How To Choose Your Political Belief, Part II: Choosing Your Beliefs in a Hurry

At 10am, you manage to open a bleary eye. A man in business attire stands at the foot of your bed. You have no memory of this man, or of the past 36 or so hours of your life. He introduces himself as your campaign manager. He explains that last night, in a stupor, you filed the paperwork to run for the state senate.

“You are due at the Palladium in one hour to give your kick-off speech,” he tells you.

“But I don’t even have any political beliefs!”

“Well, you’d better hurry up and get some.”

You’ve got both eyes open now, and your brain is whirling. The situation is urgent; you must find beliefs.

Fortunately, you happen upon this list of the pros and cons of every major political belief, which enables you to settle on some in a hurry:

Mainstream Political Beliefs: For & Against

Conservatism: 

Good – likes the old traditions, skeptical of disastrous utopian schemes

Bad – some of the old traditions are very racist, perfectly fine with disastrous capitalist schemes. Insufficently opposed to the prospect of nuclear holocaust. Plus actually kind of bloodthirsty a lot of the time.

Neoconservatism: 

Good – uses the word “democracy” a lot

Bad – believes democracy is best instituted via drone

Fascism: 

Good – snappy uniforms, well-coordinated marches

Bad – state-worship, proclivity for death camps

Marxism (generic): 

Good – insightful analysis of capitalism’s fundamental instability and the alienation of the worker

Bad – theory is largely a bunch of unfalsifiable horse manure, all the Marxists are really mean

Stalinism: 

Good – industrialization

Bad – paranoia, gulags

Trotskyism: 

Good – dislikes Stalin

Bad – likes Trotsky, who is also an extremely unpleasant man

Anarchism

Good – detests authority in all forms! believes phrase “you’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelette” is just license to break a bunch of eggs

Bad – can barely successfully organize an anarchist bookfair, let alone a worldwide system of mutual aid and worker ownership

Libertarianism

Good – lots of freedom, gets the boot of the state off your neck

Bad – only your boss/landlord get the freedom, boot of the state occasionally useful for enforcing fire codes

Liberalism

Good – committed to rights and equality and such

Bad – equally committed to vagueness, hypocrisy, and expensive scones . For some reason always end up adopting all conservative beliefs on mistaken assumption this will make them liked.

Social Democracy 

Good – safety net, healthcare, life free of worry

Bad – inevitable Nordic tedium, general prissiness

Libertarian Socialism

Good – mixes best parts of all of the above

Bad – too sensible to be persuasive

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