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Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Thousand Policies

There's a lot of problems currently afflicting the world that have both simple and complex solutions. Contemplating the nature of these problems and their solutions can lead to quite a headache - lets face it, that involves juggling a lot of data.

"But it's simple," will say a cacophony of voices. "All you have to do is..."

And it's at that point that they all start to diverge, first into relatively few camps, of thought, then into more, then totally diverging from just about everyone else.

No wonder democracy confuses human beings. Presented with all these different options for how to move forward, often subject to misdirection in the intentions of those making those presentations, and trying to put together a set of beliefs from evidence that one needs to find elsewhere.

It takes time, patience, research and understanding to actually settle on a course that one thinks the world should take. Not only in terms of economic strategy, but academic, scientific, moralistic, socialistic.

And once you have settled on that - well, it would be natural that everyone else's plans would seem to ring hollow, right? Except that a lot of them have gone exactly the way you have - putting together their beliefs from a pastiche of information and a lot of soul-searching.

And that is why people don't budge. And very little in terms of words and deeds can make them shift their political standpoint. This is especially true if they have skipped out on a very central aspect of this entire exercise - evidence; it is downright scary to know just how many people will form a political opinion without any basis in fact or reality, basing it purely off the words and beliefs of others for whatever reason.

Sadly, the kind of thing that makes people budge isn't something that everyone on either side can experience. After all, homophobes aren't likely to experience a real attack on their human rights, not in the same way as their targets. Proponents of heavy taxation on the rich aren't usually very rich, so they won't know how that would affect them directly - and contrariwise, proponents of a demolition of worker's rights aren't usually in a position for the erosion of those rights to ruin their lives.

All told? The myriad of political opinions can get to be a bit of a mess - which is why the whole thing seems fairly impenetrable.

And unfortunately, we've fallen into the trap of accepting almost all viewpoints as being just as valid as the others, regardless of evidence, common sense or basic decency.

But that is for another blog, no?

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