Hello Justin, I am an 18-year-old Chilean citizen, from the Maule region, Cauquenes, and I found your channel on YouTube looking for an opinion on the issue of weapons, because here the president wants to increase bureaucracy and practically make it impossible to own weapons, or even for former military retirees. Well crime is serious in all countries, here they modify the false weapons and those defined in real ones.

I had in mind to do politics in some way, study law or something with humanity, but finally I came to the same thing as you that everything begins with one, being fulfilled and then sharing that with the rest, having a good speech, promoting union and not the edginess.

Now I'm studying political issues according to different opinions and well I found you first.

I really like this article, something practical to improve the world.

What do you recommend to get started in politics, studies, pages, because I know that in the United States, in English, there is a very large library of knowledge, which I want to immerse myself in, thank you very much Justin Stapley.

Expand full comment

As a political theorist, I would describe a solid political inquiry as the following:

1. Understanding the "genesis of the question" by getting acquainted with Socrates and Plato (specifically Plato's Republic and the goal of government as establishing justice in society and instilling virtue in its citizens).

2. Building basic knowledge of Aristotle's observations of political systems (specifically understanding his idea of "polity" and how balance is necessary for functioning government).

3. Get to know Roman scholars like Tacitus, Cicero, and Cato, who both documented and considered the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. Specifically, understand how and why Rome fell to a tyrant and demagogue, and the ways that separate branches of government help balance the desire for power and allow self-interest to work toward virtue instead of pulling against it.

4. Have a working understanding of the idea of natural law, both as first expounded upon by Greek and Roman scholars and as laid out by medieval Catholic scholars such as Aquinas and St. Augustine.

5. Invest your time heavily in reading and understanding enlightenment scholars. The list is wide, but such thinkers as Locke, Montesquieu, the English Commonwealthmen, many of the American founders, Blackstone, Coke, etc., are a veritable wealth of knowledge.

There are a lot of different ways to go in modern political thought after this basis of knowledge. I'm a modern conservative and classical liberal myself, so I read such authors as Hayek and Buckley, but that's not everbody's cup of tea.

If you're interested in studying abroad, I would highly suggest coming to where I study, Utah Valley University. It's a lesser known college, has generous levels of acceptance, and isn't nearly as expensive as other major colleges. We have an excellent Constitutional Studies program that, when taken along with the Political Philosophy and Public Law emphasis, goes deeply into all the sources I've mentioned.

Expand full comment

Have you read Jonathan Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind? I’m reminding of his discussion of moral foundations and the difference between left and right with respect to the Equality/Fairness foundation. Basically, conservatives like you and I are far more likely to believe in the importance of Proportionality (ie it’s only fair if the person who worked the most gets paid more than the person who worked the least, etc.). Hence conservatives emphasize equality of opportunity. Progressives prefer strict equality (or even egalitarianism) to proportionality. Hence they emphasize equality of outcome and think that conservatives don’t believe in fairness or equality because they don’t understand proportionality.

“ If we choose to not look at equality solely through the lenses of finance, but through the lenses of rights and liberties, we can approach the idea that justice has less to do with what is in the pocketbook and more about allowing individuals to be answerable to their hearts and minds and the capacity to receive the just effects of their decisions.”

I agree. And once again it’s something progressives don’t understand. If you don’t believe in natural rights, then there is no equality of man. The only thing you have is strict equality of outcome (flatness). Progressives don’t understand what Jefferson meant when he said all men were created equal. They’d say, “they aren’t! Billionaires have more money than homeless people.” You and I believe that billionaires and homeless people were created equal in their status as human beings made in the image of God. Equal in the same claim on life or right to life. Not monetary equality.

Expand full comment

now in chile what is in vogue is the issue of immigrants, yesterday some venezuelans who sold drugs attacked a policeman with a mitten who is at risk, very seriously injured.

It is complicated because they spend a lot of money in prison and if we return them they would not pay a sentence. What do you think about immigrants?

Expand full comment

Immigration is a healthy thing in society for many reasons. Their circumstances helps create a sense of humility in the rest of the population. They are willing to work jobs that many upwardly mobile citizens are no longer willing to work. They help reinvigorate civic pride because they came to a country because they like it and they like its values. And there are many, many other positives.

The trick, of course, is craft an immigration policy that allows as much freedom of movement as possible for the well-intentioned and law-abiding immigrant, but can assure that such hospitality is not taken advantage of by criminals, ne'er do wells, and leeches on the system (people who immigrate only to become wards of the state and an overly high percentage of people who aren't true immigrants with no plans of laying down roots).

I take the unique view that, if it were possible, open borders would actually be a good thing (because I view freedom of movement as a natural right). However, the realities of the world we live in mean that an open border would be disastrous for many reasons. In order for the rule of law to exist and for sovereignty to be secured, a nation must control its borders and it must know who's coming and going...and why.

Expand full comment