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Politics > Rapid-Fire Q&A: Explain Political Principles to Youngsters

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message 1: by Ilyn (last edited Jan 18, 2009 08:50AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Posted at Fox - Rapid-Fire Q&A: Explain Political Principles to Youngsters http://community.myfoxdetroit.com/blo...

Royal Serf (draft)
By Ilyn Ross
Start: October 19, 2008

Plot-theme: A royal slave’s flight for independence, and an uncommon man’s struggle that his country’s Declaration of Independence might not perish from the Earth

Setting: The US and the UK, mainly in 2012 (US Presidential Elections)

Royal Serf is a political thriller that uses many true events as background. It has a prologue and 15 chapters. I have finished writing up chapter 11. Four more chapters to go. This is an excerpt from chapter 12:

She relaxed on a reclining chair, turned on the television, and watched a replay of the Teenage Q&A show. The guest was Apollo Marianto.

An eighteen-year-old boy from the audience asked, “Mr. Marianto, could we have a rapid-fire Q&A? How would you make youngsters understand these political principles – first, the principle of Individual Rights?

“Live and let live.”

“Capitalism?”

“Mind your own business. Good work is the key to good fortune.”

“Socialism?”

“Babysitting adults.”

“Mixed economy?”

“Clean water with drops of poison.”

“Antitrust Laws?”

“Russian roulette, with the government holding the gun at every businessman’s head. Government-mined fields traversed by businessmen."

“Regulations?”

“Shackles for wealth and job creators.”

“Profit?”

“To the irrational: damn if you do, damn if you don’t.”

“Do good by force?”

“The power-luster’s subterfuge. Absolving the lazy from the necessity of thinking. Arranged marriage.”

“Coercion?”

“The command to eat vegetables. Military draft. Rape.”

“Centrist?”

“Too lazy or cowardly to take up a position.”

“Extremist?”

“A pragmatist’s description of one who has convictions.”

“Pragmatist?”

“One who blanks out the past, the future, the whys, the wherefores, and the hows.”


message 2: by Kendall (new)

Kendall (kendallfurlong) | 5 comments Simple-minded explanations for those who think the world is a simple place.


message 3: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
It took a child to say,"The emperor has no clothes."


message 4: by Kendall (new)

Kendall (kendallfurlong) | 5 comments Indeed. And why was that?


message 5: by Henrik (new)

Henrik Ilyn wrote:

"“Extremist?”

“A pragmatist’s description of one who has convictions.”

“Pragmatist?”

“One who blanks out the past, the future, the whys, the wherefores, and the hows.” "

So... One who blanks out the past, the future, the whys, the wherefores, and the hows describes one who has convictions as an "extremist"?

How is that even possible if the pragmatist leaves everything as blank as you say here?


message 6: by Ilyn (last edited Jan 24, 2009 02:46AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
I didn't say "everything". I said past and future, leaving out "present".


message 7: by Ilyn (last edited Jan 24, 2009 02:53AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Regarding: “Profit?” “To the irrational: damn if you do, damn if you don’t.”

Changed to: "To the irrational: damn if you do; damn if you don’t. Greed if you profit; greed if you don’t.”


message 8: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Added: "Lobbying?”

“Courting crooks.”



message 9: by Henrik (new)

Henrik Ilyn,

Fair enough, of course. My mistake.

So--does that mean that when the pragmatist calls the "person who has convictions" an extremists, that's okay as long as it's done with the present in mind?...


message 10: by Ilyn (last edited Jan 24, 2009 02:32PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
I don't agree with pragmatism. Excerpt from Royal Serf:

Subjectivists advocate pragmatism and altruism. Pragmatism is the philosophy of the Progressive movement in this country.

Objectivism further states that the two points central to the pragmatist ethics and politics are: a formal rejection of all fixed standards – and an unquestioning absorption of the prevailing standards. The subjectivist denies that there is any such thing as “the truth” on a given question, the truth which corresponds to the facts. He claims there is no truth, even of a statement he accepts, only truth relative to an individual or group.

By itself, as a distinctive theory, the pragmatist ethics has no content. It preaches “practicality”, but does not specify any “rigid” set of values that could define the concept. So, it appropriates value codes formulated by others without acknowledging them. In politics, pragmatism presents itself as opposed to “extremes” of any kind, whether capitalist or socialist; it avows that it is relativist, “moderate”, or centrist. Without its own standards, it names a political principle imported from Germany as its standard: collectivism. Marxism propounded a social subjectivism in terms of competing economic classes. The Nazis followed the Marxists but substituted race for class.

Objectivists say: An honest man does not desire until he has identified the object of his desire. He says: “It is, therefore I want it.”

Acting on whim and not on principle, subjectivists say: “I want it, therefore it is.”


message 11: by Nina (new)

Nina | 58 comments About the "past and future" that Ilyn alludes to in her message I'd like to send you this quote:

"To live each day as if it were your last, you would be trying to remedy all the mistakes you had made, all the regrets, all the things unsaid. If you live each day as if it were your first, you are freed from all obligations, all guilt, all regret." from Breathing Space: Twelve Lessons for The Modern Woman, Katrina Repka and Alan Finger. nina


message 12: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Thank you, Nina. It's beautiful to live each day...


message 13: by Nina (new)

Nina | 58 comments I like the title of your new book. nina


message 14: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Thanks, Nina. It's exciting writing Royal Serf.


message 15: by Nina (new)

Nina | 58 comments If you are excited to write this means it's got a head start of being good! nina


message 16: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Thank you, sweet friend.


message 17: by Henrik (new)

Henrik Ilyn wrote: "I don't agree with pragmatism."

I know you don't, Ilyn, but that & the rest of that reply didn't really answer my question, which was:

[D:]oes that mean that when the pragmatist calls the "person who has convictions" an extremists, that's okay as long as it's done with the present in mind?

I won't go into a debate pro et con subjectivism, pragmatism etc., etc.; much of which we've discussed elsewhere. But I am honestly curious as to how you'd answer my question, given what you said in message #1.


message 18: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
No.


message 19: by Henrik (last edited Jan 31, 2009 02:28PM) (new)

Henrik LOL. Well, Ilyn, I guess I had that short reply coming, given the way I phrased my question:-D

Let me rephrase it, then: Can I get an argument, or line of reasoning, for why you don't think so?


message 20: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (Ilyn_Ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hi Henrik. Many people speak of left, right, center, extreme left, extreme right, mainstream, bipartisan, consensus...

I think about reality, truth, right or wrong, objective facts, and the like. I evaluate if an idea is sensible, logical, or reasonable.

Galileo was declared a heretic - nowadays, he would be called an extremist. He established a fact - that is what matters.


message 21: by Henrik (new)

Henrik Hi Ilyn,

Well, that doesn't really answer my question, does it?

Either way I am not so sure you're right when saying that about Galileo. First and foremost because nowadays his views are (on the whole) the ones that are accepted today, so he probably wouldn't be called an extremist--at least not by people believing in science;-)

Secondly, the pragmatist doesn't really care whether something is "ultimately true" or not, but basically only about what "works." So if Galileo's theory turned out to work, they'd have no problem accepting it.

Please note that I am not defending pragmatist as the way (not by a long shot), but merely stating what they are about and what they are not about.


message 22: by Kendall (last edited Feb 02, 2009 01:28PM) (new)

Kendall (kendallfurlong) | 5 comments Hi Henrik and Ilyn,

PMFJI, I think Ilyn meant that the modern term for heretic is extremist, not that Galileo's ideas would be extremist today.

Nevertheless, i think Henrik is closer to the truth (as I see it :>) ). To expand a bit, Becher and Ptolomy's theories "worked' under the conditions they were developed for, so in that sense they were pragmatic. Yet pragmatists today have only a historical interest in them. Thus, we might say too strong an insistence on pragmatism may lead to curtailed development (something works, why bother with refinement), and too blanket a rejection can lead to paralysis (give up because we'll never get it right.)


message 23: by Henrik (new)

Henrik Argh. I think you're right, Kendall. Sorry about that one, Ilyn. And thanks for clearing it up for me, Kendall.

I also see your point re. pragmatism. Thanks for sharing those thoughts.


message 24: by Ruth (new)

Ruth (ruthef) I don't know that I agree with the way you are looking at pragmatists. I don't believe that being pragmatic means a closed eye to change. I think that when one is pragmatic there is an interest in cause and effect and a practical mindset... almost "if this--then that... and don't bother with so many details, just need to know the outcome". I think the pragmatist is interested in truth, but believes perhaps in a simplicity of created truth by what we do. Pragmatics ties what we do, and what we think together-- theory and practice cannot each stand alone.


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