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Vlerchan
October 10th, 2016, 10:40 AM
Longtime posters here are aware that I have an uneasy relationship with the idea of democratic governance. The theoretical argument for it is simple, political skill doesn't seem prone to genetic transfers, but is easily recognizable in a select few, as individuals are self-interested these can be counted on to elect discover and elect the select few. I am more than able to believe that this was true for centuries, though I question whether it can be claimed to be true in our age. This isn't because of Trump, but rather it's a reflection on longstanding political trends. In particular, those that relate to how politics was communicated.

We live in an era where, increasingly: elites, those with a stake in the long-run prosperity of the system (for reasons that can be explained), are unable to direct political thought and concentration. This is down to two reasons, 1. elites work much, much longer than they did in preceding centuries, 2. there has been a complete decentralisation of the media - which has prompted increased competition between media outlets, inspiring shock-treatment -, with the former limiting the size of potential investment and the latter limiting the power of it.

This is bad. Elite guidance keeps us grounded to a set of political norms - norms like what we have seen Trump, for example, thrash in the last twelve months - and without shared norms it becomes impossible to discuss ideas with each other. This is where the current era polarisation is grounded, the lack of a bridge in the form of elite-meditation. Furthermore, it creates a fertile ground for populism, where the people - who have no similar stake in system-permanence - have a greater level of control about the direction their politics takes (and I have argued before that this is bad).

There's been implicit recognition of this in technocratic solutions I have posed in the past. But given the events of last night I decided to make it explicit: we need an aristocracy. Some state-systems benefit from a historical hereditary nobility whose wealth is tied to the stocks of land and other durable assets - re., the British HoL - but in the case of those with a more meritocratic creed - like the United States, and Ireland - I suggest selection by lotto of high-scoring graduates from top schools, n years out from graduation, to check our public representatives.

So, where our current politics fails to grant ascension to our natural aristocrats, we need to re-discover our own.

Uniquemind
October 10th, 2016, 01:32 PM
Longtime posters here are aware that I have an uneasy relationship with the idea of democratic governance. The theoretical argument for it is simple, political skill doesn't seem prone to genetic transfers, but is easily recognizable in a select few, as individuals are self-interested these can be counted on to elect discover and elect the select few. I am more than able to believe that this was true for centuries, though I question whether it can be claimed to be true in our age. This isn't because of Trump, but rather it's a reflection on longstanding political trends. In particular, those that relate to how politics was communicated.

We live in an era where, increasingly: elites, those with a stake in the long-run prosperity of the system (for reasons that can be explained), are unable to direct political thought and concentration. This is down to two reasons, 1. elites work much, much longer than they did in preceding centuries, 2. there has been a complete decentralisation of the media - which has prompted increased competition between media outlets, inspiring shock-treatment -, with the former limiting the size of potential investment and the latter limiting the power of it.

This is bad. Elite guidance keeps us grounded to a set of political norms - norms like what we have seen Trump, for example, thrash in the last twelve months - and without shared norms it becomes impossible to discuss ideas with each other. This is where the current era polarisation is grounded, the lack of a bridge in the form of elite-meditation. Furthermore, it creates a fertile ground for populism, where the people - who have no similar stake in system-permanence - have a greater level of control about the direction their politics takes (and I have argued before that this is bad).

There's been implicit recognition of this in technocratic solutions I have posed in the past. But given the events of last night I decided to make it explicit: we need an aristocracy. Some state-systems benefit from a historical hereditary nobility whose wealth is tied to the stocks of land and other durable assets - re., the British HoL - but in the case of those with a more meritocratic creed - like the United States, and Ireland - I suggest selection by lotto of high-scoring graduates from top schools, n years out from graduation, to check our public representatives.

So, where our current politics fails to grant ascension to our natural aristocrats, we need to re-discover our own.

That and someone who can articulate the problems from various groups within the USA accurately but thoughtfully and hopefully.

I also would want to suggest having a tax for publicly funded campaign.

I don't know how much money was spent on campaign ads, but I'm sure those millions could've rebuilt the plumbing of Flint, Michigan.

Porpoise101
October 10th, 2016, 03:58 PM
Maybe the biggest issue with modern democratic nations is that the people aren't engaged enough in the process. People are not civic-minded, especially the youth. If people don't take part in the process then it cannot be truly democratic and work properly. Additionally, voters are being confronted with complex issues and don't understand them. This causes other issues in the system.

Another problem I see is that voters in the US have an unhealthy amount of skepticism towards skilled elites/technocrats. This is bad because these people are actually productive and are invaluable for crafting policy and guiding the well-being of the nation.

If we want to make democratic systems work, I don't think going back to aristocratic elitism is the way to go. We need to instead engage the public with education and civic action and foster respect for skilled experts who will lead the way.

Uniquemind
October 10th, 2016, 04:25 PM
Maybe the biggest issue with modern democratic nations is that the people aren't engaged enough in the process. People are not civic-minded, especially the youth. If people don't take part in the process then it cannot be truly democratic and work properly. Additionally, voters are being confronted with complex issues and don't understand them. This causes other issues in the system.

Another problem I see is that voters in the US have an unhealthy amount of skepticism towards skilled elites/technocrats. This is bad because these people are actually productive and are invaluable for crafting policy and guiding the well-being of the nation.

If we want to make democratic systems work, I don't think going back to aristocratic elitism is the way to go. We need to instead engage the public with education and civic action and foster respect for skilled experts who will lead the way.


That's part of the problem, but education isn't valued because it isn't funded and because part of the educational system is entrenched between extreme wealthy communities and extremely poor communities. Each respective school district in each state, county, and city, only providing the quality education as the cash-flow on hand.


Bad principles aren't fired quickly enough, parents back-talk teachers, the curriculum is too fast for some, too slow for others, and people's potential to grow their minds aren't reached enough. Education really needs to be more individualized and promote respect better, as well as civic duty. (I believe this concept was addressed months ago regarding "Duty" by Judean Zealot, where did he go by the way?)

The problems are many, and it starts with the broken Congress to be honest, not the President.

phuckphace
October 10th, 2016, 06:10 PM
some things to consider:

our elite as it exists today is fully trans-national or post-national, with entirely different ideals and motivations than the populace, which by contrast has a real and tangible stake in system-permanence. perhaps I misread you but it's a real head-scratcher to suggest that the elites have the highest stake - it's rather the case that they have some stake but also 1000 times the insulation.

for example if Germany lets in 800,000 refugees per annum, or if they let in zero, it may affect Angela Merkel's reelection chances, but it certainly won't affect her in a personal way because she enjoys the elite's detachment from the effects of her own actions. to Merkel and those like her, these kinds of policy decisions essentially rest on what she anticipates to read about herself in the headlines, while by contrast your everyday citizen bears the full brunt of everything like rising crime and that special 2016 feeling of being a foreigner in one's own country.

from our perspective, the elites are basically aliens from outer space who live in a rainbows-and-butterflies VR simulation that is about as far removed from our own realities and concerns as it's possible to be - whether this is due to a literal and intentional conspiracy or simple lack of exposure and experience beyond what is experienced in their echo chamber is another topic (but I'm going to go ahead and say "it's both.") I actually would not be surprised if Merkel's actions were not conspiratorial and she really does literally believe that +800K Ahmeds a year is beneficial for Germany - she has no children of her own and ergo lacks a parent's concern for what kind of world will be left for one's children. no skin in the game.

populism arises because the elites are, through conspiracy or apathy, completely disinterested in permanence as it relates to our values (they're more likely to see our values as antiquated roadblocks that stand in their way) and this collective dissatisfaction eventually leads to the common man dragging his Sturmabteilung helmet out of storage.

sorry for the double post, need to follow up on a few points:

I realized that Vlerchan probably doesn't disagree with a lot of what I stated, given that he touched on the same problems with polarization that I see, and thus it probably sounds like I'm just echoing him with my own twist. oops.

the old elite had a clear stake in and allegiance to their nation which is now almost completely absent - it's a critical must-have basis for their noblesse oblige, as is a worldview influenced by Christianity. I'm skeptical that this can be cranked out of elite schools ("I memorized the Elite Edition ruleset, I'm boss now") and also that this wouldn't just lead to more of the same polarization and a stratified set of opposing social values that plagues us now.

Another problem I see is that voters in the US have an unhealthy amount of skepticism towards skilled elites/technocrats.

for good reason, they've been actively hostile to traditional norms for decades and, unlike the old elite with its noblesse oblige, they are fully 1000 times more crass and disinterested in the greater good than they've ever been in our history

This is bad because these people are actually productive and are invaluable for crafting policy and guiding the well-being of the nation.

and then you woke to the sound of your alarm clock buzzing.

higher wealth individuals and individuals entrusted with some power are of course essential to the economic well-being, but to imply that we wouldn't immediately be in 100% better shape if two thirds of our current elite dropped dead tomorrow is quite the giggle. as previously stated the hostility that they've incurred recently is public blowback against their corruption, immorality/crassness, and overbearing disdain for everything normal and wholesome. the Internet allowed the public to route around their ability to control the narrative through the old channels.

jeez use the edit button cmon

Porpoise101
October 10th, 2016, 07:54 PM
That's part of the problem, but education isn't valued because it isn't funded and because part of the educational system is entrenched between extreme wealthy communities and extremely poor communities. Each respective school district in each state, county, and city, only providing the quality education as the cash-flow on hand.

Agreed. Education is messed up in this country. Schools should be funded in ways that ensure they go into the schooling, not some superintendent. My local school district had some fat cat come, sack our coffers, and then ditch to Detroit Public Schools (heaven for public leaches). He left us with a $1 million deficit.

Perhaps a good way to ensure that good teachers stay and bad ones get weeded out is to give them merit-based pay rather than basing things on standardized testing.
Education really needs to be more individualized and promote respect better, as well as civic duty. (I believe this concept was addressed months ago regarding "Duty" by Judean Zealot, where did he go by the way?)

I also remember talking about facilitating a culture of learning in a different thread a while back. Make learning important to people, especially those who are in rough areas (be that rural Illinois or West Detroit). Perhaps by focusing on those people, their communities will become better as a result of the people 'becoming' better.

Judean Zealot left to focus on studies last I heard.

The problems are many, and it starts with the broken Congress to be honest, not the President.
I disagree. It starts at a grassroots level. You can't have a mass cultural transition work well if it comes from the top. Local governments should take the lead, then people can push the movement up to higher levels. If by broken Congress you mean addressing polarization, I think that issue is much larger than just 'Congress' at this point. Ideology has crept into the regional cultures of the country, making polarization something that also must be tackled from the bottom and with time. It's mostly older folks who are feeling the cultural malaise.

Uniquemind
October 10th, 2016, 09:02 PM
Agreed. Education is messed up in this country. Schools should be funded in ways that ensure they go into the schooling, not some superintendent. My local school district had some fat cat come, sack our coffers, and then ditch to Detroit Public Schools (heaven for public leaches). He left us with a $1 million deficit.

Perhaps a good way to ensure that good teachers stay and bad ones get weeded out is to give them merit-based pay rather than basing things on standardized testing.

I also remember talking about facilitating a culture of learning in a different thread a while back. Make learning important to people, especially those who are in rough areas (be that rural Illinois or West Detroit). Perhaps by focusing on those people, their communities will become better as a result of the people 'becoming' better.

Judean Zealot left to focus on studies last I heard.

I disagree. It starts at a grassroots level. You can't have a mass cultural transition work well if it comes from the top. Local governments should take the lead, then people can push the movement up to higher levels. If by broken Congress you mean addressing polarization, I think that issue is much larger than just 'Congress' at this point. Ideology has crept into the regional cultures of the country, making polarization something that also must be tackled from the bottom and with time. It's mostly older folks who are feeling the cultural malaise.

But we know from our history classes that the "older folk" were once young hopeful folk who were the children of parents who fought in WWII and in Korea and Vietnam.

I look at them, and I wonder are we gonna be them, with that outlook on life in 40-75 years, when they once preached "hope and change" too?

I understand what you mean by grassroots change, I digress, but grassroots can only go so far when there is this toxic polarization at a deep level to the point where large swaths of people believe that college is some evil "liberal agenda brainwashing the youth".

That's the kind of people Trump supporter's are, both young and old, and he does have some young support.

Drunkenprofesser
October 11th, 2016, 08:01 AM
not to disagree with what has been said but might I propose a different view? It is my firm belief that a dictatorship is the perfect form of government if done right. now I know you are going to disagree with me but hear me out. most democratic governments claim that they are in office to serve the people and make there lives better. in practice this does not really work, yes policies are implemented and laws passed but the system takes forever to enforce any change, politicians are more concerned with being elected to office and keeping office, than they are with actually changing anything. for example, in my country of australia we have a television program that broadcasts the procedings from the regular meetings of pariliment. 99% of the time, they spend bickering like school children "he said this" or "she called me that" and nothing gets done. more importatnly half of the electoral term is spent campaigning and issuing false promises in order to get into office. a dictatorship removes this element and gives government the power to streamline decisions and implement change immediately, which in theory sounds Utopian, whereas in practice, is less so, with examples being Hitler and kim jong il among others. what is needed is a hybrid form of dictatorship where the dictator still has the power, but is directly answerable to the collective people. i.e if a policy is implimented that is not in the peoples best interests, then the dictator is directly liable to being diposed. this would mean having the country's military under the control of a military council rather than by the dictator himself. well thats my two cents worth. its not perfect but I really think its better than what we have got

Vlerchan
October 11th, 2016, 06:11 PM
Maybe the biggest issue with modern democratic nations is that the people aren't engaged enough in the process.
Except this isn't quite true. Those that support Sanders or Trump are certainly enthused about politics and the political process - whilst at the same time both groups of support might be skeptical or doubtful of the political process. To me is what I see as the great challenge of our generation, maintaining an enthusiasm about the centerground that seems to have dissipated as of late.

---

The preceding is highly speculative half-thoughts,

Part of it to me seems to be that man - and man was always the center of liberalism - has been vacated of her transcendental qualities - rational, dignified, etc. - that initially characterized it as the subject of liberal politics. This occurred in the shift of discourse towards a more post-humanist - if you might - discussion of her. Man, you see, was reduced to a mere intersection of social forces in the wake of modern social-justice rhetoric - and the discourse of transhumanism - genetic engineering, etc. - medicalised our understanding of her, otherwise.

The individual has ceased to be something special and, as such, governments that elevate it as its primary purpose to protect the individual, have lost credibility. Thus people have looked outwards to ideals of nation, equality and other such higher notions than that of the newly 'mere' man.

Additionally, voters are being confronted with complex issues and don't understand them. This causes other issues in the system.
This, I agree with.

But frankly as I am with 7 months or so to the conclusion of my own undergraduate education, I am skeptical that too much ground can be made here without considerable investment.

The best solution as I see it is to ensure that the population is educated in the fields of [1] intellectual history or the thought of our great Western thinkers, [2] mathematical reasoning - a much more proof-orientated focus in later years, [3] moderately advanced statistics. Ensuring that the population can recognize the most competent candidates for governance seems it might prove more efficient in equipping our population to engage with good governance.

Another problem I see is that voters in the US have an unhealthy amount of skepticism toward

I have no interest in going back to pre-Enlightenment elitism, as much as I have in re-enabling the hierarchy that seems lost in our own age - that we have Clinton and Trump to contend with this coming election s skilled elites/technocrats.
I see this as an issue, too. I have no idea how to solve it.

If we want to make democratic systems work, I don't think going back to aristocratic elitism is the way to go.
The point of the argument I made is that democracy, done properly, always fosters elitism. There is, without a doubt, a political aristocracy that make better decisions for us than those otherwise. The competition that democracy fosters induces signalling of their competence to the population, who, as those affected, stand in the best position to choose. seems evidence enough that our most skilled have no interest in the job, either.

our elite as it exists today is fully trans-national or post-national[.]
Your elite was always trans-national and post-national* and that's why things like WWII happened. It's desire for system permanence on a global level - that of feudalism, imperialism, or modern liberal-internationalism - that a residual concern bleeds into the political process at a state level. Being able to operate at maximum efficiency on an international level necessarily requires the parts of such a sum aren't on fire.

I do entirely agree that our elites have grown more insulated as time past. Under feudalism, ones wealth was tied to that of their land and swapping into foreign-manufacturer pharmaceuticals wasn't an option but their fundamental value still lies on the proles deciding to not just fuck shit up more generally and it as such remains in their interests to placate them. Or, in other words, state-permanence is a much more inherent quality of the elites than it is the the populace because the elites never benefit from departure from the norm and are thus inherently conservative** and their dominance of political communication is a stabilizing factor - it sets slow moving boundaries. We can see with populism that the fringe rather rapidly begins to descend out of our control.

---

* I did my IPE term paper on the development of an outward orientation among the Finnish elite and it's all to do with relative returns. Being as the protected industries stagnate, especially relative to expanding international markets, you can always expect international-orientated elites to win. And once they get that inch it is very difficult to revert back to the preceding order.

** But keeping in mind that who are the elites is variable and conservationism implies some gentle change. And I do see letting the gays hold hands in public as pretty gentle in the grand scheme of things.

[...] no skin in the game [...]
I take your Merkel and raise you Cecil Rhodes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Rhodes).

[...] they're more likely to see our values as antiquated roadblocks that stand in their way [...]
I figure there is a difference between micro- and macro-values here. Our elites stand for macro-values, such as the characteristics we typically associate with liberalism - i.e. individualism, markets, etc. - whilst, yes, I would agree typically see micro-values - such as the Danish love for pork - as 'antiquated roadblocks'. For those reason I have always supported a popular assembly to check their ambitions.

Porpoise101
October 12th, 2016, 09:06 PM
Except this isn't quite true. Those that support Sanders or Trump are certainly enthused about politics and the political process - whilst at the same time both groups of support might be skeptical or doubtful of the political process. To me is what I see as the great challenge of our generation, maintaining an enthusiasm about the centerground that seems to have dissipated as of late.

Are they really engaged with the whole process? Sure, they soak up one-sided media reports and have anger and passion. But I have a feeling that most radicals nowadays have a tendency to distance themselves from the mainstream. You see, there are three parts of what I call the political world: Government, Citizen, and Media. Currently, Trumpies and Berners overly focus on the Citizen part, cherry pick the media part, and want to throw the government part out the window. That isn't engagement, it is revolution.


The preceding is highly speculative half-thoughts,

Part of it to me seems to be that man - and man was always the center of liberalism - has been vacated of her transcendental qualities - rational, dignified, etc. - that initially characterized it as the subject of liberal politics. This occurred in the shift of discourse towards a more post-humanist - if you might - discussion of her. Man, you see, was reduced to a mere intersection of social forces in the wake of modern social-justice rhetoric - and the discourse of transhumanism - genetic engineering, etc. - medicalised our understanding of her, otherwise.

The individual has ceased to be something special and, as such, governments that elevate it as its primary purpose to protect the individual, have lost credibility. Thus people have looked outwards to ideals of nation, equality and other such higher notions than that of the newly 'mere' man.

I agree. I feel like ideals like democracy and human rights were held in a higher regard than what they currently are today. Individual protections have been shelved in favor of group protections. And there is less of an incentive in our culture to foster improvement of self.

The best solution as I see it is to ensure that the population is educated in the fields of [1] intellectual history or the thought of our great Western thinkers, [2] mathematical reasoning - a much more proof-orientated focus in later years, [3] moderately advanced statistics. Ensuring that the population can recognize the most competent candidates for governance seems it might prove more efficient in equipping our population to engage with good governance.

Anything that prevents radicalization I am fine with honestly. If that means fostering critical thinking, then that sits well with me. I think this list lacks one thing: the importance of values. Our culture is disregarding the wholesome community-oriented worldview of the past in some ways. Truth is no longer paramount and the ends always seem to justify the means. I am guilty of that of course, but all idealists see themselves as failures I am sure.

I see this as an issue, too. I have no idea how to solve it.

Ban Internet :cool:

The point of the argument I made is that democracy, done properly, always fosters elitism. There is, without a doubt, a political aristocracy that make better decisions for us than those otherwise. The competition that democracy fosters induces signalling of their competence to the population, who, as those affected, stand in the best position to choose. seems evidence enough that our most skilled have no interest in the job, either.

Fair enough, but in a democracy 'done properly' an aristocracy won't form in all likeliness because it would be completely merit-based. Of course, the ablest of our people should lead us. But to say that such duties should be heritable is a path to ruin.

Flapjack
October 13th, 2016, 10:02 AM
My opinion on this is quite simple, hell no xD Someone should not have political power given to them because of who gave birth to them. That is obviously unfair but also harmful, there are poorer people born in the middle of nowhere that have the potential to go on and contribute loads, this is why we need to help the poor!

Also there is the people born into wealth and power that are fruit loops and would be harmful.

Look at all the Monarchs in English history that got power because of their parents and were terrible leaders, sometimes even crazy.

Drunkenprofesser
October 13th, 2016, 10:15 AM
Look at all the Monarchs in English history that got power because of their parents and were terrible leaders, sometimes even crazy.

Not to mention in many cases inbred :D

Flapjack
October 13th, 2016, 10:18 AM
Not to mention in many cases inbred :D
Trueeee xD I get there are benefits but the whole inheriting power just feels so antiquated today.

phuckphace
October 13th, 2016, 10:27 AM
I'm going to play devil's advocate here in the interest of impartiality.

disclosure: I'm the next Hitler.

It is my firm belief that a dictatorship is the perfect form of government if done right.

"if done right" - sure. there are several other forms of government that were great or at least decent when done right, but that's not really the issue that concerns people - historically we're more likely to end up with government done wrong.

even democracy isn't so bad when suffrage is limited and not handed out to anything with a pulse. I'd willingly live in early 1800s America or UK and like it.

most democratic governments claim that they are in office to serve the people and make there lives better.

we have historical examples of this being more or less true. therefore the issue seems to be one of implementation rather than inherent flaws.

in practice this does not really work, yes policies are implemented and laws passed but the system takes forever to enforce any change, politicians are more concerned with being elected to office and keeping office, than they are with actually changing anything.

in a functioning democracy, the high wait times for implementing policy changes are seen as a desirable alternative to the volatile instability of autocratic governments. that's to say, many people would prefer spending extra time arguing policy and maybe getting something done, to giving deference to an autocrat who a) probably doesn't know what the fuck he's doing and b) does it anyway. I'd rather wait five years for new policy crafted by a governing body with public input, than wake up tomorrow to new policy that the dictator jotted down on the back of an envelope during a long bubble bath.

for example, in my country of australia we have a television program that broadcasts the procedings from the regular meetings of pariliment. 99% of the time, they spend bickering like school children "he said this" or "she called me that" and nothing gets done. more importatnly half of the electoral term is spent campaigning and issuing false promises in order to get into office.

again I think your issue rests with the influence of postmodernism on Australia's politics. rewind back to the White Australia era and now what do you see? far fewer upside-down SJWs and a saner society, that's what.

a dictatorship removes this element and gives government the power to streamline decisions and implement change immediately[...]

change that can be either good or bad. you are underestimating the negative effects of sudden change, especially of the wrong kind.

the economy depends heavily on a predictable and stable political environment. it's much more difficult for business and investment to occur if the autocrat in charge personally sets economic and monetary policy without knowing what he's doing or consulting those who do. if he fucks with the wrong thing at the wrong time, the economy will go into a tailspin.

which in theory sounds Utopian

actually sounds more like Uncle Joe v2.0.

whereas in practice, is less so, with examples being Hitler and kim jong il among others.

Hitler and Kim are both examples of what I mentioned above - they held power without responsibility and with god-complexes to boot. a smart autocrat would say to himself, "hey, I'm a 30-something former prole who never got a proper education, maybe I should hire some expert help" and puts up HELP WANTED signs for seasoned economic and geopolitical advisors. he adds these people to his regime and listens to what they say before acting/not acting. that's exactly what I'd do, but what chances do I really have?

what is needed is a hybrid form of dictatorship where the dictator still has the power, but is directly answerable to the collective people.

the best you could hope for is a benevolent dictator who chooses to concern himself with the needs of the public (this could include people's tribunes and/or binding referendums). but that's impermanent because a dictator isn't going to be around forever and there's always a power vacuum to fight over once he dies.

Vlerchan
October 14th, 2016, 04:16 PM
Fair enough, but in a democracy 'done properly' an aristocracy won't form in all likeliness because it would be completely merit-based.
I should clarify in this case.

I was using aristocracy to refer to those naturally-gifted people that one would expect would rise to the top under perfect political competition. In such case as out democratic government doesn't elevate those we should aim for the next-best-possible approximation - which one should expect to emerge given the correct rules of selection.

---

I also agree with your revised definition of the political process.

It might be the baseness of the era I grew up in contributing towards me thinking of it in only the basest terms :P.

Someone should not have political power given to them because of who gave birth to them.
I explicitly endorsed a lottocratic conception - i.e. based on a lotto - of aristocratic governance which took into account educational attainment, so you will need to address this in separate terms.

That is obviously unfair[.]
Enlighten me please.

[...] but also harmful, there are poorer people born in the middle of nowhere that have the potential to go on and contribute loads
Under the HoL arrangement poor people are neither blocked from engaging in commerce and influencing government through that means or attaining peerage in later life and serving from then on. There is also getting elected into the democratic tribunals but the argument being built here is on the premise that such election processes are broken.

So, the best still have a chance to 'contribute loads'. The system just has a natural bias in favor of those with certain characteristics - an interest in the long-run permanence of the state.

[...] this is why we need to help the poor!
This isn't relevant to the argument I am making which says nothing about the relative levels of assistance that should be offered to the poor.

Also there is the people born into wealth and power that are fruit loops and would be harmful.
It's fortunate that I did not suggest absolute monarchy then. Though, regency councils.


disclosure: I'm the next Hitler.
If I am completely honest I am more-so putting these arguments out because I don't want to read another post about Trump, than genuine belief.

It's been fun though.

Flapjack
October 14th, 2016, 04:32 PM
I explicitly endorsed a lottocratic conception - i.e. based on a lotto - of aristocratic governance which took into account educational attainment, so you will need to address this in separate terms.
So you want a lottery for who can join the ruling class?

Trust meeee I am all for taking into account educational attainment mainly to counter the climate change deniers.

My problem is, how would this work in practice? Who elects these smart cookies? Would they elect themselves? Corruption issue potential.

My second issue would be the will of the people, I think an aristocratic government would naturally go towards self interest and so away from the will of the people and that is bad for issues like worker's rights and minimum wage but also just because it is dangerous to have a population resent the government.


So, the best still have a chance to 'contribute loads'. The system just has a natural bias in favor of those with certain characteristics - an interest in the long-run permanence of the state.

If we're basing on academia and we give free education to everyone and decent state financial assistance I do not think the poor will have such a big disadvantage that will remove them of the chance to join the ruling class.

Same issue as before, who chooses these people?

I will be honest here, even if there was no corruption and smart people were chosen fairly, I still wouldn't like it because the less intelligent and less wealthy would still not be represented.

Sorry I rambled a lot here

Vlerchan
October 14th, 2016, 05:08 PM
So you want a lottery for who can join the ruling class?
Yes. From a pool of pre-selected candidates.

I should add that this doesn't grant a person peerage for life. Terms would be conservatively established at two years and people can hold a maximum of one term.

My problem is, how would this work in practice? Who elects these smart cookies? Would they elect themselves? Corruption issue potential.
There election is through lotto.

If you mean, what sort of people would find themselves in this pool: I would imagine those with a 1.1 degree - I would probably specify postgraduate since the selection process for entrance is cleaner and less dependent on initial socioeconomic conditions - from a top university in your country*. Rankings would be independently compiled as is current practice.

Thus, little chance for corruption.

---

* On the grounds of full disclosure, this would not include me or anyone in my family. It would include Paraxiom - however - since he attends TCD.

[...] the will of the people [...]
If the people are morans it's never going to follow that their collective will is somehow enlightened.

I think an aristocratic government would naturally go towards self interest[.]
This is a fair enough claim. There would be a democratically-elected lower house to check them from acting too grossly in their own interests. But the point of an aristocratic house is to stop grand deviations politics centered around state-permanence so it would be required to lean in their interest to that end and their role would be to maintain lower taxes, free trade, and so on, since this serves the interests of the state's greater, long-run prosperity.

[...] it is dangerous to have a population resent the government [...]
Happening regardless.

Though, you are free to point me to the good words you have said about the British Tories in past posts.

If we're basing on academia and we give free education to everyone and decent state financial assistance I do not think the poor will have such a big disadvantage that will remove them of the chance to join the ruling class.
When we look at the actual evidence - free third-level education and decent state financial assistance (whatever that actually mean) seem to have a very modest on the prospects of the lower-class though that is a topic for another thread.

Same issue as before, who chooses these people?
There's already a sitting House of Lords in England. People have been traditionally added by royal ascent - which there's an incentive to offer sparingly [because the people can vote out the monarchy at any moment - etc.]

I still wouldn't like it because the less intelligent and less wealthy would still not be represented.
I'm not sure why this is a necessarily bad thing.

Sorry I rambled a lot here
You didn't really. And thanks for contributing, since I was hoping for a more left-wing voice to raise these arguments.

PlasmaHam
October 14th, 2016, 11:48 PM
I have no real stances on the idea of a modern aristocracy, so that's why I've been just an observer until now. I've honestly never heard of such an idea, and while my inner libertarian disagrees with it, I am open-minded to the idea of it. I just wanted to ask a few questions and analyze a few arguments that I found lacking.
That's part of the problem, but education isn't valued because it isn't funded and because part of the educational system is entrenched between extreme wealthy communities and extremely poor communities. Each respective school district in each state, county, and city, only providing the quality education as the cash-flow on hand.

Bad principles aren't fired quickly enough, parents back-talk teachers, the curriculum is too fast for some, too slow for others, and people's potential to grow their minds aren't reached enough. Education really needs to be more individualized and promote respect better, as well as civic duty. (I believe this concept was addressed months ago regarding "Duty" by Judean Zealot, where did he go by the way?)
I totally agree with you about the need for major changes in US education. School should not be for just learning formulas and history, but how to be responsible and respectful citizens. I really feel that would fix many problems in this decaying world.


The best solution as I see it is to ensure that the population is educated in the fields of [1] intellectual history or the thought of our great Western thinkers.
I'm a history buff here, and I will say that it would be very very difficult to effectively teach intellectual history and to talk of great thinkers without simply preaching your version of it. For nearly every great man in history, there are varying interpretation of his life and message, and determining who exactly is a great man is a challenge in-and-of itself. Would Karl Marx be considered a great man? Is Jeremy Bentham a great man, while Immanuel Kant is not? As I will say here and at other times, I am very skeptical of government programs that could easily become indoctrination lessons.


I should clarify in this case.

I was using aristocracy to refer to those naturally-gifted people that one would expect would rise to the top under perfect political competition. In such case as out democratic government doesn't elevate those we should aim for the next-best-possible approximation - which one should expect to emerge given the correct rules of selection.

I explicitly endorsed a lottocratic conception - i.e. based on a lotto - of aristocratic governance which took into account educational attainment, so you will need to address this in separate terms.

Trust meeee I am all for taking into account educational attainment mainly to counter the climate change deniers.
I usually don't find much use for Flapjack's indoctrination posts, but he made a very good point that I don't think he actually realized he made. There are plenty of issues in which both sides claim to have the more scientific arguments; climate change, abortion, LGBT+, racism. When you have people like Flapjack who believe that only their opinion is right, wouldn't that interfere with considering who is best qualified. After all, if the competition was between me and someone with almost identical knowledge, except that said person believed in a leftist opinion of science, then who do you think Flapjack(I know I keep using Flapjack, but he is the perfect example) will chose? The other guy, because their ideologies are similar. The same could be done even in a group, if the majority of opinions are the same, and I find that scary.

I am almost curious of why you prioritized educational attainment over other, more practical things like real-world experience and actual political know-how. I'm not trying to be prideful or whatnot, but I'm pretty sure I know more about politics, and probably everything, than the increasingly common SJW gender-studies major who demands the government pay their debts. But on a more serious note, educational attainment does not define the wisdom, experience, and political knowledge that person has, which is in my opinion far more important than being able to divide quadratic functions or knowing how to do surgery.

I have seen college graduates who don't have the slightest knowledge of how the government works, on the flip side I have seen many people who never went to college with intimate knowledge of policy making and political maneuvering. My great-uncle for instance, no college education, started multiple businesses in the 1990s and 2000s that has brought him great success and he is a literal millionaire(I sure hope he leaves me in his will, don't we all hope for a rich uncle:P). Yet in a system that prioritizes educational attainment through college like you seemed to have implied multiple times, he would be considered less in this aristocracy lottery thing than the gender-studies grad who is living off government handouts in his mother's basement.
If I am completely honest I am more-so putting these arguments out because I don't want to read another post about Trump, than genuine belief.
This election debate has gone from actual policy discussions to a sissy fight of accusations and wrongs. I'm honestly getting sick of it from both sides, which is part of the reason I am posting here, to get a non-election debate started.

So you want a lottery for who can join the ruling class?
Sorry I rambled a lot here
I don't agree with Flapjack's claims that such a system is bad because it would be oppressive to the poor, you could argue that on just about any system of government, except communism, and that is only because we will all be poor. But I do agree with him that this could result in a centralization of power. As I will discuss more detail, Flapjack bought up numerous good points that I feel weren't accurately answered. First off...

Yes. From a pool of pre-selected candidates.

I should add that this doesn't grant a person peerage for life. Terms would be conservatively established at two years and people can hold a maximum of one term.

There election is through lotto.
If you mean, what sort of people would find themselves in this pool: I would imagine those with a 1.1 degree - I would probably specify postgraduate since the selection process for entrance is cleaner and less dependent on initial socioeconomic conditions - from a top university in your country. This took me awhile to understand, as the USA uses a totally different measurement of college success. This I am skeptical about. Is a graduate of a fancy college has greater political standing than someone with no degree or a lesser degree? Bring back the early discussion regarding the multi-millionaire with no degree versus college grad making 100 thousand a year. You seem to suggesting a system based entirely around academic success, which I find seriously, seriously flawed.

As a modern American teenager, I can tell you that the only people who get into those great colleges, are those who basically devote almost all their childhood to it. I actually wish to enjoy my childhood right now; doing hobbies, playing sports, and debating people on the internet, so my options don't really include Harvard or whatnot, no matter my intellectual prowess.
Happening regardless.
Talk about it:(

To sum up, I am very curious if you could put out a more detailed plan into how this aristocracy would be formed, and what exactly goes into choosing candidates for it. I am also curious of how this government would exist. You've hinted at it numerous times, but I can't quite seem to see the big picture of it. My biggest problem with your argument is the almost total basis on academic success when it comes to this. I hope you will understand my reasoning behind this.

Vlerchan
October 15th, 2016, 05:58 AM
Would Karl Marx be considered a great man? Is Jeremy Bentham a great man, while Immanuel Kant is not? As I will say here and at other times, I am very skeptical of government programs that could easily become indoctrination lessons.
If one is to take a view that there persists a certain ideological bias in education then teaching that other values exists and were once legitimately valued seems a fruitful exercise, in and of itself. It probably does and that's the main reason that I proposed that students should aim to get a grasp of ideas outside their usual realm of thought, that there might be some leftward or rightward bias in their training does not undermine the greater purpose.

Nevertheless, the same criticisms can be applied to all teaching of history: should the role of the French and Spanish in the American War of Independence be emphasized?, for example. That we do, or do not, does not undermine the function of history in improving our ability to critically analyse and interrupt the past. I would argue that it is in fact easier to select the key thinkers in Western political philosophy (every college course is based around the same few) than it is to select the key events in Western history.

Fundamentally, I am hoping to more impart the skills to allow one to act as a good citizen than specific knowledge - in large part out of the specific recognition that offering specific knowledge in the humanities is difficult without imposing bias. Learning the intellectual history of our political universe allows students to grapple with ideas well outside their usual frame of mind: and be humbled insofar as their own political positions are concerned.

---

One replacement might be a good foundation in constitutional, criminal, and perhaps something like company or contract law. Landmark cases are landmark cases irrespective of opinion, and it does open up students to a broad range of thinking about issues that one typically takes for granted. Though, I feel that intellectual history is stronger, in this regard.

The other guy, because their ideologies are similar. The same could be done even in a group, if the majority of opinions are the same, and I find that scary.
The exact reason I propose that we select our representatives by lotto and select the pool of potential representatives through reference to some unbiased criterion.

I am almost curious of why you prioritized educational attainment over other, more practical things like real-world experience and actual political know-how.
There is some recognition of real-world know-how insofar as I prioritize those that are n - as in some fixed number - of years from graduation, and in all likelihood have professional jobs and have developed substantial links to their post-childhood communities. Nonetheless, real-world experience is incredibly difficult to quantify and it's dubious that it grants one the capabilities to grapple with the problem of our age as opposed to engage in immediate reflection of their pasts.

The same can be claimed about political know-how. But - worse still - is that it's interpretation is open to significantly more bias than either prior criteria. Like, using Flapjack as an example again, what do you think he would characterize as political know-how versus yourself?

There is also a positive reason insofar as using educational attainment is concerned. It is typically associated with a certain range of critical thinking abilities - and even those in gender studies are capable of a range of critical thought - but also implies a position for them in the world in which they have a stake in the preservation of the current politico-economic system, generally speaking. This stabilizes all political association, grounding it to the center-ground.

My great-uncle for instance, no college education, started multiple businesses in the 1990s and 2000s that has brought him great success and he is a literal millionaire(I sure hope he leaves me in his will, don't we all hope for a rich uncle).
I am in agreement that a college education doesn't lead one to greatness. For example, not a single one of my own uncles graduated high-school (everyone on my mom's side dropped out at 15/6 so they could work and eat) but all went on to found businesses and did quite well for themselves. I am not sure how well - it's unusual in Irish culture for people to make others aware of how much they are worth - but at least one was worth a few million at one stage (I found out recently). So I am no stranger to this idea.

Nonetheless,
The typical characteristics of a college graduate are better honed to governance than that of a non-college graduate. If we want to get into probability theory a randomly chosen college graduate should be expected to have better skillset for governance than one who is not a college graduate [E(x) = mean] :: [E(skills | college graduate) = c(good governance)].
What happened with my uncles, and your great-uncle, is increasingly untypical and thus the chance of that occurring with a random draw is increasingly unlikely. There has been spikes where technological-capability has surpassed that which college actually teaches (think the TechBoom but also more recent cases with apps and cloud-technology) but with college opened to a much wider range of individuals than what was the case previous, the self-educated entrepreneur is becoming a statistically rarer.
Your great-uncle, and my uncle, can rest assured that the statistical likelihood is that those exercising power on their behalf are more like them. In the case that these people aren't - say one of my uncle's is a raging Trotskyite or something - then one can either use their wealth to lobby for change off elected officials or run as an elected official themselves. These people don't lose vis-a-vis the current system with regards to their actual political rights.
There is the issue of the gender-studies grad who lives off of welfare but [1] it is unlikely that these people would be chosen where E(x) is an unbiased estimator of the population and thus his voice would be drowned out - and [2] irrespective of that I feel that those in the pool should be required to be n years out so at least there would be some sense of real-world experience.

[...] actual policy discussions [...]
I'm not sure what it's like living in America but I'm not so sure it is correct to claim that this was the position in the first place :P.

You seem to suggesting a system based entirely around academic success, which I find seriously, seriously flawed.
There will be outliers - like Bill Gates: But as I suggested he has the cash then to lobby elected officials to represent his interests - but I am selecting educational attainment because you can typically associate a set of valuable characteristics with those who are of a certain level of education.

I feel I should also add that I don't just mean Ivy League colleges, if we are to look at the United States. The pool should certainly encompass more than the top 1% - 2%. It's easier to offer examples in terms of Ireland since I have a better understanding of the education system but in the United States I would imagine that anything inside, say, the top 40.

I am also curious of how this government would exist. You've hinted at it numerous times, but I can't quite seem to see the big picture of it.
There would be an elected lower house and a non-elected upper house. There might be a president - though in Ireland there wouldn't be (at least not one with legislative powers). It would operate like ones typical parliament thereafter. Lower house would be able to propose legislation and the upper house, that representing the aristocratics, would have a right to veto it (it would have no right to amendment). It would probably be the case that a super-majority in the lower house can over-ride such a veto.

The functioning of the European Union is an interesting case of this. Where the non-elected technocratic commission suggests legislation - the elected parliament chooses whether to pass it or not - and the council of states (who almost always vote together) are then capable of vetoing the end-product.

I hope you will understand my reasoning behind this.
I do. Though even with its flaws, it's the best approximation of a certain, valuable mindset, that we have.

Hope I have helped with your concerns anyways. Ask more questions if you have them, please don't make me go back to Clinton v Trump for the 125638th argument on Islam.

Paraxiom
October 15th, 2016, 10:00 PM
Many apologies for my late entrance here. I strongly tend to respond to the threads I look forward to most, last (and/or those which I feel I need to interact more in personally).
(I also broke my 'number of quotes in a post' number, which I think is now 49.)


Longtime posters here are aware that I have an uneasy relationship with the idea of democratic governance.

I am yes. (Consider me in a similar relationship with the idea.)


The theoretical argument for it is simple, political skill doesn't seem prone to genetic transfers, but is easily recognizable in a select few, as individuals are self-interested these can be counted on to elect discover and elect the select few. I am more than able to believe that this was true for centuries, though I question whether it can be claimed to be true in our age. This isn't because of Trump, but rather it's a reflection on longstanding political trends. In particular, those that relate to how politics was communicated.

Sure - a minority of people have abilities which can be considered critically useful in state formation and maintenance. Everyone (or most people at least) have a capacity to be better than most others at a certain thing. This is no different here, it does not have to be taken in a bad way. It is literally one meaning of being elite (though I can't unlearn the usual implicitly-derogatory meaning yet, hence my uncommon use of the term).


We live in an era where, increasingly: elites, those with a stake in the long-run prosperity of the system (for reasons that can be explained), are unable to direct political thought and concentration.

I'm going to assume from now on that by 'elites' you mean those who are genuinely adept at maintaining a state, rather than those who are in the system for self-serving/dysfunctional/corrupt reasons/desires/etc. These elites (I assume) you speak of are mostly either not in the system, or are in the system but with no significant power.


This is down to two reasons, 1. elites work much, much longer than they did in preceding centuries, 2. there has been a complete decentralisation of the media - which has prompted increased competition between media outlets, inspiring shock-treatment -, with the former limiting the size of potential investment and the latter limiting the power of it.

So you are saying that decentralisation of the media away from governmental control is toward capitalist-driven forces for quantity of information over quality, have I read correctly?

I feel that there is always an underlying set of presumptions and beliefs what most of the media holds when it comes to their overall portrayal of the world and the events in different areas of it (that media in the e.g. UK will tend to be more biased toward their own govt actions than of Russian govt actions, and vice-versa, even between the left and right within one country), but I get you totally with tabloids and such. Sensationalism and a huge speed and volume (though usually over time homogeneous) of flow of information with advertising is more powerful than ever before.


This is bad. Elite guidance keeps us grounded to a set of political norms - norms like what we have seen Trump, for example, thrash in the last twelve months - and without shared norms it becomes impossible to discuss ideas with each other. This is where the current era polarisation is grounded, the lack of a bridge in the form of elite-meditation. Furthermore, it creates a fertile ground for populism, where the people - who have no similar stake in system-permanence - have a greater level of control about the direction their politics takes (and I have argued before that this is bad).

If you mean that we need an elite group for a state who communicate with us and vice-versa through them giving guidance on what should/will be done with certain things here and there, then I am fine with that (it could go further with the non-elite having a right to hear the arguments that the elite have for why they do XYZ etc, but I will stay quiet for now).

If you mean that we need media to be government-controlled in a conservative manner that acts as a mediator between the elite and the non-elite, then I am not as such convinced, as it reminds me of general government-imposed conservative views that are really open to propaganda and rhetoric, which is a sign of and/or leads to corruption and all the other things I really don't want state elitism to be.


There's been implicit recognition of this in technocratic solutions I have posed in the past.

I either wasn't around to see them or I was silly enough not to look properly, but either way I think I can generally guess what you mean and where you are at with such ideas.


But given the events of last night [...]

Another presidential debate? :P (understandable, I have avoided watching them all...)


[...] I decided to make it explicit: we need an aristocracy. Some state-systems benefit from a historical hereditary nobility whose wealth is tied to the stocks of land and other durable assets - re., the British HoL - but in the case of those with a more meritocratic creed - like the United States, and Ireland - I suggest selection by lotto of high-scoring graduates from top schools, n years out from graduation, to check our public representatives.

I'm glad you didn't keep with the hereditary aristocratic model that you mentioned there (you got me there for a moment). I interpret your aristocracy as a state system composed of a group of people who are elite in their skills relevant to maintaining the order of the state.

Whatever about the theoretical meritocratic framework of the USA and Ireland (which I strongly feel is mostly not practiced or is done so badly because of corruption/greed/etc), your proposal is attractive to me.

I have a few questions though (of course). What value will n take? If you haven't decided then I understand; if you mean to have it as a variable which changes randomly/otherwise per e.g. year, is that to maintain an age-diverse elite? I'm not implying that I would judge you for having an elite which is of specific age in maintenance or just 'renewal', only wondering.

If we are to have an elite of a state that is thoroughly guarded against corruption/greed and all those things, and also highly efficient in its practice, then that means we need a particular kind of education system (as the education is the foundation of the whole system).

What education system do you propose? I mean this with its span of time for students with terms and day lengths, the range of topics covered and the diversity in their presentation to students, the grading system, and such.

I don't want to act the ungrateful and over-demanding interrogator, so feel free to not feel obliged to appease me fully. :P


So, where our current politics fails to grant ascension to our natural aristocrats, we need to re-discover our own.

A respectable goal.


Maybe the biggest issue with modern democratic nations is that the people aren't engaged enough in the process.

You can say that again, though with " 'democratic' " instead, I feel.

Leaving aside what I feel is a dysfunctional psychological relationship that most of the populations of states have toward their govts, there is very little interaction between the population and the govt that is apart from only some of the population (half-)looking at debates and general political news (and only a few of the larger stories at a time) through the media. Other than that there is your occasional referendum, general election or local election. Nothing else practically.


People are not civic-minded, especially the youth. If people don't take part in the process then it cannot be truly democratic and work properly.

By 'civic-minded' do you mean having knowledge and experience of interacting in society economically? Sorry if I have misunderstood.


Additionally, voters are being confronted with complex issues and don't understand them. This causes other issues in the system.

Well, I feel it's a mix of (some(/most), I won't generalise) voters being either mentally lazy or unable to think properly about the econo-political realm they are part of, and issues being presented to the voters through mainstream media in an unnecessarily complicated or badly-explained way (along with some issues arguably not even being issues beyond making problems where there are none).


Another problem I see is that voters in the US have an unhealthy amount of skepticism towards skilled elites/technocrats. This is bad because these people are actually productive and are invaluable for crafting policy and guiding the well-being of the nation.

Perhaps some of the scepticism is justified in that some of the skilled elites have an unsavoury attitude that goes with their personality and/or worldview, but I'm confident that you are right in that most people probably just don't like them mainly for (subconscious?) reasons of jealousy or "those people high up just don't understand my life and what I need!" (which I can easily sympathise with given certain contexts, but not when it is generalised)


If we want to make democratic systems work, I don't think going back to aristocratic elitism is the way to go. We need to instead engage the public with education and civic action and foster respect for skilled experts who will lead the way.

Theoretically it could happen, but I see the US as being irreversibly ruined when it comes to being clean of corruption/greed/etc etc.

In general though, democracy determines the value of your views in e.g. elections fundamentally by the happenstance number of other people who also have your views, correct? Is a strictly exherently-quantified value system like this inherently* defensible?

(*no pun intended)

I'm not specifically talking about egalitarianism here, though you can make it relevant if you feel it is so in responding to this (which I'd like, but no obligation).


That's part of the problem, but education isn't valued because it isn't funded and because part of the educational system is entrenched between extreme wealthy communities and extremely poor communities. Each respective school district in each state, county, and city, only providing the quality education as the cash-flow on hand.


Bad principles aren't fired quickly enough, parents back-talk teachers, the curriculum is too fast for some, too slow for others, and people's potential to grow their minds aren't reached enough. Education really needs to be more individualized and promote respect better, as well as civic duty. (I believe this concept was addressed months ago regarding "Duty" by Judean Zealot, where did he go by the way?)

The problems are many, and it starts with the broken Congress to be honest, not the President.

You're assuming that Vlerchan's view of education is a system that is similar with / the same as the theoretical/practical education system currently in the US, though.


our elite as it exists today is fully trans-national or post-national, with entirely different ideals and motivations than the populace, which by contrast has a real and tangible stake in system-permanence.

I'd guess that populism is an exception to this (ye olde Trump), but it's a general trend that the populace follows (in whatever ways) the elite with their views rather than the other way around, yes.


perhaps I misread you but it's a real head-scratcher to suggest that the elites have the highest stake - it's rather the case that they have some stake but also 1000 times the insulation.

for example if Germany lets in 800,000 refugees per annum, or if they let in zero, it may affect Angela Merkel's reelection chances, but it certainly won't affect her in a personal way because she enjoys the elite's detachment from the effects of her own actions. to Merkel and those like her, these kinds of policy decisions essentially rest on what she anticipates to read about herself in the headlines, while by contrast your everyday citizen bears the full brunt of everything like rising crime and that special 2016 feeling of being a foreigner in one's own country.

A great point - this highlights a big factor in my disposition to dislike elites hugely. If not done properly (I feel that Vlerchan is intending to make it be done properly though), elites slide (intentionally or not) into an exalted state of feeling/being supremely suspended over what they view now as their dominion, where they are literally of quasi-god-form by having great ability ('by definition' almost) to affect the realm, but with the realm being unable to affect them beyond anything negligible. It's a one-way interaction, and I'm not too much of a fan of metaphorical one-way interrogation room glass here.


from our perspective, the elites are basically aliens from outer space who live in a rainbows-and-butterflies VR simulation that is about as far removed from our own realities and concerns as it's possible to be - whether this is due to a literal and intentional conspiracy or simple lack of exposure and experience beyond what is experienced in their echo chamber is another topic (but I'm going to go ahead and say "it's both.") I actually would not be surprised if Merkel's actions were not conspiratorial and she really does literally believe that +800K Ahmeds a year is beneficial for Germany - she has no children of her own and ergo lacks a parent's concern for what kind of world will be left for one's children. no skin in the game.

Good imagery. :P I can only agree.

I'll add thought too that there's an added psychological trend where elites can be seen almost like 'state-scale parents' where people like to think that they have a justified charm because they own a powerful position, and/or that these people genuinely want to help us. Quasi-gods again.


populism arises because the elites are, through conspiracy or apathy, completely disinterested in permanence as it relates to our values (they're more likely to see our values as antiquated roadblocks that stand in their way) and this collective dissatisfaction eventually leads to the common man dragging his Sturmabteilung helmet out of storage.

*Enter Trump*

(*facepalm*)


the old elite had a clear stake in and allegiance to their nation which is now almost completely absent - it's a critical must-have basis for their noblesse oblige, as is a worldview influenced by Christianity. I'm skeptical that this can be cranked out of elite schools ("I memorized the Elite Edition ruleset, I'm boss now") and also that this wouldn't just lead to more of the same polarization and a stratified set of opposing social values that plagues us now.

A problem in a few ways, indeed.


I understand what you mean by grassroots change, I digress, but grassroots can only go so far when there is this toxic polarization at a deep level to the point where large swaths of people believe that college is some evil "liberal agenda brainwashing the youth".

That's the kind of people Trump supporter's are, both young and old, and he does have some young support.

It's a fine set of lines that 'grassroots change' would need to be done through, agreed, but I don't see it as impossible.

Populism for its own bare sake is not the way though, yeah, no. Coupling it with some reasonable arguments could work amazingly though.


not to disagree with what has been said but might I propose a different view? It is my firm belief that a dictatorship is the perfect form of government if done right.

"Perfect" ... "if done right."

Sure... but if it goes wrong then you have a fun (and perhaps short) time ahead of you.


now I know you are going to disagree with me but hear me out. most democratic governments claim that they are in office to serve the people and make there lives better. in practice this does not really work, yes policies are implemented and laws passed but the system takes forever to enforce any change, politicians are more concerned with being elected to office and keeping office, than they are with actually changing anything. for example, in my country of australia we have a television program that broadcasts the procedings from the regular meetings of pariliment. 99% of the time, they spend bickering like school children "he said this" or "she called me that" and nothing gets done. more importatnly half of the electoral term is spent campaigning and issuing false promises in order to get into office. a dictatorship removes this element and gives government the power to streamline decisions and implement change immediately, which in theory sounds Utopian, whereas in practice, is less so, with examples being Hitler and kim jong il among others. what is needed is a hybrid form of dictatorship where the dictator still has the power, but is directly answerable to the collective people. i.e if a policy is implimented that is not in the peoples best interests, then the dictator is directly liable to being diposed. this would mean having the country's military under the control of a military council rather than by the dictator himself. well thats my two cents worth. its not perfect but I really think its better than what we have got

Democracy in it's actual/illusory practices may be stubborn for coherent change when different factions go this way and that, but is it necessary to think it better that a huge swing is taken to see brute force absolute political power as the answer here?

Robust coherent change/stasis is one thing, but it's a horrendous situation if it happens to be nasty dictator who is behind it and who makes it robust nasty change/stasis. Dictatorships can tend to cultivate large egos too, so at least most people would be corrupted in some way - think of the One Ring even...


Except this isn't quite true. Those that support Sanders or Trump are certainly enthused about politics and the political process - whilst at the same time both groups of support might be skeptical or doubtful of the political process. To me is what I see as the great challenge of our generation, maintaining an enthusiasm about the centerground that seems to have dissipated as of late.

Populism is a powerful motivator that can be used to fuel political interest, yes, but without proper substance to go with it (for me that would be Trump here) you end up having people running enthusiastically with a dangerous mess of this and that.

Populism is a good vehicle, and vehicles transport things rather than being nested in themselves as being what they transport (empty enthusiastic rhetoric/etc).


The preceding is highly speculative half-thoughts,

Part of it to me seems to be that man - and man was always the center of liberalism - has been vacated of her transcendental qualities - rational, dignified, etc. - that initially characterized it as the subject of liberal politics. This occurred in the shift of discourse towards a more post-humanist - if you might - discussion of her. Man, you see, was reduced to a mere intersection of social forces in the wake of modern social-justice rhetoric - and the discourse of transhumanism - genetic engineering, etc. - medicalised our understanding of her, otherwise.

(Interesting use of gender (which I like for its novelty).)

What I'm taking from this is that the view of technological progress as an end rather than a means is a big factor in dangerous aspects of modernist/post-modernist perspectives - that we should be progressing because that is a good thing, but we do it faster to a pace that we're less aware of what we are substantially doing in the moment event.

I'm all for advanced technology and everything, but things go 'awkward' (let's say that) when technology is effectively glorified in itself and as an end for us to revolve around, rather than as a vital but limited means that revolves around us.

Many are literally playing with technological forces that they do not fully comprehend, and the worst part of it is that it is, in a way, forces that fundamentally come from our own perceptions of what we are and of our relationship with the world and what it is for us.

(I'm not appearing to be conservative for the sake of it, worry not.)


The individual has ceased to be something special and, as such, governments that elevate it as its primary purpose to protect the individual, have lost credibility. Thus people have looked outwards to ideals of nation, equality and other such higher notions than that of the newly 'mere' man.

Interesting angle you are taking.

I had the impression that most govts were more concerned with their state holistically, and with individuality being expressed more than ever before in society. There are counter-aspects to this though that I can agree with you in, if you see celebrity culture and general personal style trends (as two exampled) being that which is emphasising the group over the individual. Paradoxically people are getting (subconsciously, mostly) sweeped up in this momentum, in the same society that is emphasising personal freedom.

I suppose that paragraph above would be speculative half-thought of my own here.


But frankly as I am with 7 months or so to the conclusion of my own undergraduate education, I am skeptical that too much ground can be made here without considerable investment.

Is your course 3 years long?


The best solution as I see it is to ensure that the population is educated in the fields of [1] intellectual history or the thought of our great Western thinkers, [2] mathematical reasoning - a much more proof-orientated focus in later years, [3] moderately advanced statistics.

(My eventual moment of question-spamming has arrived.)

What sort of 'great Western thinkers' are you thinking? Would intellectual history constitute looking at the lives and times of certain literary, philosophical, and political figures?

By mathematical reasoning do you mean logic systems (e.g. 1st-order predicate)?

Without being difficult, what about people with 'below average'/deficient mathematical and/or spatiotemporal and/or abstract cognitive abilities? (I don't necessarily mean those with dyscalculia or another neurodevelopmental disorder, though those would of course be relevant.)

Would these branches of history and mathematics be mandatory in this education system you propose?


Ensuring that the population can recognize the most competent candidates for governance seems it might prove more efficient in equipping our population to engage with good governance.

I can see your motivations there.


I see this as an issue, too. I have no idea how to solve it.

No issue with this, in that I like the honesty. Also, theories don't have to form fully at once.


I do entirely agree that our elites have grown more insulated as time past. Under feudalism, ones wealth was tied to that of their land and swapping into foreign-manufacturer pharmaceuticals wasn't an option but their fundamental value still lies on the proles deciding to not just fuck shit up more generally and it as such remains in their interests to placate them. Or, in other words, state-permanence is a much more inherent quality of the elites than it is the the populace because the elites never benefit from departure from the norm and are thus inherently conservative** and their dominance of political communication is a stabilizing factor - it sets slow moving boundaries. We can see with populism that the fringe rather rapidly begins to descend out of our control.

I understand the psychological aspects to being a member of the elite, which does make it not completely unjustifiable in their actions, but nevertheless a properly worked system should be actively moving past psychological tendencies that are easier to 'prevent' than 'cure'. I don't mean wiping human psychological nature to a level where we subscribe to a system we don't significantly emotionally/etc understand, I mean that certain psychological tendencies of ours (such as conservative nature with that which we value personally) need to be overridden (partially even( to make a system more efficient than would be intuitive to us. Hope this makes sense.


If I am completely honest I am more-so putting these arguments out because I don't want to read another post about Trump, than genuine belief.

Thank you!

Wise words here (not that what other things you say never are, of course).


It's been fun though.

I like to take that angle too.


If you mean, what sort of people would find themselves in this pool: I would imagine those with a 1.1 degree - I would probably specify postgraduate since the selection process for entrance is cleaner and less dependent on initial socioeconomic conditions - from a top university in your country*. Rankings would be independently compiled as is current practice.

Thus, little chance for corruption.

[...]

It would include Paraxiom - however - since he attends TCD.

I feel flattered to interpret what you're saying to be that I am eligible for your own aristocracy (clarifying is fine), but I'm also not appreciating the hint that I need to get a 1.1 grade or else. :D (I'll try my best.)


If the people are mor[o]ns it's never going to follow that their collective will is somehow enlightened.

Exactly.

(I altered the word for syntax because 'morans' tempted me to make humour out of a probably family name.)


I still wouldn't like it because the less intelligent and less wealthy would still not be represented.


I'm not sure why this is a necessarily bad thing.

I'm talking about Flapjack's 'less intelligent' part here, for which I guess I agree with Vlerchan in response to it.

I am for representation, where possible, being of a few people out of a large demographic who all share some traits, but with the representation being done by that few of the group who have other traits which make them good at representing the others.

Middle-of-the-bell-curve (crude description on my part, I know) intelligence (in whatever way it's quantified) is somewhat vague and as a trait that could be expressed in state representation (and as a trait that deserves to be so).

Hope you get what I mean. I have nothing as such against your view, but I don't see much for you view. It's perhaps more text than I need to get across for maybe a trivial thing in this thread, but why not.


[...] while my inner libertarian disagrees with it, I am open-minded [...]

I knew there was some libertarianism in there!


I totally agree with you about the need for major changes in US education. School should not be for just learning formulas and history, but how to be responsible and respectful citizens.

Raw knowledge is one thing and how to approach knowledge is another, yes. Information itself does not yield intelligence.


I'm a history buff here, and I will say that it would be very very difficult to effectively teach intellectual history and to talk of great thinkers without simply preaching your version of it. For nearly every great man in history, there are varying interpretation of his life and message, and determining who exactly is a great man is a challenge in-and-of itself. Would Karl Marx be considered a great man? Is Jeremy Bentham a great man, while Immanuel Kant is not? As I will say here and at other times, I am very skeptical of government programs that could easily become indoctrination lessons.

I totally agree, though I am leaving somewhat more cautious optimism that some 'safe' approximation could be attempted at teaching this content properly. Giving the students the tools and starting 'sparks' to then allow them learn from there themselves (while keeping a guiding but not imposing role) would be a more powerful and useful method, in that it removes the risk of too much subjective direct teaching on the hands of the teacher. That's my speculation on that.


I usually don't find much use for Flapjack's indoctrination posts, but he made a very good point that I don't think he actually realized he made. There are plenty of issues in which both sides claim to have the more scientific arguments; climate change, abortion, LGBT+, racism. When you have people like Flapjack who believe that only their opinion is right, wouldn't that interfere with considering who is best qualified. After all, if the competition was between me and someone with almost identical knowledge, except that said person believed in a leftist opinion of science, then who do you think Flapjack(I know I keep using Flapjack, but he is the perfect example) will chose? The other guy, because their ideologies are similar. The same could be done even in a group, if the majority of opinions are the same, and I find that scary.

With me keeping neutral on the context here :rolleyes:, this is where the role of how to approach knowledge comes. Perhaps teaching would be better as teaching thought centrally rather than knowledge, as the former facilitates the students to do the latter themselves, but a mix of both would be preferable in my mind. Again, only speculations on my part.


[...] educational attainment does not define the wisdom, experience, and political knowledge that person has, which is in my opinion far more important than being able to divide quadratic functions or knowing how to do surgery.

Your view suggests to me that you see there to be no realistic algorithm that could functionally reduce general learning in childhood/teenage life XP* into an institutional educational system, and I fully agree with you if that is what your view is. Nevertheless approximations are great in themselves, and some are far better than others. Some framework of whatever form would be helpful in accompanying general early life XP (*experience, as I like to summarise it).


This election debate has gone from actual policy discussions to a sissy fight of accusations and wrongs. I'm honestly getting sick of it from both sides, which is part of the reason I am posting here, to get a non-election debate started.

Agreed, and sure.


I don't agree with Flapjack's claims that such a system is bad because it would be oppressive to the poor, you could argue that on just about any system of government, except communism, and that is only because we will all be poor.

There are certain (effectively, even) objective aspects of being poor though, at least economically. It is not all open to interpretation.


If one is to take a view that there persists a certain ideological bias in education then teaching that other values exists and were once legitimately valued seems a fruitful exercise, in and of itself. It probably does and that's the main reason that I proposed that students should aim to get a grasp of ideas outside their usual realm of thought, that there might be some leftward or rightward bias in their training does not undermine the greater purpose.

Nevertheless, the same criticisms can be applied to all teaching of history: should the role of the French and Spanish in the American War of Independence be emphasized?, for example. That we do, or do not, does not undermine the function of history in improving our ability to critically analyse and interrupt the past. I would argue that it is in fact easier to select the key thinkers in Western political philosophy (every college course is based around the same few) than it is to select the key events in Western history.

Fundamentally, I am hoping to more impart the skills to allow one to act as a good citizen than specific knowledge - in large part out of the specific recognition that offering specific knowledge in the humanities is difficult without imposing bias. Learning the intellectual history of our political universe allows students to grapple with ideas well outside their usual frame of mind: and be humbled insofar as their own political positions are concerned.

Sounds alright. (I'm not in a frame of mind to disagree now, anyway.)


The exact reason I propose that we select our representatives by lotto and select the pool of potential representatives through reference to some unbiased criterion.

Just as a totally unnecessary extra, you could call it the Sch÷dinger lottery where the direction of EM radiation released by decay of carbon-14 is recorded publicly.
A little harmless PR here and there...



The same can be claimed about political know-how. But - worse still - is that it's interpretation is open to significantly more bias than either prior criteria. Like, using Flapjack as an example again, what do you think he would characterize as political know-how versus yourself?
Flapjack

You're on ROTW camera. Smile!


I do. Though even with its flaws, it's the best approximation of a certain, valuable mindset, that we have.

Approximations do far more for us than attempts at perfection, I feel.


Hope I have helped with your concerns anyways. Ask more questions if you have them, please don't make me go back to Clinton v Trump for the 125638th argument on Islam.

:D

I'm modifying this slightly to place it in my signature (if that is alright).

Porpoise101
October 16th, 2016, 02:54 PM
By 'civic-minded' do you mean having knowledge and experience of interacting in society economically? Sorry if I have misunderstood.

I mean people who take an active interest in the political happenings of their environment. People should know the issues that confront their nation and local communities. Then, they should take it a step forward and voice their opinions, especially those who are ambivalent towards a proposal. In older times, people actually cared about their local governments. Nowadays, participation is extremely low.

Essentially, people need to develop a watchdog mentality to keep up with the system. Otherwise, the system will fail.

Vlerchan
October 16th, 2016, 06:18 PM
So you are saying that decentralisation of the media away from governmental control is toward capitalist-driven forces for quantity of information over quality, have I read correctly?
No, I am claiming that the mediation of information has become increasingly fragmentry and thus it has become more difficult for elites to enforce a common impression of what we might consider 'common sense' norms. Or, in the language I actually think it, the Gramscian 'cultural-hegamony' is dead.

Capitalism, one would think, would encourage greater quality, where their is a massive reward for those firm who 'call-out' other firms on inconsistencies. Thus, reputation being paramount inspires the best sort of reporting. What seems to have happened is that people find themselves in partisan information networks - reading the reporting of collections of firms that follow the same line and which otherwise influence the view we have of outlets outside the network, limiting their capabilities when it comes to 'calling out' networked-firms on inconsistencies. This seems to have accelerated in the internet age where there is greater fragmentation of information mediation - and an apparent but illusory deepening of certain information networks: i.e. more tradcon sources citing each other and reassuring readers that the other source is, in fact, correct.

I feel that there is always an underlying set of presumptions and beliefs what most of the media holds when it comes to their overall portrayal of the world and the events in different areas of it (that media in the e.g. UK will tend to be more biased toward their own govt actions than of Russian govt actions, and vice-versa, even between the left and right within one country)[.]
In the cleanest possible language, the issue I am highlighting is that this 'most' is becoming a smaller and smaller proportion of all publication, including the massive expansion of blogging (blogspot, etc.) and microblogging (twitter, etc.) in recent years.

[...] but I get you totally with tabloids and such.
This is then a problem, on top of that.

I'm glad you didn't keep with the hereditary aristocratic model that you mentioned there (you got me there for a moment).
I did maintain that argument, as a bit of fun, in a response to Flapjack.

What value will n take?
10 years, probably.

[...] is that to maintain an age-diverse elite?
People tend to have a more entrenched order commitments and, thus, a greater interest in the preservation of the system.

[...] then that means we need a particular kind of education system (as the education is the foundation of the whole system).
I just want my elite to be interested in system-preservation so a system preparing them to be philosopher-kings or whatever, whilst preferable, is not required. These won't be rulers, the democratic mob will still maintain that right, just a veto on the excesses of such a mob.

What education system do you propose? I mean this with its span of time for students with terms and day lengths, the range of topics covered and the diversity in their presentation to students, the grading system, and such.
Like I said, really doesn't matter.

Though, in a response to Porpoise101, I believe I did mention the subjects I figure should be prioritized as these, as such, allow people to best grapple with the salient ideas of the day.

Is your course 3 years long?
If you don't take the year abroad - which I didn't - it is. Economic degree programmes are all three years, though, so I am not unusual. Weird to be in final year still, though.

What sort of 'great Western thinkers' are you thinking? Would intellectual history constitute looking at the lives and times of certain literary, philosophical, and political figures?
I'd be thinking the likes of: [the classics:] Plato's Socrates, Aristotle, [medieval:] Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, Dante Alighieri, Niccol˛ Machiavelli, [early modern and enlightenment:] Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Montesquieu, The Founding Fathers of the United States, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, [late modern and it's reaction] Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham, Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Stirnir, John S. Mill, Thomas Carlyle Karl Marx, Benedetto Croce, Carl Schmitt. Then I might throw in a statesman or two who doubled as someone of considerable intellectual prowess, like Cicero and or Giuseppe Mazzini.

[That is also, of course, a list I literally just came up with on the spot.]

The aim would be for some quick contextualization and then an exploration of the depths of their thought, with an emphasis on the originalities and linkages.

By mathematical reasoning do you mean logic systems (e.g. 1st-order predicate)?
I have no idea what that means but consider Leaving Cert proofs.

Without being difficult, what about people with 'below average'/deficient mathematical and/or spatiotemporal and/or abstract cognitive abilities? (I don't necessarily mean those with dyscalculia or another neurodevelopmental disorder, though those would of course be relevant.)
There should probably be a academic track dedicated to a more practical and hands-on approach to knowledge than what I have suggested.

I am undecided as to their statues as students, whether it should be similar to the system in Germany where such students follow vocations and professions rather than enter university.

I feel flattered to interpret what you're saying to be that I am eligible for your own aristocracy (clarifying is fine), but I'm also not appreciating the hint that I need to get a 1.1 grade or else. (I'll try my best.)
It was more an offhand remark that I don't have an entrenched interest in this system coming about but watch out for Paraxiom :P.

phuckphace
October 20th, 2016, 01:26 PM
kangz

http://i.imgur.com/5cBowvs.jpg

Jthompson
October 23rd, 2016, 10:21 AM
This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen on this forum.

Vlerchan
October 23rd, 2016, 10:40 AM
This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen on this forum.
Damn. You seem to have gotten me there.

Paraxiom
October 27th, 2016, 01:29 PM
I mean people who take an active interest in the political happenings of their environment. People should know the issues that confront their nation and local communities. Then, they should take it a step forward and voice their opinions, especially those who are ambivalent towards a proposal. In older times, people actually cared about their local governments. Nowadays, participation is extremely low.

Essentially, people need to develop a watchdog mentality to keep up with the system. Otherwise, the system will fail.

I get you now, was asking for clarity by what you meant.


No, I am claiming that the mediation of information has become increasingly fragmentry and thus it has become more difficult for elites to enforce a common impression of what we might consider 'common sense' norms. Or, in the language I actually think it, the Gramscian 'cultural-hegamony' is dead.

There is centralised media present but at a much lower level than in the past, I grant that.

Personally I would not want news media (as we know it today) to enforce common impressions though. The news should be as objective as possible - absolute objectivity is impossible, but I'd be in favour of separating news events from commentary/reaction of it at the least.


Capitalism, one would think, would encourage greater quality, where their is a massive reward for those firm who 'call-out' other firms on inconsistencies. Thus, reputation being paramount inspires the best sort of reporting.

I do feel though that, in general (not specifically talking about news), a good proportion of such threads are destructively called out, rather than constructively, the latter being more helpful even if just as a first 'option'.


What seems to have happened is that people find themselves in partisan information networks - reading the reporting of collections of firms that follow the same line and which otherwise influence the view we have of outlets outside the network, limiting their capabilities when it comes to 'calling out' networked-firms on inconsistencies. This seems to have accelerated in the internet age where there is greater fragmentation of information mediation - and an apparent but illusory deepening of certain information networks: i.e. more tradcon sources citing each other and reassuring readers that the other source is, in fact, correct.

A more coherent method of fact-checking/etc is needed, yes. There is a lot of contradictory and/or unspecific information that is being presented as factual news.


In the cleanest possible language, the issue I am highlighting is that this 'most' is becoming a smaller and smaller proportion of all publication, including the massive expansion of blogging (blogspot, etc.) and microblogging (twitter, etc.) in recent years.

There is a trend.


I did maintain that argument, as a bit of fun, in a response to Flapjack.

I got the impression afterward.


10 years, probably.

People tend to have a more entrenched order commitments and, thus, a greater interest in the preservation of the system.

Alright.


I just want my elite to be interested in system-preservation so a system preparing them to be philosopher-kings or whatever, whilst preferable, is not required. These won't be rulers, the democratic mob will still maintain that right, just a veto on the excesses of such a mob.

Your aristocratic model reminds me of Socrates' views on education and state-maintaining (in Plato's Republic), though Socrates is not into the democracy part (as far as I know).


Like I said, really doesn't matter.

Though, in a response to Porpoise101, I believe I did mention the subjects I figure should be prioritized as these, as such, allow people to best grapple with the salient ideas of the day.

Right.


If you don't take the year abroad - which I didn't - it is. Economic degree programmes are all three years, though, so I am not unusual. Weird to be in final year still, though.

Why did you decide to not go abroad? (if this question is not too intrusive)


I'd be thinking the likes of: [the classics:] Plato's Socrates, Aristotle, [medieval:] Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, Dante Alighieri, Niccol˛ Machiavelli, [early modern and enlightenment:] Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Montesquieu, The Founding Fathers of the United States, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, [late modern and it's reaction] Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham, Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Stirnir, John S. Mill, Thomas Carlyle Karl Marx, Benedetto Croce, Carl Schmitt. Then I might throw in a statesman or two who doubled as someone of considerable intellectual prowess, like Cicero and or Giuseppe Mazzini.

[That is also, of course, a list I literally just came up with on the spot.]

Looks like a robust list. There are some (not me) who argue though that classical philosophy is largely incommensurable with modern philosophy, such as with theocentrism V egocentrism respectively, as an example.


The aim would be for some quick contextualization and then an exploration of the depths of their thought, with an emphasis on the originalities and linkages.

I imagine so from that list though, yes.


I have no idea what that means but consider Leaving Cert proofs.

That is fine too.


There should probably be a academic track dedicated to a more practical and hands-on approach to knowledge than what I have suggested.

If you mean greater emphasis on practical experience than as it currently is with the mostly theory-in-the-classroom system today, then I go with that.


I am undecided as to their statues as students, whether it should be similar to the system in Germany where such students follow vocations and professions rather than enter university.

Sure.


It was more an offhand remark that I don't have an entrenched interest in this system coming about but watch out for Paraxiom :P.

I'm tired enough as it is with doing philosophy already in my course - don't worry about me going into battle mode for any lengthy period of time! (though I might surprise myself)

phuckphace I see you have succumbed to a meme which I first saw on tumblr of all places!

Jthompson
October 29th, 2016, 12:33 PM
There's been implicit recognition of this in technocratic solutions I have posed in the past. But given the events of last night I decided to make it explicit: we need an aristocracy. Some state-systems benefit from a historical hereditary nobility whose wealth is tied to the stocks of land and other durable assets - re., the British HoL - but in the case of those with a more meritocratic creed - like the United States, and Ireland - I suggest selection by lotto of high-scoring graduates from top schools, n years out from graduation, to check our public representatives.

So, where our current politics fails to grant ascension to our natural aristocrats, we need to re-discover our own.[/QUOTE]



The reason why this criteria is absurd, because high scoring schools also come
From very wealthy people. It can't be that the wealthiest people happen to be the smartest ones. A child from 5 years old
Going through a private school till 12 grade that costs $40k a year, wasn't any smarter than a poor kid in the middle of fucking nowhere. He was fucking lucky. Your criteria for these aristocrats is already skewed in favor of the rich, who started rich.

Vlerchan
October 29th, 2016, 01:53 PM
The news should be as objective as possible - absolute objectivity is impossible, but I'd be in favour of separating news events from commentary/reaction of it at the least.
The optimal system would be a competitive system where liars and punished and media coverage converges towards the truth. Unfortunately - where that's not the case - and the media diverges along partisan lines as it does now, we have to make a choice about whether it's preferable to allow for two biased lines - and the trouble that causes - or settle with one.

I prefer the one.

Why did you decide to not go abroad? (if this question is not too intrusive)
Partly because I can't afford it and my parents don't pay for my education.

Mainly because undergrad is boring and I can't wait to head into a MSc - which will in all likelihood be based somewhere foreign.

The reason why this criteria is absurd, because high scoring schools also come From very wealthy people.
This suggests only a limited role for family financial resources in the formation of human capital in the next generations in this environment and a potentially more important role for other factors that persist through family lines.

Bleakly and Ferrie (2016) (http://qje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/03/12/qje.qjw014)

Overall, our findings suggest that correlations observed in affluent, developed countries between (i) wealth and health or (ii) parental income and children’s outcomes do not reflect a causal effect of wealth.

Cesarini et al. (2015) (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2605344)

In other words there is a non-negligible amount of evidence that suggests that other transmission-effects dominate [source 1 and 2]. That might be connections - the main difference between the subjects of the papers cited and the typical wealthy person who is engaged in high-value-added activities - or it might be down to culture and genetics (I'm quite partial to connections). That it is down to someone just going to a private school is probably quite incorrect.

After two and four years of the program, we find no difference between test scores of lottery winners and losers on Telugu (native language), math, English, and science/social studies, suggesting that the large cross-sectional differences in test scores across public and private schools mostly reflect omitted variables [culture and genetics or otherwise].

Muralidharan and Sundararaman (2015) (https://qje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/02/27/qje.qjv013.abstract?papetoc&cited-by=yes&legid=qje;qjv013v1&related-urls=yes&legid=qje;qjv013v1)

It's a myth that it's all down to daddy's money and that there isn't differences between children of richer and poorer families other than the rich-poor descriptor. There's been quite a build of of evidence as of late that the elasticity between parent's and children's incomes isn't too large (see below) and that it is as large as it is, is probably down to more difficult to observe factors such as parenting differences or genetics or network-effects (see above).

Our estimates imply an elasticity between fathers’ wealth and sons’ income of 0.15 (at age 30) and 0.04 (at age 50).

Ager et al. 2015) (http://www.eh.net/eha/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/AgerBoustanEriksson.pdf)

Whatever the case, you have given me no reason to care that this system - just like capitalist-democracy - favors the wealthy. I stated before that the wealthy posses a number of characteristics that make the more conductive to good governance - such as the aforementioned greater alignment of interest with state-permanence but also attributes such as a lower time-preference (Lawrence 1991) (http://www.jstor.org/stable/2937712?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents).

phuckphace
November 2nd, 2016, 10:48 AM
Your elite was always trans-national and post-national* and that's why things like WWII happened.

true, true, but I was referring more to the 19th-century, Victorian elite. they had actual class, actual faith, actual patriotism. that was all prior to the World-Cop thing.

the Little House on the Prairie series contains a volume about Almanzo Wilder's childhood (he was born into the American gentry or petit bourgeoisie) with an influential father. that book stuck with me ever since because it's such a huge contrast how most of the wealthy lived in those days compared to today - they were unmistakably American and had a healthy appreciation for the country that gave them the opportunities that made them wealthy. especially the chapter about the 4th of July celebration - I cry evrytiem.

sure, there was some degeneracy like you find everywhere such as infidelity and opium addiction, but I'm a huge fan of the way they kept their degeneracy lowkey and didn't shout it from the rooftops like today.

We can see with populism that the fringe rather rapidly begins to descend out of our control.

populism isn't fringe, though. when I think fringe I think Nazis, an-caps, and other weirdos that have never and will never have any influence in American politics. Americans have never been inclined to all-out fascism and fascism has never been popular or well-liked, but you could say that populism is the closest equivalent we have. I like it that way because it allows needed corrections to be made without burning down the entire country like what happened when Germans elected a certain toothbrush-mustaschioed artist.

Paraxiom
November 6th, 2016, 08:46 PM
The optimal system would be a competitive system where liars and punished and media coverage converges towards the truth. Unfortunately - where that's not the case - and the media diverges along partisan lines as it does now, we have to make a choice about whether it's preferable to allow for two biased lines - and the trouble that causes - or settle with one.

I prefer the one.

So would you be in favour of some sort of system where the govt has a department of fact-checking that indirectly rewards media that seeks to maximise news delivery of good quantity and quality?

I'm in full agreement that for/against duality-of-biases systems of media (implicit or explicit) are plainly bad. (I believe RT╔ had a minor controversy with that last year actually).


Partly because I can't afford it and my parents don't pay for my education.

One example that reminds me of my lucky situations.


Mainly because undergrad is boring and I can't wait to head into a MSc - which will in all likelihood be based somewhere foreign.

Any thoughts on where the MSc could be?



populism isn't fringe, though. when I think fringe I think Nazis, an-caps, and other weirdos that have never and will never have any influence in American politics. Americans have never been inclined to all-out fascism and fascism has never been popular or well-liked, but you could say that populism is the closest equivalent we have. I like it that way because it allows needed corrections to be made without burning down the entire country like what happened when Germans elected a certain toothbrush-mustaschioed artist.

I don't get how 'needed corrections' are best done through opportunistic direction of mass raw emotion/sentiment though.