With the realization that Sanders will probably not win the Democratic Party nomination, and that said establishment Party is corrupt beyond repair, there has been a spate of internet articles on what to do with the Sanders campaign machine. One option I hear frequently is to take all that momentum and organization and form a progressive third party, one that challenges both the establishment Democratic and Republican Parties. We've come to realize that the Democratic Party is too far gone to the dark side of corporate cronyism never to return to its own progressive roots. In the posts that follow I'll provide my jeremiad on this.

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This video shows the corruption of the two party system and how a Parliamentary system works to build coalitions instead of Party unity. We might even say it's the difference between metaphysical monism with politic dualism versus an integrated methodological pluralism. And no, the former is not transcended and included in the latter.

Also try the FB link if the above link is still not working.

Hi David - i just read the James Hoggan piece, much about Lakoff's ideas. Overall it makes sense to me. I like Lakoff's word "biconceptualism" to designate this common feature of inhabiting seemingly contrary points of view, like liberal or conservative in different moments and contexts. This may correspond in some way to Haidt's  research showing that innately humans are almost wired to care about 2 discrete "liberally" held values and 3 "conservatively" held values. This may explain a little of both why moral orientation is not as linear and monolithic-seeming as we like to make it, and how "independents" come into being as people wanting to reconcile this intrinsic inner variability within ourselves.

I think you might find it worth your while to watch the 18 minute TED by Haidt - it is such a clear and rational presentation, dealing in good sounding research that is quite tight. It contains such good reminders for progressives and stick-in-the-muds.

DavidM58 said:

I haven't had a chance yet to check out Haidt, but if Sam Harris is arguing against him, those would be positive marks for Haidt in my knee-jerk reaction, just because of my distaste for Harris. 

On another note, for some reason I couldn't find the "Real and False Reason" thread I remember being on here somewhere, so I'll put this here. 

If Facts Don't Matter, What Does? James Hoggan, of DeSmog blog, writes about George Lakoff's ideas on "frames" in the context of Progressives and Conservatives. 

Excerpt:

"The truth is, facts alone don’t change minds, said Lakoff, who wrote a book calledDon’t Think of an Elephant, which explains how to frame political debates in terms of values not facts.

He believes that the progressive community contributes to confusion in the public square because of an outdated understanding of reason and consequent lack of persuasive communication. During our interview, he told me that progressives need a mental model that goes beyond cold, logical messaging that’s directly correlated to reality — a model which should embrace metaphors, a marriage of emotion and logic.

Liberals have an unemotional view of reason that dates back to French philosopher Descartes. Lakoff explained that when conservatives want to go into politics they study business, marketing and what makes people tick, whereas progressives study political science, law and public policy. Progressives don’t study cognitive science, neurology or how the brain works. “They learn a false view of reason that goes back to the 1600s…that says reason is conscious, logical and unemotional.”



Edwyrd theurj Burj said:

I don't place much stock in Haidt. See this previous video debate between Haidt and Harris and the ensuing discussion. Note that because it's a video the discussion has the latest comment first and the oldest comment last.

Ambo Suno said:

Jonathan Haidt's study slices through the topic in one way that captures some pithy realities about morality and ethics, but, of course, there are other ways of slicing through sociopolitical human life. Enjoy.

Hi Edwyrd - I have been only able to listen to about one quarter of the talk so far. Of course, I am impressed by the tidy way he is proceeding and his quite comprehensive knowledge (it so far seems to me).

Good to see this thread that has gone into the matter some already.

Harris may have a better way to deal with engaging the issue and situations of morality. I am wondering if I will come to diminish my sense of the validity of Haidt's ideas, or have them rendered as not a very effective way to engage and proceed. Hmm.

Edwyrd theurj Burj said:

I don't place much stock in Haidt. See this previous video debate between Haidt and Harris and the ensuing discussion. Note that because it's a video the discussion has the latest comment first and the oldest comment last.

Ambo Suno said:

Jonathan Haidt's study slices through the topic in one way that captures some pithy realities about morality and ethics, but, of course, there are other ways of slicing through sociopolitical human life. Enjoy.

Hi Ambo,

Glad you found the Hoggan piece useful. I haven't yet had time to watch the Haidt video you recommended, nor the Harris/Haidt video debate linked by Edward. I have at least downloaded the TED talk by Haidt, so the intention is there to hopefully find some time to watch.

My current view (which may or may not align with ideas expressed by the folks above) is that there are definite positives for both liberal and conservative views, and I believe both have important roles to play. However, with the current state of U.S. politics, I'd have to agree with John Michael Greer, who points out that these days conservatives are rarely engaged in acts of conserving, and liberals are not doing the business of liberating.

David Holmgren has recently completed a writing project, a History From the Future, where he outlines a potential experience of 'energy descent,' but with some positive outcomes. Such as a reshuffling of political parties where they become relevant again: the future political parties of The Deep Green Bioregionalists vs. The Restoration Conservatives seem to be much more healthy versions of today's liberal/conservative divide, where they play important balancing roles of progression/conservation.



Ambo Suno said:

Hi David - i just read the James Hoggan piece, much about Lakoff's ideas. Overall it makes sense to me. I like Lakoff's word "biconceptualism" to designate this common feature of inhabiting seemingly contrary points of view, like liberal or conservative in different moments and contexts. This may correspond in some way to Haidt's  research showing that innately humans are almost wired to care about 2 discrete "liberally" held values and 3 "conservatively" held values. This may explain a little of both why moral orientation is not as linear and monolithic-seeming as we like to make it, and how "independents" come into being as people wanting to reconcile this intrinsic inner variability within ourselves.

I think you might find it worth your while to watch the 18 minute TED by Haidt - it is such a clear and rational presentation, dealing in good sounding research that is quite tight. It contains such good reminders for progressives and stick-in-the-muds.

DavidM58 said:

I haven't had a chance yet to check out Haidt, but if Sam Harris is arguing against him, those would be positive marks for Haidt in my knee-jerk reaction, just because of my distaste for Harris. 

On another note, for some reason I couldn't find the "Real and False Reason" thread I remember being on here somewhere, so I'll put this here. 

If Facts Don't Matter, What Does? James Hoggan, of DeSmog blog, writes about George Lakoff's ideas on "frames" in the context of Progressives and Conservatives. 

Excerpt:

"The truth is, facts alone don’t change minds, said Lakoff, who wrote a book calledDon’t Think of an Elephant, which explains how to frame political debates in terms of values not facts.

He believes that the progressive community contributes to confusion in the public square because of an outdated understanding of reason and consequent lack of persuasive communication. During our interview, he told me that progressives need a mental model that goes beyond cold, logical messaging that’s directly correlated to reality — a model which should embrace metaphors, a marriage of emotion and logic.

Liberals have an unemotional view of reason that dates back to French philosopher Descartes. Lakoff explained that when conservatives want to go into politics they study business, marketing and what makes people tick, whereas progressives study political science, law and public policy. Progressives don’t study cognitive science, neurology or how the brain works. “They learn a false view of reason that goes back to the 1600s…that says reason is conscious, logical and unemotional.”



Edwyrd theurj Burj said:

I don't place much stock in Haidt. See this previous video debate between Haidt and Harris and the ensuing discussion. Note that because it's a video the discussion has the latest comment first and the oldest comment last.

Ambo Suno said:

Jonathan Haidt's study slices through the topic in one way that captures some pithy realities about morality and ethics, but, of course, there are other ways of slicing through sociopolitical human life. Enjoy.

A few points on the Hoggan piece. Yes, frames matter but so do facts. Recall Ambo's thread on the facts. Granted just the facts ma'am isn't enough, but when framing it also helps to be factual. E.g., Lakoff said when it comes to cutting corporate tax rates = creating jobs it's patently false. Yet if repeated enough within a certain frame the facts don't matter. Hence Trump getting poor fact ratings at Politifact. So progressives need to frame the truth not by repeating the lie but by spinning the values of what actually creates jobs, like people having a good enough paycheck to buy goods and services which stimulate the economy and create jobs. Sanders has done an excellent job of that.

But then there's also the truth factor of that spinning. When Sanders says it we believe him because he has a long record of supporting these policies. When Clinton say it she not only doesn't have that record but the opposite so we don't believer her. That is, if we're not so gullible to spin without those facts. Hence this thread is trying to frame the Democratic Party and its candidates with as much factual information as possible tied to the moral framing of authentic versus pandering we the people rhetoric.

Another things I like about the Hoggan piece is that "frames are hierarchically structured and at the top of that hierarchy are the moral frames." Put in kennilingus, the moral line is hierarchically more significant than the cognitive line. This turns kennilingus on its head, since it claims that the cognitive line is the key integrator of the others (see this e.g.) This notion is much more in line with the fold thread (and Lakoff), in that some of our earliest ancestral feelings were about love and compassion. When we see how rationality builds on these via structural coupling (and doesn't transcend and include them) we see how these earlier structures can be integrated with reason instead of under it. But if rational cognitive capacity is the leader this by Lakoff's definition is false reason. The real/false reason thread explores this in great depth.

Now if we add levels, we see the postconvential moral structures are framed by the progressives, as conservatives frame them much more conventionally. Again, progressive framing per above is more integrative (syntegrated, if you will) and they transcend and replace conservative moral frames. Even kennilingus agrees that transitional structures are transcended and replaced. This thread explores that topic in depth.

All of which begs the question, can postconventional moral framing, even if done well, actually get through to morally conventional people?

Also see this Lakoff interview.

In this video (around 2:50) Jill Stein talks about rank choice voting. That is, having ballots allow for one's first and second choice. If their first choice loses then it shifts to their second choice. That way people can actually vote for who they really want, like Sanders or Stein over Clinton. Needless to say, the Democratic Party won't allow such a suggestion because their corrupt process is based on corporate money and they don't care who you really want. "Forget the lesser evil, fight for the greater good."

Framing to one's moral values.

"Feinberg and Willer drew upon past research showing that American liberals and conservatives tend to endorse different moral values to different extents. For example, liberals tend to be more concerned with care and equality where conservatives are more concerned with values like group loyalty, respect for authority and purity.

"They then conducted four studies testing the idea that moral arguments reframed to fit a target audience’s moral values could be persuasive on even deeply entrenched political issues. In one study, conservative participants recruited via the Internet were presented with passages that supported legalizing same-sex marriage.

"Conservative participants were ultimately persuaded by a patriotism-based argument that 'same-sex couples are proud and patriotic Americans … [who] contribute to the American economy and society.' On the other hand, they were significantly less persuaded by a passage that argued for legalized same-sex marriage in terms of fairness and equality."

Here's Bill McKibben on Democratic platform obstruction. A sample excerpt follows. Anyone surprised on the Clinton delegate votes? If so you've been fooled again. It's all spin and no substance.

"We all agreed that America should be operating on 100 percent clean energy by 2050, but then I proposed, in one amendment after another, a series of ways we might actually get there. A carbon tax? Voted down 7-6 (one of the DNC delegates voted with each side). A ban on fracking? Voted down 7-6. An effort to keep fossils in the ground, at least on federal land? Voted down 7-6. A measure to mandate that federal agencies weigh the climate impact of their decisions? Voted down 7-6. Even a plan to keep fossil fuel companies from taking private land by eminent domain, voted down 7-6. (We did, however, reach unanimous consent on more bike paths!)"

Reich on why we need a Third Party, after this election, of course. The threat of a Trump Presidency is too great in his mind to take that chance with this election. But afterward, yes. And getting big money out of politics should be its central message, since the establishment Dems will never do it. It's the key to every other issue.

"I am in favor of a third party after November. I think that what Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders supporters ought to be considering very seriously is a kind of new progressive party — post-November — that fields candidates, that supports progressives for House and Senate races, even considers putting up somebody for the 2020 presidential race. A party that dedicates the next four or eight or 20 years to building a progressive movement politically and focussing on the politics of a progressive movement. It hasn't been done, and it needs to be done, and I think that the movement that Bernie Sanders began is the logical starting point."

I won't be too surprised if Trump wins the presidency, and on the other hand I won't be too surprised if his campaign implodes (as many have been expecting for a long time). 

John Feffer has a very good article on "The Most Important Election of Your Life," and it's not this year's election, but the one that will occur four years from now. Feffer does not seem to expect Trump to win, but sees a bigger danger in the next presidential election with a more serious extremist/nationalist candidate. 

He writes, "Responding to the irresistible pull of celebrity culture and to the exclusion of almost anything else, the U.S. media has focused on the person of Donald Trump. Far more important, however, are the people who support him."  Feffer makes comparisons with what is going on in Europe, and talks about an America 'A' and an America 'B.' 

My workplace has blocked access to the article by Reich (perhaps because Rolling Stone does live streaming?), but I agree that the Democrat party is becoming more and more irrelevant. If an anti-status quo/populist/progressive party is not offered as an alternative, the more likely that the common "man in the street" (yes, mostly white, middle-age men) will turn to populist right wing candidates.

Even so, I do not expect even candidates of Bernie/Warren calibre to "solve" the intractible problems we face. 

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