Political Mythology

I distrust any political philosophy that relies on a narrative that moves from some mythological initial state (one of the various “states of nature” for example) towards some envisioned stable end state.

There is no single initial state of human relations.  Everything begins in the middle.  And especially, we, now, begin in the middle.  Any political philosophy worth pursuing begins in media res and gives us things we can do now to immediately improve things, in whatever state we find ourselves.

Similarly, the only stable end state for a living system is death.  Someday, the sun will expand and engulf the earth.  Until then, things will change.  As long as there is a biosphere, there will be the possibility of disruptive new developments.  We will never achieve our utopias, and if we do, they will die away and be replaced.

I’m no longer interested in destinations.  I’m interested in directions.  I’m interested in principles by which we can gauge our actions, collective, and individual, here and now. 

A Brief Morning Thought – Different Moral Principles for Humans and Nonhumans

If moral principles are abstract possibilities that are beneficial to groups of living beings, then there are some moral principles that apply to human interactions but not to interactions between humans and nonhuman living beings or interactions among nonhuman living beings.

For example, the principle of nonaggression is universally applicable to all humans. If no human initiated aggressive action against any other human, this would be beneficial to all humans.

However, the same is not true among all living beings. If no living being initiated aggressive action against any other living being, ecosystems would collapse.