[EM] The structuring of power and the composition of norms by communicative assent
juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Jan 19 14:45:47 PST 2009
--- On Mon, 19/1/09, Michael Allan <mike at zelea.com> wrote:
> Juho Laatu wrote:
> > > If private and public opinions differ, then which
> is the
> > > manipulated one?
> > If they deviate it is hard to imagine
> > that the private opinion would not be
> > the sincere one.
> That's because you are thinking of individual opinion.
> * private opinion informed by mass media, and likewise
> measured by
> mass elections with a secret ballot
> * public opinion formed in mutual discussion, and
> likewise measured
> by peer-to-peer voting with a public ballot
> It makes a difference when people act socially
> amongst themselves, rather than alone. When they act
> alone, they are
> apt to be systematically manipulated as objects. Alone
> they have
> subjective truth (personal sincerity), but together they
> communicative reason (mutual understanding or consensus).
I see two valid ways to form opinions.
- opinion formation based on mass media
- opinion formation based on mutual discussion
Individuals may use one or both
approaches when forming their private
opinion, and also when forming their
public opinion (public ballot or
other public expression of their
> > I think the common practice is to force
> > privacy on everyone in order to allow
> > the weakest of the society to keep
> > their privacy.
> That's because you are thinking of an administrative
> context. Force
> is permitted in that context. We can be restrained from
> choosing our
> own voting methods, at the polling station. We can be
> forced to use
> the methods as provided, or to abstain from voting.
> The public sphere is different. There, people can choose
> their own
> means of expression. We cannot restrict them to a private
> method, except by violating the principle of free speech.
> And if that
> didn't stop us, the law would.
I don't see any big conflict. They are
free to speak even if the society does
not provide them with tools to prove
to others how they voted. (And they
can still tell others how they voted.)
> > It is true that public votes help
> > implementing some features, but in
> > most typical ("low level") elections
> > privacy has been considered to be
> > essential.
> Privacy is essential, I agree, but it's insufficient.
> The secret
> ballot *does* work in state elections. I don't mean it
> disrespect. But it will work even better when it's
> complemented by a
> public ballot in cross-party primaries. (That's what I
> Michael Allan
> Toronto, 647-436-4521
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