11

How complexly do you find yourself thinking about political issues?

Submitted by this_one in AskRaddle

How simple/complex, on average, is the reasoning by which you form your political stances/opinions? Can most things for you boil down to some simple idea? Do you try to spend a lot of effort on nuanced ideas, or case-by-case specifics?

I'm not 100% sure whether these next two examples are even answers to the question above, but I just typed them out, and I think they're still worth discussing:
Are you more likely to immediately start thinking about what power structure(s) are at play in a given scenario, how they reinforce themselves, and how to dismantle them? Or are you more likely to start thinking about what harm is being caused (by those structures), and how to help the people being harmed? (or something other than those entirely?) Is the former at risk of turning into a case of 'too much ideology, not enough praxis'? Is the latter just treating symptoms, and not the root cause?

Comments

You must log in or register to comment.

4

Tequila_Wolf wrote

How simple/complex, on average, is the reasoning by which you form your political stances/opinions?

As complex as possible. I try to have my metaphysics and ethics compatible.

Can most things for you boil down to some simple idea?

In a sense! here are two:

  • outside mediation that pretends to be fixed or universal is bad, whether we're talking about the structuring of society or the structuring of our norms. (we can call this state forming or state thinking respectively)
  • capitalism incentivizes this by incentivising the creation of whole groups who can be treated as less than human.

Do you try to spend a lot of effort on nuanced ideas, or case-by-case specifics?

Yes.

Are you more likely to immediately start thinking about what power structure(s) are at play in a given scenario, how they reinforce themselves, and how to dismantle them? Or are you more likely to start thinking about what harm is being caused (by those structures), and how to help the people being harmed? (or something other than those entirely?)

I don't think I consistently do one or the other. I try as much as possible to be in everything; seeing how each instance of anything I experience is part of and tied to structures

Is the former at risk of turning into a case of 'too much ideology, not enough praxis'? Is the latter just treating symptoms, and not the root cause?

Can be. I wouldn't know. There's no successful revolution to base the judgement on. Is my shot at a response.

3

anarcho_nationalist wrote

How simple/complex, on average, is the reasoning by which you form your political stances/opinions?

It definitely depends on the stance/ opinion, but the complexity does grow over time.

Can most things for you boil down to some simple idea? Do you try to spend a lot of effort on nuanced ideas, or case-by-case specifics?

Most of them can for me, and I think the real powerful ideas grow from questioning this same simple boiled down idea over time. That's why I'm glad there are so many cases to form opinions about. :)

As for exercising praxis, I think it's important not to get too wrapped up in ideology when it comes to solidarity. I feel pretty torn on this point as well, though. I've never been one to organize, so I'm probably not the authority on this point. I do think that revolutionary projects have in the past been led into authoritarian contradictions by the "vanguard" parties of their time. (See: Stalinism.)

P.S. Have you thought at all about whether universal basic income is revolutionary or counter-revolutionary? I'd be interested to know since you mentioned the potential pitfall of "just treating symptoms." This is one issue I've had a lot of trouble forming an opinion on.

2

this_one wrote

Your UBI question is a good one. In the end, I'd prefer if necessities like food, clothes, housing, electricity/internet, time for and access to leisure/entertainment, etc, would be directly provided to everyone for free, rather than indirectly by giving people money to buy those things.

I think the root causes for why people don't have those things in our society come from hierarchy and capitalism. But if you're assuming capitalism is a given, you might see the root causes for those problems as being 'people not having enough money', in which case you would probably consider a UBI to be treating the root cause.

That said, I do think a UBI would be very lovely. As for whether it's 'revolutionary'? I think, in a roundabout way, it kind of is. I think a big change a UBI would cause is that a significant chunk of the population would suddenly have (more/any) free time on their hands. I think a UBI would give more freedom for people to think and change their mindsets on various ideas, which I could consider a kind of revolutionary.

1

anarcho_nationalist wrote

I ended up in the same-ish place after considering for a while. I have to wonder, though, whether this would end up just devaluing labor even further as the UBI would end up covering living costs. Marx talks about the extension of the portion of the day that gets absorbed as surplus value by capitalists, and how that portion of the day is expanded by a decrease in labor value. (i.e. if someone costs $100 per day to employ, creates $200 in a day, and works for 10 hours, that means that they worked the last 5 hours free of charge.)

So if we take into account the fact that their universally guaranteed income is covering many of their expenses... why wouldn't they (the laborer) be willing to work for less? (i.e. now they only cost $80 per day to employ, and end up working for the final 6 hours free.) The degree of exploitation is now $120/$80 ($6/$4) instead of $100/$100($5/$5). The laborer gets a basic income, but the capitalist can exploit it for gain of their own.

Disclaimer: Not sure if this checks out 100% or considers the question of where the UBI is being funded from properly.

1

this_one wrote

One important thing to consider is that UBI fundamentally changes the dynamic of a boss/worker relationship. Without UBI, if you don't have a job, you'll be left without food/shelter/etc, if not die outright. That means the capitalists can give you a worse deal and you'll still have to accept. It's like if you have a chronic illness and the medication costs $1/month to keep you alive, you will pay that much. If it costs you $10 or $100/month, you will still pay it (if you can afford to). With a UBI, if your boss is exploiting you more than you're comfortable with, you can safely quit without risking your life, and spend as long as you need looking for a different job that suits you better.

2

ziq wrote

They'll just raise the cost of living so you'll still be left in the cold. That's how capitalism works.