Foundation Questions of the Political Left and Right

peterchristopher's picture

I have often found it useful to make rough groupings into the political left and the political right.  I used to consider myself on the political left, and I no longer do, having gradually moved away from the positions that we typically call left.

What are some of the questions we try to address, in the process of which we find ourselves in the left or the right?

  • How do we align the interests of individuals and society so that there can be harmony? (How can people be motivated to take care of themselves and provide for family, friends, and strangers?)
  • How do we allocate and distribute capital, products/services, and natural resources?
  • Who is entitled to the fruits of a person's labor?
  • To what extent can governments, or individuals/groups that are part of governments, be trusted?
  • To what extent can individuals be trusted without government?
  • How do we balance the freedom and opportunity of individuals born today in one place with the freedom and opportunity of others born in other places and/or in the future?
  • Is it possible to help another person to become independent, or is that an inherently impossible proposition?
  • How can we achieve fairness and justice in conflict resolution and decision-making?

Are there any questions that ought to be added to this list or anything that should be changed?


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Answer to your question and more...

You ask..."do you believe that I as a citizen should also be prohibited from writing and distributing my views about political candidates running for office?"

No. I do not believe in censorship overall, and especially not censorship for a citizen's opinion. That is how regimes such as Pinochet and Straussner existed. And even in the U.S. we've had Homeland Security censoring our speech. Freedom of speech is something I hold dear as a writer...even for politicians. It is the level of financing in political campaigns I hold to a standard. However, there are certain forms of speech simply used to incite. Hate speech should be forbidden from airwaves, web sites, and other public forums, IMO. Because it does nothing to improve society or inform, nor does it generate much of anything but discrimination for those it is trying to oppress.

As for being rewarded for doing a bad job, there are countless CEOs who are compensated very well for shutting down businesses when they are sold to holding companies. I worked for one. We were selling our fairly profitable company to Invensys at one point. It would have been one of their least profitable holdings, so I'm assuming they purchased it as a tax write off for their other holdings. They brought in a CEO with a great track record for losing money in companies. He immediately spent over a million dollars building a new confernce room. He was irritated that I saved over $300,000 annually in Marketing and PR expenses, which surprised me being naive at the time, because I thought that was a company goal. He wasted money all over and brought our profits to losses in one year. The company finally was downsized by 70% and then sold off again. Mission accomplished! We had gone from strong profits to huge losses almost overnight. He was sent packing with a $10M severance package and on to the next company for this "fine" job. And that was when I learned corporate strategy.

It is for reasons such as this that I do not believe in capitalism. It is not a system that promotes financial growth. It sucks the life out of a nation by replacing profits with national debt, just as the company I worked for demonstrates. You can see this in the U.S. economy today and our national debt. And the seasoned politicians know this and grab their profits too while the system entirely fails a country, just the same way communism and socialism enhances the wealth of politicians. I believe in Democracy, but not capitalism.

conflicts of interest

It's certainly amazing how tempting it is for humans to believe the thing that is required for them to believe, in order for them to make money.  Those are some quite disgusting facts you point out about these issues.   How could the people running the prisons be rewarded for doing a Good job, rather than a Bad one -- if their total number of inmates & crimes committed by ex-inmates went DOWN, that would be a Good job; but their reward, according to what you are explaining, is proportional in general to how Bad they do their job, with increased profits coming from more crimes and return criminals.  I don't have any idea how to address that.  It seems like a vicious cycle.

Regarding your statement of what you believe in, do you believe that I as a citizen should also be prohibited from writing and distributing my views about political candidates running for office?  It doesn't seem to be covered in your list.

This is what I believe in:

Limiting individual campaign contributions per election: state legislature; statewide elective office, governor.
Establishing voluntary spending limits, requiring ballot pamphlets to list candidates who agree to limit campaign spending.
Expanding public disclosure requirements, increasing penalties for violations.
Prohibiting lobbyists’ contributions to officials, period!
Limiting campaign fund transfers between candidates and regulating use of surplus campaign funds.

Because, I feel if we did this, the political landscape would change dramatically. We might have a chance to see a few new faces with a great deal more regularity and running for office would no longer be a career option that enhanced the pockets of the wealthy who pay for lobbyists, or rubber stamped legislation that enabled CEOs to generate more wealth at the cost of the taxpayers, but it could offer us some new politicians who aren't yet prostituted for corporate greed and organized crime.

My problems with politicians lies in the fact that so many of

them are bought and paid for. They are not the free and elected officials we are led to believe they are. Let me provide an example...

You have heard of Carlos Slim? He is one of the wealthiest people in the world, owning much of the communications systems throughout Latin America. Do you think he got there by not buying politicians through capitalism? Slim has been very close to Mexican presidents and other high officials, paying for legislation that enables him to buy telephony that enriches him even further. He also owns many news outlets, so not much is published about his "associations." Sort of hard to write a story in the NY TImes, when he's invested $250 million into NYT, the paper’s parent, now, isn't it? After all, President Salinas did sell Slim the Mexican national phone company, Telmex, along with a de facto commitment to maintain its monopoly for years. So, this is why I have VERY LITTLE TRUST in politicians in general.

Another example of this lies in gangs. Gangs like MS-13 are a capitalist's gold mine. I think Alex Sanchez is evidence of that. How do you think he got to become a nationally-recognized expert in gang intervention? He had political ties to some well connected politicians like L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to name just a few. This was a man who had been a shot caller for the MS-13 gang in his youth, with several felonies on his record...a record he worked to have expunged. Even Tom Hayden helped him. And he was proven to still be working with his gang even while running one of the largest gang intervention centers in Los Angeles...and WITH supposed murder contracts against his life by the MS-13 gang. And yet, as much as he went into the community, he was never murdered. Is that logical if he wasn't an informant for these politicians?

Gangs like MS-13 were created and to enhance the wealth of capitalists. They do so in many ways, but these days it is primarily through organizations like Corrections Corporation of America and Wackenhut. If you don't believe me, then ask yourself why Gary Sanders, the CEO of Wackenhut was recently surrounded with allegations of security lapses at many nuclear plants in the U.S., when Wackenhut monopolizes most of the corrections and security contracts in the U.S. Because, Sanders knew the REAL money in security is made housing gang members and immigrants for long periods of time, and he knew where to focus his corporation's interests for profits. There isn't the same level of profit in security in nuclear contracts as arresting immigrants and gang members. The longer they hold them, the more they make. These corporations collect over a hundred dollars a day in profit for these inmates and when you figure that CCA alone, houses 68,000 inmates in over 75 facilities in the United States each year...that's a hell of a lot of money. And with the cost cutting measures they use (which includes denial of nutritious food, daily showers, access to legal representation, and many grievances that break human rights laws) they can really make a huge profit in prison management. John D. Ferguson, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Corrections Corporation of America, the other company that runs most of the remaining security contracts, profits when offenders are jailed too. These two organizations make a killing off of gang members.

And in turn, these gangs now run as entrepreneurial organizations, mostly run from prisons where shot callers like Alex Sanchez are held. They not only are allowed to sell drugs and own politician's contracts in many countries, including the U.S., but they do so with complete approval because this way corrections management systems can employ more and more security officers at almost minimum wage. I volunteered for the group doing some PR work, and even STILL, I received a phone call once because I had pissed off a politician during a phone call with him about my husband's case. The S.O.B. had threatened to deport my husband illegally without his passport and I took him to task, explaining I had copies of my husband's passport that they claimed they had lost. Alex Sanchez's organization called me at home, upset that I had irritated this jerk. They were reliant upon him for funding, so they warned me that I needed to "tread lightly" with that asshole. And I realized then that they weren't what they claimed to organization that supposedly helps immigrants.

These gangs (and the paid-for politicians) have paid informants who work in many of the huge human rights organizations throughout the U.S.. They have paid politicians that protect known gang members as they break laws left and right until the public grows alarmed, and then, they simply reel in a few low level gang members, make a public announcement about it, and send them to these institutions where their pals are CEOs, so the rest of the money can be made there.

Do you actually think that politicians and CEOs of corrections facilities care about protecting a country's citizens? Are you aware that many of these politicians have a hand in releasing some of the most dangerous and violent offenders in these gangs if they volunteer to become informants, because they can make even more money from these people? When you see the gang members released for asylum, you can BET these are very well connected people who are paid informants. Because even known reformed gang members never get asylum.

Do you know that in 2007, when Operation Tijuana was going on...where the entire police department of Tijuana had their guns confiscated and tested because they were suspected of being involved in cartel murders, many of the cartel members with a known police record and no legal documents for entry were driving through the border quite safely as many customs agents turned their head? Now, keep in mind that during this time the U.S. was on high alert for terrorism, so the borders were more closely monitored than ever...but these people were let through regularly. How does that happen?

If you think I'm full of it, then read this:

Do you really believe there is a SINGLE culture in the world that has eliminated the immorality within its political ranks? Politicians may begin running with every noble characteristic known to mankind, but those with tenure have long been corrupted during the process. This is why I believe in short term limitations for politicians. Get them while they still have some of that naivety and that a positive attitude to make a difference. Then, remove them when they begin to become seasoned. People like Dianne Feinstein and Orrin Hatch should be removed and replaced with new talent. They are already corrupt and merely working on nesting their political career.

I don't favor a more restrictive policy on political speech. I simply want less of it paid for by corruption. So, I favor a different type of political campaign, where the advertising is regulated by a dollar affordable to all, not just the paid off corrupt politicians financed by organized crime and corrupt CEOs.

You wrote "It should be multi

You wrote "It should be multi partisan with members from each party contributing as a team."  and also that it must include a "conflict of interest clause."

It's a nice idea for any culture that has eliminated enough of its problematic elements who would try to take advantage of the situation, but my experience is that the laws are actually not as important as the morality of the people in the first place; a civil group needs few laws, whereas many people cannot be trusted no matter what laws exist.  I'm not sure where that leaves us; we probably both agree that laws are on the whole important, I suppose our only difference I can tell as far as the elections question is that you would favor a more restrictive policy on free speech when it has to do with a political issue, whereas I would be concerned about the abuses of the administrators of such a policy and hold my nose watching disgusting advertisements so long as I don't have to worry about someone censoring me as part of the exchange.

Cubans and color

That doesn't surprise me at all. I once dated a white Cuban who turned out to be the biggest boorish racist I ever met, not to mention the fact he suffered from a HUGE Madonna Whore complex. I ran from that guy after a few dates, because he had some deep seated issues!

Unfortunately, there are many who think like him in Latin culture, just as there are so many homophobes, machos, and other distasteful types. This is why I thank God for my parents each and every day! They had the good sense not to teach that, as did my husband's mother in El Salvador. I think some of this is weeding out with successive generations, but it has a ways to go...just like in the U.S.

Something you wouldn't see today....I recall watching a German immigrant in San Francisco, who my mother approached about renting an apartment. The old woman raised a broom to try to hit my mother with it for standing on her doorstep and asking about a vacant apartment, explaining to my Argentine mother that she "didn't rent to Mexicans because they left pig intestines all over the place". I remember that so clearly, because to this day I can't believe that one immigrant felt more entitled to live in the U.S., enough so to actually try to chase someone off by threatening them with a broom, than another. And I remember my mother taking that broom out of the old biddy's hand and telling her that she was a "foreigner" in the U.S. too, and telling the German woman that she should feel very lucky that day, since my mother didn't beat the crap out of her with her own weapon. Things have changed a great deal since then, but the odd behavior of entitlement is still there on a more subtle level in many countries.


On having a 4th branch of the government dealing with the elections, yes I do think that would solve problems, IF and only IF there is a conflict of interest clause for politicians who are running for office and are involved in this branch. I think this is MUCH more fair and allows those with valid ideas and minimal budgets to compete fairly. It should be multi partisan with members from each party contributing as a team.

The speech regulation is being done in the U.K. as we speak. They have regulated what is considered hate speech and disallowed it from U.K. citizens. Now, this sends them to American airwaves, but if we all stopped it,...hmmmm....where would they go? I am completely opposed to only enabling the wealthy to run for office and denying qualified and possibly caring individuals who have yet to be corrupted from running due to economic issues...because to me, that IS a bit like limiting the type of corn a farmer can grow. Maybe some people have a preference for yellow corn and others prefer white corn. Why should we all be forced to stomach only one type of corn, because it is financed.

I don't have issues with democracy at all. I think it can be a fair form of government. It is when it is polluted by capitalism that I see it's failures, as has happened in the U.S. It is capitalism that I think creates failures in many forms of government...thinks like bad loan origination, lobbyists, people like Bernie Madoff, etc.

Color counts in Latin America

I really was surprised when a progressive friend of mine, a light skinned Cuban born woman, told me that people in Cuba felt privileged by being light skinned and that families expected their children not to marry people of darker skin! Who would think?!

restrictions on campaign speech

You wrote "Politicians should ALWAYS have a cap on what they can spend to advertise themselves, or better yet, there should be a standardized protocol available to competing politicians, so that money does not buy political office, instead of political agenda and policy views."

In Nicaragua, there is a 4th branch of the government dealing with the elections.  Supposedly independent, in fact it is controlled by the Ortegas due to their hard work and tactics to gain control of it, and it was one of the many elements that the Ortegas knew they needed to control in order to run the farce of the "election" of DOS a few years back.  Would you think it preferable to have institutions like that determining the candidates who can run and the ways they can spend money and appear in public, with more and more power in countries around the world?  It seems like a nice idea, but then the reality of it sadly takes over: those positions of power choosing candidates, regulating speech, etc, cannot be chosen in a fair manner; in all of history there is not an example of it, right?

For me, when I hear about restricting political free speech, of course there's a momentary thought about how if somebody "Good" was doing the regulating, maybe it would be OK... but then I realize there's nobody who could do the job.  So wishing for a "Good" set of people to be legally empowered with that responsibility is like wishing that a normal-sized corn plant would produce 50 large ears to feed more people.  That would be great, but it's just not going to happen because there is no way to overcome the forces of nature that limit the number of large ears on a normal-sized corn plant.

So that's why I agree somewhat with FunRunners in his statements related to the goal of fairness, and why I prefer a political system where persons are free to print as many pamphlets for the candidates of their choice or issues of their choice, even those whose proposed tactics I consider to be counterproductive to their stated goals.

As Winston Churchill said: 

No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

You wouldn't find that perception in Latin America

But it is wholesale inside of the U.S. And it has been for decades. It still is, even in Los Angeles where there is a huge Latin population. You can see companies every day who hire Latinos and blacks for the lowest positions in shipping and receivng or service call centers and the top wrung of management is all white faces. And in places like Costa Rica, many of the faces at the top of organizational structure are lighter too. Even in Latin America, there is a feeling that the darker a person is, the less qualified he is...although it is going away more and more.

But many of us were taught not to marry darket than we were...and this was ESPECIALLY true in my mother's country of Argentina.

Maybe organized crime

cannot be removed, but it can be minimized. I think of the power the mafia once had in NY, and how it is now.

The actions of the United Fruit Company was a very defining event, because it shaped the outcome of the banana republic and even today. It led to the murder of President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, led by our own CIA and it was the key cause of the views of many CIA directors leading covert operations in Central America under the guise of fighting "communisim.". United Fruit waa the largest banana company in the world with plantations in Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Santo Domingo, and the owner married one well known Costa Rica President's daughter. So as you can imagine, the impact of this social phenomenon had a great deal to do with Central American history. United Fruit made profits by corruption in every form of government in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and most of the other places they built their empire. This is why I mentioned them.

A wave of terrorism against local citizens took place, financed by the United Fruit Company. About 2% of the people of places like Guatemala owned any of its land because presidents and other politicians had given the peoples' land away in land grants to United Fruit for political favors, so rents skyrocketed and kept the workers poor. Citizens of these countries employed by this company were killed in these demonstrations by goons and CIA hired from the U.S. And in the end, expropriation became a key word in Latin America, and in turn, those companies who were about to have their land expropriated for treating the citizens so poorly and with great corruption began calling the people "communists" to discredit their fight against corruption. This has a great deal to do with the communist rhetoric that even today, Americans still use. So it was historically a very significant event affecting both U.S. foreign policy and immigration policy and Central American policy even today.

well I never thonght of Latina as lazy or stupid

I had a Bar in Costa Rica and have traveled there for 35 years, never even heard anyone suggest that. Not saying it did not happen, just that I do not think tha tis the normal. perhaps it is. I am from Alabama, we like everywhere has somne lazy folks in every race and creed, But the word around here, Latins work. Before the last election tried to blame the immigrants for the econmy, anyway. Such a shame, got ot run

Of course we were talking general overall view

Certainlky there will specific's tha thave ot be dealt with. And I noted in my statement Ihad little knowledge of the fruit company, apparently it was an extreme event. And for organized crime, It is embedded. I really do not think it can be removed. You weret alking aobut giving up alot of freedoms there. and when has the government ever given back freedom. We are in a wave of lost freedoms already... I wish you all peace in your lives and it is a great thing to be able to disagree in public....
Help someone today, you are not promised tomorrow

This is going to sound funny coming from a writer

Because every single writer I know is a proponent of free, uncensored speech. And I am to an extent. But there are two areas where I feel communications should be limited.

Politicians should ALWAYS have a cap on what they can spend to advertise themselves, or better yet, there should be a standardized protocol available to competing politicians, so that money does not buy political office, instead of political agenda and policy views.

And the other is hate speech should be banned from every place on this earth, just as the U.K. has done with the internet. There should be no way that people can post, publish, or use hate speech in public, because it absolutely serves no purpose for society except to incite hate.

Other than that...I loathe censorship.

As for the admission of inferior students, I would agree. But I would also expect that there would never be any special funding for charter schools in wealthier neighborhoods by organizations like Bill Gates charities, and that each and every single public school is privy to the same funding. What is happening today is that schools in wealthy areas receive contributions that give those students access to materials that boost their education, so you can't test students on the same level as those who have led privileged lives and gained access to much greater learning tools, then call the poor kid an inferior student. That's basically a lie. Had both students been equal, the poor student might very well have passed up the wealthier student with access to the same learning tools. And this is the most hypocritical thing of all.

I recall when I was younger, vying for a postion in Marketing as a temporary employee. There were two of us vying for the same position. Another woman and I. Of the two of us, I could interpret documents in Spanish, I knew twice as many software programs, I was a great deal more liked by most of the staff because I've always been outgoing, and I dressed ten times more professionally. She was withdrawn, not the brightest cookie in the jar, and had no clue what the company did. I was the favorite for the position, until the CEO learned I spoke Spanish, and then gave her the job. The reason? Because she had more of a corporate image. He never said the real reason, but I was told later that I shouldn't have revealed I was a Latina, because he hadn't guessed that by looking at me. I encountered that a few times in my career and it held me back from reaching my goals sooner. I could have been that student that was perceived as "inferior" when most of the time I was actually the most qualified student. We should not allow this to happen. I will admit it made me a stronger person and made me one of the best marketing people out there, because I knew the competition wasn't fair, so I had to work harder and smarter to succeed, but each and every one of us should have to do the same, removing any dead weight.


What I'm hearing is that you're not quite as far left as many.  

The issues of fairness are tough ones.  I agree that all other things being equal, it's ideal for persons to be able to come up with agreements among themselves of any nature.  However, it becomes complicated when one of those persons is an executive representing an institution with resources, and corruption seems to result in many cases... we might characterize the admission of an inferior student based on the contributions of a parent to be theft in that sense.

So, about wealth and freedom of speech, do you think individuals should be able to print leaflets about political candidates or issues?  What if it's only 50 leaflets?  What if it's 50,000,000?  What if a person owns a media station, can they give themself airtime?  How can we draw a line of how one type of free speech is allowed, but another, that might buy political influence, is not?

Perceptions on leftist thinking

To me, being a leftist means seeking radical social and economic change with an eye towards a more tolerable equality, never complete equality...because I don't believe that is possible. It is a place where class extremes do not exploit the masses. For instance, the wealthy are not given special tax privileges or private access to lobbyists to grease the palms of politicians and effect legislation to exploit the poor while they line their pockets. The poor don't lack incentive to excel and settle for nothing, expecting complete financial support. I believe there is room enough for the majority of people to not be exploited by either social class, and for a greater sense of reality to govern a sense of reasonableness. I think my views on many issues address this.

I differ greatly from my husband's leftist theories - where he believes that radical social and economic change is best gained by military power and force, because he thinks capitalism has gone so far out of hand when countries like the U.S. are kicking elderly people out of their foreclosed homes after being conned into taking questionable loans. Or, he thinks that when the right creates a militaristic society as is being done by Homeland Security, losing touch with its purpose, that we need to bring it back to reality with revolution. He tends more towards communism as the solution, where I'm probably under the label of Democratic socialist. In my ideologic model, no one feels a need to grab that government job to glean the best riches, nor do they feel compelled to give up their right to privacy for corporate mandates. It is a more centered approach. I don't believe in expropriation except where it was gained illegally. So you say how do I determine if something is stolen? To me, when the government can force a person to sell their house to build a freeway, that land is stolen...because it has a legal deed and the owner should never be forced to let that deed go. To me, when a company uses payoffs to lobbyists to establish policies that regulate employee benefits or pay, that is stealing, because our government shouldn't be bribed that way, unless the little guy is allowed to use bribes to avoid laws too. To me, when two kids are up for a college slot and one gains admittance because their father has donated X amount of dollars to the school, that is stealing as well, especially when he then claims that donation also as a tax deduction. Those are just as appalling to me as the person who asks for a welfare check to support their child and then lives with their domestic partner who is raking in a good income. No difference! Who determines this? I think it is determined again based on what is reasonable. And I think that the old judicial adage of what a person of reason would do could cover many behaviors.

I think leftist politicians should act on behalf of humanitarianism, although I'm not sure most do. I think it is sad that this isn't the case. Unfortunately, like any other political ideology, greed usually spurs a politician's career agenda. The realism in this is no different than any other political idealism, IMO. Just as in Communism, many top politicians walk away from political office just as wealthy as any Capitalist politician because they all seem to reach the conclusion that when they make policy it doesn't apply to them. How else would you explain a right winged Republican legislator who vehemently opposes socialized health care when their own healthcare coverage for their family is exactly that?

Simply, I don't have faith in those who govern and feel they should be replaced after two terms, instead of allowing them to become lifetime politicians. That might limit their ability to skim the dollars at the top and remain true to their original ideas of how government should be.

Interesting to Read Your Thoughts on This

You started out by saying you are as far left as you can get.  However, I thought one of the basic ideas of the far left is that all investments owned by individuals are stolen.  (Of course, it doesn't seem to apply to the actual politicians, but that doesn't stop it from being their supposed platform.)  Funrunners said "If you are wondering you are still way left" but I am not sure.  So could you explain in more detail how to determine whether something is stolen in your view, and who is the one to determine it.

Also I thought that the left platform is to suggest that with the right cultural context, that people who are in government will choose to act on behalf of their fellow humans based on their evolutionary position or something; but you seem more suspicious of the ability of individuals to transcend the temptations of power.  How can you reconcile this realism with the idealism of what I thought was the far left?

Some points to argue...

United Fruit Company is a premier example of a company that did NOT employ the local workforce. They enslaved them with corrupt practices and because they operated with this level of ignorance, they destroyed the country's economy, political stability, and caused the collapse of their own success to a degree. When a company goes this far over the top, that happens...rebellion is imminent and expropriation is guaranteed. And that is exactly what happened. What happened after that was a bunch of who shot John about communism coming to various central American countries, which was a code word for unionism. Read about's rather interesting. Look up Sam the Banana man, and you will glean a model of greed and corruption that created the situation of the "banana republic" today.

The strong survive...never bought that one! You see, many gang members believe in this and they use the strength of numbers to intimidate good folks, honest people, and those who do not have the strength of numbers. The same could be said for the mafia. If strength is upheld by intimidation and corruption, then God help us. I'm not saying these people are morally strong, or even have a strong sense of themselves when they need others to feel strong, but strength is in perception. This is why I believe in a more humanitarian way of dealing with others. Sure, any of us can go grab an AK47 and demand what we want, and if we unite with like minded spirits, we can amass great wealth, just as drug cartels do. That doesn't make it right. The same goes for people like Bernie Madoff or the Kennedy clan, or any others who are "strong" because of ill gotten gains.

The you work, you eat, you do not work you do not eat part, I agree with that; but what of the elderly lady who is so arthritic that she no longer can work? Do we just let her starve? What if she has worked hard her entire life but didn't have the intellectual capability to secure a good retirement plan. Same thing? What about the mentally incapacitated? Them too? At one point, we do have a social responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves. And if we also allow corporations to only hire those who are light and bright and oh so white, you might not like the ramifications of that, because those who are left out may join gangs or drug cartels and then we are back to "only the strong survive."

On land profits...let's say India comes to the U.S. and buys up all of our foreclosed homes today. Let's say they raise the rent to a margin that breaks families and causes them extreme financial hardship. (sort of like what United Fruit did) And then these people find that they can't even buy land in their own country any longer. What happens then? Bet you they'd rebel and expropriate those properties and make things fair and right, and THAT is exactly what happened in the United Fruit story.

On fairness...slap enough people and they may double up their fists and punch back. You can't go around slapping people instead of creating an environment where they see opportunity, otherwise you have Haiti, or Somalia, where armed terrorists take what they want. There has to always be hope.

On racial and cultural equality....wrong there! It can progess and has, although it comes in tides. But if you allow a dominant culture to continue to oppress others, then you have those (many immigrants coming to the U.S. demonstrate this) who have no respect for your laws or justice system and create their own. Ever heard of MS-13 gang? How do you suppose that got started and grew so huge? Then you have a pandemic. Not smart to plant the seeds for that! For every intolerable action, there is an intolerable reaction. I'm of the opinion that we realize it is a difficult task, but we never cease trying to make it right.

I don't believe in handouts either, but I do believe in teaching. Doing nothing is a prelude to disorder.

On organized crime...wrong again. Use our military and imprison each and every person who chooses to engage in organized crime. Use wire taps, Rico laws, and road blocks, but get rid of it because it is a cancer. It can be done. They got rid of the dangers of most gangs in Los Angeles to a point, and that model can work with any organized crime.

If you are wondering you are still way left

1. How do we align the interests of individuals and society so that there can be harmony?
a. you work and you eat, you do not work you do not eat. If you can not find a job we will find one for you, you might not like ours.
2. How do we allocate and distribute capital, products/services, and natural resources?
a. If you can buy it and they want to sell it fine. if not refer ot answer of question #1. As for the fruit company, admittedly I know little of the subject
but I would bet you that there are places that would give you the land if you would TRAIN and put their people to work.And of course if it is their land and they want ot ask a ton for it. Let them, nobody is forced to buy. Bribery is wrong, period.
3. Who is entitled to the fruits of a person's labor?
a. the man that pays for the work tha tis who is entitles to it.
4. * To what extent can governments, or individuals/groups that are part of governments, be trusted?
a we agree taht thisis the general rule read what jefferson davis said
5. To what extent can individuals be trusted without government?
in large numbers it willnot work, while in small situations it works well
6. How do we balance the freedom and opportunity of individuals born today in one place with the freedom and opportunity of others born in other places and/or in the future?
a. Well you broke right on this one, l will give you that and I pretty much agree with your point
7. Is it possible to help another person to become independent, or is that an inherently impossible proposition?
a. see question #1
8. How can we achieve fairness and justice in conflict resolution and decision-making?
a. find the person that convinced you the world was fair and slap them really hard.
9. How can we remove racial and cultural naivety and intolerance?
a. IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. what we have to do is learn to live with it. IF you for one minute are so naive to think
that man is suddenly going to stop thinking his race is the best or strongest or smartest or etc. You need to go find that
person and slap them again. Some of the most I have seen is in Latin America. YOu can put 20 Tico's and 20 Nica's
in a room and GOD himself would have trouble telling you who is who. I tell you what you run down and settle that little
feud then you can start talking about it Personal do not think there is anything tha tis not totaly normal about thinking
of yourself in a lifted light. YOu want to talk about what is true and that is not even on the table. It was that way 1000
i AM NOT saying agree with it , I am saying that is life deal and go on and make a difference
10, . How can we ensure that the worlds' population are fed, ceasing hunger in all four corners of the world?
a. well I am starting in Honduras is my plan, jobs, food for kids, shoes for children,
BUT not a handout. There is a hugh difference in a hand out and helping a man to his feet
11. How can we develop a community's volunteerism efforts?
a. these must not have been your. FunrunnersTravel is a fraternity of single people that are going to show the world how it is done

12. How can we eradicate organized crime?
. There ya go again, go slap him again. EVEN in A communist state it will occur, much less in a society that thinks
becoming a police state is the way to go. THE biggest organized Crime in the world today is some of the governments. Hell the mob went legit

13. How can we ensure that no singular group of people are targeted anywhere in the world for death, torture, or any behavior that causes them
to live in fear?
a. THE STRONG WILL SURVIVE until the weak stand together.

I'm as left as it gets in most ways

For me the answers are:

* How do we align the interests of individuals and society so that there can be harmony? (How can people be motivated to take care of themselves and provide for family, friends, and strangers?)

I haven't found many who lean right that appear to care about humanitarian values, but I have met a few. For me, it is ALWAYS concern for the interests of humanity in general before the individual. If one is doing something that damages humanity then they are not thinking of the bigger picture. For instance, immigration extremists who would divide families don't realize the costs associated with this. Deporting one spouse or another can create a huge deficit in the partner's finances left behind and this is often passed on to the tax payer, so IMO it is ridiculous to do this. Racial profiling is another practice I feel damages the spirit of the law and has far more costly effects upon taxpayers. When we opt to choose certain cultures for unfair law practices, we create criminals which we will have to absorb the cost for later. Much better to allow individuals to see their potential and concentrate on the actual criminals, than to turn an entire culture into a reliant entity.

* How do we allocate and distribute capital, products/services, and natural resources?
For me, allocation should always be in a manner that benefits society in general, over the individual. That doesn't mean expropriating investments, except when it can be proven that the investments were acquired by illegal gains. For instance, if a person is coming to a country to buy up all the land and turning around and price gouging, then that would be in the case of the United Fruit Company in years past. If they are paying off officials to gain tax deductions, the same thing. If a monopoly raises the price of consumer goods to a point of greed and ridiculousness, same thing. The focus should be on reason and profit, not capitalistic greed that destroys economies and creates overwhelming debt, like in the U.S.

* Who is entitled to the fruits of a person's labor?
That person, and they should be taxed on a percentage of their profit with the same percentage across all income bases to enable fair taxation, not tax exemptions for the wealthy and the debt left for the less fortunate to pick up.

* To what extent can governments, or individuals/groups that are part of governments, be trusted?
Rarely! Most governments of all forms are created upon graft and scandal, which is why the individuals who run are generally made of a similar cloth.

* To what extent can individuals be trusted without government?
Rarely! We need governments to resolve the greater issues that each country needs. But it should not be at the financial bribing of lobbiests, but at the vote of the people.

* How do we balance the freedom and opportunity of individuals born today in one place with the freedom and opportunity of others born in other places and/or in the future?
We remove borders and free all trading of skills, knowledge, natural resources, and investment, to remove imperialism and to boost growth. If a person is too lazy to prepare for the competition, they sink, no matter which country they are in. For instance, instead of the U.S. allowing dead weight employees to develop tenure in jobs, we allow healthy competition to maintain the position...that would eliminate stagnancy and if a foreign person can do the job better, then go for it! This would force people out of positions they have no proficiency in and allow much better growth potential. I like the model of competition that India uses for universities and other skills. The U.S. tends to allow employees to become lazy and nonproductive, and I'm not sure that model helps the growth of this country.

* Is it possible to help another person to become independent, or is that an inherently impossible proposition?
Yes, if they are prepared to work for it. No, if they are not willing. Depends on the person. We can hold corporations accountable that use unfair labor practices and demand that they employ a diverse workforce and this will allow people to see independence as a reality.

* How can we achieve fairness and justice in conflict resolution and decision-making?
We can cease allowing jurisprudence for only the wealthy and distribute equal and fair justice for all. That isn't being done in any country that I know of. The benefactors of justice are only the wealthiest people of each nation, because the poor usually can't afford adequate counsel.

Are there any questions that ought to be added to this list or anything that should be changed?

How can we remove racial and cultural naivety and intolerance?
If every country followed the U.K.'s model of removing hate speech from the internet, airwaves, and other communication sources, it might die out.

How can we ensure that the worlds' population are fed, ceasing hunger in all four corners of the world?

How can we develop a community's volunteerism efforts?

How can we ensure that no singular group of people are targeted anywhere in the world for death, torture, or any behavior that causes them to live in fear?

How can we eradicate organized crime?

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