I should clarify: people disagree with equal access to the facts.
Funny you mention cronyism go look at Dick Chenney's Bio and tell me it isn't interestingQuote:
Many believe he is a socialist or Marxist willing to engage in crony capitalism or even fascism if needed to reach his objectives.
One should note companies like JP Morgan Chase are not evil. They simply are amoral and singular in their legally mandated objective to get the maxium return on investment of its share holders. Given the fact that it is a publicly traded company this is its only objective and only craves power to this end. Profit is not an imororal thing in of its self. No NWO crainess here just typical human behavoir.
Mike, the fact that people who share access (even equal access) to the facts disagree about something doesn't mean that they are equally right or that we can't tell that some of them are dead wrong. Some people with access to the same facts as the rest of us think that the world is about 6000 years old. That doesn't make them right or make their position rational or unassailable.Quote:
Originally Posted by mike321
As long as we define how we are using terms and we don't let people make up bogus facts, many claims about politics can be settled so that any person willing to be honest and rational has to agree.
Of course, many also cannot, because they involve value judgments that rational people can disagree about (such as the relative priority of freedom versus security or the extent of government's legitimate role in regulating the economy, etc.).
But whether Pres. Obama is governing as a Marxist, for example, is a question of fact. It isn't determined by how many people think he does or doesn't, it is determined by what he actually does.
So, for example, it is central to Marxist practice that the government take ownership and control of the means of production (industry, technology, capital, etc.), and Obama has done very little along these lines. There was, for example, the acquisition of a large block of General Motors stock as part of the bailout, but according to GM executives the government did not interfere at all in managing GM, half of the stockholding has already been sold, and the other half will be soon. There has also been some investment in private corporations for alternative energy, but investing in private corporations is the opposite of Marxism. Marxist states nationalize existing private corporations and confiscate private wealth, they don't hand out public resources to private companies, at least to the extent that they are being purely Marxist.
Similarly, in Marxist societies, healthcare is typically entirely state-owned and run. The compromise proposal that was eventually adopted and is usually called "Obamacare" leaves most health insurance in the hands of private insurance companies, does nothing to increase government ownership of hospitals or clinics or to decrease the percentage of physicians and other healthcare providers in private practice.
So, while the individual mandate that Obama caved in and accepted under pressure from the insurance interests and health care lobbyists who basically wrote the "Affordable Care Act" was in a way a socialist measure, it was a big-business-promoting socialist measure, expanding the pool of customers for private insurers. It is anything but Marxist.
So, just as it is clearly false (I'm betting) that the president is raising an army of black soldiers to subjugate the 88% of the US population that aren't black people, it is clearly false that Pres. Obama has governed in a way that is Marxist in any significant sense. The health care reform measures and some of the bailout measures both Bush and Obama enacted both had socialist elements but they were very pro-corporate in much more significant ways than they were socialistic.
I agree that people can be wrong; I even believe in objective truth. What I am rejecting is the "wake up people" mentality. This is the old belief that people just need to be made aware of the facts and suddenly will follow your way of thinking. This is related to conspiracy thought. They often think they possess Truth and their mission is to get it out there. They face evildoers, lazy sheeple, and misinformation but they will keep at it. As for Obama, I have not worked on classifying him. I am not familiar with enough of his writings and speeches to know where he stands ideologically; nor have I examined where his policies stand from a practical versus what he would like to do. Maybe I should. Either way, I think crony capitalism is the current big driver for both parties in the US right now.
This must be terrifying news for those racist enough to believe its true but not quite racist enough to figure the black army incompetent.
There is a major problem with false "information" being fed to people who consume current affairs reporting almost exclusively from sources slanted in the direction they agree with ideologically. But, as you say, people aren't going to magically start accepting accurate information instead just because someone reports it zealously or with a vigorous opposite spin (and of course, the "wake up" people are, as you point out, often wearing tinfoil fedoras).
And you are of course right that there are genuine disagreements that wouldn't disappear even with the fullest information. People have fundamental moral, religious, and other commitments, as well as deep-seated feelings and preferences that affect their political judgments regardless of what their economic interests are.
A. K. Sen has the classic article on this in economic theory / philosophy of rationality called "Rational Fools." Whenever I hear some pundit (or analyst-wannabe on the internet) complaining that a party has "tricked" some group into voting against their own interests, I want to force them to read Sen.
Someone's values and commitments as a citizen (or consumer or human being) don't have to be reducible to (or even consistent with) economic self-interest to be rational. If a working class voter (for example) strongly prefers a militaristic foreign policy and an anti-abortion agenda in the federal courts, then it may be rational to vote for a conservative Republican candidate with that platform even if it makes it more likely (say) that tax relief will go to millionaires instead of the working class.
Also, corporations don't crave anything. They are legal fictions. The people who run them crave all sorts of power, wealth, and influence that often goes well beyond doing what is best for the shareholders, as can be seen in the astronomical salaries, bonuses, and benefits they pay themselves and each other, even when they perform their jobs disastrously poorly.
Finally, corporations (including publicly traded ones) have other obligations besides the obligation to maximize benefit to shareholders. The usual way of putting this in Business Ethics intros these days is to point out that there are other "stakeholders" besides the shareholders. For example, corporations have obligations not to treat their employees in illegal or unethical ways. They also have obligations to their customers not to cheat them, sell them defective goods, deceive them, etc.
There are other less obvious and somewhat more controversial cases. But since society at large, through its representative government, licenses the very existence of corporations, corporations plainly owe society some kind of return. And, of course, corporations depend on all sorts of ongoing services and resources made available by the government and by the continuous cooperation of the rest of society. In theory, corporations repay at least some of these debts through taxation, but some argue that they have further obligations to act for the general good in addition to paying taxes.