Individualism and Collectivism

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Individualism and Collectivism

Post Number:#1  Postby Burning ghost » July 17th, 2017, 12:56 am

I think it is reasonably fair to say we can breakdown political ideologies and cast them somewhere along the polarity between Individualism and Collectivism.

Both of these positions are a necessity for everyone living together to consider. There is nothing obviously hard to understand here, we all want this or that from life and all understand that what we want may conflict with other people in the world. Someone may want a sports car and another may want the destruction of all sports cars due to the pollution they cause.

In the political sphere we understand certain compromises must be achieved and that conflict necessarily has to remain to keep us in check over each other.

There has been some discussion lately over socialist and capitalistic ideals. This is only an economic focus, a habit enforced on humans due to the prehistoric rise of "inequality" (an interesting subject for anthropology if it takes your fancy.)

What I see in society is a highly complex game being played. In political parties no one person has absolute rule, yet one individual has more power over the others. I think it worth looking very closely at how political parties are organized and how they have developed over time. If we can understand the evolution of the political party and come to reflect upon its current state we can be sure to understand how it views the "political world" it resides within.

I got to thinking about this when watching an interview with the former presidents of the US, Clinton and Bush. Clinton said something I found to be obvious yet easy to disregard. He said he learnt most about politics in his first campaign (which he lost). This made me a little worried because it seems he regards "politics" as being about campaigning rather than about applying ideas.

Do politicians only care about how to gain public favour? Are they really concerned with doing anything other than what they think is best? Is the individual in a political role forever askew from the collective population?

I have been thinking about a way of improving the individuals political power. Right now a single person has very little choice in any decisions made by the government.

Recently we saw people in the UK "complaining" about having to vote? I found this a little strange. Of course I don't think it would be very practical to have the population vote over every single decision the nation is faced with. What I find most concerning is that an individual's vote does not seem to be expressing their thoughts and opinions. If I vote for one policy then I am ignoring several others ... this has been a trend in how campaigning works.

What we saw lately in the UK was younger people being encouraged to vote and purposely targeted. We will see this more and more in the next elections and I think it is good that more and more people vote. What puzzles me is what they are voting for? And how we can improve the general system.

My view is that the government should be more splintered. I understand this is a very complex thing to do but given that the way governments are run has not really changed for a long, long time it makes sense to rethink the situation rather than playing an archaic game of politics blinding hoping it holds up to the test of time.

What I propose as being a step in the right direction is a system where people have the opportunity to express their views more fully and vote in elections on a number of different areas. Also for them to spread their voting across several parties if need be.

What I find to be probably the most important aspect is in the individual voter being forced to play policies off against each other. It seems glaringly obvious to me that if you are only concerned with ONE policy then you may very well endorse a policy that undermines the one you're fighting for. People should be made to vote about education, taxes, healthcare and foreign policy rather than being expected to simply vote for ONE party to cover all of these aspects. It seems like a very poor choice at the moment for a great number of people relaly interested in how nations are run.

I have no idea how this could work. I am just saying that I think if people were given several votes for several popular policy debates then they'd be able to feel mor einvolved in politics and vote according to individual policies rather than suffering from having to balance extremely difficult problems in society against each other. After all is that not the job of the politician who has more information and ability and access to find said information (not to mention dedicated time to do so!)?

In term of Individualism and Collectivism is it a fair assessment to say the political parties act as individuals and the voters as a collective? Meaning the voters individual ability to express their views is simply drowned out by the choices dictated by the individual parties with rigid ideals that do not bend easily. Should not governments be constructed by the people for the people rather than gaming with public opinion?
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Individualism and Collectivism



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Re: Individualism and Collectivism

Post Number:#2  Postby Fan of Science » July 17th, 2017, 10:27 am

You seem to be focused more on voting systems than on the issue of individualism versus collectivism. Mathematicians and logicians have spent centuries examining voting systems and have shown that there is no perfect system in the sense that it will always reflect the majority public opinion, except in those cases where only two choices exist for the voters. Even Lewis Carroll spent some considerable time, as a logician, examining the issue of voting systems.
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Re: Individualism and Collectivism

Post Number:#3  Postby Burning ghost » July 18th, 2017, 3:25 am

I was hoping to open up a discussion about governing bodies, voting and economics in general. It seems to me to be the protest of many that they want to be heard. It seems to make some sense to me to make people vote in a fashion where their views and positions are expressed more fully rather than having to vote for party A or B.

-- Updated July 18th, 2017, 3:31 am to add the following --

By this I guess I am suggesting a method in which there is NO party and the people vote for certain members to form a party.

We vote for people on what they believe for a specific area such as education, economics, or foreign policy. The people effectively build the party they want rather than being forced to chose between two group of people representing many things they are unaware of.

As an example we may vote for person X to be head of education over person A, B, C and D. Further still we may vote for specific areas of education, such as the head of university level education or for funding less privelged/gifted individuals. In a sense we'd be voting for several "leaders" rather than merely one leader and a vague mandate.
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Re: Individualism and Collectivism

Post Number:#4  Postby Fan of Science » July 18th, 2017, 11:25 am

But the mathematical problem remains whether you are speaking of political parties or not. Any single candidate for president is not going to be able to please more than 300 million Americans. There will always be compromises where a person will often vote for a candidate, agreeing with some of their positions while strongly disagreeing with others. How would this underlying problem be cured merely by getting rid of political parties?
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Re: Individualism and Collectivism

Post Number:#5  Postby Burning ghost » July 18th, 2017, 2:29 pm

Clearly you are not hearing me.

I am talking about breaking the voting down into sections and voting for those in charge of certain areas of government NOT simply a choice between chump A and chump B, but a whole load of chumps with whom the public can engage with on a particular level.

Are you from the US? Using the US system as an example is probably not so easy because the campaigns over there don't require any kind of manifesto or plan, it is merely a campaign of sound bites.

I am talking about an example where the voter can choose who will run, for example, the education department and have several candidates vying for the job NOT some "presidential figure" lording over who should or should not have the job. Let the public appoint who they want in the job. Move the voting system to entail voters choosing to place their votes toward areas they are more concerned with but have to spread their votes (each person having more than ONE vote) over different areas. Maybe you are concerned about agriculture or technology, education or foreign policy, housing or healthcare? There are countless issues and it seems obvious enough to me that voting for A or B whilst accepting several other things you don't want is plainly a stupid system.

I remember hearing a woman in Scotland saying she wanted to vote for party A but couldn't bring herself to do so because of ONE policy. Instead she was forced to make drastic compromises and vote against many things she believed in. I don't see how her vote really represents how she felt.

Practically speaking I am not sure how such an idea could be introduced. I am talking about a drastic change in political system here and more democratic power.

Of course even if the voter had more choices and could make several votes that would effect several political decisions they'd have to make compromises with their votes and apply themselves more fully to some areas rather than others. What I am sure of is such an idea as this (admittedly as vaguely as I have presented its form) would reduce the need for the voter to compromise say healthcare over education. Imagine a scenario where one party wants to place emphasis on healthcare and foreign policy, and the other wants to ignore both of these and focus on education and housing? Imagine if their policies are exactly opposite on these things and you care about all four items but what you want is spilt across two parties? How can you weigh the importance of say education against housing, or health against industry?

A lot of people I speak to seem caught in this very situation over MULTIPLE policies. I am simply saying if the voter is given the choice to balance their votes across certain social issues rather than across two or three admixtures of views on ALL the social issues that concern them they would be able to vote according to their views rather than be forced to vote essentially for the party that makes them feel less "dirty". Why not let people vote for what they want rather than leave them gambling against their own better judgements? It makes no sense other than being "EASY". The system seems overly simplistic to me.

There is a reason a huge number of people in the UK turned up to vote for referendum. They knew their say meant something SPECIFIC. It was not a case of vote for these guys or these guys and see what happens. It was a case of remain or exit. Simple and to the point ... although ironically I would call it a little irresponsible of the government to shirk this decision and throw it into the public arena. At least people really felt that their vote meant something for change.
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Re: Individualism and Collectivism

Post Number:#6  Postby Fan of Science » July 18th, 2017, 2:50 pm

In the USA, we already have primary voting, and numerous people are listed as candidates on most ballots. What you suggest is not going to matter. It may change who wins an election, but it will never address the reality that whoever wins will be disliked by the majority of voters on at least some issues. At least this will be true with any major election. Perhaps a very small town things may be different.
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Re: Individualism and Collectivism

Post Number:#7  Postby Burning ghost » July 19th, 2017, 12:39 am

You miss my point. Never mind.
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