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"Rule by the People." That's a good translation of "Democrat." Now it seems to me inarguable that the site's stated goal of "More Democrats" will be achieved when we have More Better Democrats. As they'd be the ones that most closely match the concerns and intent of The People. A Party which represents the people, crazy as it might sound, would be the party that gets the most votes.

I think we can get a good running start down the road to "Better Democrats" if we first ask, and answer, some fundamental questions. Such as:
• Are we in a Time of Crises?
• Is our Political Class up to what's needed?

Answer these questions and we have a better idea of what we need from the Democratic Party. And maybe the politicians will too.

There's an old saying: there's no such thing as 'almost pregnant.' A condition exists, or it doesn't. Crisis is similar, in that either one is present, or it is not.

Now, seems that people explain how their current reality came about using the terms of psychology, philosophy, the movement of the stars, Karl Marx, theories of power, sane or addled deities... all sorts of explanations. Those and our other favorite hobby-horses (and I have mine) are not what I'm trying to get our attention on. Mainly, for now, just get these questions answered. Though, naturally, anybody who wants to share their favorite notion of how we got here, for good or ill, should do so.

Please vote, and please expound upon your vote. Thank you.


Are we in a Time of Crises, or not? Is our Political Class up to what's needed?

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| 49 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

    by Jim P on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:27:39 PM PDT

  •  yes we are in a time of crisis (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, eyo, Just Bob, Jim P, Joieau, unfangus

    i don't think there's a political class. i think some politicians are up to the task, but not nearly enough.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 01:34:46 AM PDT

  •  Yes and No is how I clicked it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P

    California. If you're an imported hipster - experts agree, everything is fine. If you're a native hippie - the retreads are about to blow, Jerry Brown.

  •  Time of crisis, pol class not up to it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbob, Jim P, unfangus

    One need look no further than climate change. One political party in total delusion and the other one afraid of its shadow. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court enables the delusional party by gutting campaign laws.

    Want to look at other issues: too big too fail, wealth and income inequality, tragedy by gunshot...I think there is no argument.

  •  good news / bad news (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P, River Rover, limpidglass

    The good news is: The political class is totally up for whatever's demanded by the people they consider important.

    I bet you can guess the bad news.

  •  I don't believe the systems we have are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P

    capable.  Humans are humans.  They do what they do, always have.  We haven't been able to create the necessary systems that are "human proof".  So no, we are not up to the task.  Unfortunately.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 09:05:09 AM PDT

    •  Still, Lincoln met his times, FDR his, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, unfangus, Simplify

      and throughout history there's been periods where the ruling class takes actions to make life at least bearable for the population  (for that part of the population not slaves).

      I don't see that our political class is even vaguely interested, let alone capable, of dealing with anything that matters today.

      Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

      by Jim P on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:14:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I don't either. It's like with jobs or the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, unfangus

        50 million people in poverty.  Why don't they come together and say, "we're going to cut the number of people in poverty in half in the next ten years".  Instead they want to attack Russia, for "our" safety.  Nothing about poverty or jobs.  It truly is Orwellian.  That's where we're at.

        "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:19:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why isn't the widespread/increasing poverty even (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt, unfangus

          discussed as part of Conventional Politics? A rhetorical question as the answer is 'endemic corruption.'

          Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

          by Jim P on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:30:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The political class (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jim P

            is too busy celebrating the fact that people signed up for ACA  - a compulsory law - to pay much attention to poverty.

            At my latest house district meeting, the representatives [three of them dropped in] were lamenting the fact that the governor is underpaid, as are judges and some other high level positions.  They are far more concerned about people who already make more than 95% of the population to ever be concerned about those at the bottom.

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 12:35:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  yes to first, no to second (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P, unfangus

    We've passed from an era in which change happens at a slow manageable rate (linear change) to an era in which change occurs at an exponential rate.

    We're used to thinking that tomorrow will be more or less like today and that all changes progress slowly. So you can work by trial and error; if something goes wrong you have plenty of time to fix it.

    But the laws governing the new regime, such as Moore's Law, are exponential in nature. Small, seemingly trivial changes amplify very quickly and produce huge effects. If you wait till something goes wrong to take action, you'll be swamped by the sheer speed and magnitude of the problem. You could go to bed tonight, and wake up tomorrow to a totally different world.

    Anthropogenic climate change (which differs drastically from pre-anthropocene climate change in taking place over a far smaller timescale, decades instead of thousands of years) high-frequency trading, ever-increasing automation of the economy (and consequent devaluation of labor), the increasing sophistication of genetic engineering--these are the sorts of challenges we'll have to grapple with.

    What these all have in common is that they are complex systems, which interact with each other in unpredictable ways. Some are self-replicating, and can thus perpetuate themselves indefinitely once released into the environment. You can't undo them.

    The human brain evolved to keep us out of the rain and help us find the sweet berries and stay away from the poisonous berries. It didn't evolve to be able to forecast the consequences of autonomous drone swarms and bioengineered oil-eating bacteria. We must develop this capacity, or be swept away by the momentum of events.

    Like a fighter pilot who requires all the info from his flight instruments on his heads-up display to be able to fly his plane at supersonic speeds. Without that information, that he'll crash.

    Our political systems are not built for handling these kinds of complex challenges. They're leftover from the 19th century. It's not yet even clear whether democratic decision-making processes can move quickly enough to grapple with these issues in a meaningful way. How are you going to ensure that 7 billion people have a voice in these decisions while making them in a timely manner? With the Internet it is perhaps possible, but without it, we'd be dead in the water.

    It's a real challenge.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:20:04 AM PDT

    •  Not sure that the problems are so much related (0+ / 0-)

      to our political system, but more to do with the character of the people in charge. There's always been hierarchies, at least since settlements, probably among some nomads. But it seems that with the widespread Golden Calf worship, and the most powerful propaganda knowledge and practice in all history (with it's 'all about me' conditioning), that we aren't even able to develop politicians of decent sense and character.

      I imagine we'll go over the cliff before we get a political class that isn't playing for petty advantages.

      Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

      by Jim P on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:28:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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