• Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Obviously, traditional political categories and divisions are exploited by elite cadres whose true agendas may have little to do with the partisan values they purport to (or try to pretend to) espouse. But I think that a great many people believe in themselves as espousing a particular traditional ideology. It is kind of a lens through which they try to view the future optimistically, based on their own understanding of what kind of ideal future their victorious party will create. Ironically, it is these very partisan presuppositions - meaningless to the actually governing elite interests whose only concern is being in control to maximize their own returns - which prevent the actual co-operation that would result in the most efficient and effective actualization of a shared vision.

    I wonder if it would be possible to effect a fundamental break from outmoded traditional political categories in aid of an agenda of enlightened universal inclusion? The greatest leaders' accomplishments may be more in spite of political differences than they are because of political convictions, more because they were a certain person rather than a representative of a certain political agenda.
  • Tom Storm
    8.5k
    Obviously, traditional political categories and divisions are exploited by elite cadres whose true agendas may have little to do with the partisan values they purport to (or try to pretend to) espouse.Pantagruel

    Perhaps. Although I wouldn't be able to tell you just what these traditional categories are these days. How much more is there to politics than marketing? And most voters seem keen to have their tribalism and prejudices fondled by whoever contrives the most plausible narrative.

    What I find interesting is that left and right haven't stood for traditional left and right issues for years. Our Labor party in Australia, for instance, won't get in the way of Murdoch, neoliberalism and cooperate interests or American hegemony.

    I wonder if it would be possible to effect a fundamental break from outmoded traditional political categories in aid of an agenda of enlightened universal inclusion?Pantagruel

    I don't know what enlightened universal inclusion means? Got an example?

    It's also pretty easy to blame amorphous elites and corporate interests (in a familiar quasi-conspiratorial way) as I often have done, but are the voters not largely to blame for their lethargy, short-term thinking and self-interest?
  • Vera Mont
    3.5k
    I wonder if it would be possible to effect a fundamental break from outmoded traditional political categories in aid of an agenda of enlightened universal inclusion?Pantagruel

    Not without a catastrophic disruption of the status quo. No vested interest is going to relinquish political power without a struggle, and the established elites are better placed and better armed than their adversaries. It will take more than a clear vision and good intentions to dislodge them.

    but are the voters not largely to blame for their lethargy, short-term thinking and self-interest?Tom Storm
    Sure. Add stupidity and complacency. We can work backward through their history, circumstances, education and sources of [dis/mis]information, as well as their myopia, self-importance and trust in bad leaders.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    I don't know what enlightened universal inclusion means? Got an example?Tom Storm

    Yes, this is the heart of the issue. What does a stated value equate to? It is easy to cite "traditional family values" as your gospel. But what the heck does that even mean? On the other hand, I hope that the term enlightened universal inclusion does speak at least somewhat eloquently as to its intent and meaning. Hopefully as that ideal is applied in unique circumstances, it will emerge in a more substantial form. In essence, this is how the law evolves....
  • Tom Storm
    8.5k
    enlightened universal inclusionPantagruel

    I'm still unclear what this means. I think 'enlightened' may have potential problems for some by association (there are people who seem to dislike the enlightenment project) and it has a bit of an old fashioned Victorian social reformer feel to it.

    Do you mean by it that the sphere of who counts as a citizen has widened over time, from white men to white people, to peopel of colour, to gay people to trans people..?
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    I'm really interested in finding a way to transcend traditional divisions. As mentioned, I don't think they are meaningful in the elite strata who exercise much of the influence as is the overriding motive of personal gain. I think that mostly they just serve to foster divisiveness within the burgeoning majority of largely disenfranchised human beings, many of whom are just awakening to the fact that they are disenfranchised. Certainly there are rumblings in Canada that retirement is increasingly unlikely for more and more people. It's something I looked forward to my entire life, and just reached. I can't even imagine if that possibility had been taken from me.

    I think universal inclusivity ought to be the norm. Enlightened? Perhaps that is just an aspiration. The enlightenment was about the growth of individual awareness, and of the awareness of the value of the individual. Social institutions have to enshrine individual rights, the collective is only as strong as the individuals of which it is composed.
  • Tom Storm
    8.5k
    One complication in all thsi is that peopel have differnt worldviews and value systems so it's hard to get agreement. One person's enlightenment may be another's oppression.

    One the problems the West seems to be wrestling with is the quesion of who should be in charge and what counts as expertise. I'm not sure there is anything ahead for us but increasing tribalism and culture war. Unless we can identify some shared narratives and values, we will continue to struggle.

    I think universal inclusivity ought to be the norm.Pantagruel

    I still don't understand what you mean by this. Can you provide some examples? Socialism or communitarianism, perhaps?
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    I still don't understand what you mean by this. Can you provide some examples? Socialism or communitarianism, perhaps?Tom Storm

    Again, as an ideological guide or norm, broad enough to bridge the traditionally divisive categories. I think the true divide lies between greed and generosity. And I hope most people are enlightened enough to want to be generous if it is possible to do so. Certainly it is easy enough to spot the greedy.
  • Paine
    2k
    I wonder if it would be possible to effect a fundamental break from outmoded traditional political categories in aid of an agenda of enlightened universal inclusion?Pantagruel

    Lenin argued that such a move required a vanguard who ruled as the dictatorship of the proletariat.
    That approach has had outcomes few would count as an advance.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    Only a Singularity can save us? :eyes:

    I wonder if it would be possible to effect a fundamental break from outmoded traditional political categories in aid of an agenda of enlightened universal inclusion?Pantagruel
    Globally, we are roughly ten millennia on from living as hunter-gatherers outside of scarcity-driven/reproducing economies 'irregulated' by dominance hierarchies (e.g. theocracies; monarchies-aristocracies; autocracies-oligarchies; (potemkin) democracies; plutocracies-corporatocracies; ... hegemonies). In small numbers and living in uncrowded commons we tend to prefer 'egalitarian freedom over inegalitarian security'; currently, the global population exceeds 8 billion humans with over 90% of us crowded into cities of millions (or tens-to-hundreds of thousands) and towns of thousands of non-familial strangers such that material scarcities are exacerbated by cultural-status scarcities driving all kinds of tribal (i.e. populist) movements which seek 'inegalitarian security "in the name of" egalitarian freedom' (such as e.g. "enlightened universal inclusion"). IMHO, 'global civilization' is a millennia-old, (mostly) viciously circular, scarcity-trap that "traditional politics" seems needed in order to (barely) keep it going without collapsing into a catastrophic state from which it (we) might not be able to recover (... maybe, however, until now: anthropogenic climate change).

    There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe ... but not for us. — Franz Kafka
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    It will take more than a clear vision and good intentions to dislodge them.Vera Mont

    Suggestions?
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    to effect a fundamental break from outmoded traditional political categoriesPantagruel

    Most new ideas end up being bad ideas, especially in politics.

    Again, as an ideological guide or norm, broad enough to bridge the traditionally divisive categoriesPantagruel

    And by traditionally divisive categories do you mean things such owner/leaser, employer/employee, rich/poor, man/woman, student/teacher, or something else?
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    And by traditionally divisive categories do you mean things such owner/leaser, employer/employee, rich/poor, man/woman, student/teacher, or something else?Lionino

    More traditional political categories. My sense is that the upper echelons benefit by playing groups off against one another in order to forestall their uniting against the common problem (the wealthy and privileged).
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    More traditional political categoriesPantagruel

    Which are?

    My sense is that the upper echelons benefit by playing groups off against one another in order to forestall their uniting against the common problem (the wealthy and privileged).Pantagruel

    Every Marxist has had the same "sense" and the result was more of the same problem.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Habermas I believe characterized constitutions as a kind of a catalog of the failures of a the old society which are to be redressed by the new. In The Construction of Social Reality, Berger and Luckmann comment how constitutions are framed by the shared-collective experience of a unique cultural historical milieu. But, over time, the nuanced character of this milieu evolves to the point where the constitution no longer speaks the same language to a new generation. At which point it becomes necessary to reframe it in more relevant terms. Habermas describes the application of enlightenment values as "the attempt to test the realizability of the utopian content of cultural tradition."

    This is the spirit and context in which I'm suggesting an attempt to transcend what I conceive to be the outmoded political categories of the right and the left. I believe that, for the overwhelming majority, these categories are no longer germane. The haves have elevated themselves economically to the point where they are in effect isolated from the rest of humanity by their privilege.
  • Vera Mont
    3.5k
    Suggestions?Pantagruel

    As I've stated earlier: catastrophic collapse and the necessity of starting over. This happens from time to time in every civilization: it's overcome by climate change, war - civil or external - or the economy becomes so top-heavy that it keels over like a tree with root-rot. Currently, we are closing on all three scenarios, so it shouldn't be too long.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    And the more traditional political categories are?
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Most people segment into liberal versus conservative, for starters. Democrat versus Republican. Again, are these more than words to the vast majority? I've read extensively on political ideology and history. It isn't obvious to me that any existing party really reflects its historical origins and ideologies.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    The only thing that I can think of that would bridge such political divides effectively within a country is nationalism, or perhaps religion, those are usually universally inclusive, we the nation, we the Christians. Sometimes those two come in a package, in the case of Judaism.
    But then again those two are also very traditional, even if not divisive.
  • NOS4A2
    8.4k


    The Republican state in particular has had a profound effect on political divisions. The introduction of a representative government, a constitution, universal suffrage, has given factions an inroad to political power, the monopoly on violence, and the means of exploitation, whatever their ideology. It was no strange wonder that a party, whether liberal, fascist, socialist, or whatever their variants, opt for republican organization, and in that sense are hardly different.

    So long as the political apparatus divides a population into two classes, exploiters and exploited, universalism of the kind you described is impossible. The one forever has the power over the other and participating in their project only serves to ossify those divisions.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    For me the problem is twofold. There is this issue of political practicality, how can consensus be built to the optimum end. And then there is the associated question of the effectiveness of the apparatus of government, including its democratic institutions. Are the existing voting practices even democratic? But, specifically, recognizing the crucial core problem of corporatocracy. Because corporations are not and have never been democratic. They are, in fact, anti-democratic institutions that exploit and abuse the inherent freedoms of democratic societies. One of the main features of the corporate entity under the law is its ability to shield individuals from culpability. That is about as un-democratic as you can get. If anything, corporations should invite liability. That way, all of the massive expense that right now gets absorbed as "externalized cost" would be billed directly to the parties profiting the most, as it ought to be.
  • Vera Mont
    3.5k
    There is this issue of political practicality, how can consensus be built to the optimum end.Pantagruel

    Sound education and responsible mass communications media would go a long way toward making that possible. Unfortunately. both institutions are money-directed, and money flows in mysterious paths. A truly independent judiciary would also be helpful: it would be good to eliminate some of the egregious injustice perpetrated by the present, political and economic, mode of law enforcement.

    And then there is the associated question of the effectiveness of the apparatus of government,Pantagruel
    Itself annually paralyzed by disagreement over its funding. In the USA, the entire structure was badly designed: overcomplicated, inefficient, with too many weak points prone to corruption and internal conflict. (It's not the founder's fault, exactly. First, they assumed that governance would always be in the purview of their own tight little club. Even though they disagreed among themselves, they could reason and compromise; they spoke the same language and shared the same interests. They failed to foresee the advent of disparate elements and the reign of galloping unreason.)

    Are the existing voting practices even democratic?Pantagruel
    How could they be? The original practice was anything but. In spite of amendment after amendment, it has never been truly democratic, because there has never been equality of rights, freedoms or political power since that sentence of the declaration. It's rated in the world index as the first "deficient democracy", just below Israel, the last "working democracy" (one might question that). https://www.democracymatrix.com/ranking There are elements in the US that wield actual power that would push it relentless toward "hard autocracy".
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Sound education and responsible mass communications media would go a long way toward making that possible.Vera Mont

    I agree that this is one fundamental path to enlightenment. Whatever good ideas there might be are ultimately limited by the prevailing degree of social consciousness or social awareness, which is essentially a function of education, or more accurately, the relative lack thereof.
  • Vera Mont
    3.5k
    Right now, there are different ways of organizing democratic elections, any of which can be studied in practice and put into effect. Some form of representative democracy would be most practical in today's diverse populations and especially in nations with diverse regional interests. The cumbersome American one is obviously not working; even the more streamlined Canadian one falters too often. Any system where first-past-the-post represents the majority is flawed from its inception.
    If the political campaigns are protracted and heavily dependent on financial support, they quite evidently favour candidates with rich supporters and who have time to devote to the sport of politicking. No working person can ever aspire beyond town council.
    But you can recommend limits on campaign spending, on duration of run-ups to elections, on television advertising and smear campaigns; you can recommend town-hall style debated on non-commercial public media; you can recommend several forms of proportional representation... https://protectdemocracy.org/work/proportional-representation-explained/ Believe me, we have been recommending those reforms till we're blue in the face. (That look is okay for Caucasians of Celtic background, but)
    They will never be implemented by a government made up winners in the established system.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment