My politics are not comparable to those of a great majority of Americans’. I identify as a Socialist because I don’t want to give false impression of moderation. While I don’t believe in the most common conception of socialism, an economy administered by the government, I believe that my core principles put me far outside the norm for an American and are similarly divergent from most major ideologies in the Western world. These are:
1) Society has no purpose other than to aid its members
2) Social structures should be changed wherever this is not the case
3) 1 and 2 taken together imply a society with drastically different order than exists anywhere on Earth
I believe that there is something deeply wrong with a world in which one billion go hungry while another billion suffer from an excess of food. I think that it’s atrocious that at a time when technology allows some to live in unprecedented excess while they, through action and inaction make it hard to even begin to effect the changes that could create a better world.
It is unfortunate that people focus on money and possessions more than learning for its own sake, than on love and satisfaction and fraternity. Where biological need has been eliminated, I don’t see a quest for enlightenment, but simply for more items.
I don’t know the solutions to these problems. I know many don’t think that they’re problems. I know many more don’t see their importance compared to more immediate concerns. I know that, no matter what I say or do for the rest of my life, there will be people who disagree with me. This puts us in a situation where, to use Machiavelli’s terminology, we have hard questions to answer about ends and means.
Every person who wants to change society has a fundamental question to answer with regards to strategy: Do you act as a part of the society you seek to change or do you attack it as an outsider? Depending on your choice, you are guilty either of appeasement or a willingness to fail.
The difficulty of formulating a coherent answer to this question only becomes harder when the realities of electoral politics are taken into consideration. By placing your ideology on the ballot, you are putting yourself in a process which pushes back strongly against original thought and meaningful change. Minority parties are often powerless, and achieving majority status usually means sacrificing your beliefs along the way. My response to such realities is as follows:
Never compromise on your ideology or beliefs. Never.
Always compromise on strategy. Do everything you can to do something. If your beliefs are important, partial successes matter, and a good compromise is success.
Eliminate the bourgeois capitalist system, one compromise at a time.
See wikified version at http://gammafactor.wikia.com/wiki/On_Idealism.