[EM] language/framing quibble

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Jan 18 16:10:42 PST 2009

--- On Sun, 18/1/09, Fred Gohlke <fredgohlke at verizon.net> wrote:

> Good Morning, Juho
> re: "If there is a common understanding that this (or
> some other
>      plan) should be implemented then you can do it."
> That's wishful thinking.  Every perversion extant,
> political or otherwise, runs counter to the 'common
> understanding'.  Optimism is a wonderful trait; an
> unrealistic expectation is not.  Glenn Miller's
> beautiful rendition to the contrary notwithstanding, wishing
> will NOT make it so.

OK. If it is not possible to make the
change then there maybe is no widespread
mutual understanding behind the change.

> re: "There have been also idealistic revolutions that
> have not
>      led to positive results in the long run."
> I'm not sure what that assertion is intended to mean
> (it may contain a typographical error).  In any case,
> idealistic revolutions can lead to widely different changes
> in society.

My intention was to say that sometimes
revolutions may lead to positive
changes but it is also very common
that the changes are not good or the
end result is not what the people
originally hoped for.

> We've mentioned the disastrous results of fascistic and
> communistic revolts, while, on the positive side, my country
> prides itself on the major advance in democratic governance
> that flowed from its revolution.  The results of revolutions
> tend to be dictated by their leaders.  As I said in a recent
> message, "The American Revolution was unusual because
> its nominal leader had no aspirations beyond the stated aim
> of the revolution."  Unfortunately for all of us, that
> is the exception rather than the rule.

Yes, there are good and bad revolutions.
Revolutions are a risky business.

> re: "Parties have the potential to be destructive. 
> But I don't
>      see that they would necessarily become destructive at
> some
>      point."
> Of course they don't 'necessarily'  become
> destructive.  They need a catalyst ... a demagogue ... to
> send them careening down the path of extremism and
> destruction.  Building on such a foundation is building on
> quicksand.  It guarantees failure, if not because of your
> party, because of someone else's.
> It is my opinion that giving any subset of our society
> greater influence in our government than any other subset is
> inherently wrong.  Unless one is committed to advancing some
> point of view over other points of view, the purpose of
> considering political systems must always be to ensure that
> everyone has an opportunity to participate in the
> decision-making process.  Whether any or all of them are
> Liberal, Conservative, Catholic, Protestant, Communist,
> Capitalist, or of any other ideological bent is not
> important.  The important thing is that they, all of them,
> have an equal opportunity to participate ... whatever their
> biases.
> Juho, you and I examined the elements of partisanship in
> detail several months ago.  If you can not see the
> deleterious effect partisanship has on our world, if you
> didn't recognize the cause of my homeland's invasion
> of a sovereign nation, if you are unaware of the politically
> sanctioned excesses that led to the economic collapse
> engulfing us, if you haven't noticed the poison flowing
> out of the middle east for more than 50 years, I don't
> believe there's anything I can say that will change your
> mind about a fundamentally flawed approach to democratic
> government.

I think I agree with you that political
parties may take stronger role than
what they ideally should have, and that
would be harmful. On the other hand a
representational democracy needs some
structure to handle different political
opinions, and having parties is not a
bad approach for taking care of this
need. I'd thus rather say that one
should watch out and keep the system
(with or without parties) sound.


> Fred Gohlke
> ----
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