(Thanks for your response, sorry for this delayed one)
First, thank you for your thorough examination of my wording and everything I said in my last post… it was very helpful to have another perspective, and in retrospect I believe you are right in your disagreement with most of it.
(While I didn’t make it nearly clear enough to begin with, of course much of it was hypothetical, but even so it was unforgivably careless wording. My tongue was in my cheek, it wasn’t bubblegum).
But, if you’ll indulge me (and that may be asking a bit much at this point) I’d like to clarify some of what I said and hopefully, salvage anything there that’s worthwhile. First, let me address and apologize for all the things I said which I believe are unsalvageable...
My main mistake and one that I regret completely was the idea that leaders should be anonymous...that we shouldn’t know their names or their faces….honestly I hate that I wrote that… this was with the intention of preventing the symbol of a leader from becoming iconic or deified… but the anonymity is a far greater advantage to the official who, as you correctly say, would be safe from accountability. And, the active dehumanization of public officials (that we somehow re envision them as a tool to be used by society) is a terrible idea, not just for the unethicality of it, but because this dehumanization is historically used by leaders to hold themselves as superior over the humans they serve. We should see our representatives as being fallible and the best way to communicate that is by officials honestly presenting themselves as they are…to whatever extent possible, we should nurture a genuine bond between representatives and their society... and my use of the term “unworthy” was absurd.
Now, an explanation for the things I said which I still agree with
All of the theoretical trials I suggested, such as leaders in high positions of authority being required to have a finger severed prior to serving a term in office, (while perhaps this specific example is too barbaric and outlandish) was meant to serve multiple functions, all of which are generally positive….
The symbolic importance
We can never exact the amount of suffering that a high level official will likely cause (even if they were truly representative) back on that official…A single individual would be unable to endure the disenfranchisement of millions or billions, even if the extent of that disenfranchisement was generally very slight per person… While we live in a world where inequality and discontent are random, circumstantial and unintentional, they become non-random and intentional when they are systemic relative to a government and as we put an authority in a position to manipulate those circumstances…
there will almost always be a minority or groups of minorities in every effectual decision, and there will necessarily be decisions (although made by an elected official) which do not immediately represent certain individuals in society as that official prioritizes what I described as the 2nd function of society’s physical survival, which will generally favor utilitarianism…For example, if in an evacuation from a tsunami, more lives would be saved by an ordered movement out of a city, the official is obligated to facilitate this kind of ordered evacuation. Those people farthest from the ocean have the best chance of surviving and so do the majority of people in the interior of the city… however, those people living near the coast will likely be held behind the ordered line of people moving out of the city, and more of them will die then the people living in other parts of the city… they would have had a better chance of survival in a chaotic scenario where they were able to move away from the coast by pushing and shoving and avoiding the lines of cars, but in total, more people would have died... in such instances, those individuals in society who suffer as a result of official, systemic decisions are disenfranchised, and they will likely blame the official or they will blame the structure of society itself for their suffering, and they are, in a senese, right to do so. And the official, being imperfect, will necessarily make mistakes in his or her attempt to represent the interests of society, for which they must be held accountable… But, we shouldn’t want to sacrifice society itself or replace representative authorities with randomness if we desire to survive.
So, the constant insistence of an elected official not to appear as “care-free” in that occupation is oddly helpful for preventing unnecessary disatisfaction by the populace… the appearance of an elected official golfing or taking a vacation is corrosive to the wounds which disenfranchised groups in society already suffer (particularly if there is hunger or real material deprivation). Any material superiority by the elected official over the most impoverished people he or she represents when seen, is felt as an insult. The willingness of an elected official to experience pain or material deprivation… to sacrifice… this will endear him or her to the populace and, over time, will radically improve the general relationship between people who are constrained by society and the social structure itself which the people experience as the decisions made by their representative.
There is no more likely cause of an internal destruction of society by a popular revolution than suffering along with the sentiment that a fat, happy, carefree king or queen is responsible for society’s discontents. We should prevent that reality, and prevent that sentiment in the population as much as possible for the sake of long term social cohesion.
And to remind them of what they have chosen in this disgraceful unavoidable position of authority over others
This is why the occupation of a representative official in authority over people becomes “disgraceful”... it is disgraceful that our survival ever depends on the intentional facilitation of (or failure to prevent) suffering for some people by a person or a small group of people in order for the whole of society to be preserved.
However, it is also at the same time the most important occupation and we must relegate it only to the most qualified people.
The hypothetical removal of an elected representative’s finger shows the population that they have empathy for the suffering of society, that they are acutely aware of the disgraceful nature of their occupation, and that they will strive to reduce that disgrace wherever possible. It also proves to the populace that they love people, because they won’t gain anything by applying for this job.
(it is important that the material position of the official not increase after their term, but either remain the same or decrease so that the population is never led to believe that elected officials are selfish in their decision to apply as a candidate, seeking wealth or glory).
You may say the removal of a finger is not the best way to illustrate this… perhaps, but there is truth to the saying: “actions speak louder than words.” And, people are historically obsessed with self sacrifice… it has a symbolic importance which in turn has a real tangible importance in the relationship between people and representative leaders.
Actually, I first heard of this from a NYT story about a peaceful protest against the Japanese government by 20 South Korean men who each cut off their little finger in retaliation to Japan’s failure to teach an accurate history of its own militaristic colonialism.
It is peaceful, but brutal at the same time… a great way to communicate a gravitas statement to a large group of people.
Of course the need for this sort of material deprivation on the part of an elected official may decrease as whatever their job description is has less of an influence over the liberty of large numbers of people
(I would suggest it be an operation with anesthesia)
The removal of a finger as a requirement for the candidate who receives a majority of votes would dissuade many people who would otherwise desire to have the position from running in the first place. Others it would not dissuade. It would not dissuade people who have no fear for their own wellbeing or no fear of pain… the insane or psychotic (for which other screening methods would be used to disqualify them)... It would of course dissuade people from running who have only a passing interest in society’s well being and are afraid of losing a finger. Those who don’t think it is worth it
It would not, effectively, dissuade those who consider the cost of losing a finger as well worth it in order to serve their obsession for the wellbeing of society. This person is not insane or psychotic any more than a lover or a devoted mother or an obsessive artist or craftsman… this person is “zealous” for an object above him or herself.
Now regarding my use of the word zealotry
I think you’re right not to believe in true zealotry, that a person is ever truly selfless for the sake of some person(s) or cause above the reduction of their own discontent. But few would question that a person can’t become so close to selfless that they genuinely act selflessly, such as the self immolating monk in Vietnam. A parent or a lover may act effectively self-less, and they are not dehumanized as a result because they are genuinely obsessed with the object of their affection. Their creativity and empathy increase as a result of this obsession...they don’t lose functionality. And this is all that is important for my purposes… in other words, (aside from being capable) that a candidate in a high position of authority believes and acts as if they are selfless with regard to their interest in the second and third function… Their actions, after all, are the only things that interest us, and this apparent selflessness becomes more important as the stakes of the position for society increases.
Alias wrote: ↑May 3rd, 2021, 11:37 am
I would be fine with this if that "identity" necessarily shared between constituency and representative were not permanently exclusive and contained, or prevented from (or opinionated against) social cohesion and as long as the identity in question did not present a risk in any instance to the actual wellbeing of society
I don't see how that could happen, with randomly chosen citizens serving short terms in office, then returning to their normal lives.
all of the people are always represented - by age, gender, ethnicity, education, occupation, domicile, income, physical ability, religious affiliation, cultural background - everybody serves; everybody matters; everybody contributes.
I can see problems with selecting people randomly… it would be less likely to select an insidious or insane character than the typical sort of person with good intentions, but it wouldn’t be impossible… and it would be unlikely that the person you select randomly is qualified without having formal training or.... Well there’s actually a lot that could prevent any random person from being qualified… Are you suggesting random selection from within a selected group of qualified candidates?
There are cultural characteristics which are disqualifying. Cultures are often nationalistic and exclusory… their existence as a “separate” culture is also an existence which has a long history of isolation and often distrust… we should deconstruct cultures into one another, seeking the most immersive culture of a non exclusive society… that includes the very gradual movement towards general racial and cultural uniformity.
I would consider economic incentives for inter racial couplings
It’s not particularly possible for age below 16 or above 95 to be represented directly except by other age groups. I do believe generations of people born in the same 5 or 10 year period should always be thought of as an exclusive political party, from age 16 until death. Different generations have different interests after all.
Not everyone can contribute to a society (relative to the cost of their own survival) and not everyone who can will contribute… As long as we agree to take care of the ones who can’t and generally rehabilitate or banish those who can but won’t.
Alias wrote: ↑May 3rd, 2021, 11:37 am
(defined by my 2nd and 3rd function)... A suicidal society for instance shouldn't be represented by a leader who is also suicidal…
What is a suicidal society? What are its identifying characteristics? Why does it want to die? What is the etiology of its suicidal tendency? Anyway, the risk is minimal, as long as no one administrator represents an entire society and no administration can accumulate or consolidate power.
I should really have been more specific here,
I meant to refer to a hypothetical suicidal society as one one in which the majority of people want to enter into a lethal course of action (intentionally or unintentionally) for the entire society...not to leave the society but to use it in a way which will destroy all or even most of it’s popuation, even if it is not their own generation… in the hypothetical case of a world society, it is one in which the majority of people want to enter into a lethal course of action for the human species (again, even if it is not their own generation).
It is a hypothetical with many possible specifics, but in my view of the three first functions of social representation, I don’t believe it matters. If the elected representative believes the action will be lethal to the population, they are obligated not to facilitate that action and even to actively prevent the population from carrying it out… because liberty is less important (for obvious reasons) than the ability to experience liberty or the lack thereof in the first place.
In my opinion, the method of such a determination shouldn’t be just the opinions of the officials but of a qualified board of trusted qualified experts to first inform the opinion of the elected representative or board of representatives… that’s how it should be, but even if it is just the opinion of one elected representative and they were elected without the qualifications to make such a determination (which is the fault of the system and the populace that elected them) it is still their responsibility to act according to their own determination from their own perspective… even if we find out later that their determination was a bad one… this is one of the reasons we should have boards of elected officials rather than any one person with executive power
Alias wrote: ↑May 3rd, 2021, 11:37 am
or, even by a leader who endorses and facilitates their decision of suicide…
Easy fixed: don't create "leaders"!
Yep, that’s definitely a conversation and a very interesting one... Are you an anarcho syndicalist? / Anarcho socialist? Or neither?
Alias wrote: ↑May 3rd, 2021, 11:37 am
a leader must follow the 2nd function of preservation, even if it means a total denial of that society's liberty.
Did you parse that sentence? A leader must follow; one who has been denied liberty must deny liberty to others....
I'm not moving to your world - but you're still welcome in mine.
I wouldn’t say I believe that, however I do think that how we determine an individual's positive influence over the wellbeing of society should generally correlate to our determinations of social status and the extent of a person’s representative influence, or power.
I think incentivization and class are potentially beneficial to social growth, so long as we are intelligent in our determinations of incentivization… there is material incentive which isn’t going anywhere, but I think a general per capita material “cap” and a cultural disdain for frivolous individual material wealth and non-social endeavours can be used to reconcile a sustainable class system, where the selfish and lazy have the least influence and the charitable and hard working have the most influence… I think influence and a kind of status as a person of high moral standing (combined to a ruthless disdain of greed) can allow us to survive without capitalism without diminishing the benefits of social mobility and competition… but it should become competition for status, devoid of material, which would be a sort of feat of cultural engineering.
I truly don't believe there is a lasting alternative to a central government...And I think the government should control the production and distribution of important resources, which is why it is so necessary that officials are rigorously screened for a high level of intelligence and selfless qualities, and a love of human wellbeing... and of course (after screening) that they be elected by the populace