I am not a progressive.
I am not The Resistance.
I am the counterpoint.
I am opinionated.
I am a voter.
I am an electrical engineer and a software engineer. And I’m an artist, a writer, a musician.
Eric has kindly asked me to participate in this growing community, and so, to the best of my ability, I will provide and expound on principles espoused by centrist and Constitutional conservatives and right-libertarians. I will, from time to time, engage in light debate with him by tacking comments on to his blog posts, but for the most part, my role here is to author posts in order to promote thinking along lines outside of your comfort zone.
I will probably provoke and outrage, albeit not (usually) intentionally. I will be pedantic and detailed. I may at times be savage in my critique of policy. I do not (often) troll, but I’m not above the use of memes when it suits my purposes.
You can expect some economic discourse, some advocacy of Constitutionalism, and some defense of widely-misunderstood conservative views. Don’t expect to see any support of Trump or partisanship, except in those very rare instances where such support is (perhaps accidentally) warranted. Do expect to see criticism of corruption and of policies that produce unintended consequences, from both sides of the aisle. As regards progressivism itself, just remember:
I am the opposition.
Following Eric’s introductory example, I’ll provide a list of books I found informative to my economic and ideological understanding. (Note that he’s beaten me to some of entries, but I’ll nonetheless produce a list of the same length as his.) I see a proper understanding of politics as having to be based in a proper understanding of economics and of society, with both of those requiring bases in human nature. Taking a multidisciplinary approach provides you with a sort of pyramid of learning, with a broad base and an ever-narrowing region of specificity, capped by the field in which you’re most directly involved. At the base of my pyramid are ethology and evolutionary biology; atop them sits evolutionary psychology, paleoanthropology, archaeology, and history. Human nature is, after all, just a special case of ape nature, which is just a special case of social animal nature, which is just a special case of animal nature.
I highly recommend this approach to anyone wanting to achieve a deeper understanding of why we’re here and how we got here. The most vocal advocates of views at either end of the ideological spectrum refuse to grasp the existence of their own blinders with respect to human nature. While it’s true, for instance, that religious conservatives refuse to acknowledge that we’re apes, many progressives refuse to acknowledge that we’re territorial, hierarchical, acquisitive, carnivorous, aggressive, pack-hunting apes.
- The “Personal Investigation” (Nature of Man) series by Robert Ardrey:
- African Genesis
- The Territorial Imperative
- The Social Contract
- The Hunting Hypothesis
- The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond
- Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
- The Moral Animal by Robert Wright
- After the Ice: A Global Human History, 20,000-5000 BC by Steven Mithen
- Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade
- The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker
- The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
- The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek
- The Fatal Conceit by F. A. Hayek
- Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
- The Great Depression by Lionel Robbins
- Free to Choose by Milton Friedman
- Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
- The Golden Bough by James George Frazier
- The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- New Deal or Raw Deal? by Burton W. Fulsom
- The Myth of the Robber Barons by Burton W. Fulsom
- The Prize by Daniel Yergin
- The Commanding Heights by Daniel Yergin