23 February 2010

My Political Identity

Questioning. Sounds like me, right? Actually, if it was more like me, it would be fluid, but I don't think that counts as a political identity.

I used to identify as libertarian. Socially liberal and economically conservative. As you can imagine, this would follow naturally from my upbringing. My family has experienced first-hand the terrors of the Communist Soviet Union and spoke of them often, and the political leaning of the Soviet Union is on the other side of the spectrum from libertarian. My stepdad is a CEO who started his small business from scratch, my mother is a neurologist who single-handedly worked to become a doctor in the US.  The entrepreneurial, independent spirit is very alive in my family, and this spirit asks for economic independence, rather than government intervention in such matters. Economically conservative. However, my family's political concerns did not include social issues. I figured those out on my own: why would ever make something illegal if it doesn't affect you at all? Socially liberal. I fell in love with libertarian ideas the moment I first learned about them. To me, they seemed like everything the United States stood for: freedom. The government is only there to protect your rights: right to life, right to property. (Here's a 2D political spectrum, with a red dot where I used to place myself).

Recently, I've begun to question this orientation.  I'm impressed by the fact that countries that are considered socialist are very healthy, happy countries. Take, for instance Norway, that has the highest Human Development Index, second place in the Global Peace Index, and a 1.0 (meaning full equality) in the Gender Parity Index. So now I'm beginning to wonder: am I wrong? Perhaps socialism - real, balanced socialism, not the corrupt communism I always hear about from personal anecdotes concerning my family's experiences - perhaps it's a good thing.

That being said, I think in politics, I think we often forget the big picture. We continuously bicker - liberal vs conservative, left vs. right, democrat vs republican, omgz-you're-a-communist vs well-you're-a-fucking-fascist. In all reality, our system of government is Socio-Democratic Liberalism. That's the form of government in the US and in Norway, the form advocated by the right and the left. That's really what we're dealing with. Period.


  1. Dear Kae,

    Just to introduce myself, my name’s Ellie Kirby and I’m writing on behalf of the Global Peace Index (GPI).

    The GPI is a ground-breaking piece of research in the study of peace, which not only ranks nations by their peacefulness but also seeks to identify the drivers of peace.

    Now in its fourth year, the Index is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global think tank dedicated to the research and education of the relationship between economic development, business and peace. It is collated and calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

    I’ve read your blog, and was particularly impressed by your piece on your own political identity, for this reason I thought you might be interested in learning a bit more about the Index.

    We’re getting in touch to alert you to the fact that the next Global Peace Index will be launched on June 8th 2010. We’ll be providing you with further information closer to the time – unless you tell us that you’d rather not hear from us again – but thought you might appreciate the heads-up in the meantime.

    You might want to join us on Facebook too:


    And follow us on Twitter:


    If you’ve got any thoughts or questions about the Index, our methodology, or our organisation, please get in touch and let us know. We hope you find our research interesting and informative, and look forward to sharing this year’s findings with you in a few weeks’ time.

    Best wishes,

    Ellie Kirby

  2. - Forgot to leave a contact address haha. You can contact me on updates@visionofhumanity.org

    Ellie Kirby

  3. Ellie Kirby: updates@visionofhumanity.org