Top five political influences meme

The People's Commissar of Enlightenment has tagged me with the top five political influences meme. In no particular order, they probably are:

The London School of Economics and Political Science: I spent five years at LSE and learnt an awful lot there. Its unique mix of people - it's very international, but, unlike most universities, has more postgrads than undergrads - and the culture of appreciating learning shaped me in ways that I'm only beginning to appreciate. Some of the courses I took there are leading to continued interests in a couple of academic fields.

The LSE Students' Union: I ran in more election races at LSE than I care to recall, won some and re-wrote the Union's Codes of Practice. I learnt a lot about what motivates people. I learnt a bit about what motivates me. I was part of the day-to-day politics of the SU and enjoyed it for the most part. I think I did some good along the way, as well. I learned to think through the Debate Society.

Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios: Simón Bolívar, liberator of much of South America and something of a hero for me. I think on many issues he is wrong, but honestly wrong. Mostly, the conflict between theory and reality and how he strove to reconcile the two fascinate me. He is also a good memento mori: at one point, he was the Great Liberator; at his death, he was reviled by all but his closest friends; he has since been rehabilitated and many different political traditions try to lay claim to him.

Linus Torvalds: probably did more to promote open source technologies than anyone else and in so doing gave rise to a political philosophy that I am increasingly buying in to as I see the benefits it offers.

Insanity: is probably too strong a word, but there have been times when I have been, ahem, mentally interesting. It changes your perspective on things.

No-one said they had to be people, and the above are probably in the top five for me.

I tag Tiberius Gracchus, Matt Sinclair, Vino, Erik Ringmar and Colin Byrne.


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