[extropy-chat] Re: A view of what politics is
isthatyoujack at icqmail.com
Mon Oct 17 01:35:46 UTC 2005
From: Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>
>### Let's assume that it involves two farmers, peers in all respects. One
>has an apple, and intends to feed it to his hogs. The other desires the
>apple with all his soul, dreaming of the juicy, crisp, flavory crunch.
>Obviously, there is a conflict between their desires as to the preferred
>fate of the apple.
>Being honest people, and utterly respectful of each other, they would never
>threaten violence (unless threatened). After some friendly negotiations,
>where violence is not even a dark unsaid shadow, they exchange the apple
>some corn. Both farmers, and the hogs, are better off.
>Is this politics?
Nope! This is commerce (and interpersonal relations)! Politics is still
And I can't see a logical inconsistency with any objection that Rafal has
raised so far - in fact I would go so far as to say: there isn't one!
I am not saying that politics occupies some isolated box - it permeates our
lives in the same way that science and art permeate and influence each
other. However this does not alter our fairly strict definitions of science
and art. Politics is always about groups - don't be cofused because some
individual receives undue approbation or sanction. The group rewards and
punishes. But it is fundamental that the individual 'does not take the law
into their own hands' - Groups rule! Even autocrats and monarchs need group
support. A group is not one and is not two - after that we are talking
On the same question, Brett Paatsch mentioned Lee Harvey Oswald. I have to
say that I never heard anyone suggest he was a politician before! An
assassin yes. Crazy? Maybe. Criminal - definitely.
However , I would be willing to concede that if he was acting on behalf of a
group - or was even deluded enough to believe that this was the case, then
this was a political act.
BUT, if he WAS acting alone he was just a murderer... (political
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