Discussion in 'IntroSpectrum' started by TWAMP$iN, Oct 12, 2011.
hey, you do you, imma do me.
and nothing of value was lost.
i could elaborate but i don't feel it's worth my time.
i could probably guess what you would have to say
you feel marginalized? politicians don't work for you? the two parties are the same? it's all rigged anyways?
the only reason that this shit gets to me is cause it's always everyday people who feel this way. you'll never hear a rich person say that political support is a waste of time. they usually believe wholeheartedly in the system - and they usually get results.
in reality those actually are valid viewpoints
at the end of the day you only get to choose between two candidates that are pre picked by other larger agents for you
lets be honest, thats not really voting.
i'm not so mad that there is any anti voting sentiment considering that. i think that is a logical and healthy stance.
but there should be way way more involvement intellectually into the country. this is where it gets so tricky. i believe that its actually harder to be left wing, intellectually, than it is to be right wing.
this is an innate barrier to left wing success on any scale.
we agree on the problems, we do not agree on the solution. this is essentially what anti voting sentiment breaks down to imo:
"i feel marginalized so i'm going to go ahead and declare myself completely irrelevant"
that's just not a smart move for any demographic to take, especially one that is in fact already marginalized by the political system. that is in fact exactly what they want you to say. it's the furthest thing from rebelling against the political system; it's complete complacency.
the system is far from perfect, but voting does matter. it's the small amount of control we have over the people who rule over us. why do you think they only wanted white landowning men to vote at first? cause when marginalized groups get mobile and vote in large numbers, then they have to pay at least some attention to them.
but what we have set up as a voting, is not actually voting
and do you think that if enough people boycott it, then we will get 'actual voting'? or is it basically just a declaration of surrender
also, what would be actual voting in your opinion?
real voting is when a society is informed and makes decisions based on its greater good
i dont think we have that
i think we must vote, but more to the point, i think before we can do that we have to have a society thats more involved in the larger discourse thats always been happening in the country. we need to have more intellectualism
this is why i say its harder to be left wing than right wing. the right wing has a very effective might is right styled ideology and rhetoric that can kick out auto answers for everything. the left wing does not and has to understand things more dynamically to make its decisions. consequently the left wing is way more scattered and even immature in that i think it can be really guilty of creating skewed and incomplete images of reality
to be effectively left wing you must have clear stances on things like austerity measures, the economy, outsourcing, lobbyists, banks, the federal reserve, us debt, us military projection etc
the scope of these things are huge things to have to try and consider without the benefit of having a pre packed ideology/rhetoric to kick out auto answers for you.
we would have to have some kind of a party that can effectively address and combine all of these huge chunks of information in a way that is very palatable and honest. i dont think this currently exists with the two party system that we have.
and yet the two party system is all that we really have. this is why i say that we are not really voting.
what i think must happen is a large scale rejection of the two party system. what do you say about that.
i'd say that in order to reject the two party system outright you need to not only have a feasible alternative but also an effective means of forcing that transition. the second part is harder to envision than the first, because you're basically left with two options. you can have a outright revolt, or you can try to change the system from within.
a revolt that is non-violent would have to be so massive in scale that it seems impossible with things how they are right now. you would need a populace that is much more politically active than ours is. how to get ordinary people to truly care is a question who's answer eludes me. on the other hand, a violent revolt would be painted as terrorism and squashed.
or you could try to change the system by using the accepted means of political influence: voting, lobbying, protesting, funding campaigns. ultimately if what you don't like about the two party system is that money coerces power and limits your voting options, then a possible angle to take would be reforming campaign funding.
take away corporate personhood. put a cap on the amount an individual donor can contribute. buddy roemer of the republican party is running a campaign based on taking no pac money and capping each donation at 100 bucks. it's bound to fail but i think it sends and important message: imagine if all candidates were limited to a few bucks here, few bucks there. bribery would become more complicated. campaigns would become limited. the two party monopoly would be severely diminished.
i forgot to add to that last part, that even with the goal of reforming campaign finance the real obstacle is effectively forcing the transition. it's basically trying to defeat the giant by convincing him to chop his own legs off. so i know it's not a perfect answer but i think its an issue that voters should press their leaders on more persistently.
what kind of solution would you envision?
its interesting to me the way that this subject comes up now and the way that we are now talking about it. this subject isnt new, but i think we are gradually starting to shift more priority from other subjects over on to this subject. i think this is very significant.
i think theres a new change in course to the way many on the left are starting to look at things and i think the ows styled movements around the country show that. at the protests theres a big mix of left styled messages, sort of betraying the scattered and disorganized nature that it has, but i think, what links everything together, is this new disdain for the wealthy and their various machinations.
disdain on this scale this is pretty new. so i think, we are starting to grant more priority to this instead of say, gay rights, israel/palestine, healthcare, and other more common left wing themes
i think this is good because i believe that the left must ultimately represent the interest of the majority and their ability to have work and a good quality of life before it can go and focus on other things. i think the left has been straying from that and this is again betrayed by how scattered and disorganized its themes and messages are.
by contrast i think the right is way more focused in what it wants to represent and to have. historically i think the left is really just an ancient response to the right and the way that it always exerts its wishes on a society. i think the right is ultimately just a logical extension of the the divine right of kings Divine right of kings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
its just a very ancient might is right, top-down style of control over a society. i believe the left started with the advent of democracy, which was ultimately a response to the divine right of kings. the goal of this was to create middle-out (instead of top-down) control of society, ruled by whoever is the majority instead of whoever is currently the most powerful for whatever reason.
this is why its so important for the left now to shed its focus from its many scattered themes and switch back to the restoration and maintenance of that middle/majority class as its major priority. so this of course starts out with disdain for the wealthy as we are seeing now with the ows movement and generally the feelings about the wealthy that many are experiencing.
the next question being how to achieve all of this effectively. whats interesting to me about the divine right of kings and the right is that i guess its really just an innate trait within humanity that is always going to re spawn again and then try and express its desires on any society at any time. the only things that can stop this from happening are checks that the left can put into place to prevent it from growing out and re-realizing its power over a society again
so i think you hit it on the head. i think we have to try and create some checks and apply them in to the campaign process to make who we vote into power not linked to the backs of corporate interests and instead, hopefully, back to our interests. that i can think of, it seems there are two ways to approach that. you mentioned one already by voters pressing leaders on this subject more. but i dont know how effective that would be. but backtracking somewhat, we can go back and ask why a campaign must cost so much money to begin with. i believe the cost is necessary to put up to create an effect of image prominence. the more prominent the image, so too, the more likely the success of that candidate. this is the current model.
i remember a poster that used to post here (Mcgirth) said something back in 2008 about the possibility of a new model of voting. he said it would become increasingly internet based. so that instead of voters getting all of their info from tv and feeding into the image prominence effect, they would get it digitally, from blogs, from social networking, and even discussion boards like this one. digital campaigns would be cheaper and candidates would no longer need huge sums of money to fly around the country attending stadiums and appearing on tv. the model is also inherently more interactive, as it includes looking up info about a candidate privately through search engines and participating in various discussions about them with friends and strangers on discussion forums. i think if more of us started to use this model vs the previous model of expensive image prominence it would cripple the ability for lobbyists to piggy back onto candidates that they want to be in power.
here is a scenario i envision that i think is going to play out shortly that i want to ask you about. if ron paul becomes a leading presidential candidate, would you say that you may be likely to vote for him over barrack obama?
voting is a mchanism put in place by society to keep things fair and make sure we get the right people to make the tough decisions for us as a country. but since the invention of the lobbyist, all that is gone now. Politicians these days are bought not sought.
good post, radium. i'll try to respond to the points raised in as organized a way as i can.
i definitely see what you mean about the disdain for the rich that is overtaking a lot of the left. i think this should definitely be tapped into, but carefully so. a straight up "eat the rich" campaign could alienate some people. this isn't about hurting rich people, it's about advancing the agenda of the lesser classes. the middle/lower classes need to be unashamed and unapologetic about using their collective power to advance their own collective position.
and yes, it's about tightening the reigns on corporate power, but not just to hurt the corporations for the mere sake of it. we need corporations, but what we also need is economic stability. we need a political system with integrity. both of these needs are undermined when corporations are given free reign.
what we get from the right is generally a "survival of the fittest" type ideology where taxation is theft, social programs are good for nothing other than to turn people into leeches, and the richest americans are basically carrying the rest of us dead weight by their sheer business savvy and work ethic.
this is where i believe the point you made about the divine right of kings to rule is spot on. the right says "i earned this, this is mine. your problems are yours. who are you to take a chunk of what i've made?" the left's response should be as follows:
more than just the point about how all of our tax money helps build the infrastructure that makes economic success possible, what makes it possible is the implicit cooperation of society as a whole to create a stable environment for life and for business. this means to a certain extent that we already accept a certain hierarchical structure just by abiding by the various social contracts. that we accept that more people must be worker bees and that not everybody can be a queen bee.
that said, is it wrong for the lower classes to collectively try to advance their own situation while implicitly accepting their role as part of the lower strata of society? i don't think so. it's unrealistic to suggest that everybody can rise through the ranks. so long as our society is based on the idea that there must be haves and have nots, there should be room for negotiation between the two.
so i think the way i would frame the distinction between the two ideologies, and more specifically between the rhetoric they espouse, is that the right uses a heavy emphasis on the individual. the left uses a heavy emphasis on the collective. the right has sold many lower strata americans on the idea that business savvy individuals are the only thing that can carry this country back onto the right path. the left therefore must work to convince the people in the power of the collective.
on that note, i think the right has positioned themselves well by consistently attacking 'big govt' in their ideology. this has a number of benefits for them politically. first off through the tea party the republican party has actually gained a sort of populist air to it. so even though they're espousing the same rhetoric as always, they're no longer the mouthpiece for corporate america, they're the voice of the people. what's more, this gives the people an effective bogeyman in the very collective that the left must work to advance. and by dismantling certain aspects of govt, the right gets exactly what they always wanted. it's brilliant really. the left should be taking notes. that is how it's done. if we're at all smart we'll utilized the ows styled demonstrations to this end.
so i think a good place for the left to take their stand is by defending the role of government. even though the right has convinced people austerity measures are the best way to revamp the economy, things like medicare, medicaid and social security still poll extremely well with the american people. they're popular because people don't want to lose the benefits they provide. even on the right, rick perry scared off the republican establishment by calling social security a ponzi scheme, even though he was essentially correct in saying so (though with the wrong solution in mind). so that's what the democrats should say to people. do you like having a social safety net? do you like having public schools, libraries, the post office? if so, vote democrat.
in regards to the internet's future effects on election campaigning, i've speculated on that myself. it's hard for me to really say one way or another whether that will be really effective in creating a more diverse political landscape during elections, but i would be sort of surprised if campaigners didnt learn ways to monopolize on the net as well.
they couldn't do it in the same way they do on tv, through denying alternative coverage, but they could just dominate the more active sites. you have to keep in mind that right now the internet is sort of intrinsically alternative to begin with; it attracts a different crowd from fox news, msnbc, etc. that's precisely why ron paul consistently wins internet polls but not elections. so in speculating on what will happen to elections when the internet is the dominant form of media, you have to take into consideration that once that transition happens the net will also necessarily undergo a transition of its own, during which its demographics will change rather drastically.
you're right when you suggest the net is more interactive, though. thats one of its positives. on the other hand it's also less reliable. it takes a certain amount of skill/knowledge to be able to navigate the net while discarding non-reputable sources. tv news is more dumbed down and less diverse but the one thing it does better than the internet is that the info is already fact-checked before it reaches the viewer. i wonder how smear campaigns might change if the entire game is moved onto the net.
and no, i wouldn't vote for ron paul. i think i was rather foolish to ever consider his message one i would be willing to embrace. i like his stance on the military and prison industrial complexes, and certain social issues he's not bad on, but economically speaking he's about as far right as you can get. i respect him for the simple fact that his message is ideologically consistent, i.e. places an emphasis on liberty across the board on every issue, but ultimately the more closely i have paid attention to american politics the more left wing i have become, and the less inclined i am to vote for someone like him.
i think my last post was kind of jumbled but i was just trying to show how the different trends that i think have always existed naturally in humanity max out to what i believe are their own logical conclusions, and why, ultimately, i think ron paul is an important person in history (though i actually feel mostly the same about him that you do)
my last post i was trying to show how the right was really the first and most common kind of way to rule any human society through divine right of kings. my guess is that because some humans are just more aggressive at pursuing rewards and naturally more concerned w dominance, they simply were always more likely to become rulers and impose this power on things, than human beings who naturally just are not like that. this is actually probably the most natural kind of human society. i think democracy bucks completely against that trend and is sort of this vague force that is trying to always undo whatever trait that causes that divine right of kings trend for a top-down style rule from happening.
so i think thats the story of the left and the right. thats really important to consider today because we have reached a point where there is a huge wealth gap in the country that suggests a success by the right (divine right of kings) in creating its ideal top down style of rule and i think more importantly a failure by the left (democracy) to prevent it from happening.
so the right has achieved its ideal state and should logically try to keep things going as they currently are. i believe that they have now basically maxed out on the trend that they started out with and have been following out on. but now whats interesting to look at is the left and how its going to react to that.
so really this is why i think ron paul is so interesting. its not really so much ron paul actually but what he represents on the whole. for example i think he must be given a huge amount of credit for starting the rhetoric that a big part of the ows movement has latched onto so strongly. i think he and the ows movement are going to have a really huge impact on things. they may not actually create any changes with this protesting right now but i think they are going to create a huge and permanent turning point in the kind of rhetoric that starts to come out from the left from now on. basically i think left is being transformed into something new and we are going to see more and more of their (ron paul/ows) kind of rhetoric from now on. for example things like this:
the precedent that it creates is the most important thing, as new generations begin to cycle in and old generations begin to cycle out, we should start to see this style of rhetoric becoming more palatable and attractive to more and more people, especially with the wealth gap remaining what it is. so i predict that we are going to see a shift from the old left to now what i think we are going to get with the new left.
an example of the old left would be barrack obama; a lamer and less aggressive version of the new left. this is why i thought it was really important to look at ron paul and what kind of success, or lack of success, he has in 2012 against obama; its going to be very telling about the relationship between the old left and the new left and what true stage it should show itself to be at right now.
re: the internet
i think the role of the internet is going to be huge from now on. our generation was the very first internet generation and the first so-called lost generation, as we started to turn into adults just as the economy started to break down, displacing many of us, and altering what kind adult lives we thought we would actually get to have.
Worst Cities for Young People, from Seattle to Cincinnati: Photos - The Daily Beast <-- interesting summary of that
there are going to be more generations like this. we were the first but i dont think we are going to be the last.
so thats important to consider because we are very unique from other types of groups in society. this is sort of a new group i think. and i think we depend and exist more on the internet than anywhere. we get our news and entertainment from here, and actually a big part of our human interaction from here (facebook/twitter/youtube/aeh lol)
so at the very least this new kind of generation(s) should have more of an ability to create fully formed beliefs on our own and with each other through the constant real-time discourse and information flow that the internet allows for. i think when you combine the connectedness that the internet provides with this new disdain that this kind of a generation has about the way society is structured right now you get a new direction in the way our democratic process works. i think this result is inevitable.
its true that the right wing is going to shift more over towards internet based campaigning and rhetoric too - but i just dont know that the kind of themes and messages that they represent are going to very effective. i think its actually going to look very dated and incompatible to these new generations when they try to do so. it has to be said that every new generation from now on are going to be internet generations but, at least for the near future, they are going to be the so-called lost generations too. they have an inherently different kind of nature that has to be considered.
when you stop to think about it, the internet is really the greatest kind of tool a democracy can have. its by far the most effective way to get everybody on board, so to speak. again this is another reason why im so interested in ron paul. his campaign is going to be largely fueled by the internet again so part of his presence in 2012 is going to show an experiment in how effective a largely internet based campaign can really be right now. its going to be interesting to see how it plays out.
i'm sorta curious how you figure that ron paul and the ows movement have any sort of rhetoric in common.
also, even though you say the right has basically reached its ideal, it is the left that seems to be (unsuccessfully) trying to conserve the current order. the right is on the offensive. the left is trying to preserve some portion of what it envisions as the proper role of govt, and the right is trying to further an further diminish that role. more importantly, the right is gaining ground and the left is looking weak.
as far as internet campaigning, we'll just have to wait and see who's right. i don't doubt that it will change the game severely but the cynic in me does not see the giant dying of natural causes. you're right to point out generational differences but keep in mind young people are statistically non-voters and typically much more idealistic. as people age they (generally) become more practical, and so you also have to account for personal transitions in ideology as these 'lost generations' get older. keep in mind that the baby boomers started out as the hippy generation.
aside from that, i think the 'image' quality of politics is sorta inseparable from the game, and hence a change in image for the republican party could accommodate even the audience of the net. notice that even ron paul's political persona has a certain image to it; people support him cause he has the reputation of being honest, concise, principled, etc., which is an impression people are left with thanks to his frank delivery when campaigning; his ability as a fringe candidate to say things that real candidates cannot afford to say. even with his largely internet based campaign the real power comes from his highly developed persona more than it comes from his actual ideology or political plan.
as for where we agree:
i definitely agree with you about the right being the sort of natural arrangement for human society. that is, for civilized society at least. i've read that early hunter gatherer tribes were actually more egalitarian than civilized society, and i definitely think altruism is a real aspect of human social conduct.
i also agree about a new left vs and old left, with obama being basically the textbook example of what not to do if you really care about progressive politics. but i don't think it's the ideology thats new, its the same old shit really. even comparing campaign obama to president obama, he was much closer to the new left in his 08 campaign than he was during his rule, and he's once again much closer to that ideal now that he's running for reelection. this discrepancy is not at all unique to obama, it is a characteristic trait of the 'old left.'
so i agree with the distinction but i think the change that needs to be made is not primarily in the ideology of the masses, primarily the concern seems to be with having some method or mechanism in place to keep the leftist leaders more in tune with the ideology they preach to get elected.
the right has made really good use of the tea party, which has advanced right wing talking points with more of a populist energy than they had before with the establishment republicans. its been so wildly successful that the tea party has enough clout to actually challenge republican incumbents, so that republicans that formerly used moderation as a strength now have to shift to the right to compete with their tea party challengers. i dunno if ows or other grass roots leftist movements could ever be sizable enough and/or financially capable of having this kind of effect, but i think this is a really clever and effective way to shift centrist politicians more towards the poles that they are meant to be representing.
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