Overarching Values and Beliefs
Quotes and Assumptions
“It’s far easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.”
Power leads to more power. If you give any entitiy power, it will reach for more power.
The state has to be the servant of the people. It does not have a cause on its own, it exists solely for the well-being of the people.
The legitimacy of a democratic government is based on plurality, the legitimacy of judges in a democratic society is based on emotion.
Frugalism and Mindfulness
Being frugal does not mean being cheap. To me, it also doesn’t mean to always craft things myself. Frugalism to me is being content with what you have, to make do. Sometimes making do is not possible and it is perfectly fine to then choose the best option at hand. Frugalism to me means resisting consumerism, resisting the ongoing advertisements, resisting the ongoing tossing of new and better products onto the market. Hence the connection with mindfulness. Resisting the urge of buying a new product just for the thrill of the purchase or the sake of owning it and instead focusing on what I cherish in life. Not just with purchases, but with everything. Being aware of my surroundings at most times, unaltered by substances or substitute adrenaline rushes (by buying things), noticing the colourful leaves and the butterflies and the smell of fresh bread. Noticing the people around me and how wonderful they are, instead of rushing towards new and exciting but short-lived new experiences. Taking notice of my own values and aligning my actions with them. Without this connection to myself, being contempt with what I have would be much more difficult.
I went vegan because someone pointed out a flaw in my reasoning. It’s literally this simple: We (hopefully) agree, that consent in inter-human relations is extremely important. How do we assume that cows do not deserve to give or withhold consent. It really goes back to: What divides humans from animals? What rights are only granted to humans - and on what basis?
I am not saying that there is no justification for dividing humans and animals, but right now I don’t see that we have any. Literally the best justification right now is “it tastes good”, because taste is subjective and cannot be argued against (but it doesn’t taste good to me so please don’t make me eat it). Every feature of a mammal that might make them different from humans can be found at least theoretically in a human too and raise serious issues regarding human dignity and equality if we would apply them.
Can’t really communicate with us? Look to infants or comatoese patients.
Has lots of hair? So a dolphin and naked mole-rat are human? And people with certain conditions are not?
Can’t walk on two legs? Think of amputated or immobile legs. Or infants.
Don’t help each other? As if people would.
Don’t live in a society? What is a society in the first place and isn’t it assumed that it is human-made and therefore circular reasoning?
Sea and sky animals do have unique features, so maybe that is where a line could be drawn. I don’t see myself having the authority to decide on this though, so I chose the path of least harm. And since plants are widely available for low prices to me, and so are supplements where necessary, I don’t see any external constraint in going that path.
And just an extra thing to think about: Why do vegetarians (egg and dairy) reject eating meat (male and sometimes female animals) but do not see an issue in harvesting food from exclusively female animals’ reproductive systems. In case you did not know: cows do not produce milk on their own, they need to be impregnated about once a year for continous milk supply.
History and Tradition
Everything today exists because of what happened previously. While conserving the past at whatever cost will never work, looking back at history and traditions can actually tell us a lot about the future. Human interactions, below the surface, adapt slowly. How past humans handled situations might illuminate how current and future humans might handle it. And if something was already considered a problem many years ago, then maybe ongoing criticism is not always without reason. History repeats itself, you have to learn to identify the signs - and not be afraid to compare two seemingly unrelated things, with due respect of course.
I don’t really associate with any gender and I would prefer to not choose pronouns. I am okay with any, but I don’t want to have to decide myself. I have experiences with several things that are usually limited to trans people and that’s okay but it doesn’t exactly make it easier to choose a pronoun. I don’t hear when you’re talking about me, so use whatever. I would prefer though to be called my name whenever possible, or ‘they’ as it is neutral. If you want to be superfriendly, substitute ‘you’ with my name (short form) too.
Some concepts that I am heavily influenced by (that incidentally do not translate well to English)
The concept of Rechtsstaat. Roughly translated to rule of law, but while rule of law, in English, is often understood in a sense that law is the only way to go (even for the individual), Rechtsstaat first and foremost binds the government, the three separated state powers. It limits the government’s power and strengthens civil society, it also requires state action to be transparent and predictable, and laws to be accessible. Rechtsstaat requires a constitution, but it is not limited to the existence of constitution. Instead it is a constant practice, a due diligence process, for government action. I strongly believe that the state is the servant of people and that tight laws need to bind the state to do good to its people. I subscribe fully to neither, concepts of the free market nor communism, but both, as well as many more concepts, carry useful assumptions. My favour for tight laws binding the government is founded mostly in democracy, human rights, plurality, equality,… instead of economy. What is carried by the word Rechtsstaat is in English usually implied in the word democracy. However, democracy to me is a description of who gets to have power, whereas Rechtsstaat prescribes how the power has to be executed. (I do talk about democracy when I mean Rechtsstaat so that it is understandable to English speaking people)
The concept of Zivilgesellschaft and zivilgesellschaftlicher Bildung.
The idea of Datensparsamkeit and the value to study Netzpolitik.
Equality over privilege
Inclusion over exclusion
Compassion over selfishness
Respect over indifference
Autonomy over dependence
Mindfulness and awareness over ignorance
Reflection over condescension
Intersectionality over limitation