Why I Am a Liberal

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Remember when you were a child, in the typical playground scenario, were you the bully, the victim, or the bystander? Sounds like an innocuous question. Perhaps overly simplistic. But it reveals the very essence of the point. How you feel politically and philosophically now is a reaction to what happened to you on that playground then. So you're an adult now, eh? Yeah, well so what. How much has really changed? Things may be much more evolved, likely much more sophisticated, elaborate, and convoluted -- clearly there's a lot less shoving and crying going on -- but the central problem remains essentially the same. In this world, where two or more people become involved, the situation can result in a familiar and tragic formula, a formula comprised of bullies and victims and bystanders. Certainly, there are numerous exceptions. Not every interaction between people is a disaster. And of course, when there are poor outcomes, there is so much variation. There are justifications, varying shades of gray, degrees of crime and guilt. And yes, it is true that very few people can be categorically pigeonholed; an individual may behave differently simply given a different set of circumstances -- can be both a bully or a victim simply depending on the conditions. But, deny as you might, a frank evaluation of life will reveal a startling conclusion, that many many situations boil down to these basics: bully, victim, bystander. Now why is that? Well, you -- like every other living thing on this planet -- are just a big carbon-based (instead of silicon-based) computer. You are a painstakingly intricate vessel meant to accomplish one thing and one thing alone. You are to carry a code. That's it. Now, this code is not alive per se -- but nonetheless, it "wants" to exist. It does not "want" to disappear. It "wants" to continue. But the world is a harsh place (too many variables). A single copy of the code is not very safe; it can be easily destroyed. So, the code makes copies of itself. That is why every cell in your body carries the code. To ensure its existence, the code must replicate. And since copies keep getting destroyed, the code must keep replicating. The fancier the code, the fancier the body to house it. You walk, talk, eat, kiss, love and make love. The code makes you do it all. It's survival depends on it. The cells in your body divide, and the code makes a copy of itself. When cells in your body die, new cells take their place. The code lives on. Eventually, your body gets tired and old. Eventually, the vessel dies. But the code does not die. If it is successful, if you are fit in the evolutionary sense, a variation of it lives on -- in your offspring. Hence, our obsession with sex. As would be expected, such a fancy contraption requires fuel. Hence, our hunger for food and our thirst for drink. When fuel is burned, there are by-products. Waste must be removed. You're beginning to get the picture. For the code, it's all about keeping the machine going for as long as possible, and then making sure there's a working replacement machine when this one reaches it's end-of-life. Thus, survival of the machines becomes all about resources. Resources make life and living possible, sustainable. Resources, resources, resources. Hence, our fixation with wealth. But what if these resources suddenly come up in short supply? Since the time of the primordial sludge, this has been a serious ongoing problem. Those who have made it this far were the ones who developed successful strategies to deal with a scarcity of resources. Survival depends on it. In time of shortage, one very effective strategy has been to take resources from another machine. In this strategy, known as competition, the more different the code of the other machine, the more acceptable it would be steal resources from it. (After all, you don't want to kill or injure copies of your own code.) Consequently, since the DNA of all the cells in your body differ from the...
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