Political Supersymmetry

I came across this video the other day and it got me to thinking. It seems like there is a parallel between the concept of supersymmetry in science and the abstract political philosophies we have about government and society. Specifically, I was thinking about our current systems of government. We have all these different types of state systems, but are there any “cousin particles”, or political equivalent, that we can look to? Surprisingly, I was able to find a “stateless” version of almost every type of “state” government.

In this visual representation, it becomes apparent that they are not exactly symmetrical. As you move left on the political spectrum the resemblance between the state and stateless options become less apparent. State communism and stateless communism, for example are interchangeable, there is virtually no difference between them. You can also see that the gap between anarcho-capitalism and classic liberalism is bridged by minarchism, which is allegedly where most self-described libertarians live. A minarchist generally thinks the state is irrelevant in most situations, but a few things such as the military and justice system are best done by a state of some sort, at least until a better alternative can be described without a state.

There are several major dividing lines between left and right philosophies that are symmetrical between state and stateless philosophies.

Private property-

As you move left on the scale, the belief that property can be owned diminishes on both state and stateless philosophies. Both leftist systems hold unions in high regard and consider the means of production in private hands as immoral. As you move right on the scale, the concept of private property and ownership become more important, for both rightwing philosophies.

Individualism vs. the collective-

As you move left on the scale, the concept of the individual diminishes and the importance of the collective increases. As you move right the importance of the individual increases and the collective decreases. This is true for both the state and stateless philosophies.

Positive rights vs. negative rights-

As you move left on the scale, the importance of positive rights increase. As you move right on the scale the importance of negative rights increases. This is true for both the state and stateless philosophies.

Of course, I left out a lot of different philosophies and each category can be subdivided countless times. I don’t have the space or patience to list every single type of socialist or fascist or libertarian. But you get the point. This thought does beg the question though: If something can be done without a state, why is the state necessary?

By the way, one of the reasons I find libertarianism superior to the main political parties, is that it forces me to think about things that democrats and republicans never do. A person’s political party is acquired much like their religion, by birth. You are what your parents are, until you rebel and become the other party. Not much thought goes into it. Very few people are born libertarian. It requires first, an epiphany that something is wrong with what you believe and second, research. That’s partly why I didn’t make each word in that word triangle a link to a further description, the other part was I’m too lazy to make that many hyperlinks. Happy researching!

If you are a republican or democrat, progressive or conservative, here is a little exercise to get you started. Answer these questions:

  • Do I own my own body, my time and my talents?
  • If I trade my time for goods do I own those goods?
  • Are my needs as important as the needs of my community?
  • Should my rights obligate you to serve me or take action? (positive rights)
  • Should my rights be able to be exercised without requiring action from others? (negative rights)
  • Should I be able to decide what is best for me and my family?
  • Is freedom more important than security?
  • How much freedom am I willing to give up to be secure?

When you answer these questions, take your answers to their logical conclusion and see if any of your answers contradict each other. They will contradict each other. At this point you will need to make a conscious decision about which way you want to go. Take that decision to its logical conclusion. Feel free to use the word triangle above to see where you place on the spectrum.

I would love to hear about your results. Tell me where you fall and why. Please feel free to ask me where I fall and why.

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7 thoughts on “Political Supersymmetry

  1. Do I own my own body, my time and my talents? Yes, I do. Anything less would be slavery. Slaves don’t have ownership of their bodies, time or talents.

    If I trade my time for goods do I own those goods? Yes. Logically, if I own my time, I own what my time bought.

    Are my needs as important as the needs of my community? Yes. A community’s needs can only truly be met individually, so my needs are at least as important as those of the community, because the community doesn’t really exist; it’s merely a collection of individuals who have agreed to work together — though often that isn’t true. There are a lot of individuals in my community who I would never voluntarily work with because I think they’re tyrants..

    Should my rights obligate you to serve me or take action? (positive rights) No. Just as your rights should not obligate me to take action or to serve you. I should not be able to require anything of you. Obligation, other than those accepted voluntarily, are a form of slavery. There are, of course, voluntary exceptions to this — contracts we make with spouses and business partners.

    Should my rights be able to be exercised without requiring action from others? (negative rights) Yes, otherwise we would have no rights because others would inevitably fail to act on our behalf for selfish reasons. People are selfish. Frequently, the exercise of rights in the positive sense require that someone else give me permission to exercise those rights and dictate how I might be able to exercise them. That is a form of slavery because permission may be granted today, but might be withheld tomorrow.

    Should I be able to decide what is best for me and my family? Yes, you should. Who knows better than you what is best for your family. But … and this is something I’m still sorting out … there are people who don’t want what is best for their families — men who beat their wives, women who neglect their children. I can’t take the non-interference ideal to its extreme conclusion because I’ve seen the outcome.

    Is freedom more important than security? This one is still evolving for me. I like not living in chaos. I love freedom to make my own choices, say what I want, believe what I want, etc. I recognize from my own life that to live in security I personally have to give up some freedom and require myself to go to work, pay my bills, etc., things that — if I had complete freedom to choose my life course, I’d probably go be a gypsy photographer/writer. But I know I would give up security and comfort, so … there is a balance there, but it is one that I voluntarily choose to live with. And because of that balance in my own life, I think I understand why people fear a stateless society — they value freedom, but they also enjoy stability and fear chaos. Freedom doesn’t do you a lot of good when you’re living in the Reign of Terror.

    How much freedom am I willing to give up to be secure? This brings me back around. I am not willing to give up much freedom to others in order to be secure. Stay out of my home, thoughts, communications (unless I let you in) and leave me the heck alone. I will take care of my own security needs … because I can choose for myself how much freedom I am willing to give up for whatever level of security I want. Nobody else can do that for me, least of all strangers who have never met me and who live thousands of miles away from me.

    That what you were looking for?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! And I think we answered those questions pretty much exactly the same. Currently, I seem to be solidly in the minarchist area of the scale. Until I find a good way to replace the govt for things like the justice system, and I am hoping to find one.

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      • I’m very much an individualist, but I do see times when the individual needs to have his butt kicked by society. And the justice system — my anarcho-capitalist friends would say we could just each be members of some sort of paid system, but what I see is that justice in a system like that can be bought by those who have money. Which is not to say that it isn’t bought now by the same folks, but that in the purely capitalistic system, bought justice would be the given and nobody would recognize it as wrong.

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      • I agree. I have no doubt that the justice system could be constructed without a government, bit I feel like it would have the same basic problems. I really want to go stateless, but I want it to be better, not just different.

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