Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Ideologies

What are the ideologies? They are philosophies concerning politics that determine the proper relation between mankind and the institution of government. Nearly all existing thoughts of government can be included in these four categories. This is meant as mere description; criticism and evaluation of the various types will be dealt with later.

State as Bad: The ideologies falling in this category see the existence of government as a form of evil due to its use of coercion. Government is to be kept in check to the greatest possible degree.

Anarchist: No state can exist that does not compel people, with the use of force or economic coercion, against that person's will. Coercion is always unacceptable; ergo, the state is an unacceptable institution. People can develop rules with those they come in contact in without resorting to the power of the state to enforce them (social pressure, system of credit, personal use of force, etc.).

Libertarian: No state can exist that does not compel people to act contrary to that person's needs, but anarchy does not provide sufficient protection either from stronger individuals/cliques within society or from states outside of it. Compulsion exists to protect individual rights and enforce contracts, along with the minimum taxation required to pay for a minimal state.

State as Good: The ideologies falling in this category see the government as a force for good that improves people and should be given power enough to carry out those improvements.

Statist: State compulsion is less of a concern than perceived social problems. While the state needs to have some limit to its powers, it should be allowed to rearrange elements of society to create a more just system. Many means are justified by these ends that would not in and of themselves be considered good (imprisonment, taxation, compulsion, etc.).

Totalitarian: The individual is too weak and uncoordinated to exist justly outside of the state. Only the organization of the state can provide a truly just society; ergo, the state should have recourse to any means necessary to provide the most perfect form of justice. The ends of a perfectly just society justified any means.

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