disinterested science

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Thu Jul 30 11:11:29 PDT 1998

>On Thu, July 30, 1998 at 13:20:26 (-0400) Max Sawicky writes:
>>>. . . . Politics gets reduced to forced choices between unattractive
>>Politics is always a matter of choices
>>beyond one's control. Otherwise politics
>>is reduced to personal expression.
>Noam Chomsky characterized this view of democracy as a "system of
ratification", rather than true democracy, in his PBS interview with Bill Moyers in 1988. It is true that politics *today* is largely a matter of choices the formulation of which is largely beyond one's control; and it is true that we must work both within the set of available options to select the least harmful, and without to try to
>transform the system.

Are we talking about politics as it is, or as we'd like it to be? People seem hung up on the latter.

>But surely this is not what we should strive for in a definition of
"politics". Politics should be democratic in the broadest sense, which means you do have a voice in shaping choices, to the extent that they affect you, and that power and privilege have minimal (if any) effect.>

Fine. The problem is still how one gets a hearing.

One advantage of beltway-land over Bohemia, broadly speaking, is that in the former, it is understood that the act of speaking consumes resources, so the need to economize on these resources, in terms of what is said and how, is closely attended to (sometimes too closely). By contrast, in the politics of personal expression, resources are not in question because there are none.


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