Friday, April 19, 2013

An Alternative to Politics: Agree to Disagree

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. ~Thomas Jefferson
In my last two posts, I asked 1). how Republicans, given their long record, are better than Democrats, and then 2). briefly explained why I consider Democrats to be completely delusional and destructive. I concluded with a proposal to solve our irreconcilable political differences:
“we should just agree to disagree. Don’t force your ideas on us through the government. Do what you want to yourselves, and leave the rest of us alone”
Opposing agendas cannot be forced on the same region at the same time, much as one cannot move in opposite directions simultaneously. When people compete via democracy to use the government to impose agendas on others, there will be some who are forced to live under an agenda they may largely or entirely oppose.

Our differences are irreconcilable and substantial- we’re talking about completely different rules for society, not a few small quibbles. And that’s why the only solution is agreeing to disagree. You do things your way, and I’ll do things my way. We’ll not try to force our agenda on each other. This is the civilized, moral way to deal with conflicts we cannot resolve.

Of course, this is not a solution in dealing with crime (e.g. theft). Force is required to deal with acts of aggression. But all other issues should be subject to agreeing to disagree when we can’t agree.

How can we begin doing this? Presently, most of us are trying to impose our agenda on others, through the government, on millions of people, rather than a more local area. Whenever a “national” agenda is legislated by the federal government, it’s being imposed on hundreds of millions of people over a vast area of millions of square miles.

Therefore, one way we can begin agreeing to disagree is to restore a federal system of government as the Constitution originally gave us. Issues that have been dealt with at the “national” level can go back to more local regions. Of course, we should not stop with our decentralization there. Further localization is surely desirable, right down to the individual level.

Take the New York “soda ban” for example. I believe this is extremely stupid policy, and a violation of the rights of anyone living there. I would advocate decentralization, allow individuals or restaurants to decide whether to ban sodas for themselves, i.e. repeal the soda ban. But look on the positive side; though it’s not much of one for New Yorkers: the soda ban is not being imposed on the rest of the state, let alone the whole country. So at least we have a partial case of agreeing to disagree.

Our differences are much greater than a soda ban. As I said, we envision completely different rules for society, because of our fundamentally different understandings of economics and individual rights. Ignoring this and attempting to bind everyone under centralized political control is a recipe for friction, irrationality, and mass injustice. Let’s work to take issues out of politics and deal with them between each other, agreeing to disagree when that isn’t possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment