[extropy-chat] Re: A view of what politics is

Jack Parkinson isthatyoujack at icqmail.com
Sun Oct 16 07:50:11 UTC 2005

  On 10/15/05, Jack Parkinson <isthatyoujack at icqmail.com> wrote:

>>>  I posted this before - I still think the best definition of politics
is: The
>>>  relationships between groups! At any level - from office factions to
>>>negotiations between superpowers. Politics is only incidentally social
>>> decision making. It is wholly about interacting communities.

>>  ### Is buying T-shirts from China a form of politics?
  >>No! Unless you are doing this as an expression of group values
>>concerning Chinese group values...
>### Now it is getting more complicated - so politics is not merely
>"relationships between >groups" but rather "relationships between groups
>expressing group values". And what >are "group values"? It's getting
>positively baroque.

We are discussing the meaning of politics - not the meaning of groups. A
group has some points of congruence and some disconnectedness. Politics is
how these opposing points develop.


  >>>Is imprisoning an individual dissenter not a form of politics?
  >>Yes! The group expresses it's disapproval of dissent - by sanctions
against representatives of groups that oppose it...

>### Oh, our dissenter has not joined a group. Is he a group all by himself?

Lone dissenters are NEVER 'political' - they are rugged individualists,
deviants, and/or eccentrics until such time as they represent a group. If
they are really unlucky they are criminals to boot! But they are not
politicians until they can claim to represent a constituency...

>>So you seem to say that imprisoning a single dissenter is politics. What
>>about hiring a hangman? Is this politics ...
>>("a group's expression of approval of willingness to kill for money")?

No! A group's expression of it's willingness to force compliance...

>>What about a town hiring a garbage collector? A group of garbage
>>Which one is not politics?

I fail to see any conflict here? The group hire garbage collector(s) because
the group prefers (on consensus) hygiene!

  >>>I think something is missing from your definition of politics.

  >I don't think anything is missing!

>### I do think a bit more of my questioning will convince the onlookers
>a lot is.

I very much doubt that!

A body politic is always and everywhere a group! Or please show me
Jack Parkinson

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