I have often said that politics is, or should be, a serious conversation about society.
Here are some fundamental questions to consider:

  • Should society be organised by peaceful or forceful means?
  • Who owns each person’s life? That is, is your life your own?
  • Ethically, can you compel people to do good? Should people freely choose to do what good they can?
  • Is every decision made objectively or are some or all decisions subjective?
  • What is the purpose of democracy? For example, is it to limit forceful action to only those areas where people genuinely agree, or is it to authorise a cabal to use whatever force they see fit?

The challenge is to think through the consequences of your answers and the extent to which they can be fulfilled.  Some of these books may help.

And no, Plato’s Republic is not the right answer.

My answers are these: peaceful; my life is my own; no and yes; some, perhaps most, decisions are subjective choices made in the absence of all the relevant information; democracy’s just purpose is to limit forceful action to those areas where there is genuine agreement. None of this limits my fury against injustice and poverty but we cannot continue to seek to solve our problems by resorting to force.

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