Is there an introduction?
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04-04-2013, 04:13 PM
Is there an introduction?
Okay, so I'm someone who would say they're not ignorant of politics or current affairs but I'm hardly an expert either. Before reading other political books I have I was wondering if there's any book out there that functions as a basic introduction to politics and current affairs. Something which isn't an opinion piece but an objective introduction to these things so that I can go on and form my own opinions and read other opinions on things. I realise this may not even be possible, but recently I've decided to go back to the roots of my knowledge. I've read science books before, but I've decided now to read Richard Dawkins' "The Magic of Reality" to establish the basics and I want to do the same with politics. As I said, I'm not ignorant and I'm not new to these things, I simply want to refresh myself if you like. So, any suggestions?

If it helps, I'd say I'm left leaning, with socialist tendencies, though there may well be a strain of libertarianism within me.

"Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christoper Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian."
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05-04-2013, 12:07 AM
RE: Is there an introduction?
Family trivia are a good introduction to politics.
Office politics are an advanced one.
A run for president will get you all you need.

And welcome !

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05-04-2013, 09:34 AM
RE: Is there an introduction?
(05-04-2013 12:07 AM)HU.Junyuan Wrote:  Family trivia are a good introduction to politics.
Office politics are an advanced one.
A run for president will get you all you need.

And welcome !

Haha, thanks.

"Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christoper Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian."
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05-04-2013, 09:57 AM
RE: Is there an introduction?
You can't have politics without opinion. Sorry.

If you're not sure where exactly you stand on the political spectrum, take the Nolan Quiz and you'll have a better idea.

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

If you want to make your own analysis rather than read someone else's (which I recommend), I would read The Communist Manifesto by Carl Marx and then I would read Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises. Those will get you informed on the most totalitarian state to the smallest, least intrusive state.

I would also recommend reading Political Philosophy by Douglas Iliff & Webb Garlinghouse. It's a comprehensive look at political philosophy dating as far back as Socrates.

If you read those things and you're still a modern leftist, there's not much hope for you. Tongue

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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05-04-2013, 11:13 AM
RE: Is there an introduction?
(05-04-2013 09:57 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  You can't have politics without opinion. Sorry.

If you're not sure where exactly you stand on the political spectrum, take the Nolan Quiz and you'll have a better idea.

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

If you want to make your own analysis rather than read someone else's (which I recommend), I would read The Communist Manifesto by Carl Marx and then I would read Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises. Those will get you informed on the most totalitarian state to the smallest, least intrusive state.

I would also recommend reading Political Philosophy by Douglas Iliff & Webb Garlinghouse. It's a comprehensive look at political philosophy dating as far back as Socrates.

If you read those things and you're still a modern leftist, there's not much hope for you. Tongue

If not much hope for a leftist, then doomed to fail for a statist like me?

Yeah, I took the test ...

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05-04-2013, 11:30 AM
RE: Is there an introduction?
(05-04-2013 11:13 AM)HU.Junyuan Wrote:  
(05-04-2013 09:57 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  You can't have politics without opinion. Sorry.

If you're not sure where exactly you stand on the political spectrum, take the Nolan Quiz and you'll have a better idea.

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

If you want to make your own analysis rather than read someone else's (which I recommend), I would read The Communist Manifesto by Carl Marx and then I would read Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises. Those will get you informed on the most totalitarian state to the smallest, least intrusive state.

I would also recommend reading Political Philosophy by Douglas Iliff & Webb Garlinghouse. It's a comprehensive look at political philosophy dating as far back as Socrates.

If you read those things and you're still a modern leftist, there's not much hope for you. Tongue

If not much hope for a leftist, then doomed to fail for a statist like me?

Yeah, I took the test ...

Heh I came in solid Liberal. That quiz is a little brief though and not much nuance. National ID card was the only thing I wasn't in the liberal side, I'm ok with it under certain circumstances.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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05-04-2013, 01:02 PM
RE: Is there an introduction?
(05-04-2013 09:57 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  You can't have politics without opinion. Sorry.

If you're not sure where exactly you stand on the political spectrum, take the Nolan Quiz and you'll have a better idea.

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

If you want to make your own analysis rather than read someone else's (which I recommend), I would read The Communist Manifesto by Carl Marx and then I would read Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises. Those will get you informed on the most totalitarian state to the smallest, least intrusive state.

I would also recommend reading Political Philosophy by Douglas Iliff & Webb Garlinghouse. It's a comprehensive look at political philosophy dating as far back as Socrates.

If you read those things and you're still a modern leftist, there's not much hope for you. Tongue

Thank you for the recommendations...I suppose it was silly to ask for a non opinionated book on politics.

I'll look into those books; and I took the quiz. It told me I'm a liberal, which is no surprise. And I know the left these days is pretty ridiculous, so I wouldn't call myself a hard leftist but I think liberalism is a safer left-leaning position to hold.

"Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christoper Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian."
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05-04-2013, 10:40 PM
RE: Is there an introduction?
(05-04-2013 11:13 AM)HU.Junyuan Wrote:  
(05-04-2013 09:57 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  You can't have politics without opinion. Sorry.

If you're not sure where exactly you stand on the political spectrum, take the Nolan Quiz and you'll have a better idea.

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

If you want to make your own analysis rather than read someone else's (which I recommend), I would read The Communist Manifesto by Carl Marx and then I would read Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises. Those will get you informed on the most totalitarian state to the smallest, least intrusive state.

I would also recommend reading Political Philosophy by Douglas Iliff & Webb Garlinghouse. It's a comprehensive look at political philosophy dating as far back as Socrates.

If you read those things and you're still a modern leftist, there's not much hope for you. Tongue

If not much hope for a leftist, then doomed to fail for a statist like me?

Yeah, I took the test ...

All leftists are statists, as are all right wingers (rightists just doesn't sound correct). Even those who are classical liberals (the founders of the US Empire included) are statists, although the modern term is minarchist, which is the next best thing to anarchist. Unless of course, you're an anarcho-communist or anarcho-syndicalist, which are really just Noam Chomsky wannabes with a balaclava and a molotov cocktail.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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05-04-2013, 10:45 PM
RE: Is there an introduction?
(05-04-2013 01:02 PM)TheAmazingAustralopithecus Wrote:  
(05-04-2013 09:57 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  You can't have politics without opinion. Sorry.

If you're not sure where exactly you stand on the political spectrum, take the Nolan Quiz and you'll have a better idea.

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

If you want to make your own analysis rather than read someone else's (which I recommend), I would read The Communist Manifesto by Carl Marx and then I would read Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises. Those will get you informed on the most totalitarian state to the smallest, least intrusive state.

I would also recommend reading Political Philosophy by Douglas Iliff & Webb Garlinghouse. It's a comprehensive look at political philosophy dating as far back as Socrates.

If you read those things and you're still a modern leftist, there's not much hope for you. Tongue

Thank you for the recommendations...I suppose it was silly to ask for a non opinionated book on politics.

I'll look into those books; and I took the quiz. It told me I'm a liberal, which is no surprise. And I know the left these days is pretty ridiculous, so I wouldn't call myself a hard leftist but I think liberalism is a safer left-leaning position to hold.

Sounds like to me that left libertarian was a good guess. Personally, I think we all know exactly who we are and what we like even when we don't think we know who we are and what we like. Thumbsup

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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06-04-2013, 08:04 AM
RE: Is there an introduction?
(05-04-2013 10:45 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(05-04-2013 01:02 PM)TheAmazingAustralopithecus Wrote:  Thank you for the recommendations...I suppose it was silly to ask for a non opinionated book on politics.

I'll look into those books; and I took the quiz. It told me I'm a liberal, which is no surprise. And I know the left these days is pretty ridiculous, so I wouldn't call myself a hard leftist but I think liberalism is a safer left-leaning position to hold.

Sounds like to me that left libertarian was a good guess. Personally, I think we all know exactly who we are and what we like even when we don't think we know who we are and what we like. Thumbsup

Yep. I'd been listening to some of Penn Gillette's stuff where he said he was very left on social issues and was on the right on size of government which was quite interesting, and something I'll have to look into more. I think right now there's a dichotomy forming in my head between being socialist leaning and being libertarian leaning...but I think whatever of those I choose I'll still be liberal. I have an interesting little introduction to socialism which argues that socialism isn't dead as many people say, so, again, that should be interesting.

"Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christoper Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian."
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