"It's The Code You Live By That Defines Who You Are." — Johnny Silverhand (Cyberpunk 2077)
My Foundational Beliefs
When engaging with politics, it's foundational to have a set of philosophical beliefs that you can use to guide your decision-making.
- I exist.
- Other people exist.
- I have a right to exist.
- Other people have a right to exist, free of my interference.
I am generally opposed to violence as I don't believe it is an effective way to accomplish change. You shouldn't use violence to solve problems, because then that gives way to more violence. Violence is a cycle that never ends. Violence is a tool of the oppressor, not the oppressed.
Defense of Property
I believe that people have a right to defend their property insofar as three important criteria are met:
- You possess the property in a way that your state and community recognizes your possession.
- You have reasonably exhausted non-violent options to protect your property.
- The other person is effectively "on notice" and understands they exist in an environment where another person will protect their property.
For example, if someone wants to destroy your local business or your house, then you have an absolute right to defend your property by all means necessary.
Many disagreements over whether or not defense of personal property is justified sometimes appear to boil down to a difference of underlying values. The value in question is whether "property can be valued over human life", or some statement to that effect. In my experience, middle-class and well-off people may underestimate the personal sacrifice and the years of time invested into obtaining a business, a car, or even something as simple as a stereo system or a school instrument. As such, they will argue that no matter the value and sacrifice associated with some property, even in the case of people living in poverty, the life of the thief always outweighs said value. This is a conclusion I take issue with. It's a conclusion that I believe is based on a lack of empathy for the poor and the working class.