the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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FlashDangerpants
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

Post by FlashDangerpants »

Belinda wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:53 pm
FlashDangerpants wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:33 pm
Skepdick wrote: Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:42 pm
Representatives that act on your behalf, I figure?

But as you see, henry is already insisting that proxies aren't members of parliaments or subordinates (and other special pleading)

Either way, he has all the chess pieces in place for principal-agent problems to arise when you can't hold your "proxies" accountable.
If a board member at a company cannot attend a meeting in person to cast their vote in a matter of importance, they are likely to authorise another to vote on their behalf in this single matter using the phrase "you have my proxy". Given Henry's prediliction for small government and his frequent mention that politicos are servants not masters, it seems that he intends that form of limited proxy where we delegate the performance of a specified task, rather than the usual political proxy where we grant decision making powers on our behalf.

As such it's the normal way of doing politics that has the principal-agent problem, as evidenced by the many politicans who would for instance stop opposing some government action in return for a seat on some parliamentary committee, something I would say could not happen in a minarchy, where there are no committees. You might say of Henry's plan that it's primary strength is that it does not have that particular problem, or you could say that it exists as nothing but a wild overreaction to that problem.
Are referendums like proxies in that referendums address particular problems then disappear?
In a referendum situation you are carrying your own water in terms of you are making your own choice and placing our own vote, so nobody is the proxy to perform either task for you. The ambiguity in this conversation arises from a single action (granting a consent for something) involving a secondary thing (choosing what to consent to) but either of those tasks can be outsourced.

So we all were once babies with no capcity to enforce any choices of our own whatsoever. At that time we had decision makers operating in our interests to make all our of our choices on our behalf. That's one sort of proxy relationship.

As we progressed from infancy to adulthood, the list of things we could not decide for ourselves shrank, we gained control over when we went to the toilet and how clean our butts would be afterwards, all the way through what to eat and eventually where to live and how to earn money. But we have to deal with a lot of stuff we don't want to do for ourselves still. We may have an accountant who operates as our money movement proxy officer, an MP or a Senator who is our political proxy dude, and when you go to work you might have an IT dude who is your email gathering proxy.

All of these relationships are much more limited than the parental proxy one where somebody else decided whether your bung hole was sufficiently clean. But do you know exactly what your accountant is doing with your money right now, or every deal that your MP is doing with vested business interests? Do you even know whether your IT guy is reading your emails?

If the IT guy is secretly deleting emails from your ex husband before you read them so that you don't get angry and smash your laptop and cause him extra work, he's either the best, or the very worst IT guy in existence, depending on what you want from that sort of proxy. If you hate your ex husband, and you want a life free from his trollish emails, you may have a yearning for the nanny state of IT services where someone else makes lots of choices about your life so that you can get on with more productive tasks unmolested. If you are horrified by the unwarranted intrusion, perhaps you are more in favour of the night watchman state that ensures you have email but leaves you to your own devices about what to do with it. The key is how much of the task you actually proxied, and given that nobody ever read the usage policy, it's probably more than you thought.

Then at some time in the future, we will gradually lose all of those capabilities. Some relative will have power of attorney proxy to make our big decisions, and some nurse will occasionally put her phone down to check whether our butts are clean enough. So that's something to look forward to.
Belinda
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

Post by Belinda »

Well, Flash, your entertaining discourse on proxies versus nannies has made me more sympathetic to Henry's stance.

I remain sure enough that taxation should be adequate to pay poor people so at least they don't
starve to death like happened in this blighted Toryland this week. A young mother had been denied subsistence and was found dead with her baby crying beside her body.
Belinda
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

Post by Belinda »

Well, Flash, your entertaining discourse on proxies versus nannies has made me more sympathetic to Henry's stance.

I remain sure enough that taxation should be adequate to pay poor people so at least they don't
starve to death like happened in this blighted Toryland this week. A young mother had been denied subsistence and was found dead with her baby crying beside her body.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/202 ... in-glasgow
Advocate
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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Eh? 14 pages of responses and i haven't gotten a single notification? What's going on here?!

I'll try to catch up but my responses obviously won't fit the flow of the thread now.
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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Skepdick wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:47 pm Constitutional Democracy. It's the least immoral option.
Benevolent dictatorship is the least immoral, but it's also the most risky. :/
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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surreptitious57 wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:26 pm Altruistic Meritocracy trumps Constitutional Democracy
Everyone fully utilising their skill set in order to work for the common good and not merely for themselves
Unfortunately humans are too individualistic to make it possible but it is still the ideal solution in principle
We have Some of the answers to game theory problems. It's a start.
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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Belinda wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:45 pm I became a socialist when I learned that was the political name for what the nicest people do.
Yes. Thank you. The old Marx/Lenin/Stalin/Mao socialisms are each different than what is commonly meant today and each completely different from the other. Socialism is not a bucket of concepts you (one) can judge altogether, it's a set of ideas which revolve around the common good, by whatever definition.
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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Belinda wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:03 pm Perhaps I don't understand the author of that link, Skepdick. It seems to me the converse of meritocracy is nepotism or inherited wealth. True, clever people who get to the top of the pecking order might become overbearing and over ambitious. That is where the democratic regime, for all its faults, controls and governs their would-be excesses.
This seems like an appropriate place for an anti-Rand screed. Objectivism is meritocracy for exactly one generation. As soon as the Great Creators decide to leave wealth to their children, or let their children have any inherent benefit in society because of it, merit is out the window.
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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RCSaunders wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:03 pm Just out of curiosity, how do you decide who, "needs help," and, "who must supply it?" Do you just help everyone indiscriminately, rich, poor, honest, dishonest, criminals, rapists, thieves, vandals, along with the decent and productive. Who decides which are the needy and which must sacrifice their own lives for them?

Nobody is objecting to helping others if those others are not going just squander that help on their own self-indulgence, but the choice must be made by the individuals who are providing the help, not some agency of force that produces nothing of value and helps no one.

I certainly don't object to you working for your socialist paradise, whatever you think that is. Do you think no one is ever going to disagree with you? If you really want to know how your socialism, if implemented, will work out, you might like to study Venezuela. I don't think you'd like it.
"Who decides?" is a problem that can be leveled at any ideology and so it really shouldn't be used at all. Not all ideologies need to be feature complete in that sense to make their point. If society is not a slave state then it must treat all its citizens as morally equal on some level. That level must be at least negative freedom - freedom from unwarranted interference in personal goals. If it is materially necessary or a society is successful, legitimate, and to the extent it has a mandate from the people, positive freedom can also be the proper realm of government.
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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RCSaunders wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:21 pm
Belinda wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:45 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:31 pm

Are you a socialist, Belinda?
I became a socialist when I learned that was the political name for what the nicest people do.
Well, I agree socialists spout a lot "nice" sounding platitudes, but that doesn't really make someone nice does it? Do your really regard Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Mao Zedong, and Nicolás Maduro as the nicest people? I hope you don't think I'm nice.
Every good family is socialist. Want to re-think your attitude?
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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>True, some men are richer than others and it will always be so. But the scale of the difference between rich and poor signifies injustice. In England for instance, children often have no free adventures in the countryside because most of the land is privately owned and trespassers are kept out. Land use is where to find one of the worst injustices.
You may give a lot to charitable causes, Immanuel, but modern life is such that charities an charitable individuals cannot manage to distribute wealth more fairly to people who are in need.

Precisely. It's not unjust for someone to have more than someone else, per se. But it's certainly unjust for someone to have a thousand times more than someone else. Nobody works a thousand times harder or smarter than anyone else. The fact that we're in the hundreds of billions of difference proves the system is utterly untethered from reality.Everyone who succeeds is lucky. Everyone who succeeds built on a foundation of social goods provided by others. 99% of people who fail fail aren't fools who made bad decisions.

In England they actually have freedom to roam laws. There's nothing like that in the US. >:(
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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RCSaunders wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:45 pm I've been on this forum for some time and have never voiced objection to helping others if one chooses to. All that I said above addresses the fact that socialism assumes helping others must be, "enforced," which always means sacrificing the best to the worst. Socialism is a political view that is not possible without repression. That is what I object to.
The way i always put this is "Socialism does not imply method." If an ideology puts the common good at top priority, that's basically what most people mean by socialism. Marxism is a completely different kind of thing under that umbrella than is Maoism, or Social Democracy or whatever.
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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Belinda wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:38 am Jesus was an educator...
*socialist
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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Immanuel Can wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:45 pm The Left is...
I'm just going to stop you right there. There is no "The Left". Group identity is bullshit.
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Re: the proper balance between idealism and pragmatism

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Belinda wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:31 pm It is a mark of civilisation that people pay taxes to be used for the common good.
It's the Entire foundation of society that we band together to mitigate harms we cannot mitigate on our own, and if successful, to meet desires we cannot meet on our own (like planes, trains, and automobiles). It is inherent for any society to redistribute. Without redistributing personal negatives so they can be socially absorbed, society cannot fulfill it's primary purpose. Personal ills (not caused by exercise of one's freedom) should be socially absorbed whenever possible. Social ills should never fall on the individual because that's when you have a slave state - working for some at the expense of others.
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