Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/05/overton-windows-r-us.html
Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/05/overton-windows-r-us.html
Keep your hands off my meds and fix your own system…
Because the revenue generated by pharma exports would hurt Canada? I don’t see the down side for the Great White North. On the other hand, it could provide another excuse not to reduce costs for the broken US system, so I’m not sure I’m in favor of it, either.
As Wu points out, this is not a picture of a “heavily polarized” nation, as the pundits would have it. These policies are wildly popular and are outside of the political mainstream because a minority have figured out how to suppress the will of the supermajority.
That small minority of ultra-wealthy people and their well-compensated servants would be nothing but for the fact that they’ve identified the sucker conservative base in 1968 and have in recent decades learned to target and (often through policy decisions) exacerbate their anxieties and delusions in an increasingly fine-grained way (now with the help of hostile and rival state actors).
Progressive Democrats and FDR-style liberals who truly want to break from the party establishment and make the “politically impossible” possible need to start from the proposition that the Know-Nothing 27% of the electorate are write-offs, whose opinions should not be considered or taken into account. That leaves about 70% of Americans to approach with policies emerging from a balance of reality-based populism and informed expert opinion.
We are currently experiencing periodic supply issues with some medications as it is. I don’t generally want a potential profit driven stress on our supply chain competing with providing for the domestic market.
In theory we could make profits and fulfill domestic demands. However I don’t want to discover the US shit show ends up acting like a malignant cancerous growth if it is allowed to connect.
Never forget people will fight to the last against the knowledge they’ve been had. If you voted for Trump then he must be right. Everything else is fake news.
No doubt there are already conspiracy theorists proclaiming that the whole Brexit vote was engineered to serve for the rest of time as the Platonic examplar.
Those people that you are referring to are in effect children, without defined maturity. Part of being a mature adult is the ability to admit that one can be and is perhaps wrong!
Every time I hear “will of the people” or “local control” I remember that once Jim Crow was the law of the land and the will of the people.
It was and is still wrong.
Hence the insistence from some quarters of the right lately that “democracy is mob rule”.
I am old enough to remember when democracy was considered the US’s most important asset, and was to be protected at all costs.¹
Now it’s dangerous and must be destroyed. Hence all the moves to make voting harder, and resistance to any and all measures to make it easier, especially for the “wrong” people: the very poor and non-whites who recognise that the white supremacy will be coming for them (those that don’t realise this are welcome, for now, because they provide important cover roles for the racism).
Yet, because of the US (and Canadian) sports team mentality towards politics, in a way democracy has become moot, anyway. Until people recognise that their team isn’t the same one that won the trophy back when they were a kid, and that they don’t even play the same sport anymore, nothing is going to change, and it will just get worse.
¹I am also old enough to have a certain amount of cynicism about the reality of this, but it was the messaging.
This is not a new thing.
In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.
James Madison, Statement (1787-06-26) as quoted in Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787 by Robert Yates
Or see here:
QUESTION: Do you see much evidence of a revolutionary spirit in the America of the 1990s?
CHOMSKY: You didn’t find evidence of it in the America of the 1790s. The Revolutionary War was an important event. But it was in the first place, to a significant extent, a civil war, as most revolutionary wars are. And it was a war of independence, as opposed to a revolution against the social structure. The social structure didn’t really change significantly. There were problems right after the war was done. For example, Shay’s Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion and so on were challenging the social structure, and there were efforts on the part of radical farmers to take seriously the meaning of the words in the revolutionary pamphlets, but that was pretty well quieted down.
If you go back to the record of the Constitutional Convention, which took place in 1787, almost immediately after the end of the war, you see that they are already moving in another direction. James Madison – who was the main framer, and one of the Founding Fathers who was most libertarian – makes it very clear that the new constitutional system must be designed so as to ensure that the government will, in his words, “protect the minority of the opulent against the majority” and bar the way to anything like agrarian reform. The determination was made that America could not allow functioning democracy, since people would use their political power to attack the wealth of the minority of the opulent. Therefore, Madison argues, the country should be placed in the hands of the wealthier set of men, as he put it.
QUESTION: Isn’t that erection of barriers to democracy woven through the entire history of the United States?
CHOMSKY: It goes back to the writing of the Constitution. They were pretty explicit. Madison saw a “danger” in democracy that was quite real and he responded to it. In fact, the“problem” was noticed a long time earlier. It’s clear in Aristotle’s “Politics,” the sort of founding book of political theory – which is a very careful and thoughtful analysis of the notion of democracy. Aristotle recognizes that, for him, that democracy had to be a welfare state; it had to use public revenues to ensure lasting prosperity for all and to ensure equality. That goes right through the Enlightenment. Madison recognized that, if the overwhelming majority is poor, and if the democracy is a functioning one, then they’ll use their electoral power to serve their own interest rather than the common good of all. Aristotle’s solution was, “OK, eliminate poverty.” Madison faced the same problem but his solution was the opposite: “Eliminate democracy.”
Then we have the fighting 40% of Donald’s cult who who want a Christian white nation that coddles the rich, keeps out the browns and sticks it to the libs.
Too subtle for the 40%.
I’m reminded of Trump supporters claiming that an alleged elite is thwarting the alleged will of the alleged people on immigration.
The official story about the 2000 election seemed to be that 300 million citizens were so deadlocked, so evenly balanced in their political opinions, that only 500 voters in florida embodied the margin of preference between two slightly different political philosophies.
Projecting an image of a perfectly balanced polarized electorate is really useful if you want half each “half” of your population to blame the other “half” instead of asking who benefits from all this. Its classic prison politics, where the wardens are happy to let inmates fight among themselves as long as it makes their jobs easier.
I don’t know I spend most of every day thinking obsessively about how I’ve been wrong about various things, and they pile up over the years. There must be other people like me out there.
I have been wondering about democracy lately. I think that in principle it is a good system. It is supposed to represent what the majority wants, so that is a good thing. But, if lobbyism works, can democracy truly work?
First of all, if an certain political decision was in the in the interest of the majority it would not need to be lobbied for, so, in my opinion, lobbyism is mostly used to get votes for items that aren’t in the interest of the majority.
Furthermore the democratic system where you vote for people to represent you has the danger that that person can influenced to vote in a way that is not favorable for its voters. Every person can be influenced, whether it is through their social circle (a friends opinion for example), bribery (a promise of a cushy job after the political career is an untraceable bribe) or possibly even blackmail. If this influence is strong enough to win over the political view, the representative could make a decision that is not in the interest of its voters. So, if representatives are influenced by lobbyists, they do not represent the will of the people that voted for them anymore.
If you take the representatives out of the process, democracy still doesn’t work if lobbyism works. In case of a complex decision with lots of different consequences you cannot expect all people to fully understand what they are voting for.
Take Brexit for example. Someone writes a lie on a bus, gets a big media circus around it, and thus influences a lot of people to vote Leave based on this lie. One other thing that influenced this vote is the fact that people tend to think that in the past everything was better. This comes from the fact that you remember good times better than bad times, so the past will almost always look better then the present.
So I think that lobbyism, and the fact that it can be done in secret, broke democracy. I’m unsure if it can be fixed. Maybe complete openness and easy accessibility of a representatives (and its parties) past voting behavior on every issue might help.
at least those who subscribe to the Ayn Radnian idea that a small number of people are innately superior and thus should be liberated from the constraints of lesser people
Someone has obviously never read anything by Ayn Rand. What an unbelievably ridiculous statement.