My Politics? I’m Lawful Neutral

The closest I’ll come to stating a political ideology is to say that I’m lawful neutral. Social order is important, because nothing constructive gets done when everyone is allowed to do whatever they want without consequence. That’s just chaos, and while it might seem fun and look like the ultimate freedom for a while, in the end it benefits no one. There have to be some rules, some boundaries, and some basic agreements that we all can abide by if anything is going to work. I believe in the social contract.

The needs of the individual and the needs of society have to be balanced. Being completely selfish and always putting your own desires ahead of the needs of others is just evil. Yet putting the desires of others ahead of your own needs will crush you in many, many ways. I prefer the analogy of the airplane emergency; put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others with their masks. I need to take care of myself, but once I’ve done that I have a duty to society to help others. Because when I’m not able to put my own mask on, I’m counting on society to help me. If we’re not taking care of ourselves we’re not being responsible, but if we’re not working together with our fellow humans we’re not really living in a civilization any more. Then we’re right back to chaos.

I don’t believe in rigid doctrines and ideologies. There are very few things relating to human behavior and the needs of civilization that are fixed, so there’s not a lot that’s been resolved with finality and for all time. I think that people who cite an ideology — a religious text, a political treatise, a cultural tradition — and say that’s it, there’s no more room for discussion, the issue has been settled now and forever — are lawful evil. Their selfish need to promote their subjective ideology is more important to them than anyone else’s objective needs. Entropy is the way of the universe. Things change. Be willing to adapt.

At the same time, I think that being lawful good — completely selfless — needs to be a choice. Sometimes it’s a good idea, and the moral and ethical thing to do, to take care of others before you worry about yourself. We rely on those people, the police, firefighters, and soldiers who put themselves in harm’s way for our benefit. To do so as a matter of policy, however, is foolish and borders on suicidal.

This is how I’m choosing to deal with all political discussions going forward. These are my basic guiding principals. These are my lenses and filters. I want more people to see things in terms of problems and solutions, empathy and compassion, people and societies, rather than parties, denominations, and associations. Find the rules we can all agree on, the problems we all acknowledge need to be addressed, and work outward from there. Stop being so rigid, and start using some semblance of reason and common sense.

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One thought on “My Politics? I’m Lawful Neutral

  1. Interesting… I teach the Computer Ethics class here and I keep telling the students that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers, what they need to do is figure out their own opinion – but understand how they arrived at it and be able to justify it, present supporting evidence and arguments for their point of view.

    Of course, that said I’m about to mark their examination papers! But I shall be looking for those supporting arguments, the things they say that show how they’ve reached the conclusions that they have stated.

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