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

Jack Parkinson 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 
between groups...

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 
ramifications notwithstanding)
Jack Parkinson

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