Removing emotions and ideology from politics

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Scruffy Nerf Herder
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Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Scruffy Nerf Herder »

Apologies if this is a bit of a long OP. There are several different political science concepts to unpackage.

Why commit yourself to any political group when they all don't have a real ideological basis and they are either only tangentially concerned with your interests at least as it pertains to them and what they need to do in order to get into office and remain in office, or they simply aren't concerned with your interests at all if they don't have any bearing on them and what they do?

Political groups want the population to feel polarized, they want them to feel emotional about their distaste for one or more groups.

Believe it or not they even benefit from your distaste for them in particular. If you do not like a particular group it is by their design.

Political groups, parties, what have you (it depends on the form of government), do not have ethics or ideology. It is not evil that they function this way and corruption while it seems evil isn't really the same thing as evil, even when it seems terrible, as corruption is actually a basic tool of government.

Someone who holds a political office has to do certain things in order to get into that office and they are also constrained by what they must do to remain in that office. However they personally think about the world and however they think about what they do as a politician has no real bearing on what they do. If they are a decent person then they hope for opportunities which may or may not come to do something they view as positive and helpful with their power.

In a democratic republic, which is the popular form of government today and it fuses oligarchy with democracy, politicians are representatives.

Power perpetuation and power expansion are so inextricably linked they are the same thing. Governments exploit other countries because a powerful government is a more stable government, stability is always purchased at the cost of fostering instability elsewhere.

It isn't hateful it is actually something worse. It's the cold reality of government functioning like cogs in a machine, and the universe itself having no mind with which to care about humans mistreating each other. Things simply are what they are. There is no idyllic state of being, no pregovernment form of existence; groups with the most primitive, rudimentary forms of government are bound by the same sociological and logistical constraints, people will always exploit one another.

The politicians we see on tv have all these outlandish narratives about them because they are caricatures. Purposely crafted caricatures. It is how they get their job and how they keep it.

If you have an issue with what a politician does then what you really have an issue with is what the constituency of that politician is interested in, wants, needs, etc.

Each country only has so many resources. Laws and tax codes aren't complex for the arbitrary reason that someone thinks they should be they complex. They are actually layered incentives and disincentives designed to purchase the support of the constituencies buttressing the politicians legislating them.

Do you think that farmers are important? Surely they're important they supply the most basic kind of need for a country right? Well apparently not in Norway. Farmers don't get subsidies there because they aren't a large enough and unified enough portion of the country's population in order to be a voting bloc. They cannot form part of a constituency so the subsidies for them not only don't exist, they can't exist.

Why can't they exist? The government only has a certain annual budget and the entire expenditure of that budget is in maintaining constituencies and also maintaining the income of the government.

Does a politician say they are going to do all kinds of different things but he/she doesn't do them? Does the politician say things at different times that contradict each other? It is because the individual voting blocs within their constituency have interests, wants, needs that are at odds with each other, and the politician is balancing that in order to maintain a reasonable enough degree in their constituency to keep it from fracturing.
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Scruffy Nerf Herder
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Scruffy Nerf Herder »

As a representative that politician must first be sponsored. The people do not directly vote for candidates and they do not choose who the candidates are, the parties have a byzantine (i.e. overly complex) system for choosing candidates and such systems have always been complex for the express reason that the typical citizen (this is even true for republics today and throughout history which have a more limited definition of who is a citizen and gets to vote) is not supposed to understand exactly how that system works.

So now that we've established you aren't choosing in any real sense who you get to vote for, let's get to the big deal: demographics and census taking. Ever wonder why all the way back in ancient Rome BCE they were taking census? It wasn't just information for tax collectors it was demographic information for the purpose of governing.

In political science there is a kind of demographic called a voting bloc. A voting bloc is a group of people who all not only have something in common, e.g. the color of their skin, their occupation, etc. but they have interests and often needs in common. When a political group/party builds their platform they are carefully designing a series of simple statements that will have some appeal for enough different voting blocs at once, such that hopefully they form a constituency (group of people who can be relied upon to mostly vote for you).

Because of this parties don't have actual ideological agendas, that is the kind of luxury that doesn't exist in government, their platform is going to change when their voting blocs change or new voting blocs emerge. They either change their platform to fit it to a new set of voting blocs in order to rely upon them all as a constituency, or the cold hard fact of the matter is that they cannot get into office.
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Scruffy Nerf Herder wrote: June 23rd, 2021, 12:15 pm Why commit yourself to any political group when they all don't have a real ideological basis and they are either only tangentially concerned with your interests at least as it pertains to them and what they need to do in order to get into office and remain in office, or they simply aren't concerned with your interests at all if they don't have any bearing on them and what they do?
I wonder, are you confusing politics and politicians here?
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Scruffy Nerf Herder
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Scruffy Nerf Herder »

I did my best to establish that that is a common behavior even historically in governments because of the constraints that come with trying to govern.

I used the main most popular form of government today but can apply those principles more generally to explaining other forms of government that don't use representatives. And thanks for your criticism asking for a necessary clarification.
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Alias »

There is no idyllic state of being, no pregovernment form of existence; groups with the most primitive, rudimentary forms of government are bound by the same sociological and logistical constraints, people will always exploit one another.
Of course there was a pre-government form of existence for hominids, as there are also non-government forms of existence for many other species.
The ungoverened hominids might have dragged their knuckles a bit and never heard of money or religion, but they were our ancestors all the same: they had social organization, rules and mores.
Things got a little more complicated over time, and civilizations have confused us about the purpose and function of social organization, but the fundamental need hasn't changed, and neither have the benefits.
There are different ways of organizing a society and we have not recently (within the last 6-7000 years) experienced many examples of good or sustainable way. But we've had good ideas. If there were sufficient time, I think we could develop some of the better ideas and discard the bad ones.
Too bad there isn't time.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire
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Sy Borg
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Sy Borg »

One way to remove emotions and ideology from politicians is to have a completely politically independent public service, where the jobs of department heads and executives are not at the mercy of the portfolio's minister.

Just let the departments do their jobs as well as they can, and these are coordinated by an overarching department to prevent uncalled-for duplication of services, to ensure that departments are working with each other rather than competing, to maximise economies of scale and reduce waste.

I would also like to see government getting its nose out of people's private affairs. They have no place in people's private lives, barring the usual protections against violence and neglect.
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Alias »

Sy Borg wrote: July 3rd, 2021, 2:55 am One way to remove emotions and ideology from politicians is to have a completely politically independent public service, where the jobs of department heads and executives are not at the mercy of the portfolio's minister.
That's a less emotional way to administer public affairs (a completely unemotional way would be by computer).
But you haven't taken emotion out of politics; you've taken politics out of social organization.
Politics is all about competing ideas regarding how the affairs of a society should be organized and by whom they should be conducted. It's about choosing up sides, or ideologies.
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by AverageBozo »

If the OP had sought the removal of emotion from political campaigns (as opposed to all of politics), I would flatly state it’s impossible.

The electorate is susceptible to emotional pleas, even at the expense of factual arguments. Until emotions can be eradicated from the populace, office-seekers will attempt passionately to manipulate the emotions of voters in order to collect their ballots.

Of course, if there were a way to ensure that the public would rely on intellect rather than feeling in making choices, emotion might disappear from political campaigns altogether.
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Sy Borg
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Sy Borg »

Alias wrote: July 5th, 2021, 2:18 pm
Sy Borg wrote: July 3rd, 2021, 2:55 am One way to remove emotions and ideology from politicians is to have a completely politically independent public service, where the jobs of department heads and executives are not at the mercy of the portfolio's minister.
That's a less emotional way to administer public affairs (a completely unemotional way would be by computer).
But you haven't taken emotion out of politics; you've taken politics out of social organization.
Politics is all about competing ideas regarding how the affairs of a society should be organized and by whom they should be conducted. It's about choosing up sides, or ideologies.
That's the best I can manage, alas. Removing emotions from politics at a time when politics have been reduced almost entirely to emotion - a reason-free zone - seems impossible. It's just a battle of vested interests today, perhaps especially in the Anglosphere, where Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch have been systematically killing off logic and reason in politics to replace it with overheated emotion to promote their fossil fuel interests.
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Alias »

True enough. We might expect politics to be a contest of philosophies or interest groups, but it's main to propaganda machine vs. citizenry.
Re all that, you might like your hair raised by a 4-part documentary I've been watching
https://watchdocumentaries.com/the-century-of-the-self/
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by mystery »

Humans are creatures of emotions. If we remove the emotions we would be something else. If we somehow remove emotions from politicians then they would not be a good representatives as they would be different than us. And alas, how could it be done, even a eunuch has emotions.

How could ambitions exist without emotions, without ambitions what could we achieve?

What we have is the best way for WHAT we are.
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Sy Borg »

mystery wrote: July 6th, 2021, 8:09 am Humans are creatures of emotions. If we remove the emotions we would be something else. If we somehow remove emotions from politicians then they would not be a good representatives as they would be different than us. And alas, how could it be done, even a eunuch has emotions.

How could ambitions exist without emotions, without ambitions what could we achieve?

What we have is the best way for WHAT we are.
I don't see the question in those terms. It's not about humans becoming emotionless philosophical zombies. Rather, the thread notes the extreme emotionality that's been encouraged in politics because people whose emotions are ruling their minds are so easy to manipulate. Governments throughout history around the world have worked to prevent their constituencies from exercising independent thinking. They would rather deal with simple, emotional saps who will jump when told to do so.
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by mystery »

Sy Borg wrote: July 6th, 2021, 5:42 pm
mystery wrote: July 6th, 2021, 8:09 am Humans are creatures of emotions. If we remove the emotions we would be something else. If we somehow remove emotions from politicians then they would not be a good representatives as they would be different than us. And alas, how could it be done, even a eunuch has emotions.

How could ambitions exist without emotions, without ambitions what could we achieve?

What we have is the best way for WHAT we are.
I don't see the question in those terms. It's not about humans becoming emotionless philosophical zombies. Rather, the thread notes the extreme emotionality that's been encouraged in politics because people whose emotions are ruling their minds are so easy to manipulate. Governments throughout history around the world have worked to prevent their constituencies from exercising independent thinking. They would rather deal with simple, emotional saps who will jump when told to do so.
yes, we can not do it. it is what we are.

Only the one who does not win has time to not like it. This exact topic is woven into many things. The acceptance of what we are and then to deal with it. I agree that the somewhat dishonest way of winning is in some way not perfect. The choices are to learn it and use it to achieve whatever is the goals. We have to also use the emotional approach to win, then if we are still sane, we can achieve goals that we like. The effort to think about how to stop others from using this powerful tool will never.... work because of what we are.

Borg, I agree with you and the OP about this issue, I believe the solution is to beat the opponents using the tools that work, and then if still sane walk the high road to fix whatever we desire to. If we try to teach the masses of this, we will be label a fool and if we do not do it we will not win, therefore the best we can do is to also use the same and win. Those in power understand this very well and it is why thinking is discouraged. But it somehow will always happen due to the same emotional pull, revolutions occur when the greed of the leader's increase.

Camelot and the round table, and a utopia for all. A king is needed a good one.
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Alias »

What we are
is a complex creature with a very large, convoluted brain, a highly developed imagination, a sophisticated problem-solving capability, a strong sense of community and belonging, a profound need for affection and esteem, an as-yet-unmeasured capacity for empathy, learning, co-operation, creativity, duplicity, credulity, greed, sadism, depravity and mental anguish.
What politicians have been offering us are slogans that fit on a tee-shirt.
I'm pretty sure we could cope with more.
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Sy Borg
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Re: Removing emotions and ideology from politics

Post by Sy Borg »

mystery wrote: July 6th, 2021, 11:05 pm
Sy Borg wrote: July 6th, 2021, 5:42 pm
mystery wrote: July 6th, 2021, 8:09 am Humans are creatures of emotions. If we remove the emotions we would be something else. If we somehow remove emotions from politicians then they would not be a good representatives as they would be different than us. And alas, how could it be done, even a eunuch has emotions.

How could ambitions exist without emotions, without ambitions what could we achieve?

What we have is the best way for WHAT we are.
I don't see the question in those terms. It's not about humans becoming emotionless philosophical zombies. Rather, the thread notes the extreme emotionality that's been encouraged in politics because people whose emotions are ruling their minds are so easy to manipulate. Governments throughout history around the world have worked to prevent their constituencies from exercising independent thinking. They would rather deal with simple, emotional saps who will jump when told to do so.
yes, we can not do it. it is what we are.

Only the one who does not win has time to not like it. This exact topic is woven into many things. The acceptance of what we are and then to deal with it. I agree that the somewhat dishonest way of winning is in some way not perfect. The choices are to learn it and use it to achieve whatever is the goals. We have to also use the emotional approach to win, then if we are still sane, we can achieve goals that we like. The effort to think about how to stop others from using this powerful tool will never.... work because of what we are.

Borg, I agree with you and the OP about this issue, I believe the solution is to beat the opponents using the tools that work, and then if still sane walk the high road to fix whatever we desire to. If we try to teach the masses of this, we will be label a fool and if we do not do it we will not win, therefore the best we can do is to also use the same and win. Those in power understand this very well and it is why thinking is discouraged. But it somehow will always happen due to the same emotional pull, revolutions occur when the greed of the leader's increase.

Camelot and the round table, and a utopia for all. A king is needed a good one.
The Murdoch media barons will not permit wise leadership in the US, UK or Australia. Wise leadership would embrace renewable energy technology rather than doubling down on fossil fuels, which is akin to a 19th century society rejecting electricity for the sake of their major candle and kerosene vendors.

Vested interests always win, and have done so throughout history. For thousands of years, people have been lead by criminals, tyrants, maniacs, perverts, demented idiots and egomaniacs and somehow humanity has still advanced from grass huts and simple tools to pyramids and grand citadels to skyscrapers and space stations.

If history is any indication, dodgy leaders will continue lead humanity to "the promised land", despite themselves and ourselves, but the worst of them will diminish their particular societies in relation to others.
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