bit of cohesion on the issues among centrists. The defining characteristics of centrists is NOT that they take from both sides, its that they stand between the two sides. People can be liberal on some issues, and conservative on others... that doesn't make them a centrist. For example libertarians are more conservative than most conservatives on government spending, and are more liberal than most liberals on keeping government out of our personal lives... and they are in no way shape or form at all centrist.