Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Snakes In Suits"

Upgraded and adapted from the Moot:
You talk about "snakes in suits" in government -- there is no doubt that most governments are bought and paid for by plutocrats, full of cronyism, corruption, incompetence, disdainful of facts and outcomes that are equitable-in-diversity. It seems to me most "snakes in suits" are in what passes for "business" or are beholden to "business interests" so called -- the "business" to which you otherwise ascribe genial "productivity" and "innovation" and all the rest. Your plutocratic vision -- all plutocrats fancy themselves meritocrats, you know, "nature's" aristocrats, you aren't the first to find such facile formulas appealing -- is far too close to the status quo to justify your apparent disdain for the status quo. I will say again, much that passes for "business" today should be hampered by regulation or rendered too unprofitable to proceed (war profiteering, for instance), quite a lot of advertizing is misinformation and fraud, some of it verges on harassment, quite a lot of financial "services" amount to fraud and theft, quite a lot of fees for services are extortionate, exploitation of common and public goods amounts to theft and corruption verging on treason, externalization of costs for parochial profit-taking is theft at best and might be better construed as violent assault.


Y. said...

Careful with the 'plutocrat' label.

One of my great-grandparents started out as a craftsman and ended up running a factory employing about a hundred people..
And then he lost it all to party functionaries, cars, houses, guns, factory etc. Lucky guy though, he'd have been shot in Russia.

Since then my ancestors have been.. a pharmaceutical researcher, purchaser of building materials, criminal judge, regional party secretary for ideology, electrical engineer and a doctor of internal medicine.

Even the party secretary was not rich, in that he enjoyed a standard of living of 1950s US blue collar worker..


I do not think wealthy people govern especially well. Probably better than average, since non-inherited wealth, in non-corrupt locales is often a result of personal qualities combined with a good dose of luck.

Sure, smart people are wealthier, on average.

How would restricting, or weighing the vote so that govt would mostly be determined by the least-dim third of the population (for example) constitute plutocracy?

This accusation comes from a citizen of a country in which a vapid, superficially charming and somewhat brainless bimbo was an actual vice-president candidate?

And pretty popular one.

One could, if one bothered, put forward an argument that letting everyone with a pulse vote is enabling plutocracy, because propaganda costs money, affects most the least bright** and so on..

You should also consider that while not all conservatives are cretins, all cretins are conseratives.

Letting brighter people have more say would result in more change, since smarter people are more willing to break tradition..

**I assume and desperately hope.

Dale Carrico said...

You want to say that La Palin against whom I've endlessly railed here has put some stink on me, you want to say your granny suffering from plutocrats insulates you from the charge that your own politics would make somebody else's granny suffer the same way? Are you even trying anymore? You are rapidly sinking in my estimation, soon I'll just delete you unread as trolls deserve. Needless to say, most of the useful idiots bolstering plutocratic interests aren't actual beneficiaries of plutocracy. That doesn't make their plutocracy not plutocracy anymore. And I will say again what I said before in response to all this endless glib talk about the smarts and the brights and so on: you're stupid. Of course, you're not absolutely stupid, of course you're not only stupid, of course there is more to you than the stupidity of these facile formulations you are invested in -- but that's true of the stoopids you think you're smart enough to finger and sweepingly characterize as well. That's the point. Stop being stupid. There are some who would regard at least some of my own formulations and values as conservative. Arendtians tend to get this a lot. Definitely I know more about the history and substance of conservatism than most people who call themselves conservative do. I teach this stuff to undergraduates, you know. You are profoundly out of your depth in this. You should contemplate the fact that you apparently aren't "smart" enough to have recognized this by now. Again, time to read and not write for a while.