One of these things is not like the other

2 09 2011

Skip ahead to the 5:50 or so mark:

That is why a pure proceduralist approach to politics will never work, and should never be permitted to be substitute for the real thing.



4 responses

2 09 2011

not sure what “pure” proceduralism is but I would think that this kind of clear breakdown/limit of conversation is exactly why we need agreed upon procedures to decide what can’t be resolved by reasoning together.

3 09 2011
3 09 2011

I agree that procedures are necessary; I disagree that they are sufficient.

Politics is not just about the rules by which we argue for and against values, but the values themselves. Stating that you or I or Rick Santorum has a right to his or her opinion is true, Constitutionally, as far as it goes, but in politics we’re also arguing over whether WHAT we’re arguing about is true, either in its own right or in light of some other value, such as justice.

This vid may not be the best example of what I’m going for, but I am going for something beyond “on the one hand,” and “on the other hand”, or even beyond the determination of specific facts or pieces of evidence. Politics is also—crucially—about “what kind of world do you want to live in”.

I don’t want to live in Rick Santorum’s world, and he doesn’t want to live in mine. Saying, well, everyone has a right to his or her opinion or “to each her own” is a necessary starting point to political conversation, but it that’s as far as we’re willing to go, it’s a cop-out.

3 09 2011

oh I wasn’t saying that it was sufficient at all (is anyone outside of the academy saying this?) part of why I don’t continue to participate in other blogs/comment-sections (not to mention most higher ed conferences)is that people are wasting all kinds of time trying to bridge unbridgeable gaps out of some misplaced belief in Reason-ableness but also that rather than discussing workable alternatives and rallying the troops activism/participation is reduced to gossipy mondaymorning quarterbacking.
Riddle me this how do we decide how much info/understanding should we have about a topic before we feel justified in having an opinion that is more than a gut hunch?

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