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

Jack Parkinson isthatyoujack at icqmail.com
Mon Oct 17 14:10:28 UTC 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Samantha Atkins" <sjatkins at mac.com>
To: "Jack Parkinson" <isthatyoujack at icqmail.com>; "ExI chat list" 
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] Re: A view of what politics is

> On Oct 16, 2005, at 6:35 PM, Jack Parkinson wrote:
>> 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 for
>>> some corn. Both farmers, and the hogs, are better off.
>>> Is this politics?
>>> Rafal
>> Nope! This is commerce (and interpersonal relations)! Politics is  still 
>> between groups...
> What, by your acclamation?
>> 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!
> Then you are missing the point.
> - s
Well, perhaps you would be good enough to enlighten me?
Rafal thinks two people coveting the same apple and then reaching a 
compromise is politics. I say its not. Acclaim whichever you like - but its 
not nearly as convincing as hard facts.
The OED says:

POLITICS. The science and art of government; the science dealing with the 
form, organization, and administration of a state or part of one, and with 
the regulation of its relations with other states (hence, name="5"imperial, 
name="6"national, name="7"domestic, name="8"municipal, name="9"communal, 
name="10"parochial, name="11"foreign politics, etc.). Also name="12"†the 
politics, public or social ethics, that branch of moral philosophy dealing 
with the state or social organism as a whole

Nothing there about individuals - right?
Politics is NOT individual action unless that action is undertaken on behalf 
of a constituency (=group) Note that the OED says politics is "that branch 
of moral philosophy dealing with the state or social organism as a whole" 
(by 'whole' I think you can safely read group) ...

As I said - politics is about relations between groups. So, if you want to 
make a political statement. Better get a group behind you. Or without group 
sanction, you WILL be labelled as eccentric, individual, deviant, original, 
humorous, interesting, criminal, insane or whatever - but you will never be 
acknowledged as engaging in politics...
Jack Parkinson 

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