Saturday, November 12, 2011

Labels, The Collective, and Politics...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Labels. A lot of people like political labels and being a part of one collective or another. Belonging to a group of like minded individuals does give a person a safe and comfortable feeling. It legitimatizes their beliefs and principles within a circle of like minded social beings.

However, in choosing to become part of a collective a person often {unwittingly}places restrictions on their ability to think critically and "outside the box" of accepted "conventional" wisdom. In other words "group-think" takes over the process of thinking so that "thinking" becomes a automatic response based in part or solely on ideology.

The different political parties are nothing more than collectives of people with differing political thought and ideologies with respect to government and its proper size and involvement in society. Whether you are a member of the democratic, republican, libertarian, communist, fascist, or whatever party you are a member of a collective.

All political party's exert peer pressure on the membership to talk the "party talk", and "walk the party" line. Even when it doesn't make a great deal of sense. The value placed on "party loyalty" generally exceeds the value placed on doing the right thing. This is the reality because every collective or party is agenda driven.

The Republican party base today is the party with the clearest yet narrowest focus, while the democratic party base has a wider but often less clear focus. In both party's it is the activists and ideologues that are diving the agenda.

What does all this mean? Other than the vast middle, those independents and moderates who keep the engines of society running getting screwed by both parties anyone's take is a relevant as the next.

Having spent perhaps too much time visiting sites across the political spectrum it has become ever more evident that this nation may indeed be facing the greatest societal challenge of its 233 year history. At the end of the day all the talk about philosophy, liberty, and proper governance won't amount to much if in the process we fail as a nation to come together and solve our problems.

The American people are looking to their leaders, the ones they elected to act as responsible representatives of the people of this nation and act wisely to solve our problems. Such action is long overdue and as a result now needed post haste.

Sometimes it pays to look in the mirror. Pundits and bloggers will continue to do "their thing." This is good and as it should be. We should all hope that it is done with an active mind. Not an open or closed one because both result in little getting done.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. very nicely put. all this is saying is that anyone who relies and cites the words of someone that he agrees with for confirmation of his beliefs is not thinking for himself but is group thinking.

  2. The nation itself is a type collective. Perhaps if we understood this more, we'd more decisively address and resolve our problems - and proactively grow for the future.


  3. Once you label me, you negate me. I think that that was was Sartre.......Or maybe it was Heidegger. One of the two.

  4. jmj,
    the nation is made up of 50 collectives viewed from the point of view of being a singular entity, the people being under the rule of the federal government.

    each State is a collective by definition.

  5. Griper, each family, each clique, each social group is a collective. The states? Today? Eh. Not so much.


  6. "A political party is nothing more than collectives of people with differing political thought and ideologies with respect to government and its proper size and involvement in society."


    A political party is an organization made up of people who share notions in common about ideals, goals, principles and public policy.

    The people fixated on the size of government I've encountered are ones parroting what they've heard from the right-wing noise machine and those who gain satisfaction in using government as their all-purpose punching bag. The latter includes squawking heads of the right-wing noise machine and Republican and libertarian politicians.

    I've yet to find anyone able to sensibly and convincingly state how big or small government ought to be. That's probably because, first, no one really knows; and second, it approaches public policy and our needs and preferences for common-good services backwards.

    The smart, workable approach is to try to determine if government is about the right size to be able to deliver the services people need and want, and do that with reasonable efficiency.

    Where the partisan rub comes in is that a significant minority of Americans interpolate "people" in the preceding sentence to read "I," as in "services I need and want." It should be obvious, but isn't, that to enjoy the benefits and protections of living in a developed country worth living in, a person has to be willing to go along with what the majority prefers on certain things.

    The partisan rub comes in because we have a significant minority in this country made up of people who want the benefits and protections without the costs and occasional limits on their freedom of action.

  7. S.W. - Good catch. Corrected to accurately reflect my intent.

  8. SW: "Republican noise machine" is one of the perjoratives used by the Left for political opponents who merely present information they don't like.

    There is no more a Republican noise machine than there is a Democratic one. the terms are meaningless.

  9. @dmarks,

    There's not a thing that is "democratic" about the Democrat Party. They are Socialists with money.

    Just sayin'.

  10. dmarks, unfortunately for Democrats, you're wrong. Another name for the noise machine is right-wing propaganda infrastructure. It includes radio programming, a cable network that operated for years at a loss, newspapers, magazines, mass-mailing operations, think tanks, speakers bureaus, paid bloggers and Web sites, the PR arms of allied groups like the NRA, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and more. Then, there's the official propaganda operation of the GOP at national and state levels.

    The tipoff that all this isn't just the work of likeminded groups and individuals who just happened to have the same opinion to express comes when, as if by magic, the same memes, typically using the same words with the same phrasing, start showing up all over the spectrum of outlets I just mentioned. That could and does happen now and then coincidentally as something particularly notable or sensational goes viral. But most of the time it's a coordinated, orchestrated effort.

    ecc102, the proper name is Democratic Party. If you know where there are socialists with money provide specifics. There's an election coming up, and Democrats could use the help.


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