Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Whelp, I've finally done it. I've finally decided to start a blog. Why, you ask? Well, there are a lot of things I've been struggling to understand lately ‒ namely politics and economics ‒ and I thought it would be a good idea to have a place to collect all my thoughts and reflect on various current events, as well as speculate on how those events relate to various social theories and conceptual models of society.
This blog will act as a sort of personal journal detailing my thoughts about ongoing current events and particular political groups and their impact on society. It's possible my opinions on certain issues may change over time as I learn new things and gather more information, but I'll try to remain as consistent as humanly possible. However, please keep in mind that life is (or at least I believe it should be) a process of continual learning and perpetual engagement, and there may be times where I might gain new information which refutes or contradicts something I previously believed or said. In these situations, I ask for your patience and understanding as I progress in my knowledge.
Anyway, a little about myself...
I was born in Santa Monica, California in June of 1986, though I've spent most of my life growing up in Utah. I'm a proud Ex-Mormon and a member of the LGBT community, and I strongly support LGBT rights.
Over the past few years I've been reading various self-help books regarding financial success, and this has led me to seek out knowledge regarding economic theory, which I'm currently in the process of studying.
Some of the self-help books I've read so far include Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki (along with several other of Robert Kiyosaki's books), How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, The Law of Success, by Napoleon Hill, and Think and Grow Rich, also by Napoleon Hill. I'm also currently reading The Social Capitalist, by Josh Lannon and Lisa Lannon.
About a year ago I finished reading Ayn Rand's infamous novel "Atlas Shrugged" for the first time, and I highly enjoyed it. In fact, I became deeply interested in Ayn Rand for a few months, though the more I read and studied about her philosophy of Objectivism, the weaker her ideas seemed to become to me, until I reached a point where I had to dismiss them entirely. I'm still studying Ayn Rand's philosophy, as there are quite a few things here and there that I really like about it, but there are many things I don't like as well, and in the end it just seems too simplistic to be a viable solution to our current economic problems. I highly enjoy Ayn Rand's fiction, but the ideas expressed in her non-fiction work generally feel half-baked, impractical, and short sighted.
I've read a little bit of Stefan Molyneux's work regarding so-called practical anarchy, in which he advocates the idea that human beings don't need government. Molyneux presents some interesting arguments, but ultimately I consider his ideas to be even more deeply flawed than Ayn Rand's. At least Ayn Rand had the sense to acknowledge that we need SOME government, even if she did put unrealistic limitations on its scope of responsibilities.
A little over a year ago, I decided that I needed to understand socialism better, since it's a topic everyone seems to have strong feelings about, though no one seems to quite know exactly what it is. With this goal of understanding socialism in mind, I read "The Naked Socialist," by Paul B. Skousen, which I devoured in about two weeks and then internalized for a few months, but then ultimately rejected as mostly false. There were a few tidbits of good information, but a vast majority of the book amounted to little more than insubstantial conspiracy theories and right-wing propaganda and hate speech. It had not provided me with the deep understanding I had been looking for.
And so, because anti-socialist writers have failed to adequately explain socialism to my satisfaction, I've decided to go straight to the source: I'm reading Karl Marx.
Specifically, I'm reading volume one of Karl Marx's magnum opus, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. I've already read "The Communist Manifesto," which struck me as an incredibly illogical manuscript with terrible ideas, so I have my doubts as to whether "Das Kapital" will be much better. But my goal here is to understand socialism, even if it is an impractical and misguided philosophy.
Anyway, I think that's all for now. I hope I've provided a decent insight into what this blog will be exploring, and I look forward to writing more soon.