[EM] language/framing quibble
fredgohlke at verizon.net
Sat Jan 31 09:37:02 PST 2009
Good Morning, Juho
re: "People are not always good at reason based free discussions."
How could they be? What, in our political systems, encourages "reason
based" discussions? The method I've outlined cultivates such discussion
among the electorate. Not the pseudo-discussion of campaign-based
politics, but real discussion among real humans; the 'people' you malign.
The value of an open, discussion-based system that embraces the entire
electorate can be seen in the political philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre
of Notre Dame University, as cited in The Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy by Dr. Edward Clayton of Central Michigan University.
(Available at: http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/p-macint.htm)
To convey a tiny hint of the significance of MacIntyre's work, here are
a few passages from Clayton's essay:
When everyone is allowed access to the political decision-
making process, "The matters to be discussed and decided on
will not be limited as they are now; they will extend to
questions about what the good life is for the community and
those who make it up."
"The benefits of a practice would then flow to those who
participated in politics -- in fact, certain important
benefits could only be achieved by political participation
-- and politics would make people more virtuous rather than
less virtuous as it now does."
"When we have made the changes MacIntyre wants to see, politics
will no longer be civil war by other means: 'the politics of
such communities is not a politics of competing interests in
the way in which the politics of the modern state is'. It is
instead a shared project, and one that is shared by all
adults, rather than being limited to a few elites who have
gained power through manipulation and use that power to gain
the goods of effectiveness for themselves."
"Politics will be understood and lived as a practice, and it
will be about the pursuit of internal goods/goods of
excellence rather than external goods/goods of effectiveness."
"It is only because and when a certain range of moral
commitments is shared, as it must be within a community
structured by networks of giving and receiving, that not only
shared deliberation, but shared critical enquiry concerning
that deliberation and the way of life of which it is a part,
Would that I had the wit and wisdom to enthuse others to make our
political infrastructures more democratic ... and more amenable to the
dynamics MacIntyre describes. We would all benefit.
re: "I think all political debates easily become confrontational,
both free discussion based and fixed position (e.g. party)
That is certainly true of party-based discussions. It need not be true
of free discussion, though. Free discussion can concern itself with
problem-solving rather than ideological posturing, and, as MacIntyre
suggests, will tend to do so, naturally.
re: "I don't think parties are necessary."
You could have fooled me.
re: "Few species kill each others as eagerly and as intentionally
... as we do."
As long as our political systems are based on ideological confrontation,
such results are inevitable.
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