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What is the best political direction?


dimreepr
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17 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Are there only two possible choices? If so, what are they?

That's an earnest question. I'm not asking for a compass point, or a hand-signal.* I'm asking whether political direction is chosen with some ideal situation or accomplishment as its ultimate destination. And if there are only two, what are those ultimate destinations?  

* I never understood exactly what was meant by the pendulum, TBH, but everyone else seemed to know.

There are two kinds of people: those who understand the strengths and weakbesses of dichotomies and those who don't.

Something as complex as politics and government requires, in a democracy, to be simplified to the point where the majority of the electorate can understand the issues. In an adversarial form of government, such as that in the UK, the simplification falls naturally into identifying two sides. Left and right, conservative and liberal, for and against. The limitations of this approach are often apparent.

I see little evidence that the "ultimate destination" lies any further ahead (for the most part) than the date of the next election.

On the plus side, we may reflect on Churchill's words:

"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

The pendulum, representing the swing from left to right then back again, seems a pictorial way of reflecting the change of heart of a portion of the electorate when they realise the change didn't work out as they expected. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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27 minutes ago, Area54 said:

There are two kinds

I don't accept that as true, of any species.

27 minutes ago, Area54 said:

Something as complex as politics and government requires, in a democracy, to be simplified to the point where the majority of the electorate can understand the issues.

Politics and government are complicated, but people are too simple to understand them. Who, then makes politics and government?

27 minutes ago, Area54 said:

I see little evidence that the "ultimate destination" lies any further ahead (for the most part) than the date of the next election.

So, the two possible destinations are "win" or "lose" the next election? In which case, government is merely a matter of the more persuasive presentation, and the only political directions are up and down? Well, then, the pendulum doesn't apply, since it can only go back and forth, and two parties trading places every four or five years could be accomplished with less expense and noise.

 

27 minutes ago, Area54 said:

The pendulum, representing the swing from left to right then back again

Yes. So what, in concrete terms, are "left" and "right", conservative and liberal? What are they for and against? Why does it matter, anyway, if the more things change, the more they stay the same? (which seems a self-nullifying aphorism... Does anyone ever ask what it means?)

Edited by Peterkin
of, not or
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29 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Yes. So what, in concrete terms, are "left" and "right", conservative and liberal? What are they for and against? Why does it matter, anyway, if the more things change, the more they stay the same? (which seems a self-nullifying aphorism... Does anyone ever ask what it means?)

With the greatest of humility, I submit my first answer to this on page one............

On 10/1/2021 at 7:18 AM, beecee said:

I typed in "what is the best political direction" and got this.........."Generally, the left-wing is characterized by an emphasis on "ideas such as freedom, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform and internationalism" while the right-wing is characterized by an emphasis on "notions such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction and nationalism".

It's rather funny, that I, personally, probably have some of all those 14 charecterisations...what does that make me? I reasoned that this would put me as moderate or centralist. So I decided to check further as to what defines a centralist and came up with this..."Centrism is a political outlook or position that involves acceptance and/or support of a balance of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right."

Yet I campaigned strongly for Australia's first Labor Prime Minister in 23 years in 1972....so I obviously did not oppose a shift of society to the left as defined in the above. 😛So what am I?

 

Edited by beecee
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10 minutes ago, beecee said:

With the greatest of humility, I submit my first answer to this on page one.........

There is no need to be humble about that: you stated your definitions very clearly.  I understood your position to be that those are not necessarily the only two choices.

Do you subscribe to the notion that political decisions must alternate between those two polar opposites - no admixture, no compromise, no third or fourth alternative? 

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3 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Do you subscribe to the notion that political decisions must alternate between those two polar opposites - no admixture, no compromise, no third or fourth alternative? 

No I  don't necessarilly subsribe to that position. 

If I can use another answer to help, this would be it.............

7 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

"What is the best political direction?"
Neither- if you go too far.

 

Edited by beecee
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14 hours ago, beecee said:

But that slavish adherence to the party line does exist, is all I am saying.

I've never denied that

14 hours ago, beecee said:

Certainly on some issues you are not realistic, but they have already been discussed, and some do not exist to the extent that your idealistic world demands.

In your opinion, perhaps that's because of a slavish adherence to the status quo.

The American constitution is clearly an attempt to avoid the corruption that that brings, separating politics from the law and allowing the people to fight when/if the government becomes authoritarian, the fact that document was amended shows that, for a while, it worked; a balanced government is as close to ideal as we're going to get.

Unless your status quo is more ideal?

15 hours ago, beecee said:

I didn't dismiss your argument, I simply corrected you on one point and said, "Fear does have a bearing on results"...then gave a true to life example. And what questions would you like answered that I havn't already answered?

 

23 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Yet you defend scientists with all the zeal of a priest.

No, the facts are I generally defend science as opposed to scientists...As I have said many times, there are good and bad in every discioline. If I defend that with religious zeal, perhaps you can show me aspects where that defence should not apply. Plus that defence is generally applicable when some with unscientific religious or supernatural faith attempt to unjustly deride science. 

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/science

"Science is the study of the nature and behaviour of natural things and the knowledge that we obtain about them".

Question; why should I not defend with zeal the above definition?

 Rito* 🙄

* you are aware that all this is recorded (for training purposes), rite?

 

 

10 hours ago, Peterkin said:

I don't accept that as true, of any species.

Way to miss the point, understanding is a binary state, you do or you don't.

10 hours ago, Peterkin said:

So, the two possible destinations are "win" or "lose" the next election? In which case, government is merely a matter of the more persuasive presentation, and the only political directions are up and down? Well, then, the pendulum doesn't apply, since it can only go back and forth, and two parties trading places every four or five years could be accomplished with less expense and noise.

The pendulum is a metaphor, it has no defined direction.

10 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Yes. So what, in concrete terms, are "left" and "right", conservative and liberal? What are they for and against? Why does it matter, anyway, if the more things change, the more they stay the same? (which seems a self-nullifying aphorism... Does anyone ever ask what it means?)

Yes we're all different and yes we have free will, but don't let that confuse you into thinking we're not all the same. 

6 hours ago, beecee said:

No I  don't necessarilly subsribe to that position. 

If I can use another answer to help, this would be it.............

14 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

"What is the best political direction?"
Neither- if you go too far.

 

That's a whole heaping of irony... 🤣

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14 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

That must be the point I missed.

Indeed, any directions of left or right depends on where the datum point is placed and therefore irrelevant...

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8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

I've never denied that

That's nice😏 tip: Try: answering questions and making statements more directly.

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

In your opinion, perhaps that's because of a slavish adherence to the status quo.

That's because the status quo is often right...not exclusively, but a good proportion thereof. 

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

The American constitution is clearly an attempt to avoid the corruption that that brings, separating politics from the law and allowing the people to fight when/if the government becomes authoritarian, the fact that document was amended shows that, for a while, it worked; a balanced government is as close to ideal as we're going to get.

Unless your status quo is more ideal?

Sometimes what individuals see as "authoritarian" by any particular government, is simply an attempt by said government to protect or service the much greater majority.eg: The mandatory vaccinations against covid in certain industries to protect that greater majority, and the lockdowns around the world at different times, to again protect that much greater majority.

My status quo is generally in line with that greater majority...not exclusively, but mostly.

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

 Rito* 🙄

You seem unsure of yourself.

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

* you are aware that all this is recorded (for training purposes), rite?

That's nice. tip: see my first comment.

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

That's a whole heaping of irony... 🤣

??? Sorry, you have lost me. Perhaps if you refer back to my first comment?

14 hours ago, beecee said:

If I can use another answer to help, this would be it.............

Ahhh, OK, Let me be more precise....we, humanity, mostly learn from our mistakes. That includes what is generally seen as the status quo.eg: The early and mid part of the 20th century, saw many aspects of human society that was the norm, or the status quo...smoking was seen as the norm...guess what? I have never in my life had a cigarette, to my mouth...why? just never saw any sense to it. ..and that also includes what is commonly called a joint. I could mention many more including our now "taken for granted" universal health scheme, which prior to 1972 was non existent. In general too far to the left or right, is extremism and undesirable and always will be.

Yes, there are periods in mankind's role on this fart arse little blue orb, where society in general was controlled by authoritarian and evil aspects of that society.eg: the middle ages, spanish inquisition and control by the church...slavery, racism and the American civil war, and more recently, the evil of Nazism and Hitler. But thankfully, we have now rose above such inequality, mostly, but not exclusively. The best we can do is keep working towards that end and helping where we can Ever heard of world vision? 

In essence, both you and I [despite covid 19, lockdowns, mandatory vaccinations etc] live in reasonable circumstances, where we are still able to throw out tyrants and ratbags like Trump...not perfect, but a reasonable facsimile thereof.

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14 hours ago, beecee said:

That's nice😏 tip: Try: answering questions and making statements more directly.

That's because the status quo is often right...not exclusively, but a good proportion thereof. 

Sometimes what individuals see as "authoritarian" by any particular government, is simply an attempt by said government to protect or service the much greater majority.eg: The mandatory vaccinations against covid in certain industries to protect that greater majority, and the lockdowns around the world at different times, to again protect that much greater majority.

My status quo is generally in line with that greater majority...not exclusively, but mostly.

You seem unsure of yourself.

That's nice. tip: see my first comment.

??? Sorry, you have lost me. Perhaps if you refer back to my first comment?

Ahhh, OK, Let me be more precise....we, humanity, mostly learn from our mistakes. That includes what is generally seen as the status quo.eg: The early and mid part of the 20th century, saw many aspects of human society that was the norm, or the status quo...smoking was seen as the norm...guess what? I have never in my life had a cigarette, to my mouth...why? just never saw any sense to it. ..and that also includes what is commonly called a joint. I could mention many more including our now "taken for granted" universal health scheme, which prior to 1972 was non existent. In general too far to the left or right, is extremism and undesirable and always will be.

Yes, there are periods in mankind's role on this fart arse little blue orb, where society in general was controlled by authoritarian and evil aspects of that society.eg: the middle ages, spanish inquisition and control by the church...slavery, racism and the American civil war, and more recently, the evil of Nazism and Hitler. But thankfully, we have now rose above such inequality, mostly, but not exclusively. The best we can do is keep working towards that end and helping where we can Ever heard of world vision? 

In essence, both you and I [despite covid 19, lockdowns, mandatory vaccinations etc] live in reasonable circumstances, where we are still able to throw out tyrants and ratbags like Trump...not perfect, but a reasonable facsimile thereof.

"I'm alright Jack" is part of the problem; it's the other side of the fear coin, 'heads I win, tails you lose'.

14 hours ago, beecee said:

tip: Try: answering questions and making statements more directly.

I've always answered your questions, your just not willing to listen "Matthew 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand".

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People dont want ideologies, people want peace, jobs, friends, family, houses, good income, security etc.

A Swiss I prefere voting referendums and people initiatives. I participate in voting about initiatives and referedums 9/10 the time, but never vote for any Swiss party or politican.

its very paradox, our biggest Swiss party, SVP,  very often loses when they promote their people initiatives or referedums!

Edited by Der_Neugierige
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2 minutes ago, Der_Neugierige said:

People dont want ideologies, people want peace, jobs, friends, family, houses etc.

Remember the lesson you recently learned about not judging other's?

That's not the only thing you can learn from the bible... 

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1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

Remember the lesson you recently learned about not judging other's?

That's not the only thing you can learn from the bible... 

?

First I didnt judge anybody! And second I believe in science and not in religion.

Edited by Der_Neugierige
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1 hour ago, Der_Neugierige said:

First I didnt judge anybody! And second I believe in science and not in religion.

I can only lead you to answer's, I can't make you believe in them...

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9 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I can only lead you to answer's, I can't make you believe in them...

If you haven't got anything substantive to say, don't post it.  Conversing and reading with you is like trying to catch smoke. 

Edited by StringJunky
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8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

"I'm alright Jack" is part of the problem; it's the other side of the fear coin, 'heads I win, tails you lose'.

I asked you a question, previously and purposely...this one....

22 hours ago, beecee said:

Ever heard of world vision? 

You see myself and my wife have and still use that orginization to sponsor two children. I prefer that more practical way of helping to alleviate some of the world's political problems, rather then rhetoric alone.

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

I've always answered your questions, your just not willing to listen "Matthew 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand".

No, I listen, or rather read all your questions, but as I said, I like those questions put directly, not in parables supported by quotes from a book based on myth.

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On 10/4/2021 at 1:49 AM, Peterkin said:

I don't accept that as true, of any species.

You seem to have missed my point. You indicated confusion, or uncertainty about pendulums, and left versus right. My observation - there are two kinds of people, those who understand the strength and weaknesses of dichotomies and those who don't - was intended to make an incisive point. Simplifying matters into an either-or choice can facilitate discussions; that is a strength of dichotomies. It can also mislead by over-simplifying and ignoring important collateral issues.

And while I regret my message was not expressed clearly enough for you, I note that, as @dimreeprpoints out, you cannot reasonably deny the notion that some people may understand dichotomies and some may not.

On 10/4/2021 at 1:49 AM, Peterkin said:

Politics and government are complicated, but people are too simple to understand them. Who, then makes politics and government?

Perhaps you should re-read my post. These are the relevant words, with the key qualifier emboldened. "Something as complex as politics and government requires, in a democracy, to be simplified to the point where the majority of the electorate can understand the issues." Do you feel all people in a democracy are equally capable of understanding the complexities of government? Surely not?

On 10/4/2021 at 1:49 AM, Peterkin said:

 Well, then, the pendulum doesn't apply, since it can only go back and forth, and two parties trading places every four or five years could be accomplished with less expense and noise

I've put the key words in your post in bold. Last time I looked at a pendulum, and all the many others time before then, the one distinguishing fearure of all of them was that they "went back and forth".

As to accomplishing the same thing "with less expense and noise", I don't think I said anything that denied (or supported) that point of view.

On 10/4/2021 at 1:49 AM, Peterkin said:

Yes. So what, in concrete terms, are "left" and "right", conservative and liberal? What are they for and against?

That would depend upon local, regional, national, continental and global concerns. It would depend upon past history, upon anticipated futures, upon current theories of government and of society. Surely you are aware of at least some of the positions adopted by the left, or the right, in your own context? Or, were you actually asking for a primer in basic (dare I say it?) political dichotomies?

 

On 10/4/2021 at 1:49 AM, Peterkin said:

Why does it matter, anyway, if the more things change, the more they stay the same? (which seems a self-nullifying aphorism... Does anyone ever ask what it means?)

I'm sure people do ask what it means, from time to time. I've always thought the meaning clear and incisively delivered. Your first question in this quote does appear rhetorical. If it is not then a moment's reflection should provide you with the answer. If not, I'm here all week.

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2 hours ago, Area54 said:

You seem to have missed my point.

It seems to be my speciality.

2 hours ago, Area54 said:

You indicated confusion, or uncertainty about pendulums, and left versus right.

Not confusion regarding pendulums, which, in my limited experience swing back and forth, not sideways or up and down. Back and forth can be east to west, left to right or nave to chancel, but never win or lose. Therefore I doubt as to the validity of the metaphor. There is nothing about a pendulum that indicates political direction, nor about political aspirations that indicate a pendulum.

2 hours ago, Area54 said:

My observation - there are two kinds of people, those who understand the strength and weaknesses of dichotomies and those who don't - was intended to make an incisive point.

I realize that.

2 hours ago, Area54 said:

Perhaps you should re-read my post. These are the relevant words, with the key qualifier emboldened. "Something as complex as politics and government requires, in a democracy, to be simplified to the point where the majority of the electorate can understand the issues."

Only, you did not clarify what you mean by 'politics' (I had been led to believe it was carried out by the polity)  and 'government' (in a democracy, that, too, is purported to be driven by the voting population) or who, precisely, is doing the necessary simplifying for those of us [citizens, voters] who fail to understand the complexities of what we ourselves want and how the fruits of our labour are to be allocated and whether our children are drafted, imprisoned or employed. It seems to me the strength of dichotomies is to reduce reality to sound-bites and world-views to flags. 

 

2 hours ago, Area54 said:

you cannot reasonably deny the notion that some people may understand dichotomies and some may not.

All right, I won't try to. (Though, of course they do! Amoeba understand hot/cold,  prey/predator, wholesome/poisoned. And of course there are never just two kinds of people or two kinds of zebra or two kinds of alligator, divided along some simple this/that distinction - not even male/female - but I'm not sure about amoeba.)

2 hours ago, Area54 said:

Do you feel all people in a democracy are equally capable of understanding the complexities of government? Surely not?

Equally, no. Nor are the interpreters and simplifiers and dichotomizers all equally capable of understanding what they're telling us about. If that capacity divides us into only two kinds of people, the two are : insiders and outsiders; those who lie and those who are lied-to.  Otherwise, the governing classes would make an effort to disseminate accurate factual information to the voters - on the expectation that next year, a larger percentage understand it than last year.

 

2 hours ago, Area54 said:

I've put the key words in your post in bold. Last time I looked at a pendulum, and all the many others time before then, the one distinguishing fearure of all of them was that they "went back and forth".

Is it then your absolute conviction that there are two - and only two - poles in political decision-making and that all governance must have begun with swings from one extreme to the other, at predictable intervals - no divergence, no change in speed, no hesitations - each swing decreasing in amplitude, until it finally comes to rest at the point of equilibrium? That theory has a beautiful symmetry and inevitability, but history does not seem to bear it out. ... unless there is an external force to give it a push from time to time.

 

2 hours ago, Area54 said:

Surely you are aware of at least some of the positions adopted by the left, or the right, in your own context? Or, were you actually asking for a primer in basic (dare I say it?) political dichotomies?

I am aware of many different positions taken and many different - often quite divergent -descriptions of these positions, but not of a consensus as their definitive meaning. Beecee was able to able elaborate his version; I merely wondered what your version might be.

2 hours ago, Area54 said:

Your first question in this quote does appear rhetorical.

It was not.

Edited by Peterkin
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