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Re: [existlist] My views Re: politics

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    To me they are like part one and two in a Hegelian dialectical triad. You despair of philosophy, of its active presence in our society. Our democracy is our
    Message 1 of 24 , Jul 2, 2007
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      "To me they are like part one and two in a Hegelian dialectical triad. You
      despair of philosophy, of its active presence in our society. Our democracy is
      our part three in this dialectical situation. The synthetic fact must assert
      its truth above the thesis and the antithesis. We need separation of church and
      state, and separation of science and state, for the truth of our American
      proposition to hold sway; because in our participation in this constitutional
      democracy we are actually all philosophers." Trinidad

      Hey Trin, gettin' all dialectical. I like it.

      WS

      In a message dated 7/2/07 5:18:30 PM, TriniCruz@... writes:


      >
      > I'd like to tone this down, but I keep coming across arguments from
      > you that seem not entirely rational to me, and find them surprising,
      > at least as surprising as you find mine. I really don't relish playing
      > the role in this discourse of citizen, but that is what seems to have
      > happened. Perhaps you can explain for me how my certainty about an
      > opinion I hold is threatening to you in any way - if I am a law
      > abiding US citizen? Your arguments seem to indicate that you are less
      > likely to be involved in any participation in the system than I. I
      > wonder how then I can be characterized as in the wrong here? Certainly
      > not as a citizen. Just for having an opinion I doubt will likely ever
      > change? I take it as a responsibility of my citizenship in this
      > country to be involved with the system, at least enough to pursue some
      > fundamental reforms through my vote whether they come to pass or not.
      > I will not surrender so lightly to an inactive cynicism concerning
      > something as important as a constitutional democracy. I could not face
      > my own children and say I allowed their future to be sold away without
      > even voting, let alone voicing any dissent. Why allow yourself to be
      > disenfranchised without a fight? This thing, this American experiment,
      > is not so easy these days, but it is also not so easy to dismiss as
      > worthless by not participating.
      >
      > You don't agree with me. So be it. It is within the framework of our
      > laws here that we can safely disagree without slaughter. Debate is
      > neither about games nor winning and losing. It is about informing of
      > an opinion. Sometimes one side or the other gives in, but there are no
      > rules here other than remaining law abiding. Democratic government is
      > not a mystical process in any form. It is simply a group of opinions,
      > and a consensus of laws. If that consensus is now being purchased away
      > from general opinion by a minute faction of opinion we have a problem.
      > We cannot make wealth a criteria of opinion without an equal
      > consideration of the criteria of opinion of poverty. The rhetoric of
      > opinion in this case does not matter, nor does any agreement, or
      > disagreement; only the fact that wealth is actually in such a
      > privileged position in the debate over consensus in our franchise. We
      > need financial reforms in our political process to restore the
      > efficaciousness of debate over consensus. Such reform need not be the
      > denial of access to corporate money to public servants, only clear and
      > immediate public disclosure.
      >
      > Religion will continue to remain a robust factor in our society. Grass
      > roots change in opinion on such matters is a slow process. Monotheism
      > and science have developed side by side for thousands of years. They
      > must fall into the position in our democracy where they belong -
      > opinion. The debate will go on, and most on either side will never
      > change their opinion in their lifetime. To me they are like part one
      > and two in a Hegelian dialectical triad. You despair of philosophy, of
      > its active presence in our society. Our democracy is our part three in
      > this dialectical situation. The synthetic fact must assert its truth
      > above the thesis and the antithesis. We need separation of church and
      > state, and separation of science and state, for the truth of our
      > American proposition to hold sway; because in our participation in
      > this constitutional democracy we are actually all philosophers.
      >
      > Trinidad
      >
      >
      >




      **************************************
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    • C. S. Wyatt
      ... What I worry about is the certainty I hear from the two sides (though there are more) in various debates -- and the corresponding divisions in our
      Message 2 of 24 , Jul 2, 2007
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        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Trinidad Cruz" <TriniCruz@...> wrote:
        >
        > happened. Perhaps you can explain for me how my certainty about an
        > opinion I hold is threatening to you in any way - if I am a law
        > abiding US citizen?

        What I worry about is the certainty I hear from the "two sides" (though there are more) in
        various debates -- and the corresponding divisions in our society. Debate has been
        replaced by name calling and insinuations that one side alone if privy to the "correct"
        answers and views on issues.

        I long for someone, anyone, to come from the radical middle and change the tone of
        debate so it can be a genuine debate and not the noise that now echoes across the media
        and Web.

        > Your arguments seem to indicate that you are less
        > likely to be involved in any participation in the system than I.

        My involvement is to oppose almost anything that large organizations, especially the
        government, claims to be doing for my benefit. I am definitely opposed to any
        encroachments into my freedoms and those of others. I don't care for any group trying to
        dictate how private individuals should live.

        To me, freedoms are under assault from all sides. I think how they view events becomes a
        way to justify which rights will be taken.

        Free speech is always under assault. Choices in medical care are limited by the FDA's
        desire to "protect" me from dangerous treatments. (I was denied painkillers here in MN
        because the use I had in California was considered "off-label" here. Nice to be protected,
        isn't it?) The right to drink what I want, smoke what I want, or even eventually decide how
        to exit life are all dictated to me. It's absurd.

        I spent a lot of time working for the government. I'm a darn good data analyst. From that
        work, I learned a lot about other cultures and groups. I trust them even less than our own
        government, if that's possible.

        I vote, I write, I volunteer -- but I don't trust. I am a skeptic. That's my nature.

        > laws here that we can safely disagree without slaughter. Debate is
        > neither about games nor winning and losing. It is about informing of
        > an opinion.

        There is little debate in the mainstream. Political consultants, pollsters, and media analysts
        talk about politics in terms of horse races, winners and losers. The issues get four
        minutes, on a good night, and then we are told how leads in what poll by how much. Polls
        are not debate -- they are nothing but ways to create the impression a polling agency
        wants.

        I want debate and discussion, but I want it in a way I seldom see it or hear it, even from
        the sources I read every day. I am a loyal reader of both The Nation and CATO Bulletin. I
        read The New Republic and National Review, Telegraph.uk and Le Monde. I'm now reading
        more in Spanish and Hebrew -- but I admit I cannot read Arabic at all and my business
        partner (who served in the Middle East for several years speaking Arabic) tells me the
        English "translations" are nothing close to the real meanings.

        My radio buttons bounce from NPR and Nova M to Air America and several conservative
        stations. (I cannot stand Bill O'R and Sean Hannity. I try and try, but they annoy me on
        radio. Randy Rhodes is just as bad. Terrible radio.)

        There's just not a lot of real debate. That's why I still turn to S.F. radio stations and
        newspapers online.

        > Religion will continue to remain a robust factor in our society.

        Sadly.

        > above the thesis and the antithesis. We need separation of church and
        > state, and separation of science and state, for the truth of our
        > American proposition to hold sway; because in our participation in
        > this constitutional democracy we are actually all philosophers.

        Sorry, but I want more science in politics and less religion. A lot less religion.

        I am glad we have a republican form. I wish we actually respected that form more, but then
        all three branches would require some leadership.

        I'll go all the way back to the Greek ideal: a leader needs a moral compass. Wish we had
        that, but I'm not sure I see many with ethical ideals. We need philosophers in government,
        men and women with well-rounded educations and experiences. I'm not sure we have
        that, especially when I have had a chance to talk to leaders one-on-one. Some turned out
        to be much less intelligent than I had hoped. Some were just plain ignorant.

        Philosophy is something I support -- or I wouldn't have the Web site and discussion list.
        What I fear is that divisions have increased and debate has lost to name calling and
        stubborn egomania.

        - CSW
      • eupraxis@aol.com
        CS, I think you confuse social discourse with a philosophical position. The latter, if one can manage it, is unable to concede to a position that it considers
        Message 3 of 24 , Jul 3, 2007
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          CS,

          I think you confuse social discourse with a philosophical position. The
          latter, if one can manage it, is unable to concede to a position that it considers
          anathema to truth (or the Good, etc.) assuming such a conclusion has already
          been made and that that position culminates in something like what Kant called
          a "maxim". As I am on the left, there are some positions that have achieved
          such an axiomatic status and cannot be 'mediated' by anything, especially by
          some nebulous middle. We have already danced that tango, so I will leave it at
          that.

          The former, social discourse, is a space wherein a debate can take place, but
          if I am consigned a role in such, I do not see why I should celebrate any
          middle. The middle course in an 'evolution/creation' debate would be what? What
          is the middle course on 'Iraq is an illegal invasion', or 'torture is a crime
          against humanity', or 'the vice president is part of the executive'?

          And as a side in a debate, I have no regard for watering an ethical position
          down to that same middle, radical or not. Philosophy is, for me, a sublated
          manifestation of war. I am not of the mind to allow the right-wing, which has
          all but ruined this country and continues to do so still, to imagine that it has
          anything to say about god and country any longer.

          Finally, we are well aware of your libertarian position, as well as other
          specific positions. I haven't seen any change of mind since I have been at this
          group. You seem as certain, at times, as anyone else here, and on matters that
          I have an almost opposite position. What middle course there?

          'Debate' (what passes for debate in the US is a scandal) presumes a
          compromise between parties, but in many instances this is a mirage. Debates are usually
          held for the sake of affecting listeners, not for achieving a middle path.

          Wil

          In a message dated 7/2/07 9:36:21 PM, existlist1@... writes:


          >
          > --- In existlist@yahoogrouexistl, "Trinidad Cruz" <TriniCruz@.Tr> wrote:
          > >
          > > happened. Perhaps you can explain for me how my certainty about an
          > > opinion I hold is threatening to you in any way - if I am a law
          > > abiding US citizen?
          >
          > What I worry about is the certainty I hear from the "two sides" (though
          > there are more) in
          > various debates -- and the corresponding divisions in our society. Debate
          > has been
          > replaced by name calling and insinuations that one side alone if privy to
          > the "correct"
          > answers and views on issues.
          >
          > I long for someone, anyone, to come from the radical middle and change the
          > tone of
          > debate so it can be a genuine debate and not the noise that now echoes
          > across the media
          > and Web.
          >
          > > Your arguments seem to indicate that you are less
          > > likely to be involved in any participation in the system than I.
          >
          > My involvement is to oppose almost anything that large organizations,
          > especially the
          > government, claims to be doing for my benefit. I am definitely opposed to
          > any
          > encroachments into my freedoms and those of others. I don't care for any
          > group trying to
          > dictate how private individuals should live.
          >
          > To me, freedoms are under assault from all sides. I think how they view e
          > vents becomes a
          > way to justify which rights will be taken.
          >
          > Free speech is always under assault. Choices in medical care are limited by
          > the FDA's
          > desire to "protect" me from dangerous treatments. (I was denied painkillers
          > here in MN
          > because the use I had in California was considered "off-label" here. Nice to
          > be protected,
          > isn't it?) The right to drink what I want, smoke what I want, or even
          > eventually decide how
          > to exit life are all dictated to me. It's absurd.
          >
          > I spent a lot of time working for the government. I'm a darn good data
          > analyst. From that
          > work, I learned a lot about other cultures and groups. I trust them even
          > less than our own
          > government, if that's possible.
          >
          > I vote, I write, I volunteer -- but I don't trust. I am a skeptic. That's my
          > nature.
          >
          > > laws here that we can safely disagree without slaughter. Debate is
          > > neither about games nor winning and losing. It is about informing of
          > > an opinion.
          >
          > There is little debate in the mainstream. Political consultants, pollsters,
          > and media analysts
          > talk about politics in terms of horse races, winners and losers. The issues
          > get four
          > minutes, on a good night, and then we are told how leads in what poll by how
          > much. Polls
          > are not debate -- they are nothing but ways to create the impression a
          > polling agency
          > wants.
          >
          > I want debate and discussion, but I want it in a way I seldom see it or hear
          > it, even from
          > the sources I read every day. I am a loyal reader of both The Nation and
          > CATO Bulletin. I
          > read The New Republic and National Review, Telegraph.uk and Le Monde. I'm
          > now reading
          > more in Spanish and Hebrew -- but I admit I cannot read Arabic at all and my
          > business
          > partner (who served in the Middle East for several years speaking Arabic)
          > tells me the
          > English "translations" are nothing close to the real meanings.
          >
          > My radio buttons bounce from NPR and Nova M to Air America and several
          > conservative
          > stations. (I cannot stand Bill O'R and Sean Hannity. I try and try, but they
          > annoy me on
          > radio. Randy Rhodes is just as bad. Terrible radio.)
          >
          > There's just not a lot of real debate. That's why I still turn to S.F. radio
          > stations and
          > newspapers online.
          >
          > > Religion will continue to remain a robust factor in our society.
          >
          > Sadly.
          >
          > > above the thesis and the antithesis. We need separation of church and
          > > state, and separation of science and state, for the truth of our
          > > American proposition to hold sway; because in our participation in
          > > this constitutional democracy we are actually all philosophers.
          >
          > Sorry, but I want more science in politics and less religion. A lot less
          > religion.
          >
          > I am glad we have a republican form. I wish we actually respected that form
          > more, but then
          > all three branches would require some leadership.
          >
          > I'll go all the way back to the Greek ideal: a leader needs a moral compass.
          > Wish we had
          > that, but I'm not sure I see many with ethical ideals. We need philosophers
          > in government,
          > men and women with well-rounded educations and experiences. I'm not sure we
          > have
          > that, especially when I have had a chance to talk to leaders one-on-one.
          > Some turned out
          > to be much less intelligent than I had hoped. Some were just plain ignorant.
          >
          > Philosophy is something I support -- or I wouldn't have the Web site and
          > discussion list.
          > What I fear is that divisions have increased and debate has lost to name
          > calling and
          > stubborn egomania.
          >
          > - CSW
          >
          >
          >




          **************************************
          See what's free at http://www.aol.com


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Trinidad Cruz
          Well Wil, in a real sense this is a dialectical problem of importance. CSW wants leadership with a moral compass, as he puts it. We have a moral and ethical
          Message 4 of 24 , Jul 3, 2007
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            Well Wil, in a real sense this is a dialectical problem of importance.
            CSW wants leadership with a moral compass, as he puts it. We have a
            moral and ethical compass here. It is our constitution and system of
            laws. It is in no way an absolute. It is a chosen consensus containing
            provision for change and adaptation through debate and new consensus
            by freely elected representatives. Because it cannot be taken as an
            absolute it seems to lose importance in the face of both science and
            religion. Neither naturalism nor theism should dictate to our
            synthesis here, only propose and debate; yet we find most often as CSW
            indicates hard-line uncompromising debate between the two. Such
            stubbornness and egotism in debate is not necessarily harmful, in fact
            I am generally encouraged by the fact that discussion in such areas is
            so uncompromising, as such futile discussion shifts importance to the
            synthesis we have developed to make way for such debate in a bloodless
            forum in the first place. As people are faced with the futility of
            absolutes they generally fall back toward a reliance on our synthesis
            here. It has ever been so in our history, and men have suited the
            times when the threat to it was real. It is simply grander than any
            absolute truth.

            Philosophy cannot reject theism out of hand; only monotheism and its
            attendant concepts of omnipotence, omniscience, and creationism.
            Philosophy cannot reject naturalism out of hand; only its
            functionalist arguments for an absolute materialism. Philosophy cannot
            allow for solutions that are absolute. The synthesis becomes of the
            greatest importance. This is not epiphenomenalism because the
            synthesis is not taken as an absolute, only as something of greater
            importance than absolutes and subject to change. It is in this, an
            ethic in a continuously developmental frame. Hobbes, inspired by
            Plato, struggled through the bare bones of this proposition here 400
            years ago; so we cannot argue that philosophy has not been shaping the
            world here all along. The constitution, our system of laws, are a
            philosophy. This cannot be taken, as it so often mistakenly is, as an
            idealism. Idealism is a process of casting ideas as absolutes. In such
            a case then, lower forms in the dialectic to be believed in rather
            than known. All we can ever know are synthetic forms changing with
            consensus. We can believe anything. We may not cast our synthesis here
            as an ideal, as something to believe in; because in doing so we will
            never know it. Its importance is not even in knowing it as an
            experience; but rather in individually working at its continuing
            synthesis. It will not age well. To store it, is to sour it to an
            ideal, and make it dialectically less. It is good that the struggle
            for absolutes is loud. Such a circumstance will push us to attend to
            our synthesis. Only in that attention will it remain healthy and
            sweet, because it cannot be believed in and remain important, only
            worked at. Working at it, is knowing it for what it is.

            Trinidad
          • eupraxis@aol.com
            TC, Agreed. I think. WS ... From: Trinidad Cruz To: existlist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 9:55 am Subject: [existlist] My views
            Message 5 of 24 , Jul 3, 2007
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              TC,

              Agreed. I think.

              WS







              -----Original Message-----
              From: Trinidad Cruz <TriniCruz@...>
              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 9:55 am
              Subject: [existlist] My views Re: politics

























              Well Wil, in a real sense this is a dialectical problem of importance.

              CSW wants leadership with a moral compass, as he puts it. We have a

              moral and ethical compass here. It is our constitution and system of

              laws. It is in no way an absolute. It is a chosen consensus containing

              provision for change and adaptation through debate and new consensus

              by freely elected representatives. Because it cannot be taken as an

              absolute it seems to lose importance in the face of both science and

              religion. Neither naturalism nor theism should dictate to our

              synthesis here, only propose and debate; yet we find most often as CSW

              indicates hard-line uncompromising debate between the two. Such

              stubbornness and egotism in debate is not necessarily harmful, in fact

              I am generally encouraged by the fact that discussion in such areas is

              so uncompromising, as such futile discussion shifts importance to the

              synthesis we have developed to make way for such debate in a bloodless

              forum in the first place. As people are faced with the futility of

              absolutes they generally fall back toward a reliance on our synthesis

              here. It has ever been so in our history, and men have suited the

              times when the threat to it was real. It is simply grander than any

              absolute truth.



              Philosophy cannot reject theism out of hand; only monotheism and its

              attendant concepts of omnipotence, omniscience, and creationism.

              Philosophy cannot reject naturalism out of hand; only its

              functionalist arguments for an absolute materialism. Philosophy cannot

              allow for solutions that are absolute. The synthesis becomes of the

              greatest importance. This is not epiphenomenalism because the

              synthesis is not taken as an absolute, only as something of greater

              importance than absolutes and subject to change. It is in this, an

              ethic in a continuously developmental frame. Hobbes, inspired by

              Plato, struggled through the bare bones of this proposition here 400

              years ago; so we cannot argue that philosophy has not been shaping the

              world here all along. The constitution, our system of laws, are a

              philosophy. This cannot be taken, as it so often mistakenly is, as an

              idealism. Idealism is a process of casting ideas as absolutes. In such

              a case then, lower forms in the dialectic to be believed in rather

              than known. All we can ever know are synthetic forms changing with

              consensus. We can believe anything. We may not cast our synthesis here

              as an ideal, as something to believe in; because in doing so we will

              never know it. Its importance is not even in knowing it as an

              experience; but rather in individually working at its continuing

              synthesis. It will not age well. To store it, is to sour it to an

              ideal, and make it dialectically less. It is good that the struggle

              for absolutes is loud. Such a circumstance will push us to attend to

              our synthesis. Only in that attention will it remain healthy and

              sweet, because it cannot be believed in and remain important, only

              worked at. Working at it, is knowing it for what it is.



              Trinidad

















              ________________________________________________________________________
              AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • C. S. Wyatt
              ... To me, political change requires compromise and sometimes slow evolutionary steps. My very deep aversion to the death penalty, for example, is not likely
              Message 6 of 24 , Jul 3, 2007
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                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                > The former, social discourse, is a space wherein a debate can take place, but
                > if I am consigned a role in such, I do not see why I should celebrate any
                > middle.

                To me, political change requires compromise and sometimes slow evolutionary steps. My
                very deep aversion to the death penalty, for example, is not likely to be a position adopted
                by most voters / politicians. Instead of trying for an "outright win" in the political arena, I
                try to argue other elements of the problem. For example, it is hard to argue that the
                application reveals social and political biases in the courts. Also, one can point to those
                freed thanks to DNA and modern forensics. In other words, I shift the debate to those
                areas I think there might be consensus.

                Do I surrender my philosophical notion that the state shouldn't take a life? No. But, I also
                realize there is a more effective approach politically.

                I've shifted a lot in life, from the normal "left" of undergraduate years to a libertarian
                approach. The more I worked in / around government, the less I trusted it.

                My philosophical approach is to still dream of a time when people get along and help each
                other voluntarily. I still imagine people have a responsibility to mutually respect each
                other's rights and freedoms.

                Politically? I see government in all nations is about the powerful elites, not idealism.

                Philosophical grounding would help our leaders, as it would any group of people. I want
                people to consider "The Other" and how our choices impinge on the other. I want people
                to consider, "What if country/group X did Y to me? What of my rights, then?"

                Yes, I'm definitely more libertarian than I was two decades ago. I'm also more pro-union,
                I'm generally more ambivalent about my support for the ACLU (I cannot believe they are
                supporting the installation of foot baths in our colleges in Minnesota -- uhg), and still a
                devoted supporter of the National Wildlife Federation (but not the Sierra Club).

                My philosophy remains apart from political action because I have to compromise to get
                things done at the university and in our schools. You cannot go in with "I think we should
                shift taxes collected from one district to the inner city schools" -- a position I hold.
                Instead, you have to explain to the suburbs why they don't want inner city schools
                collapsing and failing. My beliefs have to be mediated to get action.

                I am not a politician, since I couldn't compromise nearly as often as it is required. But, I
                have been much better at compromise in the last four years than in the past.

                Pragmatism becomes more appealing when I need to accomplish something. At those
                moments, Rorty and Schiappa guide my reasoning. When I shift to freedoms, I still turn to
                a mix of Continental thinkers.

                Philosophy and the reality conflict. I support republican ideals, with limits on the majority.
                I always fear the majority and its ability to abuse power -- even when my views might be
                in the majority.

                When we implement a philosophy, it changes. What is good in the ideal is always off when
                men and women try to implement those ideals.

                Politics is about getting things done. It means terrible choices, like which houses must
                give way to new roads and transit lines. Politics is not philosophy, at those moments. But, I
                think philosopher-leaders would ask, "Is it really fair that we always put the roads through
                poor or middle-income neighborhoods?" I want politicians to feel some internal agony
                over every choice, while still making a choice.

                Isn't that the core of existentialism? Most choices have a negative, Sartre said, but we tend
                to ignore the negatives so we can act free of guilt. I want more guilt from our leaders. Lots
                more guilt.
              • bhvwd
                ... take place, but ... celebrate any ... evolutionary steps. My ... to be a position adopted ... win in the political arena, I ... to argue that the ...
                Message 7 of 24 , Jul 3, 2007
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                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
                  > > The former, social discourse, is a space wherein a debate can
                  take place, but
                  > > if I am consigned a role in such, I do not see why I should
                  celebrate any
                  > > middle.
                  >
                  > To me, political change requires compromise and sometimes slow
                  evolutionary steps. My
                  > very deep aversion to the death penalty, for example, is not likely
                  to be a position adopted
                  > by most voters / politicians. Instead of trying for an "outright
                  win" in the political arena, I
                  > try to argue other elements of the problem. For example, it is hard
                  to argue that the
                  > application reveals social and political biases in the courts.
                  Also, one can point to those
                  > freed thanks to DNA and modern forensics. In other words, I shift
                  the debate to those
                  > areas I think there might be consensus.
                  >
                  > Do I surrender my philosophical notion that the state shouldn't
                  take a life? No. But, I also
                  > realize there is a more effective approach politically.
                  >
                  > I've shifted a lot in life, from the normal "left" of undergraduate
                  years to a libertarian
                  > approach. The more I worked in / around government, the less I
                  trusted it.
                  >
                  > My philosophical approach is to still dream of a time when people
                  get along and help each
                  > other voluntarily. I still imagine people have a responsibility to
                  mutually respect each
                  > other's rights and freedoms.
                  >
                  > Politically? I see government in all nations is about the powerful
                  elites, not idealism.
                  >
                  > Philosophical grounding would help our leaders, as it would any
                  group of people. I want
                  > people to consider "The Other" and how our choices impinge on the
                  other. I want people
                  > to consider, "What if country/group X did Y to me? What of my
                  rights, then?"
                  >
                  > Yes, I'm definitely more libertarian than I was two decades ago.
                  I'm also more pro-union,
                  > I'm generally more ambivalent about my support for the ACLU (I
                  cannot believe they are
                  > supporting the installation of foot baths in our colleges in
                  Minnesota -- uhg), and still a
                  > devoted supporter of the National Wildlife Federation (but not the
                  Sierra Club).
                  >
                  > My philosophy remains apart from political action because I have to
                  compromise to get
                  > things done at the university and in our schools. You cannot go in
                  with "I think we should
                  > shift taxes collected from one district to the inner city schools" -
                  - a position I hold.
                  > Instead, you have to explain to the suburbs why they don't want
                  inner city schools
                  > collapsing and failing. My beliefs have to be mediated to get
                  action.
                  >
                  > I am not a politician, since I couldn't compromise nearly as often
                  as it is required. But, I
                  > have been much better at compromise in the last four years than in
                  the past.
                  >
                  > Pragmatism becomes more appealing when I need to accomplish
                  something. At those
                  > moments, Rorty and Schiappa guide my reasoning. When I shift to
                  freedoms, I still turn to
                  > a mix of Continental thinkers.
                  >
                  > Philosophy and the reality conflict. I support republican ideals,
                  with limits on the majority.
                  > I always fear the majority and its ability to abuse power -- even
                  when my views might be
                  > in the majority.
                  >
                  > When we implement a philosophy, it changes. What is good in the
                  ideal is always off when
                  > men and women try to implement those ideals.
                  >
                  > Politics is about getting things done. It means terrible choices,
                  like which houses must
                  > give way to new roads and transit lines. Politics is not
                  philosophy, at those moments. But, I
                  > think philosopher-leaders would ask, "Is it really fair that we
                  always put the roads through
                  > poor or middle-income neighborhoods?" I want politicians to feel
                  some internal agony
                  > over every choice, while still making a choice.
                  >
                  > Isn't that the core of existentialism? Most choices have a
                  negative, Sartre said, but we tend
                  > to ignore the negatives so we can act free of guilt. I want more
                  guilt from our leaders. Lots
                  > more guilt.
                  >CSW, With the people we have at the top there is no guilt.
                  Caligula rules and look out if you are his horse or sister. Bill
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