If representatives narcissists, why equitable legislation?

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If representatives narcissists, why equitable legislation?

Post Number:#1  Postby -1- » April 7th, 2017, 9:31 am

I took the following two quotes from another thread by other registered users here, (typed in different font colours) and HEAVILY edited them to make a point. Therefore please note that these are NOT straight quotes.

I've never heard a politician answer a question where they weren't lying or incorrect or else dodge the question and vehemently stress an innocent point to cloud the issue.

The popular perception appears to be that all politicians are by observational evidence either power hungry wannabe dictators, corrupt money grabbers, Machiavellian schemers, incompetent fools or mindless sheep following a party political herd. Or rather a combination of some/all of those things. It is also the popular perception that not many are motivated by a genuine desire to pass legislation which they believe will help people's lives. Popular perception is that they either have to be incompetent or Machiavellian and that those are the only two choices.


Let us ASSUME that the two above views are true for most if not for all the politicians.

My question for debate is: How is it possible, given the above, that the democratic political system favours the management of all levels of society?

I can see two reasons:

1. The politicians, notwithstanding their motives and power, do good work in order to keep their jobs. If they did a bad job, they would lose their jobs. By not getting elected or reelected.

2. The politicians, notwithstanding their motives and power, do good work because they have the insight to know that a good economy and justice system which favours all is better for all than a skewed economy or justice system which favours some and disfavours some others.

The questions are:

- Is either of my theories right?

- If both of my theories are wrong, is my assumption incorrect? (the assumption that politicians do good work that benefit all levels of society.)

- If both of my theories are wrong, and politicians still do good work, then what is the explanation YOU can offer?

- Is it possible only one of my assumpitons is wrong, the one that is described by the quotes, and is perhaps negated by the truth that a MAJORITY of all politicians are not Machiavelian or incompetent? Because in legistlation majority votes rule.
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If representatives narcissists, why equitable legislation?



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Re: If representatives narcissists, why equitable legislatio

Post Number:#2  Postby Eduk » April 11th, 2017, 12:13 pm

1. The politicians, notwithstanding their motives and power, do good work in order to keep their jobs. If they did a bad job, they would lose their jobs. By not getting elected or reelected.

Surely you can think of people who have come to power within the democratic process who certainly, irrefutably did not do a good job and were re-elected or stopped elections.
do good work because they have the insight to know that a good economy and justice system which favours all is better for all than a skewed economy or justice system which favours some and disfavours some others.

Just because you agree that a fair economy and justice system is good does not mean you have the skill set required to formulate or enact such a fair or just system. In short just because you want to do good work doesn't mean that you are doing good work.
(the assumption that politicians do good work that benefit all levels of society.)

Surely this is a massive assumption? Do you have evidence to support this? I'm not sure it would be hard to think of examples where politicians have not done a good job?
If both of my theories are wrong, and politicians still do good work, then what is the explanation YOU can offer?

To quote Winston Churchill (or at least its been attributed to him) 'democracy is the work possible form of government, except for all the others'. Democracy more or less stops the best possible people governing, but it also more or less stops the worst possible people from governing. I don't believe all politicians are 100% bad, I just believe they are a lot worse than they could or should be.
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Re: If representatives narcissists, why equitable legislatio

Post Number:#3  Postby RuleOnu » April 12th, 2017, 2:33 pm

I believe answering your questions depends on the individuals ideological perspective, which formulate expectations of government.

"Man is a political being(animal)", Aristotle.

First, I don't think "all" elected representatives are currupt(ed) as suggested. There may be a couple of "Harvey Dents"(before he transforms into "Two Face"), by analogy. I believe Washington, in, and of itself is currupt, morally bankrupt and criminal, which can have a corrupting influence on individual elected officials. I believe those who go to Washington already prone to immoral excess are soon exposed as charlatans. Then there are the altruist who find themselves in a bureaucratic guigmire with very few sympathizers. Then, there are the ones who can't make it any other way but at taxpayer expense.

I would like to say that the US does not have a "democratic system" (I think "democracy" has become a communist code word), but is a Constitutional representative republic. In a perfect world, people rule.
Administrative government should be relegated to making treaties, prosecuting moral wars and making moral, equitable and common sense laws. But, I don't think a central government should, or has, any responsibility to "manage society". In fact I believe it's that kind of thinking and expectations which produces the, "...power hungry wannabe dictators, corrupt money grabbers, Machiavellian schemers, incompetent fools or mindless sheep following a party political herd. Or rather a combination of some/all of those things".

To answer your points,
1. I think a good portion of the electorate is either politically malaise or dumbed down enough that any good catch phrase, like "Pepsi, the choice of a new generation", or, "Hope and Change"(whatever that means outside of church), gets their vote. Or, race, or sex manipulation to the same effect. I don't so much blame the politician but the citizen looking for "free stuff", entitlements who is willing to sell his vote for a cell phone and free tuition.
2. No, politicians have no insight into economy or law. I mean how hard is it using it using the bathroom of the sex you're born with that it somehow requires legislation to sort out? And, that maximizing free market choices works?
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Re: If representatives narcissists, why equitable legislatio

Post Number:#4  Postby Steve3007 » April 20th, 2017, 12:10 pm

-1-:
1. The politicians, notwithstanding their motives and power, do good work in order to keep their jobs. If they did a bad job, they would lose their jobs. By not getting elected or reelected.


It's not unfeasible that this could be true. It would be similar to the "greed is good" principle of the profit motive in free market capitalism. That quote ("greed is good") from Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street is, I think, often misunderstood. It's simply a statement of a principle of markets, namely that the free market, if properly arranged, extracts benefit for society by channelling a negative-seeming motive (greed) for positive effect. Likewise, in a properly arranged political system, perhaps the energy that is generated by the lust for power can create similarly beneficial results? Perhaps.

Eduk:
I don't believe all politicians are 100% bad, I just believe they are a lot worse than they could or should be.


Actually, your Winston Churchill quote seems to me to demonstrate that you believe that they are worse than they should be but the best that they realistically could be. i.e. Our politicians are of a poor standard but any other political system would result in them being of an even poorer standard.
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Re: If representatives narcissists, why equitable legislatio

Post Number:#5  Postby Eduk » April 20th, 2017, 12:36 pm

Actually, your Winston Churchill quote seems to me to demonstrate that you believe that they are worse than they should be but the best that they realistically could be. i.e. Our politicians are of a poor standard but any other political system would result in them being of an even poorer standard.

Good point :)
I am not quite so hopeless though and was over egging my point. Democracy does not actually prevent good governance in the long run. The current state of the population certainly does, so we do have the politicians we deserve in a sense. But good people could run for office, of course they wouldn't be voted in immediately. But over many years they could have a positive influence which slowly grew, who knows what is possible in a generation or two.
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Re: If representatives narcissists, why equitable legislatio

Post Number:#6  Postby -1- » April 20th, 2017, 10:16 pm

Eduk, you raise a few very good points in your fist post, right after my opening post.

I like your objection to calling bad governance good governance. Surely contemporaries have a hard time in telling the difference. Hitler was praised in his heyday. JFK was proven to have committed to a few errors, which still have reverbs across the nation, namely 1. JFK ordered US involvement in the Viet Nam war, which 2. started an unstoppable and destructive drug culture in the USA, and 3. his policies led to the first appearances of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

We call him good because we agree with his principles, and with his intentions, but he basically committed bigger boo-boos against mankind, and longer-lasting ones, too, than Hitler or even our fears of what Trump may be capable of.

However, I think you made a mistake in methodology. My position was that bad politicians make good policies and laws. You said that there must be examples where even good politicians make bad laws.

That is undoubtedly true, but it's a methodology mistake. If 194 politicians do a good job and carry it to the end, then the two or three politicians who do a bad job and force it through to the end, are not representative.

here, a negative example does not debunk the theory. If I had said, "Policians always do a good job" and you showed a couple of them who do not do a good job, then your argument wins. This argument, the current one we are debating, however, deals with a general statement, that allows for a room for error, and therefore an instance of error does not nullify the theory.

Think of it this way:

1. No man is an Island.
2. Peter is an island.
3. Peter is a man.
4. Therefore 1. is not true.

or, like, you know, along this one:

1. Some men are not islands, and most men are islands.
2. Peter is a man.
3. Peter is not an is;and.
4. Therefore Peter's existence does not render 1. untrue.

-- Updated 2017 April 20th, 10:29 pm to add the following --

Eduk wrote:
(the assumption that politicians do good work that benefit all levels of society.)

Surely this is a massive assumption? Do you have evidence to support this? I'm not sure it would be hard to think of examples where politicians have not done a good job?


Further the methodology issue, many people do forget all the time that legislators do not only do those things which we read in the paper. Legislators do decide on laws that limit the captain's age in a whaling ship, and they do decide to write up laws that sets a tariff on grain imports, and they do decide to increase the funding to national talents in the entertainment and noodle factory industries.

In other words, the assumption is not massive. Hitler's good and progressive policies BY NUMBER of policies, not by their impact on humanity, way outweigh his incredibly racist policies.

There were more laws and regulations created, governing the education industry, during George W. Bush's rule than during JFK's rule.

Which brings us yet one more time to the challenge of defining "Good governance" vs. "Bad governance".
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