2020: visions backwards and forwards

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..if your talking to me pondering i don't see a leftist government in the making. 

Pondering

I am speaking to anyone participating in the discussion. 

I maintain that the best way to achieve a leftist government is to appeal to self-interest rather than morality.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..people are talking about the here and now. not 10 or 15 yrs down the road. that would be to late. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

I am speaking to anyone participating in the discussion. 

I maintain that the best way to achieve a leftist government is to appeal to self-interest rather than morality.

Would you please define what you mean by self interest. I do not know how narrowly you define this and therefore if I can agree with you.

I think there are non-monetary / non material self interests that can be appealed to but if you are meaning self interest alone I think that is a failing concept.

Many people who support a left government are educated, well employed but want to live in a just and fair society. Many left voters are not the beneficiariesof the policies that motivate them.

This is a key distinction I do not hear you making and am hoping it is contained in your definition of self interest.

Not all political ideology is founded on self interest.

I have been fortunate in part of my life and not so much in other parts. Appeals to my self interest are turn-offs when it comes to politics - especially as I fight for the public good often at direct cost to personal financial interest.

The left parties must understand that what works for the right and what works for the left are not the same things. A left party selling selfish interests is less likely to find electoral success than a right party. As well, a left party is engaged in class struggle with the support of people in the more fortunate income levels. To suggest that they have to engage in self interest from an economic point of view is to argue they should either appeal only to those needing the benefits of their social justice policies (a fail) or to stop being involved in class struggle for those who have less.

A left party must redefine what slef interest is and this idea I support but I do not support the idea that a left party consider it essential to appeal to people's self interests since a large part of the left's support comes from people supporting social justice OVER their personal self interest.

So pelase explain so I know if you are on the same wavelength of me on this or in fact the opposite.

Sean in Ottawa

Another point is that morality is a key motivator when it comes to elections more than narrow self interest. Your moral beliefs have a lot to do with how you vote. Social justice is a moral issue not a self interest one. So is the idea of public versus personal goods.

kropotkin1951

The only hope for the planet at this stage is mutual aid and it is the antithesis of self interest.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The only hope for the planet at this stage is mutual aid and it is the antithesis of self interest.

Depends on how you define self interest. The only hope for the planet is in the self interest of people. This is why I wanted to see self interest defined.

I think it is important to change the narrow economic and material definition of self interest.

kropotkin1951

So lets just call black white and be done with. Centuries of progressive thought that has pitted self interest against mutual aid should be abandoned as we go down a semantic rabbit hole. So go ahead you and Pondering can expound on why the normal meanings of words should be changed so that we can trick people into voting for a left of center government.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So lets just call black white and be done with. Centuries of progressive thought that has pitted self interest against mutual aid should be abandoned as we go down a semantic rabbit hole. So go ahead you and Pondering can expound on why the normal meanings of words should be changed so that we can trick people into voting for a left of center government.

I agree that attempting to change the definition of "self interest" is not likely to change many minds about political issues. As you point out, mutual aid is also a very real human tendency, and one that we need to nurture and strengthen.

Sean in Ottawa

Michael Moriarity wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So lets just call black white and be done with. Centuries of progressive thought that has pitted self interest against mutual aid should be abandoned as we go down a semantic rabbit hole. So go ahead you and Pondering can expound on why the normal meanings of words should be changed so that we can trick people into voting for a left of center government.

I agree that attempting to change the definition of "self interest" is not likely to change many minds about political issues. As you point out, mutual aid is also a very real human tendency, and one that we need to nurture and strengthen.

There have been many discussions over many years abut modifying wants. I did not make this up. Sorry if it does not fit your priorities. This place is a discussion place where we are allowed to discuss things outside the confines of what one person sees as important.

Sean in Ottawa

The concept of self interest runs from self benefit materially to something relatable to personal understanding. There have been many conversations about the idea that you can connect wider support for social ideas to a concept of redefined self interest.

I know some like Kropotkin are into purity tests and ideology tests but some of us might be also interested in whatever ways we can to get those who are used to being driven by their self interest to change their self interest to include wider social goals and justice. I know we are assholes just wanting to make the world a better place while advancing a discussion  that Kropotkin has not sanctified.

There are two goals here- one is to be pure and right and make sure everyone knows how pure and right we are -- and it does not matter if the world goes to shit as long as people see this (Kropotkin's apparent view) and actually making a difference by relating to other people who think differently and trying to get them to see benefits in supporting somethign other than what they have in the past. Some of us might be a little more desperate to have real change among other people than just taking potshots.

There are not enough perfect saints like Kropotkin in the world and we actually need to engage with others in whatever way we can to get them to adjust their priorities. If that means having them redefine what they feel is in their self interest then I am okay with Kropotkin attacking me for at least discussing so -- who is he anyway?

This is more along the same clash I keep having with one jerk who decides to attack people for having thoughts he does not condoen rather than challenging the substance of them in any meaningful way.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So lets just call black white and be done with. Centuries of progressive thought that has pitted self interest against mutual aid should be abandoned as we go down a semantic rabbit hole. So go ahead you and Pondering can expound on why the normal meanings of words should be changed so that we can trick people into voting for a left of center government.

It is possible to consider that having greater social justice and an environment that is sustainable is actually in our self interest. Sorry to have to break that news to you. Not everyone has to emulate your logic and thought process which is not by definition superior.

Pondering

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-interest

Philosophical concepts concerned with self-interest include:

  • Enlightened self-interest, a philosophy which states that acting to further the interests of others also serves one's own self-interest.
  • Ethical egoism, the ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest.
  • Hedonism, the school of ethics which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good.
    • Cyrenaics, the Aristippean pre-Socratic original.
    • Epicureanism, a philosophical system related to hedonism.
  • Individualism, a philosophy stressing the worth of individual selves.
  • Rational egoism, the position that all rational actions are those done in one's self-interest.

Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest.[1][2][3]

the above comes closest but does not match because it puts in brackets what I consider to be the primary point. 

I think that most people recognized that to act to further the interests of the group or groups to which they belong ultimately serve their own self-interest.

Collective self-interest is still self-interest. 

People don't support medicare to be good to the poor. They support it because they understand it is better paid for collectively than individually. Universal pharmacare is supported for the same reason. 

It is as if the left doesn't want to win elections unless people are voting based on altruism and principles whereas most people are voting for a management team to run the country for four years. 

jatt_1947 jatt_1947's picture

The right has managed to focus us on individual rights to the exclusion of collective rights. Collective rights are portrayed as infringing on individual rights rather than adding to them. 
I maintain that the best way to achieve a leftist government is to appeal to self-interest rather than morality.

Or helping others understand that their self-interest is in morality/collective.
Good people need to be shining examples||

Aristotleded24

Even then the line for what constitutes self interest is blurry. For example, is it in my immediate material best interest to raise my taxes to put in place crime prevention measures for those at risk of breaking the law? No. It's more money out of my pocket, and I do not directly benefit from that program. Over the long term however, the risk of my property being vandalized or stolen goes down, which (social good aside) is good for me. Is it really a dichotomy between self interest and the public interest, or is there a bit of grey?

jatt_1947 jatt_1947's picture

Not sure, seeing everything as connected would go most of the way though||
That + trust in politicians/institutions that's demonstrated via positive, constructive action on their part||

Aristotleded24

Let's look at how one ancient community divided its wealth and property:

Quote:
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Pondering

Addressing anyone....

Few would suggest that public education be privatized and delivered only to those who can afford it because it doesn't give them an immediate return on investment. Healthy people still support medicare. 

There is immediate self-interest and long-term self-interest and collective self-interest. Most people recognize all three. 

Are you trying to convince me that leftist government or policy is not in the self-interest of the 99%? That their self-interest is better represented by right wing policy and government?

Or are you trying to convince me that arguments targeting self-interest don't work? Or are crass? Or are not as good as arguments rooted in altruism? 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..voting is mostly about self interest. which is, at the time of the vote, up to the voters interpretation. not what other people think it should be. nothing new in this. it's no secret path to getting anyone elected. that remains skewed in favour of money, media and riding boundary manipulation. imho.

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

..voting is mostly about self interest. which is, at the time of the vote, up to the voters interpretation. not what other people think it should be. nothing new in this. it's no secret path to getting anyone elected. that remains skewed in favour of money, media and riding boundary manipulation. imho.

The point being made I thik is making political conversation relate to what people want. The content of their wants can be moral or selfish. The issue is speaking to them. I thought that was what Pondering was getting at. And that was why I was saying that adjusting what people want is important since they do vote on this. So you need to make your platforms relatable. Like saying do not talk over the heads of the voters and put things in terms they understand and relate them to the aspirations they have. Aspirations, wants, self interest this is what I eman and it does not need to be the politics of selfishness, materialism or greed to think about this.

Sean in Ottawa

another double post with just one click

Pondering

epaulo13 wrote:

..voting is mostly about self interest. which is, at the time of the vote, up to the voters interpretation. not what other people think it should be. nothing new in this. it's no secret path to getting anyone elected. that remains skewed in favour of money, media and riding boundary manipulation. imho.

I don't think gerrymandering is the problem in Canada that it is in the US. I think the courts ruled on in in Alberta sometime back? Something about urban ridings not having proper representation?  It doesn't seem to be a generalized problem. 

Media and popular culture in general do have an impact but l think it is less than people assume. Voters do decide for themselves what is in their self-interest but that is what politics is all about. Convincing enough voters that you have solutions that will improve their lives in some tangible way or at least not make them harder. 

People don't just care about themselves. They care about their spouses and parents and siblings and children. 

The swing voters of the next election are not paying attention right now so it doesn't much matter what anyone says as long as it isn't giving opponents material to chop up and attack with. That's a good thing as it is giving the NDP time to recalibrate. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..voting is mostly about self interest. which is, at the time of the vote, up to the voters interpretation. not what other people think it should be. nothing new in this. it's no secret path to getting anyone elected. that remains skewed in favour of money, media and riding boundary manipulation. imho.

I don't think gerrymandering is the problem in Canada that it is in the US. I think the courts ruled on in in Alberta sometime back? Something about urban ridings not having proper representation?  It doesn't seem to be a generalized problem. 

Media and popular culture in general do have an impact but l think it is less than people assume. Voters do decide for themselves what is in their self-interest but that is what politics is all about. Convincing enough voters that you have solutions that will improve their lives in some tangible way or at least not make them harder. 

People don't just care about themselves. They care about their spouses and parents and siblings and children. 

The swing voters of the next election are not paying attention right now so it doesn't much matter what anyone says as long as it isn't giving opponents material to chop up and attack with. That's a good thing as it is giving the NDP time to recalibrate. 

You are correct Gerrymandering is not the same in Canada. The reason is the election process is in the hands of an independent agency and parties have to come to terms with each other when it comes to maps. In the US election process and maps are in the very partisan hands of state governments. It is not impossible to try but much harder to game the system in Canada.

kropotkin1951

We should appeal to the voters self interest and let the Invisible Hand take care of the economy.

Sean I am sorry I disagreed with you earlier in this thread. I try to never say anything negative about your posts because I know how upset you get. So again I will go back to trying very hard not to respond except positively. I did it for months and it was fine and then I slipped up and I said something negative because that was my actual viewpoint. Mea culpa mea culpa.>

Cody87

In my observation, there is a strong correlation between how altruistic a person is and how happy they are (making NO claims about the direction of the implied causation). Most often, the compassionate argument is the winning one. Appeals to selfishness (self interest) don't resonate because almost nobody considers themself selfish. 

Most political disagreements are not between a self interested position and a moral position. They are between two different genuinely held evaluations of moral questions. To avoid causing offence, I won't name specific issues on Babble but this includes every major social debate in the western world today as well as the economic debate capitalism vs. socialism.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

We should appeal to the voters self interest and let the Invisible Hand take care of the economy.

Sean I am sorry I disagreed with you earlier in this thread. I try to never say anything negative about your posts because I know how upset you get. So again I will go back to trying very hard not to respond except positively. I did it for months and it was fine and then I slipped up and I said something negative because that was my actual viewpoint. Mea culpa mea culpa.>

bs

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..this is a big country with diverse views. my point continues to be that you don't leave it up to the parties to try and pretzel it's way to what that encompasses. it's an impossible job.

..my point continues to be and that includes the piece i posted re: The Limits of Capitalism is you organise at a grassroots level to elevate whatever the community issues are and organise around whatever appropriate response needs to be. it is only later that you tie it into the vote. not the other way around..not at the front end. the idea is to be creating self defence from the bottom up. and not waiting for "the party" to save you. organize and the vote will take care of itself. this path is inclusive. it doesn't fall into artificial party divisions..it's issue based. 

..because all mainstream parties, at this time, don't take things far enough that responds to what is needed in real change. all that is left is voting for the lesser of the evil. i say no to that. it doesn't work. i say if you want an alternative we build it ourselves or it doesn't get done.

..this is the future. imho. 

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

We should appeal to the voters self interest and let the Invisible Hand take care of the economy.   

I had no idea you had such faith in the free-market that you think it is the best interests for the 99%. Personally I think programs like medicare are in the best interests of the 99%. 

It seems that "leftist" types agree with right-wingers that leftist policies are harmful to the 99%.  It is no wonder the right is winning. 

kropotkin1951

Fuck Pondering don't you understand sarcasm?

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Fuck Pondering don't you understand sarcasm?

Apparently not. I thought you were mocking the notion. 

kropotkin1951

We need to convince people that we are all in this together. The golden rule in all its manifestations essentially says help others to help yourself but convincing people to help others is generally not seen as appealing to peoples self interest.

 

I think that this piece on the Maslow hierarchy is fascinating. I have read a lot of history of intentional communities founded by settlers in various places on the Salish Sea (or Nutana for that matter) but despite early success none have had the cultural perpetuity required to build a multi-generational society based intentionally on egalitarian ideals.

https://lincolnmichel.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/maslows-hierarchy-connect...

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Even then the line for what constitutes self interest is blurry. For example, is it in my immediate material best interest to raise my taxes to put in place crime prevention measures for those at risk of breaking the law? No. It's more money out of my pocket, and I do not directly benefit from that program. Over the long term however, the risk of my property being vandalized or stolen goes down, which (social good aside) is good for me. Is it really a dichotomy between self interest and the public interest, or is there a bit of grey?

This is the difference between our immediate self-interest and our long-term self-interest. Often our immediate self-interest and our long-term self interest can be in contradiction.

Let's use an example of a worker in their early 30s with a 50k job. It's in their immediate interest not to put anything into a retirement savings plan so that they can afford a better lifestyle. However, it's in their long-term interest to put as much money as possible into retirement savings in order to maximize their lifestyle in retirement.

kropotkin1951

Left Turn wrote:

Let's use an example of a worker in their early 30s with a 50k job. It's in their immediate interest not to put anything into a retirement savings plan so that they can afford a better lifestyle. However, it's in their long-term interest to put as much money as possible into retirement savings in order to maximize their lifestyle in retirement.

Which is why is my fathers generation struck for pension plans in the 1960's. The same Sudbury workers faced a crushing lockout a few years ago as the corporation came for their pension plans and other hard won benefits. Saving for your pension is a fools game for the working class and always has been.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Let's use an example of a worker in their early 30s with a 50k job. It's in their immediate interest not to put anything into a retirement savings plan so that they can afford a better lifestyle. However, it's in their long-term interest to put as much money as possible into retirement savings in order to maximize their lifestyle in retirement.

Which is why is my fathers generation struck for pension plans in the 1960's. The same Sudbury workers faced a crushing lockout a few years ago as the corporation came for their pension plans and other hard won benefits. Saving for your pension is a fools game for the working class and always has been.

It is not pensions that are the problem but protection of those pensions. To say otherwise is to contradict a union priority since the start of the movement.

kropotkin1951

We need in Canada to have the OAS payments doubled. Union workers are some of the only people with real pension plans.  An RRSP plan is not a pension plan, companies understand that well which is why they have has such a concerted effort to shed their defined benefit plans which are actually a pension not a promise of money only if the stock market is doing well on your retirement date.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

We need in Canada to have the OAS payments doubled. Union workers are some of the only people with real pension plans.  An RRSP plan is not a pension plan, companies understand that well which is why they have has such a concerted effort to shed their defined benefit plans which are actually a pension not a promise of money only if the stock market is doing well on your retirement date.

I agree with everything you say here. Also the GIS should be doubled as well.

Of course I would be happier to see the GIS eliminated in favour of a guaranteed income for everyone but I suspect we are entirely in agreement on that as well.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Let's use an example of a worker in their early 30s with a 50k job. It's in their immediate interest not to put anything into a retirement savings plan so that they can afford a better lifestyle. However, it's in their long-term interest to put as much money as possible into retirement savings in order to maximize their lifestyle in retirement.

Which is why is my fathers generation struck for pension plans in the 1960's. The same Sudbury workers faced a crushing lockout a few years ago as the corporation came for their pension plans and other hard won benefits. Saving for your pension is a fools game for the working class and always has been.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
We need in Canada to have the OAS payments doubled. Union workers are some of the only people with real pension plans.  An RRSP plan is not a pension plan, companies understand that well which is why they have has such a concerted effort to shed their defined benefit plans which are actually a pension not a promise of money only if the stock market is doing well on your retirement date.

Yes, ideally the OAS, GAS and CPP would provide enough money for all workers to live on in retirement.

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