I suppose in one way I could say those values were central to a claim I could’ve made through my insurance company some time ago, willing to pay for water damage when an unsatisfactory plumber left tiles off my roof while doing repairs, thereby causing rain to pour through the ceilings instead, and choosing to hold him personally to account through VCAT.Posted by Lynne Newington on 13/07/18 at 10:28 AM
Re this: “But the heart of the problem, and a reason why major parties are now so much on the nose, has been a self-serving view of the duty of an elected representative, which puts party policy (and especially the need to avoid an appearance of internal dissension) above the duty members owe the public, which includes the duty to act in accordance with community values. “
This goes only part of the way, but it fails to get to the nub of the problem which is where the real damage is being done.
That self serving view is repellent to the sort of person whose fundamental values are compatible with making the world a better place. Bereft of those individuals, the political parties fail to serve the common good and attract only those whose understanding of the role of values is insufficient to allow them to create a better world, or those whose motivation is entirely self serving and whose values are in conflict with delivering for the common good. That standard of leadership leaches its way through the structure of the entire society, eroding standards and confidence as it goes, and we wind up exactly where we are now, with a polity that is best described by reference to satire and farce.
In short, the way political parties operate repels the sort of people who would make good leaders, and so the quality of leadership at a political level will continue getting steadily worse.
The solution, in the absence of anything better, is to ditch political parties and support the best of the independents. If either Scott or Max can explain why I am in error, or if either has a better solution, I am all ears.
God knows, this problem needs a solution, and sooner rather than later.Posted by Simon Warriner on 14/07/18 at 04:17 PM
While I thank Scott for his kind but overly generous comments, none of my papers has any claim to originality. The ideas and arguments are discussed in the literature by far better writers and scholars, including those whom he cites. The aim is to try to clarify these so readers can judge their relevance to social and political issues.
In recent years my writing has benefited more than I can say from Scott’s advice and scholarship. I am fortunate to have had this collaboration with a friend and former colleague who believes passionately that we should try to understand and keep alive the insights of great thinkers of the past.Posted by max atkinson on 16/07/18 at 10:11 AM
Max, your humility is noted and applauded. It is too rare a thing these days. I thank both yourself and Scott for your contribution to my education, even if it’s effects are not that obvious.Posted by Simon Warriner on 16/07/18 at 11:33 AM
Really Max, this is a summary of the utilitarian credo that ideologically fronted for industrial capitalism and provide the rationalisation for stripping out the traditional commons in favour of individuals and private interests.
This ultimately made it possible for market forces to replace the ‘repressive’ and ‘authoritarian’ social means of reproduction/socialization with its own much more powerful (albeit radically narrowed) and far more totalitarian instrumentalities that make the dictatorships of the past look amateurish, and leave behind a trail of chaos outside the limited social software of shop troops and contractor drones.Posted by Christopher Eastman-Nagle on 16/07/18 at 02:29 PM