Thursday, November 18, 2010

I've said this before: every time someone talks about objectivity vs bias in the American press, ask if there are any respected news outlets that are not explicitly pro-US.

The danger of Republican intransigence is that their interests are less over policy than politics itself, and they seem more loyal to the party than the country. In the language of the previous post, they have more interest in winning than they do respect for the process.

Democracy is a form of game: if the police search your house without a warrant the rules say it doesn't matter what incriminating evidence they find. A foul is a foul. But there is no referee in politics, so the job is left to the players themselves who are obliged to show respect for each other and for the institutions of which they have shared membership. Fraternal obligations of this sort are as important as rules. Social groups are founded in systems of reinforcement, so that trust relations can be kept between parties even when obligations are not followed, or when your roles in the group are adversarial.

There are other games of governance with different rules, but these also are underlaid by trust. Others with no rules at all. Monarchism is a game, but fascism is a pseudo-game where the rules and obligations are a sham. That's why fascism is so dangerous. It's also unstable.

It's a mistake to refer to truth values in games. They're simply decision-making processes, and by definition the process matters more than the results in each case. The result that matters is longevity.

The logic of liberal technocratic idealism weakens the game-playing of culture (in our case the culture of democracy) either by a focus on claims of truth that acts to undermine the primacy of procedure or by building models based on rules, which by definition cannot contradict one another, and not on obligations which by definition are in conflict. A system of rules alone results in a society of children.

Case in point: objectivity which becomes neutrality, except when it doesn't.

The people are used as pawns in arguments among members of the elite. For those who think the debt is the most important issue, the fact that the majority think otherwise is irrelevant; the electorate are either correct or misguided depending on which side you're arguing. But you can't come out and attack the people for stupidity when you disagree with them without being accused of elitism.

Contradictions aren't the problem, the unwillingness to face them is the problem.
I'm more concerned with jobs than with the debt.

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