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Sitara
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10/26/2013 2:53:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
So someone sarcastically implied that liberals cannot be independent. For the record, I do not have to be a member of political party or let people think for me to be an independent liberal just like you do not have to be a member of a political party or let people think for you to be an independent conservative. Congratulations on being part of the problem. I do not believe in political parties because they are treated like religions, because they will sell out to antichrist, and because they are just another way for the government to control people. You are delusional if you think political parties are an effective way of running things. Leaders should be democratically elected based on their policies and where they stand on the political scale. As of now, there are three groups of Republicans: the conservatives (Sarah Palin), the libertarians who want a better chance of being elected than running running under the Libertarian Party ticket (Ron Paul), and the centrists (Mitt Romney). Before you think I just criticize the Republicans, I have issues with Democrats two. The Democrats are divided into two groups: liberals, and centrists (Blue Dogs). The Libertarian Party also has issues: Gary Johnson proposed a 23% tax. That is not libertarian at all. The problem with political parties is that people would rather toe the party line than stay true to their ideology. This is why I would rather speak with conservatives who are not Republicans. The Democrats are screwing the liberals for profit, and the Republicans are screwing the conservatives for profit, so yes, I can be an independent liberal, unidentified hater. This is also a good chance to debate the fallacy of towing the party line instead of staying true to ideaology instead. Thank you my pretties, and hit me up with your thoughts. ;)
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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10/26/2013 2:54:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
why not take it a notch further and give up on political labels as well. Think for yourself rather than based on an ideology.
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Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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10/26/2013 2:58:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Fifty years ago, most voters in the north east were liberal Republicans.

Liberal and conservative refer to political preference.

Republican and Democrat refer to institutionalized political alliances. Whether or not liberals, centrists, or conservatives are a part of those parties is arbitrary.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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10/26/2013 5:49:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 2:54:32 AM, darkkermit wrote:
why not take it a notch further and give up on political labels as well. Think for yourself rather than based on an ideology.

Isn't that implying collective responsibility - or more generally, holding yourself as similar to an ideology - is removing yourself from rational thought? If anything, I'd come closer to say it's the other way around: rational men and women smarter than you or I spent much longer thinking on this issue and spent their time tuning ideologies to make them sound, valid and cogent. On an empirical level, many indepedents are just apathetic voters, rather than the other way around, after all. I'm confused why you hold this to be so, and look forward to a reply.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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slo1
Posts: 4,308
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10/26/2013 9:00:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 2:54:32 AM, darkkermit wrote:
why not take it a notch further and give up on political labels as well. Think for yourself rather than based on an ideology.

Very Buddhist like. Unfortunately the human brain is designed for categorization. How many times do we all say, I'm having a "good" day or I'm having a "bad" day.

We even categorize our foods on our plate. Although my brother used to mix it all up and say it mixes in his stomach anyway. He is the exception though.

I always told my teams over the years that categorization is the secret of life. I'm with you though. In many areas the less we do of it the better. It is not necessarily bad to categorize, but it is how we take information and categorize it without having the right information to label it properly.

Categories people! Start changing your categories!
darkkermit
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10/26/2013 10:54:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 5:49:51 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 10/26/2013 2:54:32 AM, darkkermit wrote:
why not take it a notch further and give up on political labels as well. Think for yourself rather than based on an ideology.

Isn't that implying collective responsibility - or more generally, holding yourself as similar to an ideology - is removing yourself from rational thought? If anything, I'd come closer to say it's the other way around: rational men and women smarter than you or I spent much longer thinking on this issue and spent their time tuning ideologies to make them sound, valid and cogent. On an empirical level, many indepedents are just apathetic voters, rather than the other way around, after all. I'm confused why you hold this to be so, and look forward to a reply.

There's usually no "founder" of a certain ideology and I'd say an ideology isn't based on a sound, valid, and consistent theory. Rather it takes a more general path where ideology comes from social networks and general consensus. Let's take for example, the issue of gun control. There's no reason why gun control *should* be a liberal, but it is well established that liberals support gun control. However, you can also find literature from the far-left, communists that are against gun control. However, one can see how one can receive strange looks from those that hold similar positions to your own that you are against gun control but is pro-choice. So social pressures would more likely cause one who is pro-choice to also be gun control.

It is very unlikely that all the positions that liberals hold are correct and conservatives are completely wrong, and vice versa. Although a lot of the issues are based on subjective values. So a more logical approach would be to see the evidence from both sides, and determine which issues liberals are right on, conservatives are right on, and so forth. However, it would be very unlikely that you'd just stumble upon an ideology and agree with it because you actually examined that all their positions are correct.

I myself, am listed as "other" in terms of political ideology. I've been labeled as a libertarian, but I'm more libertarian-leaning then actually libertarian since I do hold anti-libertarian views and don't want to be held down when I support an anti-libertarian view.
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Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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10/26/2013 12:15:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 10:54:07 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/26/2013 5:49:51 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 10/26/2013 2:54:32 AM, darkkermit wrote:
why not take it a notch further and give up on political labels as well. Think for yourself rather than based on an ideology.

Isn't that implying collective responsibility - or more generally, holding yourself as similar to an ideology - is removing yourself from rational thought? If anything, I'd come closer to say it's the other way around: rational men and women smarter than you or I spent much longer thinking on this issue and spent their time tuning ideologies to make them sound, valid and cogent. On an empirical level, many indepedents are just apathetic voters, rather than the other way around, after all. I'm confused why you hold this to be so, and look forward to a reply.

There's usually no "founder" of a certain ideology and I'd say an ideology isn't based on a sound, valid, and consistent theory. Rather it takes a more general path where ideology comes from social networks and general consensus. Let's take for example, the issue of gun control. There's no reason why gun control *should* be a liberal, but it is well established that liberals support gun control. However, you can also find literature from the far-left, communists that are against gun control. However, one can see how one can receive strange looks from those that hold similar positions to your own that you are against gun control but is pro-choice. So social pressures would more likely cause one who is pro-choice to also be gun control.

It is very unlikely that all the positions that liberals hold are correct and conservatives are completely wrong, and vice versa. Although a lot of the issues are based on subjective values. So a more logical approach would be to see the evidence from both sides, and determine which issues liberals are right on, conservatives are right on, and so forth. However, it would be very unlikely that you'd just stumble upon an ideology and agree with it because you actually examined that all their positions are correct.

I think our disagreement is what an ideology is, then. For me, I don't see ideologies as being able to make certain practical policy claims necessarily, but only by virtue to the world. Or, in a sense, an ideology is a looking-glass to see the world and how to change it. For example, I'd say I'm conservative who is pro-democracy, pro-secularism, pro-national institutions, pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.

Indeed, I'd say looking at "positions" on these issues distracts one from what an ideology is: a political philosophy. To decide to follow Oakeshott for example based on political positions isn't following the conservative ideology anymore than disagreeing with him on the issues makes you diametrically opposed to his philosophy. While some political philosophies naturally lean towards certain beliefs (liberalism to democracy; socialism to nationalisation) there are of course exceptions all the time (Hobbes and Crossman respectively to name a few). To look at their philosophy though, and not their stances on issues, is what seems more important.

And to clarify one minor point (a very minor one indeed): I'm not "against" gun control per se, but I just think it is entirely contingent on circumstances, and in many places, such as the US, it is impossible to reap the virtues of a less violent population through gun control, as the policies will just incite more violence. My stance is somewhat similar with drugs: in many situations, I hold it impossible to criminalise drugs in a more effective manner than legal regulation.

However, to focus back on the key point of ideologies: I think we just disagree on the use of the word. You seem to see it (and correct me if I am wrong) as a collection of positions, while I see it as a philosophical abstract distinct from practical policies.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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Contra
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10/26/2013 8:21:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I respect that. It is a great, honorable thing to be independent and think critically.
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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10/26/2013 11:07:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 12:15:04 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
I think our disagreement is what an ideology is, then. For me, I don't see ideologies as being able to make certain practical policy claims necessarily, but only by virtue to the world. Or, in a sense, an ideology is a looking-glass to see the world and how to change it. For example, I'd say I'm conservative who is pro-democracy, pro-secularism, pro-national institutions, pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.

Your profile says you support the labor party, so I'm a bit confused by this.

Most mainstream ideologies, like liberal or conservative, only allow a small room for what you can favor or not. I suppose one can derive one's own ideology, but that's not what I really mean by ideology.

Indeed, I'd say looking at "positions" on these issues distracts one from what an ideology is: a political philosophy. To decide to follow Oakeshott for example based on political positions isn't following the conservative ideology anymore than disagreeing with him on the issues makes you diametrically opposed to his philosophy. While some political philosophies naturally lean towards certain beliefs (liberalism to democracy; socialism to nationalisation) there are of course exceptions all the time (Hobbes and Crossman respectively to name a few). To look at their philosophy though, and not their stances on issues, is what seems more important.

Also an all-encompassing ideology that acts as the theory of everything seems a bit absurd to me.

And to clarify one minor point (a very minor one indeed): I'm not "against" gun control per se, but I just think it is entirely contingent on circumstances, and in many places, such as the US, it is impossible to reap the virtues of a less violent population through gun control, as the policies will just incite more violence. My stance is somewhat similar with drugs: in many situations, I hold it impossible to criminalise drugs in a more effective manner than legal regulation.

However, to focus back on the key point of ideologies: I think we just disagree on the use of the word. You seem to see it (and correct me if I am wrong) as a collection of positions, while I see it as a philosophical abstract distinct from practical policies.
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Stephen_Hawkins
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10/27/2013 7:03:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 11:07:30 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Your profile says you support the labor party, so I'm a bit confused by this.

Labour's current political philosophy is One Nation Toryism, for one. For another, I follow a political party which I have the most faith in promoting the values that I see as needed to benefit and strengthen our already great country.

Most mainstream ideologies, like liberal or conservative, only allow a small room for what you can favor or not. I suppose one can derive one's own ideology, but that's not what I really mean by ideology.

I'd question this. Finding the difference between Hobbes and Beveridge is easy. Or Mill and Green. Or Rawls and Nozick. All of them liberals.

Or the difference between Burke and Hooker. Or Oakeshott and Goldwater. Or Popper and Disraeli. Or Romney and Cameron. All Conservatives, but their policies are hugely different.


Indeed, I'd say looking at "positions" on these issues distracts one from what an ideology is: a political philosophy. To decide to follow Oakeshott for example based on political positions isn't following the conservative ideology anymore than disagreeing with him on the issues makes you diametrically opposed to his philosophy. While some political philosophies naturally lean towards certain beliefs (liberalism to democracy; socialism to nationalisation) there are of course exceptions all the time (Hobbes and Crossman respectively to name a few). To look at their philosophy though, and not their stances on issues, is what seems more important.

Also an all-encompassing ideology that acts as the theory of everything seems a bit absurd to me.

A decent political philosophy will come to some form of conclusion on human nature (liberals give it a "rational economic man", conservatives may claim irrational human nature - or none, as I claim - socialists or anarchists claim a positive human nature, etc.) They'll in short give three claims:

1) What is wrong with society
2) What an ideal society will look like.
3) How to get there.

This is both very modest and very ambitious. Modest in that it does not require any complex strings of claims as most people's politics requires (e.g. individual justifications for gun rights; abortion; economic policy; foreign relations, etc.) as it can be summed up a lot simpler by a political philosophy and thus easier defended. It is ambitious in that it does cover so much, with so little needed. However, as said already, the conclusions from a political philosophy, or ideology, can vastly vary. It is better though than a collection of political positions to define an ideology, however, as a collection of political positions will change massively over time (and ought to do so as well).

Take liberalism. Assuming I am a liberal for a moment, I can argue:

"Human nature is one where people are rational economic man, as Adam Smith put it. That is, humans are naturally egoistic, but rational in their pursuit of their goal. This means that humans under the right conditions can pursue their own interests, become immensely happy and fulfilled, and help their entire community and create a great ideal society. However, if a human gains and garners too much power, "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely", as the saying goes. To put it another way, if a human gathers too much power, they shall use it to lord over and infringe on the liberties of everyone else, which will make others unhappy and is undesirable in a society.

Therefore, we ought to have strong constitutional measures to protect man's right to life, liberty and estate. This means having a clear separation of powers, a constitution to limit the power of those in charge, and a federal bicameral parliamentary democracy so that all can consent to their rulers and make sure they are limited by checks and balances. The role of the rulers will be to make sure that individuals can achieve their own liberty, without others infringing on their own."

I can extend this out to include positive liberty, or the nation-state, and so eventually things like the NHS, or the BBC, or gun control, or gun rights, or welfare states, or the nightwatchmen state, etc. etc. It seems rather easy to get places though once I have already established man's rational egoistic nature and the desire to protect property rights though, no?
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
darkkermit
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10/27/2013 7:51:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/27/2013 7:03:05 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 10/26/2013 11:07:30 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Your profile says you support the labor party, so I'm a bit confused by this.

Labour's current political philosophy is One Nation Toryism, for one. For another, I follow a political party which I have the most faith in promoting the values that I see as needed to benefit and strengthen our already great country.

Most mainstream ideologies, like liberal or conservative, only allow a small room for what you can favor or not. I suppose one can derive one's own ideology, but that's not what I really mean by ideology.

I'd question this. Finding the difference between Hobbes and Beveridge is easy. Or Mill and Green. Or Rawls and Nozick. All of them liberals.

Or the difference between Burke and Hooker. Or Oakeshott and Goldwater. Or Popper and Disraeli. Or Romney and Cameron. All Conservatives, but their policies are hugely different.


Indeed, I'd say looking at "positions" on these issues distracts one from what an ideology is: a political philosophy. To decide to follow Oakeshott for example based on political positions isn't following the conservative ideology anymore than disagreeing with him on the issues makes you diametrically opposed to his philosophy. While some political philosophies naturally lean towards certain beliefs (liberalism to democracy; socialism to nationalisation) there are of course exceptions all the time (Hobbes and Crossman respectively to name a few). To look at their philosophy though, and not their stances on issues, is what seems more important.

Also an all-encompassing ideology that acts as the theory of everything seems a bit absurd to me.

A decent political philosophy will come to some form of conclusion on human nature (liberals give it a "rational economic man", conservatives may claim irrational human nature - or none, as I claim - socialists or anarchists claim a positive human nature, etc.) They'll in short give three claims:

1) What is wrong with society
2) What an ideal society will look like.
3) How to get there.

This is both very modest and very ambitious. Modest in that it does not require any complex strings of claims as most people's politics requires (e.g. individual justifications for gun rights; abortion; economic policy; foreign relations, etc.) as it can be summed up a lot simpler by a political philosophy and thus easier defended. It is ambitious in that it does cover so much, with so little needed. However, as said already, the conclusions from a political philosophy, or ideology, can vastly vary. It is better though than a collection of political positions to define an ideology, however, as a collection of political positions will change massively over time (and ought to do so as well).

Take liberalism. Assuming I am a liberal for a moment, I can argue:

"Human nature is one where people are rational economic man, as Adam Smith put it. That is, humans are naturally egoistic, but rational in their pursuit of their goal. This means that humans under the right conditions can pursue their own interests, become immensely happy and fulfilled, and help their entire community and create a great ideal society. However, if a human gains and garners too much power, "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely", as the saying goes. To put it another way, if a human gathers too much power, they shall use it to lord over and infringe on the liberties of everyone else, which will make others unhappy and is undesirable in a society.

Therefore, we ought to have strong constitutional measures to protect man's right to life, liberty and estate. This means having a clear separation of powers, a constitution to limit the power of those in charge, and a federal bicameral parliamentary democracy so that all can consent to their rulers and make sure they are limited by checks and balances. The role of the rulers will be to make sure that individuals can achieve their own liberty, without others infringing on their own."

I can extend this out to include positive liberty, or the nation-state, and so eventually things like the NHS, or the BBC, or gun control, or gun rights, or welfare states, or the nightwatchmen state, etc. etc. It seems rather easy to get places though once I have already established man's rational egoistic nature and the desire to protect property rights though, no?

The problem though is how absurd it is to have an absolute statement like that on the nature of man.

I don't view humans as perfectly rationally individuals, nor do I see them as perfectly irrational individuals. I don't see humans as completely selfish, but I don't see them as completely selfless either. Where they lie in the spectrum is unclear and can vary based on the individual and culture. It's because neither one of these questions can be answered that one cannot use deductive reasoning to base further issues on. One cannot really derive anything from this.

There are two interesting books I've read on economics. One is freakonomics. It bases the idea that people act on incentives and therefore can act in interesting, somewhat predictable fashions based on these incentives. For example, real estate agents can sell their house at a better price then someone else's. This is because real estate agents only get a small amount of compensation for selling the hose, so the incentive would be to sell the house quickly rather than wait for a better deal.

But then there's another book called "Predictably irrational", where it shows humans acting very irrationally.

Which models of human behavior are correct? Well it's a little bit of both.
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Volkov
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10/27/2013 7:58:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/27/2013 7:51:05 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Which models of human behavior are correct? Well it's a little bit of both.

I agree with you more or less kermit, but I think the point is that just saying people are simply a mix of this and that is not a satisfying answer for people. It doesn't allow us to do what we do best, which is categorize others and society into certain segments so we have a general set of ideas which we use as guidelines when interacting with those others. It also helps us place ourselves in society, where we are and what groups we think we're attached to.
Stephen_Hawkins
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10/27/2013 8:56:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
While I haven't read Predictably Irrational, I have read Caplan's work on Rational irrationality, and from a skim read of the wikipedia article of Predictably Irrational (correct me if I am wrong), they seem to be giving across the same ideas: the problems of assuming people's choice is the intelligent one.

Again, this is a difference in how we are using rational. I mean it in the sense of "with your knowledge, what is the most beneficial thing to do", and people work by this framework of customs or rules they follow in order to act in a predictable fashion. As Caplan shows, there are ways to twist and bend these rules to our favour. This is a systematic failure of rational people (i.e. people who think with a methodology of reason) are being fallacious (their methodology is incorrect within reason).

Now, I believe that to talk of a universal human nature is nonsensical, but we can talk of a human nature within a cultural community. as humans are for the most part irrational when it comes to quick decisions, rational when it comes to larger ones. Anomalies exist, but to talk of anomalies here is nonsensical. As such, I believe in most situations democracy works as a legitimising system: people make rational decisions based on long term gains, which allows their best representation.

However, I also have problems with the concept of "legitimacy". For example, I don't believe that a government can be legitimate if it makes every decision wrongly, because the people will it to do so, while I believe at the same time legitimacy requires public consent in practice.

To go back to justifying a "rational economic man" however. Firstly, man is generally self-interested. This makes him "economic", by our common meaning of the term. This links generally to the economic problem: man has limited resources but unlimited wants. Therefore, man attempts to satisfy his wants to as large a degree as he can with his resources. This requires man attempting to use reason to distinguish and make resource allocation efficient. Therefore, man is rational and economic.

My clarification of how man attempts rationally to pursue his goal highlights this point. Sometimes man fails, sometimes man succeeds. Yet man always attempts to do so to the best of his ability, and through a consistent approach following some form of hypothetical imperative, or basic syllogism, or a similar rational construct. A lot of the time we just give up at some point where we get to a premise which we agree on (or start on) without needing to justify to ourselves (I need to eat; I want to help my parents; I've got to go to university; I have work, etc.), and a lot of the time we are fallacious. However, to be fallacious requires us to be working within the construct of rationality. Thus, man must be rational for him to be fallacious, which is why ideas like "Irrational Rationality" are coherent and not oxymorons. man attempts to rationally pursue his goals, but simply fails.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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