Political preferences (US & more)

I wonder how influential the view on human decision making and free will is on political stances.

I derive my core political believes from

  • Free Will is an illusion
  • I want to maximize well beeing
  • Every human life is of equal value

Of course some stances I hold contradict these values. For example I still eat meat and only give around 6% of my income to charity.

If anyone is interested in a deep dive into human decision making, I can only recommend “Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst” from Robert Sapolski. He has a summary TED talk about it:

My older brother is a homophobic religious maniac. He said that he would burn his Serbian passport if Ana Brnabić ever gets elected as Serbian president and that homosexuals are very sick people that will burn in hell forever…and he got approved for the Swiss passport. You don’t know how much I could puke because of that, probably more than I could eat in a week. You know what’s even worse, most Serbians think exactly the same.

It just makes me worry in what kind of country I’ll be living in a decade or two. I don’t want such people around me, they should stay away at least 1000km.

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Would you characterize controlled heroin dispensation and CONTACT not as welfare?

They were instrumental in solving the needle park issue after years of repression failed to do anything.


That won’t be a problem imho. It will solve by itself. The side-effects might be a problem. Again, the old woman that scold you will disappear, people will not stop at road crossings etc. Homophobic people instead won’t “reproduce”. It’s like those strict islamic families (burqa etc.), they can go on for one or two generations, but after that they will slowly fade. As long as nothing happen before that (won’t happen here probably, not sure about certain regions of france/germany/etc). Btw the solution for that is totally not far right or xenophobic: recognize their religion so that they also get taxed and use that money to pay their churces and organisation, This way you’ll avoid external influences, which are the source of all problems right now.

I know too little about that. I just heard that drug abuse was not looked at with hostility anymore and yeah, people were offered drugs in a controlled way, if they met certain criteria. In this case we can see that the experiment has worked. I’m not against welfare in 100% cases. If it works, I’ll support it. And “works” means that the socioeconomic benefits outweigh the costs. I guess this program is not too expensive, because it applies to probably under 1% of the population?

This could be one of the main ways my preferences differ from yours.
I share your general worry about the beliefs your brother (and many immigrants) hold.

One of the difference between us might be, that I don’t really care whether something happens in Switzerland or, say, Serbia. Like, an honor killing is bad in both countries. In my opinion, our goal should be to reduce the number of “bad things happening” and not just shift them around countries.

And for that end, I don’t see how it is better for them to stay in their country.

  1. Immigrants illiberal political beliefs are heavily outweighed by existing liberal beliefs. Because immigrants are not able to vote and those who can are still a relatively small percentage of the electorate.
  2. They, or their children, are more likely to change their beliefs into a more liberal direction, if they live in Switzerland.

My view seems compatible with having some immgration laws that incentivise good behaviour. However, these laws should have the “total social good” in mind and not primarly the special interest of “feeling good walking the streets of Basel at night”.

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Because there are a lot of people that would deserve it more to live here. What’s the point in fixing problems over several generations if you could have the right people at the start? I was in Istanbul this weekend for my hair transplantation. The guy that organized everything and is my Whatsapp contact person studied 5 years in Switzerland (Masters degree in German and English). Due to the fact that he had a Turkish passport and just a study visa, he had to leave the country after finishing his degree. Eventhough he had the opportunity to work here and learned to speak perfect accent-free Swissgerman in 5 years. He is really a great and bright guy! But they didn’t let him stay here. Then I look at my brother who didn’t even finish school, got into a lot of trouble with the police, beat people up as a teenager and on top of that his crazy views of the world. How is that fair? And to make it even more tragic he gets the f…ing Swiss passport.

I think that good things should happen to good people and bad things should happen to bad people. I don’t believe in karma, I believe in acting. By acting I don’t mean to try socialize guys like Carlos for millions of CHF over several years, but to be way more strict in terms of immigration and only let highly educated people inside. Those are usually also intelligent and kind. And kick bad people out.

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But what you are proposing is exactly “Switzerland First” and not “Total Social Good”.

You don’t seem to be so much interested in immigration laws disciplining people to behave better but in selecting for the better behaved people.
But this means you’re mostly just shifting people around. So any gain for Switzerland is a loss for Serbia.

So ideally we should let people live here for 10 years and then send them back to spread the wealth and politeness?

You can’t change people that don’t want to change. You can’t also change people in a place where the leadership don’t want things to change. If we had a global effort to transform the world in a moderately OK place, then maybe we can change things everywhere. Unfortunately we don’t have it. We can just hope that monetary interests slowly align to that (which could also happen sooner or later, but I suppose not in 1000 years…)

Btw, to go back to the Turkish example. We “exported” a a bright person to Turkey by not letting him stay here. so in some way we are slowly trying to “improve” Turkey. That could be also a reasoning.
To turn it around, we keep letting africans people entering europe, thus removing a lot of workforce from those regions, making life there more difficult to support.In the last example, maybe the solution is to have time limited refugees. After X years, you go back with Z CHF to build up some business. That would be a problem for war-plagued places probably, but you can still send them back in neighbour countreis that would need skilled people with a bit of money as well.

One of the consequences of strict immigration laws is increased brain drain.

This is most certainly bad in the short-medium run for the issuing country.
In the very long-run you could argue that it forces the drained country to better themselves, but how are they going to do that without their elite?

The sad thing is that immigration won’t ever solve any problems there. Africans are making 10x more kids each year than are immigrating to Europe. Instead of taking them, we should force them to stay where they were born and try our best to improve the situation there. There is no point in taking 100 million Africans into Europe while 3.5 billion will live a miserable life by the end of this century.

I think we should not enforce a global village project. We should not all think the same and adhere to the same principles. Because what if we get it wrong? Then everybody will be wrong. I think each country should set their rules and let’s see who is more successful. Country A may refuse to do business with country B if they think country B is doing immoral or unethical stuff.

You would not let just anybody to live in your house. Why would you want just anybody to live in your country?

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Checkmate, anti-nationalists! :wink:

But seriously:
The function of a country is completely different to the one of your house.
And I haven’t been arguing to let anyone live anywhere they want (aka. open borders).

I don’t think I disagree on this in principle. There are good instrumental reasons why countries should exist, and this is one of them.

I also don’t know what the optimal immigration system would look like, but think it should try to optimize “Total Social Good”.

As an aside: I believe that immigration has been very beneficial for Switzerland. So any argument that we should restrict it (EDIT: further) should provide quite good evidence.

I don’t know how to solve all of these problems that we are facing in the world. War, poverty, hunger, climate change, pollution, mass extinction of most of the species (humans are getting worse than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago), discrimination of minorities and women, inequality, racism, poor standards in meat/dairy production and poor treatment of animals in general. It’s tragic. The technology and money are there to solve everything. It’s just that humanity as a whole sucks badly.

Since you both seems to flirt with libertarian ideas.

You might find this interview by libertarian economist Bryan Kaplan about open borders interesting. He adresses two of your arguments (“if not in my house, why in my country?” and “the immigrants will vote to turn us into venezuela”).

As a teaser:
“There’s so many different policy reforms you could talk about. But what really counts, what would make an enormous difference in the quality of life for large number of people? One of the biggest things, in fact the biggest results you can get out of empirical research is: No one in Economics has ever come up with a better policy proposal than radical liberalisation of migration.”

Sure, probably. But in this time, the foreign resident population grew from 5% to 30%. If the trend continues, the Swiss will become a minority (not saying that it’s bad, just wondering if what drew people to come here will not get too diluted). Plus, look at the source of that immigration. Italy, Germany, Portugal, France. Generally, western Europe, and then eastern Europe, the rest of the World is far less represented. These are the people that come from countries with economic level that is not extremely below Switzerland and where culture is not totally different. So assimilation was easier. I’m all for immigration from these regions.

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I believe this too. Every great country was build up by immigration. Look at Canada, US, UK, Switzerland. Then you look at countries with the highest immigration restrictions like Japan and realize that they aren’t going anywhere since 30 years.

But they key is controlled immigration. When you are thirsty and want to fill up a glass, you don’t turn the bottle upside down.

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I think it serves no purpose that you make a broad generalization like that based on your personal firsthand experience (and the circles that you are part of).
I would counterargue that “a lot” aren’t as you describe it here (based again on whatever the circle of people around me are).
But neither you nor I have supplied the factual numbers/stats to support our “lot”. :grin:

The biggest difference between what happened 20-30 years ago and 10 years ago (and now) is the speed. There is a saying: “Switzerland has been built by italians” because in the 50es italian came here and built it (as phisically, not investments etc). But it was slow. They came and were probably fascinated/scared by the way of living here…and adapted. If you move 1000 people in a year, they will import their views/behaviour and won’t change that much.
I think the immigration law are too strict and at the same not strict enough. The problem is that they aren’t dynamic enough to really be the optimum solution…for us. At the end you need to pick a side to decide what is good or bad. History is a story written by the winner… The example of the turkish master student is an example: better for us or better for them? The result right now makes it better for them (the country, btw. those discussions are always on higher levels).

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