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March 29, 2007


tom s.

While it sounds like you'd do a fine job, maybe we should just go the whole way and appoint Douglas Adams' ruler of the universe (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_characters_from_The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#The_Ruler_of_the_Universe).


Just to pick up on a couple of points of your post, I am not sure you can really communicate with voters via the internet and ignore the broadcast and print media as you suggest. I suspect 30-40% of the population never use the internet and a lot of the rest will only use it occassionally and not necessarily to catch up on political news.

You also mention a radical reform programme. The thing is, though, to reform things you would need a mandate and that would _necessitate_ doing things to make yourself more popular. And also - to make the case to people for the changes - you would have to communicate to them through the media.

As such, i think, to some degree, political actors are locked into a paradigm which - unless you weren't initially elected and didn't have to stand for re-election - it would be difficult to get out of.

Maynard Handley

The thing is

(1) You wouldn't get to be elected PM, because being elected means assembling a coalition of supporters which means figuring out how to bribe them enough, but not soo much as to piss off other supporters. If you can't/aren't willing to do this, someone else will be chosen as head of the party instead of you.

(2) cf the post above. The world is populated, in the main, NOT by intelligent people who seek out alternative points of view, weigh evidence, and come to considered judgements. It is populated mostly by cretins, and many of the non-cretins are lazy.

What's my point?

Pointing out foibles of the existing scheme is fine. I've no complaints about showing the vacuities of managerialism even in the absence of alternative proposals.

But going beyond this to designing utopias based on how humanity is NOT is a waste of everyone's time. If we are willing to assume that humans are perfectly sharing angels, or intensely motivated by love of their fellow man, or even that they are emotionless super-rational utility maxizers it's easy enough to design utopia. But since such utopias won't work when populated by real human beings, WTF is the point?

I don't like the way Blair operates, just like I don't like the way Bush operates, and I don't like the way Clinton operated. But I'm also realistic enough to know that to a large extent they are forced to operate that way because of the nature of the bulk of humanity. A politician who operates the way I do would achieve nothing, so it's probably most useful if I try to get someone with mostly sane ideas elected, and ignore the procedural issues of how s/he gets to the top, and how s/he acts when he has gotten there. (Which is not to say that anything goes. Clearly, for example, the overarching Bush scheme to prevent Democrats from voting, one part of which is the current USA scandal, goes beyond the unpalatable, beyond the immoral and way into [IMHO] the illegal.)

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