Spotlight – A Difference in Political Opinion

Sudarshan Kannan

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Picture by: Ethan Qi

Interviewee: Archishman “Archie” Sravankumar

What do you identify as politically?
I identify as a libertarian and anarcho-capitalist. I believe in that any form of government compulsion is not justified, including taxes, and condemn any form of government coercion. As an anarcho-capitalist, I believe that the government is an association of people threatening to take away the liberty of common citizens, and do not recognize its existence.

 

How did you form your political beliefs?

I used to be a liberal, but then I started researching other political philosophies and doctrines, and felt that libertarianism resonated deeply with me.

What are your beliefs on economic policy?

I believe that government regulation in the economy in general is bad, unless it is used to prevent fraud. For example, I think that preventing banks from using pension funds to invest is bad, as in Glass-Steagall, and this is a gross violation of civil liberties.

 

Where do you stand on the government’s role in social policy and issues such as LGBT rights and abortion?

I think that government should stay out of the social lives of people. I believe in LGBT rights and strongly condemn any form of government interference in the personal lives of citizens. One issue that is divisive and problematic among libertarians is abortion. I personally believe that a woman has the right to remove the fetus from her body and do whatever she wants with it.

 

Where do you stand on the government’s role in foreign policy and immigration?

I am pro-open borders and am unopposed to immigration. In terms of military policy, I am very isolationist and oppose any forms of military intervention, unless of course for self-defense. We should stay out of other countries’ business and focus internally. In regards to free trade, people and businesses should be able to trade with whomever they want to trade with.

 

What does it feel like having conservative views in a very liberal area?

Although I definitely feel like a minority intellectually, I think it does have benefits. I feel an instant connection to other conservatives and libertarians. It also allows me to have very interesting conversations with liberals that allows me to refine my views. I feel that being a political minority makes you less of a hypocrite and makes you more consistent in philosophy. You seek evidence and evaluate it critically because you are constantly being disagreed with.

 

Interviewee: Anton Samoylov

What do you politically identify as?

At this point, I most identify as libertarian.

How did you form your political beliefs?

At first, I was pretty liberal. In freshman year, I had a very liberal teacher, and I felt that the class was heavily one-sided. So I started reading conservative news sources and listening to conservative YouTubers, so I ended up gravitating towards the libertarian side. I really liked the “you do your thing, and I do my thing” aspect of libertarian philosophy.

 

Where do you stand on various aspects of political ideology, such as foreign policy, economic policy, and social policy?

I am rather libertarian when it comes to economic policy, and am not really a proponent of government-regulated economies and businesses. I am pro-free trade and have a laissez-faire approach to the economy. Socially, I am more traditionally conservative, along the lines of “stick to the social norms” rather than a “do whatever you want” mindset.


How do you feel about issues such as gay marriage and immigration?

In regards to immigrants, I prefer that people stay in their own countries, which is weird to believe as an American, because pretty much everyone here is a descendant of immigrants or an immigrant. If people are having trouble in their home countries, there must be a big problem over there, so it would be much better to help that country with the issue as opposed to opening the floodgates and letting everyone into the United States. I am perfectly fine with gay and transgender thing people, as long as they don’t force their customs upon me. For example, I do not think I should have to use an individual’s preferred pronoun, because we have our set of pronouns.


Are you more interventionist or non-interventionist in regards to foreign policy?

I am more non-interventionist, and would prefer for we [United States] to do our thing and other countries do their own thing. Of course, if another nation becomes too aggressive and threatens our interests, then we should intervene.

 

What are your views on government involvement in the economy?

We should have more private-run agencies for things such as major infrastructure such as banks and schools, as these are services that people can establish privately as opposed to using tax dollars.

 

What does it feel like having conservative views in a very liberal area?

It feels sort of discouraging as a whole. You can’t really start an argument because you can easily be shouted over or interrupted, because it is basically going to be you versus several other people. Unless you can spew facts as fast as the Google search engine or have an endless stream of monologue, you are pretty much going to be run over if your ideas are seen as provocative or highly controversial.

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