Author Topic: The reason these political forums fail  (Read 278 times)

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Offline MH

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2018, 07:42:11 am »
Change  is  inevitable. But protecting the freedoms we value is not about protecting democracy per se. It is about protecting free speech and valuing diversity of opinion. Limiting speech or enforcing conformity in the name of 'social good' is the slippery slope into authoritarianism.

I agree in principle that the freedoms and democracy are not the same thing, in that free speech for example need to be valued and protected individually.  But... one of the reasons we protect free speech is to provide the feedback loop to governance.  Also, every single democracy puts some limit on lying so caterwauling on 'free speech' limits is tantamount to crying wolf.

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But free speech and diversity of opinion means raucous public arguments which creates the illusion of weakness when it is actually a strength. I would much rather live in a society that elected Trump (who will eventually be shown the door) than live in a society where I am stuck with president Xi for life and face re-education camp if I buy the wrong books or say the wrong things on twitter.

Right, if we're having mock elections of false choices I would choose Trump over Xi and Doug Ford over Stalin etc. etc. 

I would submit that Democracy has evolved to the point where it needs to be iterated, but not discarded.  To ease your discomfort over being interned for sexism, let's use the example of GMOs instead:

GMOs are safe to consume, and can be a boon to poor countries however misinformed people will propagate incorrect information about them.  At a certain point, ballot initiatives will be introduced and susceptible politicians will be coaxed into speaking about them.  How do we iterate our democracy to acknowledge that bad information is indeed a thing, and improve the quality of our publics ?

Offline cybercoma

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2018, 08:56:00 am »
I would argue that allowing white men only to run a country is not a democracy.
Argus would disagree with you. In fact, he would go a step further and argue that even the poor should be disenfranchised so that only propertied white men run the country.
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Offline wilber

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2018, 09:13:39 am »
I think you need to look a bit closer at democracy. The democratic revolutions are little more than 200 years old. Youíre sadly mistaken if you think itís historically durable.

Our particular democracy has been evolving since Magna Carta.
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC

Offline TimG

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2018, 09:14:02 am »
I agree in principle that the freedoms and democracy are not the same thing, in that free speech for example need to be valued and protected individually.  But... one of the reasons we protect free speech is to provide the feedback loop to governance.  Also, every single democracy puts some limit on lying so caterwauling on 'free speech' limits is tantamount to crying wolf.
I am talking about the culture of free speech - not the laws. If there is a culture of free speech then any laws that place limits  on the extremes will not undermine free speech. If that culture disappears then the laws will get more and more restrictive until we wake up one day and realize it is gone and we can't get it back. The culture of free speech is under threat because way too many people think it is acceptable to silence political opponents.

GMOs are safe to consume, and can be a boon to poor countries however misinformed people will propagate incorrect information about them.  At a certain point, ballot initiatives will be introduced and susceptible politicians will be coaxed into speaking about them.  How do we iterate our democracy to acknowledge that bad information is indeed a thing, and improve the quality of our publics ?
All politics is subject to people who peddle misinformation. It seems strange to single out GMOs. What about the inevitable reduction in jobs caused by raising minimum wages? What about he housing affordability crisis created by excessively high immigration rates? At some point all of these questions come down to values and cannot be addressed by quoting facts.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 09:23:09 am by TimG »

Offline MH

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2018, 10:08:46 am »
I am talking about the culture of free speech - not the laws. If there is a culture of free speech then any laws that place limits  on the extremes will not undermine free speech. If that culture disappears then the laws will get more and more restrictive until we wake up one day and realize it is gone and we can't get it back. The culture of free speech is under threat because way too many people think it is acceptable to silence political opponents.

So you are clarifying this:
"But protecting the freedoms we value is not about protecting democracy per se. It is about protecting free speech and valuing diversity of opinion."

I get it, and actually when you use the term "culture of free speech" then I can accept what you mean.  I can't say I follow your points on laws becoming more restrictive but since we have one government, we do need a common 'public' and therefore public discussion.

The discussion I had on the weekend with a fellow BurningMan cult member revolved around how common courtesy (not on-campus laws and rules, online laws and rules) is driving people into bubbles of orthodoxy where you are unable to disagree.  Discussions then become competitions between people trying to be more doctrinaire in an atmosphere of silence from the more pragmatic among us.

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All politics is subject to people who peddle misinformation. It seems strange to single out GMOs.

Is it ?  It seems to me there was a time when people couldn't broker liars.  I chose GMOs because it's an example that we can use without falling into fighting the actual argument... unlike, say, immigration.

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   At some point all of these questions come down to values and cannot be addressed by quoting facts.

Well, yes. But a values discussion is actually a welcome terminus to a journey of discussion. 

"I hate XYZ" "Really, well I love XYZ"

No facts at play, just values and tastes.  On a large scale, if everyone was at that point it would be time to vote on it, or engage whatever process is necessary.

Offline cybercoma

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2018, 12:01:47 pm »
Our particular democracy has been evolving since Magna Carta.
The working class couldn't even vote 200 years ago in England.
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Offline MH

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2018, 12:11:00 pm »
The working class couldn't even vote 200 years ago in England.
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It was not until May 1832 that the British Secretary of State for the Colonies formally stated that a new commission would be issued to Governor Cochrane to remove any and all Roman Catholic disabilities in Newfoundland.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_emancipation#Emancipation_in_Newfoundland

Men weren't all allowed to vote until 100 years ago in the UK, which was only TEN YEARS ahead of all women.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representation_of_the_People_Act_1918

Offline SirJohn

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2018, 12:14:57 pm »
The working class couldn't even vote 200 years ago in England.

The working class couldn't read or write and knew nothing about anything 200 years ago. What was their collective wisdom in terms of foreign relations, law and economics?
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline SirJohn

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2018, 12:19:38 pm »
It seems to me there was a time when people couldn't broker liars. 

Anyone who openly lied was disdained, and if a politician, and caught, resigned in shame. Then again, there was a time adulterers with multiple bankruptcies in their past and a predilection for childish namecalling couldn't get elected to public office. Standards have gotten exceedingly slack of late. Maybe the question is why? Is it an extension of our loosening moral code, which used to harshly judge all manner of anti-social behaviour but no longer does?
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline cybercoma

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2018, 02:18:46 pm »
The working class couldn't read or write and knew nothing about anything 200 years ago. What was their collective wisdom in terms of foreign relations, law and economics?
That's demonstrably false. You think they just organized out of nothing? Not only did they have periodicals, but the works of people like Thomas Paine actually got working-class people arrested for carrying them. Christ, you're ignorant.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2018, 02:26:23 pm »
That's demonstrably false. You think they just organized out of nothing? Not only did they have periodicals, but the works of people like Thomas Paine actually got working-class people arrested for carrying them. Christ, you're ignorant.

The literacy rate in the UK 200 years ago hovered around 30% overall, and obviously far lower among the working class. Public schools weren't established until the end of the 19th century.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 09:24:09 pm by JMT »
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum
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Offline cybercoma

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2018, 03:23:16 pm »
Christ, you're an ****. The literacy rate in the UK 200 years ago hovered around 30% overall, and obviously far lower among the working class. Public schools weren't established until the end of the 19th century.
So youíre just going to gloss over the fact that it wasnít until the 20th century that they got to vote? Also you completely ignore the context of their literacy which is related to the fact that it was completely unnecessary when they were either indentured in manufactories or involved in trades. You speak about illiteracy rates as if they relate at all to the political awareness or intelligence of the population when it didnít. I stand by my remark. Youíre ignorant and only interested in pushing your narrow minded agenda the serves to protect the social hierarchies that benefit you to the detriment of others.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 09:23:33 pm by JMT »

Offline SirJohn

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2018, 03:48:08 pm »
So youíre just going to gloss over the fact that it wasnít until the 20th century that they got to vote?

Yeah, like I gloss over the fact that the 20th century was not 200 years ago, genius.

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Also you completely ignore the context of their literacy

Because it's irrelevant to the point.

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. I stand by my remark. Youíre an ignorant hack whoís only interested in pushing your narrow minded agenda the serves to protect the social hierarchies that benefit you to the detriment of others. Ignorant, self-entitled pricks like you are one of the biggest problems we have in politics today.

And I stand by my belief that you are an extremist without any respect for basic human freedoms and dignity, and that views like yours lead inexorably to the Killing Fields 'the cultural revolution' or the gulags of Soviet Russia. You don't think you know what's best for the world, you KNOW it, and thus comfortably classify all who dissent as the dangerous and evil enemy of the people.

"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum
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