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  •  Not really. In (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, AoT, prfb, Radiowalla, wasatch

    Europe these terms are common parlance among average people.  If you're in a pub in Liverpool and say you're a liberal, the working stiff next to you will hear you as saying you're a conservative.

    •  But not really "not really" in the US. nt (0+ / 0-)

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 10:18:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The term migrated (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon, Radiowalla, Fogiv

        to the United States because the foundations of political theory are almost entirely European in origin.  We have to use that terminology to participate in these debates.  There's no intentional attempt to mislead here.  You also sound rather anti-intellectual here.  We'd do well to spend more time listeningto political theorists rather than dismissing academics.

        •  Which theorists? Remember Madison was a (0+ / 0-)

          "theorist." His republic was purely theoretical. It had never existed anywhere on the planet until he designed it for us. In fact, he dismissed "theorists" in Federalist 10 when he disparaged democracies in favor of his pet republic. In fact he was acting just as academics often, and just as you have in this thread. You and they resort to name-calling, such as your use of "anti-intellectual." Typical of those who think they are smarter than everyone else, when faced with an argument they cannot answer, you resorted to name-calling to shut off discussion. This is what I meant in my original comment. Politicians and academics often resort to personal attacks when they are in trouble, especially when that trouble emanates from the unwashed.

          But, back to Madison. His theory was implemented and here we are living under an unworkable system that serves only those who have the money to buy government power. So, I ask again, which "theorists" should I listen to?

          Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

          by hestal on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 11:46:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I find your reaction here strange. (0+ / 0-)

            That's just the standard lingo in much the same way the sciences use metric, while average Americans use the English system of measurement.  There's no conspiracy behind it.  It's a perfectly useful and valuable concept, resonant with political and economic theory going back Locke and Adam Smith.  If you have a better term, by all means propose it.

            You're wrong about the founding fathers, btw.  They were deeply steeped in the tradition of European political thought.  Peter Gay's Pagan Enlightenment and Jonathan Israel's Radical Enlightenment are good texts on this.

            •  Given that the founding father were (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Richard Lyon, JosephK74

              essentially European settlers still, I don't see how they could come from anything but a European background.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 02:03:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So, you couldn't come up with any political (0+ / 0-)

              theorists that I should listen to.

              Madison was very proud of the fact that his republic with its "scheme of representation," as he called it, was a new thing under the sun. So, no matter what political thought he may have been steeped in he didn't think much of the European governments. And neither did Hamilton. The Federalist essays are full of disparaging remarks about them, as well as disparaging remarks about the ancient democracies.

              But, still, you just can't stop calling names, which, I suppose, is a technique you learned at school. Now you call me "strange" to go with your earlier nasty crack.

              I am in the process of proposing my "lingo." It is based on the idea that problems can be solved. But this exchange I have had with you is typical of academics and politicians. Lots of talk, but no results. Sad, but true.

              I know that folks of your ilk like to have the last word. So, go ahead and take your best shot. I promise to read it and not respond.

              Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

              by hestal on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 02:38:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you're looking for contemporary theorists (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Richard Lyon

                I'd suggest Rawls as a starting place. Although I imagine you've already read him.

                And representative democracy had a long tradition in Europe. Certainly not as broadly applied as Madison argued for, but the idea that Madison had some giant break with Europe is wrong.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 03:18:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Rawls is just another academic identifier of (0+ / 0-)

                  problems. He proposed thought experiments to deal with various situations important to governance, but he had not a single, not a solitary, thing to offer when it comes to actually getting something concrete accomplished. And Rawls is well known for his writing about how to define the common good. Even as an academic he was unable to describe a theoretic way to define the common good, and he never suggested a single way to actually develop the common good, which is, of course, the more important of the two problems.

                  The days of the political philosopher are coming to an end, in fact, the end is probably already here but the professors still have tenure so they will still be heard from for a while longer.

                  The way forward is more of an engineering process to determine common good, and, unlike Rawls' approach, the way to develop the common good is to apply the ancient principle of measuring the value of pi. I think it was Archimedes who proposed the approach and which ultimately led to the calculus. These approaches will develop the common good more quickly, more easily, and more accurately than anything that Rawls or Madison or any other political academic has ever proposed.

                  Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                  by hestal on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 07:45:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're kidding right? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JosephK74

                    The ancient principle of measuring pi?

                    I mean, where does one even start.

                    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                    by AoT on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 08:59:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, I am serious, but I am not surprised by (0+ / 0-)

                      your lack of understanding.

                      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                      by hestal on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 09:01:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Maybe you should learn to explain (0+ / 0-)

                        obscure ideas that connect the general good to pi.

                        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                        by AoT on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 09:35:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  If you had an open mind, I might do so. But you (0+ / 0-)

                          clearly don't and this is typical of people who blindly support the academic role in American life. They simply cannot bear any criticism. Just look at the offensive tone of this diary. The author took it upon himself (or herself) to teach ordinary people how to use proper terminology in discussing our government. And when I wouldn't accept that tutorial attitude I was called anti-intellectual and strange. How insulting, and how typical.

                          Larry Summers is a solid example of this attitude and of the academic way of life. Greenspan, even though he was not an academic, he still mirrored its attitudes and ways and look where his theoretical ideas (Randian) took us. So academics have a very poor track record in providing us with useful ideas.

                          If you knew me you would know that my own intellectual life in high school, college, and my profession was noticed by teachers and friends alike. In fact I have been called an "intellectual" myself many times, and it was meant to be disparaging. "Anti-intellectualism" is rampant where I live down here in Texas. But I am not a scholar. I am a concretist, a systems designer who builds concrete social structures that real people use to do real things that are useful and important. There are lots and lots of us who do this and who have done this. I am an old man, born before WWII, and my working life took place years ago, and I retired in 1995. But during those years I, and an entire generation like me, built many useful systems. Some of those I helped build are still in use today and affect the daily lives of millions of Americans.

                          During my thinking life I was inspired at an early age by returning WWII veterans to study our institutions to see if they could be improved. I vowed in high school to live my whole life doing this as a meanwhile task. I further vowed that if, at the end, I had learned anything worthwhile I would write about it. I have reached the end stage and I am about to publish my book to fulfill my vows. The greatest intellectual joy in my life has been making something out of nothing but an idea, and this last project has been the most joyous and the most burdensome. It has been hard to keep at it year after year and decade after decade, especially when I watched academia do nothing but prance and preen and contribute almost nothing to progress. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (by the way, I was trained to be a mathematician), are the disciplines that have built things, not political philosophy. Religion, philosophy, business, government, political parties, and the like are our major ideological entities and they have done nothing to advance the life of the People.

                          So, I am dead serious about all this stuff. I want things to change, and this diary is a good example of people who do not want things to change. It is an old story. The men who argued about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin are the intellectual ancestors of this diary.

                          Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                          by hestal on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 02:49:15 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So you assume I don't have an open (0+ / 0-)

                            mind because here are others who have disagreed with your beliefs. That hardly seems fair. You could have spent three paragraphs giving me an overview instead of telling me about yourself. I never claimed Rawls was the end all be all of political theory, I just threw him out as an interesting read in contemporary political theory.  There's also a lot to criticize.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 08:23:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, that is not true. You intervened in an (0+ / 0-)

                            exchange that I was having with someone else about which political theorists I should listen to. You presented yourself as an authority, and you named Rawls. But you obviously didn't know much about him until I listed a few of his shortcomings, at which point you tried to distance yourself from him. You simply did not know what you were talking about and I caught you in the act.

                            It is easy to see that you do not have an open mind, your sarcastic remark about pi shows it.

                            I have discussed my ideas with many others over the years and many have disagreed. Many of them have been just as sarcastic and unjustifiably self-assured as you are. But that is the way life works. In fact my ideas predict that a substantial portion of the population will reject my ideas because I describe in detail their shortcomings, and propose ways to keep them from continuing to do harm. Which, if you think about it, is just what our country needs right now and for the future: a way, a process, that will transform our lives for the better. I am working on that process and will soon publish my book about it.

                            What have you been doing about our national crisis? Making smart remarks about things you don't understand? Assuming an air of authority that you have not earned? Since that is what you have been doing here, it is fair to assume that  you will continue.

                            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                            by hestal on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 11:32:09 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What havevI been doing? (0+ / 0-)

                            Out helping start occupy was one thing I did. Currently I'm in the process of starting an art group that looks at how art and politics interacts.  And you?

                            As for my supposed lack of an open mind, if all you can do is accuse others of not being open minded enough to listen to your ideas and never explain your ideas then you don't deserve to be taken seriously.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 12:22:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I hope that the art group turns out (0+ / 0-)

                            to be more effective than the occupy group, but I doubt that it will do anything much to help us deal with all of the problems that we face right now.

                            "And you?" I told you up thread what I am doing, but apparently you either did not read it or have already forgotten what you read.

                            Have a nice time at the art meeting. Maybe some political scientists will be there and you can discuss which of the two groups is least effective. Should be very interesting.

                            I know you need, really need to have the last word, so go ahead and take your best shot. I promise to read it and not respond.

                            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                            by hestal on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 01:48:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "I promise to read it and not respond" (0+ / 0-)

                            And here we see the last refuge of someone who still cannot give a description or even a link to a description of their beliefs. Accuse the other person of "wanting the last word" after repeatedly insulting them. I hope you're proud of your petty attempt to make others look foolish by repeatedly not explaining a single idea you have.

                            As for what you're doing, you claim to be writing a book that most everyone will hate because of your brutal honesty and incredible insight. But insult those of us who are doing work beyond just theory and elections yet again.

                            And if you care to give a description of link to your ideas I would gladly read it.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 05:40:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Apples and oranges. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Richard Lyon, AoT

                You're talking about governments, I'm talking about the political theory that informed the thought of the founding fathers.  That theory was thoroughly European, coming out of Locke, Hobbes, Hume, Rousseau, Voltaire, etc.  The key founders were highly educated men, deeply entrenched in Enlightenment political and philosophical theory of the day.  Certainly you know of Jefferson and Franklin's relationship to France, don't you?  Yes, they were critical of European governments, just as the European Enlightenment thinkers were critical of the royalists supporting monarchy throughout Europe.

              •  Incidentally, what do you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                think Madison was studying at Princeton when he was studying Greek, Latin, philosophy, and political theory?  What do you think the reference points were?  French and English political theory and philosophy, of course, as well as the work of the great Greek and Roman sophists or orators (from whom the Enlightenment thinkers derived a great deal of democratic political theory in contrast to monarchialist thought founded on Plato and Aristotle through the church).

        •  But use of the term (0+ / 0-)

          to denote "generous" and "openminded" long predates Adam Smith or any of the classical liberals.  It's the economic liberals who co-opted and twisted a word, not the American left.

          I want to see Snowden get a fair trial, an impartial jury, and the same sentence James Clapper gets for lying to Congress.

          by happymisanthropy on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 12:23:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And we Americans could *really* use (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crider

      a real Labor Party, sometimes!!

    •  Same thing in France (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JosephK74

      where libéralisme means conservative, free market policy.   It is what is called a "faux ami" for those who are learning a new language.  

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 11:27:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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