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Old 04-12-2015, 05:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default democracy pt 3

so last time i did this it was all about how to arrange some theoretical dictatorship to my liking accompanied with a general run down of why i don't think democracy is an effective way of doing things. pan had an interesting counter argument that i wanted to response to but never managed to sum up the energy and then it felt like it was too late to bump that old conversation so i just let it go.

but this time i figured i'd make my thread more pragmatic and realistic and just explain my current approach to politics and see if i get any feedback.

so my current ideology that i have found very effective and happiness-inducing is what i would term "political apathy" or in other terms "not giving that much of a ****."

my reasoning for approaching politics in this way is simple. it doesn't really matter to me personally if obama wins a 3rd term or if trump becomes president, other than that i would find both scenarios intensely interesting.

realistically, it's not going to make much of a difference in my life. there are certainly going to always be other, much more immediate sources of pleasure or conflict.

so let them have it. the only people who have a real vested interest in one party winning over the other are the politicians themselves and the various media mouth pieces.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think Steve Earle put it best: "If you don't vote, don't bitch."
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Everyone should vote for an independent party. Two major right-wing parties having all the power is plain undemocratic.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Everyone should vote for an independent party. Two major right-wing parties having all the power is plain undemocratic.
Says the Hitler avatar.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think Steve Earle put it best: "If you don't vote, don't bitch."
i don't really agree with that sentiment tbh

unless you're bitching about something that specifically could've been changed by you voting

in most cases voting is a waste of time and a way for people to entertain the delusion that they live in a society where their opinion holds any sort of significant political sway

let's say for example you live in california and you'd like to see a republican president

you can vote all you want, your vote will never matter because the electoral college + the demographic of cali literally makes it impossible that your vote will count towards electing the next president. cali will inevitably go to the democrats and all of the electoral points of that state will go to the democratic party. all the millions of republican votes in that state are literally cast aside and the entire state is said to support the democratic candidate




if you are an individual democrat voting in cali then your time spent voting is similarly wasted. because the democrats consistently win cali by such a safe margin, it's an incredibly safe bet to assume that the democratic party will take the state regardless of whether you decide to vote or not. it's only when you apply this logic to the population in general that votes seem to matter. if all democrats in cali decided not to vote, then that would have an actual impact on the election. but people aren't ants, and your individual choice to vote or not will have no detectable impact on the decision of others to vote or not, and so for any one individual voter it is very unlikely that their decision to vote or not will have any detectable impact on the actual results of the election.

the same logic applies in the majority of states where the state reliably and consistently goes to one of the two parties. it is only in 'swing states' where votes presumably matter, and even then it only matters so long as you vote for one of the two major parties. if you decide to vote for an independent third party, as briks suggests, then your vote is statistically guaranteed to not matter, regardless of which state you live in.

even to the incredibly marginal extent which some voters in swing states have an actual impact on elections, your impact is still then limited to possibly tipping the scales in favor of one of the two major parties over the other. if you are concerned about some particular issue, such as obamacare or what have you, then this might have some very marginal impact on your life. or it might not. but for the vast majority of issues the two parties are so close to identical in general ideology, when it comes to the lives of your average citizen it really matters very little over all which one rules the country. and it's generally not all that predictable exactly how any one given party is going to pursue policies which might actually impact the life of an average citizen. so voting is similar to playing the lottery or going to vegas and putting your money down on a roulette table.

yet people give a pretty significant amount of their time and energy to learning about 'issues' that mostly exist on the television or in internet articles, while not giving a proportional amount of time to issues in their own lives which have a much more direct impact on their general happiness and prosperity. so in this way politics acts in general as a distraction for people. basically it's a hobby, like watching nature docs or playing disc golf.

the only people who have a real vested interest in trying to sway political policies are the financial elite and the corporations who have the resources to invest in propaganda campaigns which can presumably have some actual measurable influence on policy decisions. as well as politicians and political pundits/intellectuals who actually make their bread and butter by dedicating their lives to politics. for the rest of us it is once again a hobby and a clever way to delude ourselves into the impression that we live in a society where our opinions have any sizable impact or influence on the general direction in which that society progresses.

but tbh i think life in the united states, and most likely in most industrialized/western countries is good and prosperous enough where there is little reason for us to really spend our time 'bitching' about politics or policy decisions. in most cases, if you are unhappy, there are much more direct ways in which you can work to improve that situation than by lending any sort of support to political parties or organizations.

i'm sure there are exceptions to this. like if you live in cali and you are gay and want to get married then sure it makes sense to vote against prop 8. but in general voting and investing yourself emotionally and intellectually in politics is at best a hobby and at worst a complete waste of time & energy.

imo.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The 2000 presidential election was decided by 537 votes in the state of Florida.

Bush: 2,912,790
Gore: 2,912,253

If another 538 people had voted for Gore, he would have won the electoral college, and we most likely would have never started the Iraq war, which has killed millions and is estimated to have cost the United States over 6 trillion dollars before all is said and done.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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But how much did Halliburton make? United States debt means fuck all.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Chula Vista View Post
The 2000 presidential election was decided by 537 votes in the state of Florida.

Bush: 2,912,790
Gore: 2,912,253

If another 538 people had voted for Gore, he would have won the electoral college, and we most likely would have never started the Iraq war, which has killed millions and is estimated to have cost the United States over 6 trillion dollars before all is said and done.
First of all, the only reason people even remember that is because it was an anomaly. So few votes having any real impact on a national election was so unheard of that people flipped their **** over it.

Secondly, that election was decided by the Supreme Court. Not to mention that Gore won the popular vote, but lost the electoral college, making JWB's point about the EC still stand.

And thirdly, when it comes to engaging in wars, the only seeming difference between Democratic and Republicans presidents is that the former seem to drag their feet for longer. When it comes to foreign policy and dropping bombs, the two parties are even more similar than domestic policy.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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@chula

yea, from a collectivist mentality, voting makes sense. the problem is america is a more individualistic country. the terms collectivism vs individualism i take from my intro to psychology and communications courses. basically collectivist traits in a society are traits in which the people in that society all work together towards a common goal. ie they sacrifice some of their own interests for the sake of a greater good. they act as a single organized entity rather than as individual agents. or at least that is the ideal.

this idea of collectivism can be demonstrated in its most pure form in nature as collective swarm intelligence of ant colonies, in which ants collectively make decisions as a group for the sake of the colony rather than each individual ant having its own interests.





this works for them because their genetic lineage happens to run directly through the queen. so the entire colony exists as an extension of the queen's reproductive ambitions. there's no other ants in the colony which are reproducing because that would undermine the entire operation of the colony which is on a single mission to extend the queen's genetic lineage.

in humans, it's much more dialed down. but the idea of collectivist vs individualist tendencies in a society can be demonstrated by looking at the idea of social loafing. social loafing basically = the tendency to slack off when you're in a group more often than when you're by yourself because any rewards or failures that the group might obtain will be distributed amongst the group. so in an individualist society there's less incentive for you to work really hard in a group as opposed to working really hard on your own personal project because you are strategizing from the pov of the individual.

it was assumed that social loafing was basically universal until they tried doing the same studies in some different parts of the world where there is a more collectivist mind state. in these cases they found that people had the tendency to work even harder when they were part of a group because the society that they live in psychologically reinforces a sort of collectivist mentality. of course, not nearly to the same extent as ants. humans can be collectivist only to a certain extent. when it is more beneficial for them to act as a group, they do so.

but in the united states, individualism is the predominant mentality. and from each individual's perspective, voting makes very little if any noticeable difference. yea, there are close races in certain swing states. and if you happen to live in that swing state and happen to be really enthusiastic about the success of one particular politician or policy, it might make sense to vote. but for the vast majority of people their lives are hardly at all being governed by their voting patterns. it's just an elaborate distraction, is all.

as for al gore... 9/11 would still have happened, most likely, and we still would've been engaged in a military campaign in afghanistan. would al gore take out saddam? who knows.. i mean lets not pretend like clinton wasn't gunning for saddam as well. the guy was considered a threat since the first gulf war, hence the decade of sanctions which continued under clinton and also starved hundreds of thousands of iraqis.

the main problem with liberals and their anti-war **** is that they don't understand basic geopolitics. the success and wealth of the united states was born out of ww2, we emerged as the number 1 military superpower and we took control of all the world's oceans. it will always be in the best interests of the united states that no other serious power rise to challenge it. this geopolitical strategy has been continued by obama as well, to the best of his abilities. and it would be pursued by any other country that happened to find themselves in such good fortune. such has been the way of the world since way back.

with ww1/ww2, down came the european global empires and up came the american/russian empires. then eventually there was only 1. and this is only due to our investment in maintaining military supremacy. whether people like it or not, that is the way **** goes and has gone for the past ~10,000 years of civilization.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i mean lets not pretend like clinton wasn't gunning for saddam as well. the guy was considered a threat since the first gulf war, hence the decade of sanctions which continued under clinton and also starved hundreds of thousands of iraqis.
Not to mention air strikes every time they built a radar station.
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