Why People Are Left Wing – Freedom Philosophy

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Why people are left wing - freedom philosophy

It’s a peculiar thing to talk with an intelligent, well-meaning, leftist.

They generally want a better society and yet statistics on minimum wage are unmistakable, it’s devastating to the poor.

Capitalism annihilates poverty – this is indisputable.

Deficit spending is the most potent recipe for poverty one can imagine. Why then do we have opponents on these issues?

We don’t have opponents on issues of logic. If some A’s are B’s, and all B’s are C’s, no one debates whether or not some A’s are C’s.

We don’t have opponents on whether or not general relativity is correct – the evidence is very clear on this issue. The reason why this is so, is that there’s no passion on these issues outside of a passion for truth.

Why then is there a debate on capitalism? Even left-wing success stories, like the Scandinavian countries, have minimal debt expenditures are comparatively low corporate tax rates to attract investment. Capitalism is not a thing to be debated and yet it is.

Thomas Aquinas had a theory of natural law, right and wrong, and it does a lot to explain why people have arguments about ethics.

The claim was that most of us have universal ethical principles which we apply with reason to particular situations. If we acknowledge that theft is unethical, and find something that belongs to another, we conclude it’s wrong to take it.

Given that the moral premises are nearly universal, and the reason is constant, how is it that people disagree?

There are a few causes, but the most prevalent is that passion disrupts the reasoning process.
For example, most of us wish to live in a peaceful country, but some are so passionate about national security that it disrupts their clear-headedness and they become violent toward other countries and even perceived enemies within their own country, which usually ends in less national security.

Akin to an investor, clearly driven by the profit motive, but when they have a passion so strong for profit that it disrupts the rules of sound investing they make greedy decisions and they often wind up with less profit because of bad investment decisions.

When passion disrupts reason, the end can be detrimental to the thing that is passionately desired.

I believe something similar has happened to the left. They very passionately want to abolish poverty, perhaps in some cases even more so than the right. Just as the greediest investor is not the most successful investor, the most passionate people aren’t the ones with the best ideas on how to accomplish this goal.

The reasoning process, the part of our brain that uses logic and inference from evidence, has been disrupted in the minds of some because they are so passionate to abolish poverty.

It’s certainly a passion of mine, as is successful investing.

Being ever vigilant is absolutely necessary to arrive at the destination – a driver cannot lose focus for more than a second without risking utter catastrophe not only for themselves but also for others.

We must be the torchbearers for their cause. If they insist on ignoring the economic causes for increases in the cost of living then it is up to us to be mindful. If they insist on ignoring causes of unemployment we must be doubly mindful.

We have to have passion guided by reason to arrive at our destination – utopia – where all who want a job and to provide for themselves can do so.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby is a philosopher, financial adviser, a founder of a local investment club, and he hosts regular symposiums in philosophy. He is also a member of Canada’s Libertarian Party.