Friday, December 02, 2005

Corruption

Jon Henke has an amazing post at QandO about corruption in both parties and how neither party is really doing anything to stop it.

Good call Jon.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

making the government smaller isn't the solution to corruption partially because it's impossible, at it's SMALLEST the US Gov will still be a mamoth undertaking, larger/stronger than any other business... um "endeavor" on earth.

we need to rediscover ethics on a non-metaphysical basis.

That's really "all" there is to it. WE HAVE NOT REDISCOVERED ETHICS in Western Culture insofar as we have no common BASIS for such a rediscovery, we are hobbling along morally and ethically and will continue to do so.

We cannot effectively demand accountability without knowing what the accountability is.

Also, we're still herd and pack animals... but I think that is changing slowly.

-pyrrho

Averroes said...

"making the government smaller isn't the solution to corruption partially because it's impossible, at it's SMALLEST the US Gov will still be a mamoth undertaking, larger/stronger than any other business... um "endeavor" on earth."

Preach on, brother! As the fireman said when he showed up at the big fire, "we can't solve anything byu making it smaller, because it will still be the largest fire in the town."

It has not escaped our notice thaty you EQUATE the conjunction of bigness and business (er-endeaver) with the necessity of corruption. And from this pure prejudice, you then argue.

"we need to rediscover ethics on a non-metaphysical basis."

I suppose. And i suppose this has some meaning for you. I'd say that until philosopjers arekings, or kings are imbued with the spirit of philosophy, we will not have just government. (For all of my life, I have repeated this tpo every baby i ran into the first time i ran into them.) Now, let's see which of these philosophical statemtnets, mine by an authentic philosopher, are most helpful in the current political debate, shall we?

"That's really "all" there is to it."

I'm glad you cleared that up for us. Guess we can tell all those people discussing ethcs to just bug off and prostrate themselves to you and your dogma.

"WE HAVE NOT REDISCOVERED ETHICS in Western Culture insofar as we have no common BASIS for such a rediscovery, we are hobbling along morally and ethically and will continue to do so."

IF we are hobbling along mporally and ethically, it is because we have forgotten that such things are the proince of the individual, ad are not trully applicable to groups, let alone "Western Civilization," a construct, not a reality. It is this kind of confusion hat is behind any bereakdown in morality.

"We cannot effectively demand accountability without knowing what the accountability is."

Well, pyrrho, you have never shrunk from telling us what it is, and it chantges according to the needs of your faith.

"Also, we're still herd and pack animals... but I think that is changing slowly."

Speak for yourself. in fact, that is the first step in advancing past a herd animal.

In fact, expecting "we" to be a bunch of leaders is stupid. there is a reason why philosophers are few and nietzsche was well aware that he was writing for the few.

Th3e point is not to rech some Fabian society in which humanness is completely blunted, resulting in perfectly behaved Stepford politicians. It is silly to compare anything against that ideal and claim that because any change is incremental that it is futile.

Anonymous said...

>It has not escaped our notice thaty you EQUATE the conjunction of bigness and business (er-endeaver) with the necessity of corruption.

no, only my point escaped you.

I said the solution isn't smaller government because it can't be so small that local village-scale forces or some other savior will take over.

There are OTHER solutions.

>I suppose. And i suppose this has some meaning for you.

you don't understand the meaning of a non-metaphysical basis for ethics? telling, Av.

>That's really "all" there is to it.

the quotes around all is like a little clue to some people about the meaning of the sentence.

>IF we are hobbling along mporally and ethically, it is because we have forgotten that such things are the proince of the individual, ad are not trully applicable to groups, let alone "Western Civilization," a construct, not a reality. It is this kind of confusion hat is behind any bereakdown in morality.

wait a sec, why are you talking about your "authentic" philosopher, according to the above, it's clear each person is an authentic philosopher.

>>"Also, we're still herd and pack animals... but I think that is changing slowly."

>Speak for yourself. in fact, that is the first step in advancing past a herd animal.

Av, you speak for yourself, I already am speaking for myself, and I think we will, but have not, evolved past herd and pack mentality. Continue to demand silence and continue to fail to get silence.

-pyrrho

Averroes said...

"Av, you speak for yourself, I already am speaking for myself, and I think we will, but have not, evolved past herd and pack mentality." (Emphasis mine.)

Again, speak for yourself. You know, use the vertical pronoun.

The difference between you and Nietzsche on this point is telling. He would never make any dogmatic statement about the future of humankind, you know, like "we will evolve past herd morality." he thought it was a permanent condition ofr humanity, out of which only the few could break. You know, the ones who speak for themselves.

Your speech here tells us tyhat you are stil mired in both herd morality and thinking, AND dogmatism.

All it would take is a little walk outside your box to see it.

"Continue to demand silence and continue to fail to get silence."

And your box that you have thought yourself into leads you to sayt utterly stupid thngs like this. You are responding to someone who said "SPEAK for yourself. this is hardly demanding silence.

In fact, what i responded to is more silence than what I urged you to do.

You know, pyrrho, it's like riding a bike. Once you do it, it seems so easy.

btw, you missed the point entirely above. You stated quite dogmatically:

"making the government smaller isn't the solution to corruption partially because it's impossible, at it's SMALLEST the US Gov will still be a mamoth undertaking, larger/stronger than any other business... um "endeavor" on earth."

This CLEARLY says that the reason that making the government smaller won't "solve" the problem of corruption is that the government cannot be made small enough. In other words, government is always over the threshhold of bigness which guarantees corruption.

In fact, govenment itself guarantees corruption. What you have stated is a dogmatic faith in some "solution" to corruption.

Thius is way too idealistic for me. Life is becoming. One deals with it in an ongoing way, not by trying to reach unrealistic idealistic goals made into dogma.

Both reducing the size of governbment and spreading power about in on noncentral way give us a better chance to lessen corruption.

Anonymous said...

pyrrho : gotta admit that whole "we need to rediscover ethics on a non-metaphysical basis." left me scratching my head. Being a rube and all ...

I have to admit that I love when Av and Pyrrho get in a good knock down drag out ... I always find myself wearing out my dictionary and google trying to figure out what in the world they are saying. Regardless of the topic, I always walk away a tad bit better off for having listened.

J.D.

Anonymous said...

JD,

> "we need to rediscover ethics on a non-metaphysical basis."

moralities in Western Culture, and as far as I know most cultures, has been defined in religious terms, metaphysics, and it was hard to question because it was out of reach, once you believe things about a world beyond the physical, they are hard to change or improve. Even if they are right, I believe, they pose a danger to reason, and should be handled with care because they are part of this world that is beyond double checking.

Philosophers of the west came to this belief, like the early and many current scientists, they didn't stop thinking it was true about God and the commandments, but they felt that these explanations wouldn't help them. In the case of science they reduced things to the measurable. In philosophy, where ethics is a part of the domain, they tried to justify what had always been justified with religion by reason and logic without religion, without metaphysics, without claiming in any sense it was "because the gods wanted" this or that.

In my view this has yet to be done and widely distributed. I qualify it that way because I think it can be done, I think it may well have been done, I think I understand part of how it might be done, which is at least why I suppose it could be done. But it has not.

Kant tried, and failed I think though it was a good attempt. Many have tried.

Without such a system liberalism cannot continue to succeed, even conservatives are "liberal" in this sense, believing in democracy and personal liberty by nature. Even though religion lives on, it's also a multitude of personal religions so we need something else to tie us together.

We need a non-metaphysical ethics that helps us help each other, to see our best interest in both cooperation and also in letting people be to themselves, privacy, in a balance that is not a screwed up crime ridden planet.

I think things can be a lot better on this planet, and I don't believe there will be no hardship. I believe hardship is fine, but these injustices could stop.

-pyrrho

Anonymous said...

Av,

first of all, I clarified what I said and that's that, my original statement said just what I wanted, the implication that there were other solutions was in there, for any that don't assume to much. It's no problem you didn't see it, I clarified.

>Both reducing the size of governbment and spreading power about in on noncentral way give us a better chance to lessen corruption.

Reducing the size of government is for efficiency, and has nothing to do with corruption except indirectly, in my estimation. The bigger the entitity, the bigger the corruption can be... if a barber shop is corrupt, it can't invade Iraq. But there are barber shops more corrupt than George Bush is, I think.

I don't think it's size, I think that is almost giving the government a break, an excuse, like "oh, your so big, that's why". No. It's hard to maintain ethics in large organizations, but hard is not the same thing as some idea big organizations have to be corrupt. My point is that, while making the government small may make it easier to clean up (if you subtract how hard it is to make it small, I suppose), that won't work very well because the government has to be damned big.

You'll need another solution.

I suggest other solutions.

Like ethical systems, remember how to create traditions of ethics.

Basically what happens is a culture gets decadent and ethics go out the window, this leads to a big crisis where everyone get burned and then they suddenly remember ethics.

HOWEVER: I agree fully about decentralization... that makes it easier to address, but ironically only if you start with an ethical system... if the voters would police the local ethics of the system this would work marvelously.

-pyrrho