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What is Politics?

R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,732
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1/20/2015 11:22:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I remember being young and excited about the philosophy of politics. I would perceive injustice, form opinions, and then speak out to whoever would listen. I would remain "informed" of the news, vote whenever I could, and I even completed a minor in political science to go along with my bachelor's degree. And then something remarkable happened: I grew up.

My opinions and perception of injustice turned out to be projections of my own inadequacies onto others. I can blame politicians, corporations, and other "ignorant" citizens for their maladaptive behavior to current issues, or I can realize that I am no better than they are. I live a first-world lifestyle and I consume the honey it produces, therefore I cause the externalities that plague others in third-world countries and the environment as a whole. My speaking out about issues turned out to be nothing but public masturbation, talking more to hear myself speak and blame others rather than to truly seek enlightenment and synthesis with other minds. Current events turned out to be nothing more than entertainment - good entertainment at that (I watched the news once recently and sobbed twice during the broadcast, it was very tragic and touching) - but it has no fruitful impact on one's personal life. After all, once one truly understands what political struggle is, hearing about instances of it becomes nothing but derivative and redundant. I don't need the news to tell me that people are suffering or why, because I already know why; as Plato predicted 2500 years ago, either we will all live moderately, or else some will live in excess and some will live in poverty. As Americans are obsessively excessive, it's no surprise the externatlities of our actions, which remain substantially separated from us, would pop up somewhere else just as surely as the Yin will not exist without the Yang.

Although I vote, I do so simply to participate; I don't delude myself that I'm being productive (other than, again, simply to create the potential for capturing my wasted vote). It's not productive in the sense that donating to charity or volunteering my time is. Since Democrats and Republicans are rather similar to me, whether one or the other is elected means very little. While an occasional extremist like Ron Paul or Mike Gravel will come along who catches my ear, these types never actually win elections and I cannot assume that I am going to vote my way to a better tomorrow. (It should be noted that the media are not useful for learning about alternative choices for politicians.)

Politics for the masses, therefore, is nothing but entertainment for the opinionated. Politicians are charismatic performers, carrying out the will of the wealthy who are in turn carrying out the will of the people - the real functionality here, therefore, is your dollar, not your vote. Change can only be accomplished by reducing consumption first and foremost, as well as donating money and volunteering time to productive causes. These things take discipline and self-sacrifice; these are noble actions. Those who wish not a selfless life know only how to take and how to blame; these people seek politics for entertainment, as it provides them justification for their vice.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/20/2015 11:41:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I disagree, but good to see ya, Rob!

You realise you're basically Winston from 1984, right? O'Brien having caught you nicely with a whole load of nasty plans for you in inducting you to the 'Brotherhood'?

That book was basically to map one's thoughts throughout their years; how people defeat themselves. Actions make the man, Rob.
Granted, a whole load of politically-minded people are absolute retards.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/20/2015 11:46:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Politics for me has become an art, really. It's a sensible appropriate relevant to the world's ills. I'm not expecting any revolutions, I'm not going to get super-worked up over much anymore... It's just an art. It's doing my thing and seeing the little and wonderful changes in people. It's being something besides defeated, but not frantic and coming apart at the seams either. Heck, I'm probably religious more so than political, to be honest. Same thing, really, though. You ever smile at little children and see how much it means to them, Rob? I could tell you some stories, dude.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,732
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1/20/2015 7:10:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/20/2015 11:41:17 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
I disagree, but good to see ya, Rob!

It is good to see you as well, how is the weather in Ireland?

You realise you're basically Winston from 1984, right? O'Brien having caught you nicely with a whole load of nasty plans for you in inducting you to the 'Brotherhood'?

That book was basically to map one's thoughts throughout their years; how people defeat themselves. Actions make the man, Rob.
Granted, a whole load of politically-minded people are absolute retards.

I will have to look into that work... 1984...
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,732
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1/20/2015 7:19:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/20/2015 11:46:58 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Politics for me has become an art, really. It's a sensible appropriate relevant to the world's ills. I'm not expecting any revolutions, I'm not going to get super-worked up over much anymore... It's just an art. It's doing my thing and seeing the little and wonderful changes in people. It's being something besides defeated, but not frantic and coming apart at the seams either. Heck, I'm probably religious more so than political, to be honest. Same thing, really, though.

You sound like you're on the path I'm on, just at a different point. After all, to become completely apathetic, you have to start by being just slightly apathetic...

You ever smile at little children and see how much it means to them, Rob? I could tell you some stories, dude.

I bet you could ;)
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,732
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1/20/2015 7:20:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/20/2015 5:48:48 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Penn and Teller said it best. Politics is magic.

Magic... masturbation... politics is a lot of things. Just don't call it a necessary evil.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/20/2015 7:56:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/20/2015 11:22:57 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:

Politics for the masses, therefore, is nothing but entertainment for the opinionated. Politicians are charismatic performers, carrying out the will of the wealthy who are in turn carrying out the will of the people - the real functionality here, therefore, is your dollar, not your vote. Change can only be accomplished by reducing consumption first and foremost, as well as donating money and volunteering time to productive causes.

This is an interesting characterization. Can you describe how the wealthy carry out the will of the people?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,732
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1/20/2015 8:30:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/20/2015 7:56:53 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/20/2015 11:22:57 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:

Politics for the masses, therefore, is nothing but entertainment for the opinionated. Politicians are charismatic performers, carrying out the will of the wealthy who are in turn carrying out the will of the people - the real functionality here, therefore, is your dollar, not your vote. Change can only be accomplished by reducing consumption first and foremost, as well as donating money and volunteering time to productive causes.

This is an interesting characterization. Can you describe how the wealthy carry out the will of the people?

Of course. You are essentially "voting" with your dollars, are you not? The wealthy control the means of production, and their success is directly proportional to their ability to predict/interpret your will and carry it out. If one company does not, another will find a way to and replace them.

Our only real power as people is in our wallets; political goings-on are virtually meaningless. Every vote you'll ever cast has less effect than even a single one of the dollars you spend.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/21/2015 2:43:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/20/2015 7:19:24 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
At 1/20/2015 11:46:58 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Politics for me has become an art, really. It's a sensible appropriate relevant to the world's ills. I'm not expecting any revolutions, I'm not going to get super-worked up over much anymore... It's just an art. It's doing my thing and seeing the little and wonderful changes in people. It's being something besides defeated, but not frantic and coming apart at the seams either. Heck, I'm probably religious more so than political, to be honest. Same thing, really, though.

You sound like you're on the path I'm on, just at a different point. After all, to become completely apathetic, you have to start by being just slightly apathetic...

Nah, I don't think so. I just think that we all start out a ball of flame.

You ever smile at little children and see how much it means to them, Rob? I could tell you some stories, dude.

I bet you could ;)

How's the daughter keeping? lol
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/21/2015 2:47:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/20/2015 7:10:58 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
At 1/20/2015 11:41:17 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
I disagree, but good to see ya, Rob!

It is good to see you as well, how is the weather in Ireland?

Pool, sauna, and steam room three nights a week. Not bad.

You realise you're basically Winston from 1984, right? O'Brien having caught you nicely with a whole load of nasty plans for you in inducting you to the 'Brotherhood'?

That book was basically to map one's thoughts throughout their years; how people defeat themselves. Actions make the man, Rob.
Granted, a whole load of politically-minded people are absolute retards.

I will have to look into that work... 1984...

For real, dude?
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,732
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1/21/2015 7:32:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 2:47:25 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 1/20/2015 7:10:58 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
At 1/20/2015 11:41:17 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
I disagree, but good to see ya, Rob!

It is good to see you as well, how is the weather in Ireland?

Pool, sauna, and steam room three nights a week. Not bad.

Nice. I bring my daughter to to pool at the YMCA on the weekends, she loves it. Wisconsin has some long winters. I'm in a bit of a custody battle over her at the moment...

You realise you're basically Winston from 1984, right? O'Brien having caught you nicely with a whole load of nasty plans for you in inducting you to the 'Brotherhood'?

That book was basically to map one's thoughts throughout their years; how people defeat themselves. Actions make the man, Rob.
Granted, a whole load of politically-minded people are absolute retards.

I will have to look into that work... 1984...

For real, dude?

I've heard about it many times, but never read it. I'm headed to the library on Friday, I will make sure I pick it up and read it. It sounds like it's right up my alley.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.