By nebbish (Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 04:30:41 PM EST) (all tags)
This isn’t a political diatribe, more of an appeal for some sort of how-to

Recently some of the English chaps on Husi have written what I feel are very insightful, intelligent political discussions and political manifestos. Importantly, these haven’t just been big whines about the state of things, but have put forward actual solutions.

I’m thinking of DullTrev’s three-part deconstruction of the Labour party, Breaker’s manifesto and TheophileEscargot’s manifesto.

Looking at these diaries, what sets them apart from the traditional political process is the authors’ willingness to debate with other Husi users, and the Husi users willingness to debate back, with a lack of dogma, ego or ideology, but respect for each others’ ideas, with the hope of coming to some sort of conclusion.

Of course there is no conclusion. But this is how debate should be. Mainstream politics is stuck in a very old-fashioned tradition of verbal, public debate, which invites ego and has no room for contradiction, doubt or backing down. Face to face, debate is about you, not your ideas. And verbal dexterity, a meaningless skill, becomes paramount.

The written word however allows care, precision and clarity. Couple that with the internet and you get the immediacy that is so important for debate. Add a certain amount of anonymity, not real anonymity but one that avoids the psychological issues that come with talking to someone face-to-face, and you allow room for doubt, backing down, accepting the other person may be right.

What I’m appealing for is some sort of informed debate on Husi as to how we can use this and make it work in the wider world. How can we use our method of debate, which is better than the traditional method of political debate, to actually engage with, and maybe even change, the politics we are all so passionate about?

I am a firm believer in western democracy. I think it is the best way to do things. But we are in a new age, and embarrassing and web 2.0 as it is, I think we have something positive to offer in what we do here.

I want us to stop being a talking shop and actually make a difference. But I don’t know how.  – together though I think we might be able to come up with something.

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THE NEBBISH MANIFESTO | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Disclaimer: by nebbish (4.00 / 4) #1 Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 04:31:13 PM EST

It's political correctness gone mad!

Seven baby! by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 05:17:48 PM EST
And I've got IPA, rum and Pilsner (real Pilsner, not that crap from Anheuser Busch) to back it up.

P.S. Also drunk, if you couldn't figure that out.

P.P.S "Pilsner" is not in spell check! WTF kind of worthless non-alcoholic language tool can't understand Pilsner?

[ Parent ]
My next run to the Brickskeller(sp?) by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 05:54:09 PM EST
will include a request for Budweiser. Knowing the Brickskeller (the site where I seemed to have missed the DCia husi meet), they will understand that I couldn't possibly mean any rice contaminated beverage and must mean the stuff brewed in the Czech republic. Of course, they only have 60% chance of having what's on the menu, but everythings on the menu.


[ Parent ]
Ooo-er by Phage (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:35:15 PM EST
Damn - I've so busy that I haven't really contributed to these beyond a few remarks on Breaker's post.

Drunk or not I applaud you and the sentiment. This is a good idea...but, so many issues to cover.

Digital divide.
Non-representative sample.
Cracks/scripting/hijacking infestations.
Comparison with Anonymous
HYS / Dail Mail...shudder

In reality, we need exposure. If we organised, called ourselves a think tank and had had some PR with the media. It's achievable. We could genuinely start a process.

I'm in.

Heh by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:41:10 PM EST
Why didn't I think of all those? It'd be an unmitigated disaster.

Think tanks get paid good money though don't they. Hmm. Maybe we should just be really cynical and evil instead.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Exactly by Phage (4.00 / 2) #9 Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 01:59:16 AM EST
We could ennoble the system from within.
Heh - where's my uniform ?

[ Parent ]
Currently disenfranchised by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 12:03:48 AM EST
I cannot vote where I live for at least another 7 years iirc, and only then if they like me. I cannot vote where I was born as they do not allow overseas voting (this is not a bad thing - it stopped all the IRA funding 2nd/3rd gen ex-pat idiots from producing governments for somewhere they have no real idea of the modern realities of). I can only use text over the internet to persuade others to vote and act sensibly.

Persuasion by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 12:54:37 AM EST
There's a lot to be said for that. I've certainly been influenced by other people's ideas on the internet and I hope this works both ways. But I worry that we're not reaching many people.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
um by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 01:15:05 PM EST
in the US, the ability of advertising dollars to influence voters is mind boggling (of course, if you understand this, you can understand W.).

I have to admit that I haven't a clue about most of the voting undercard(*), and can easily be persuaded, but suspect that plenty of people can be convinced to vote in just about any way without ever considering what it will do to them. Simple persuasion should never be ignored (how does that go, ballot box, soap box, ...).


(*) Note that suggesting that state (local) governments are somehow more responsive to voters is one of my easier triggered rants. I have no idea how my state legislator is, how he/she voted, and couldn't have known before the internet. It doesn't take a whole lot of "campaign contributions" to win an election where nobody knows either candidate.

[ Parent ]
Breakers and Theophile comparison by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 01:55:38 AM EST
What struck me were that many of the proposals were quite similar, but the wording of their solutions seemed to reflect their differing political attitudes.

This needs a poll, here's my suggested multipoll.

x Would Nationalise Rail Network
x Would leave Rail Netword Private

x Would split CAA
x Would keep CAA together

x More privatisation in NHS
x Less privatisation in NHS

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
Won't work in the wider world. by marvin (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 07:34:54 AM EST
There are far fewer mouth breathers on Husi than there are in the general population, which gives discussion on this site an advantage. You have a self-selected group that reminds me of the way Usenet used to be. The typical person on here has at least a bachelors degree, and works in a technical field.

The real world is more like k5. Brief glimmers of brilliance, buried in mounds of offal.

I often follow threads on a local forum in my home town. I know that some of the people are intelligent and write well, but they are often drowned out in the noise. The political debates / discussions are painful to read, mostly due to the lack of logic, closed minds, side-tracking, entrenched positions, and blatant ad hominen attacks. How do you get a reasoned debate in a forum full of closed minds with a fair smattering of simpletons who can barely write, and incoherently at that? You cannot. Trolling on there is like shooting fish in a barrel. Boring.

MNS is on the right track to make a difference. It involves guns and revolution.

If voting changed anything... by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 01:52:58 AM EST
They'd outlaw it.

I feel you frustration at the current political process, but aside from piggybacking an existing platform I can't see how you'd get traction and momentum.

To do so would require money.  And only corporate interests really have pockets deep enough for that.

I'd guess a starting point would have to be local councillors and build up from there.  How did Galloway get his Respect party started?

There's the Fabian Society approach by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 02:07:51 PM EST
Put ideas in circulation without backing any one party / actually having to do the hard yards on the ground ... the problem with think tanks is they are fairly closely aligned with one party, as one career opportunity of in the modern political industry. Organisations like the Fabian society, by contrast, attempt to get both sides of politics to take on their policy prescriptions ...

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

THE NEBBISH MANIFESTO | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback