Politics


This is a follow-up to Fantasy Ideologies

Humans self-organize into scale-free networks. Traditionally, individuals were locked into their tribes and extended families. This was true for the hunter-gatherer period and remained true throughout the agricultural period.

The Industrial Revolution created a new form of social organization. Individuals were no longer tied to the land and family for survival. Volunteer civic associations replaced tribes. Individuals no longer had a fixed tribal identity – they could freely join or leave any civic organization they choose. They could change religions, political party, circle of friends. Individuals could freely migrate across the social terrain.

Individualism was quickly challenged by a series of reactionary collectivist ideologies which seek to restore fixed tribal identities. This New Tribalism includes different group ideologies like identity politics, nationalism, cultural marxism.
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Maj. John Tammes explains why he serves.

I don’t care whether you are a bigot that thinks those “rag heads” or Muslims can’t ever stop killing each other, or a sneering political opportunist who cynically chants “no blood for oil” or “This is Bush’s War, dreamed up on a ranch in Texas.” You are, in effect, saying “Never again? Who cares – ‘again’ isn’t my problem.”

Maj. Tammes and many like him will try to prevent it from happening again, or at least try to limit the damage.

I think that’s the best we can do.

There has been a flood of atheist books lately. Dawkins and Hitchens, for instance, argue that religion drives people to conflict by deluding them with idealistic fantasies. That’s so 1600s.

Religion is a declining political force in the modern world. Religions once made predictions about natural and social events and was used as tool of political organizations by ancient monarchies. Today, religion is restricted to the private sphere and only describes personal beliefs of metaphysical topics. The separation of Church and State has kept religious idealism from directly interfering with political matters. I think religion is a spent force, which is why Atheists are now “brave” enough to go public.

The real story is worse. Since the French Revolution, Political Idealism and fantasy ideologies have replaced religion. These political beliefs create a political mythology, teleology, and idealistic morality. These beliefs become neo-religions of absolute truth which are imposed upon society through coercion. And no one likes to admit they are a medieval fanatic, so non-believers are attacked and exiled.

I think that Political Atheism is much more important than classical religious atheism. Politics is about shifting forces and interests. We cannot create a political “identity” without sacrificing rationality.
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A professional military must be non-partisan and objective. On the one hand, the armed forces must serve the orders of the civilian government. Yet it must also serve as professional mandarins – security experts who advise and inform the civilian government to shape the most rational policy.

Perhaps the war is worth fighting, perhaps it is not. Any operation may not be worth the cost. That’s an economic decision, not a security one. The government sent the military to fight the war and gave it the resources to do so. The military is just explaining to Congress how it intends to accomplish this mission. Please do not ignore this information or attack the military as a partisan institution.

Non-partisan professionalism is no longer enough to deter partisan attacks. MoveOn.org is preparing a campaign against General Petraeus, calling him “General Betray Us”. Even more mainstream critics like Sen. Feinstein are labeling Petraeus and the military as Bush cronies. Sen. Reid and Durban declared that Petraeus is a liar, in so many words.
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We should comprehensively restructure our electrical system. Today, we use centralized electrical production then distribute it nation-wide. This is inefficient resulting in power loss and increased costs.

Thomas Casten and Brennan Downes make a case to decentralize electrical system.

I think this should be a major reform, on par with Eisenhower’s construction of the interstate highway system. As it stands now, the US electrical system is not cost-effective, it is environmentally destructive, and it is vulnerable to attack. The proposed decentralized system would reduce power costs 40 percent and cut carbon dioxide emissions by half.
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Californians will decide on a proposal to allocate electoral votes to the winners of Congressional Districts rather than a state-wide winner take all vote. A Field poll shows surprisingly strong support for the idea: 47% of registered votes supported the reform while 35% oppossed. Explaining the partisan disadvantages makes more Democrats oppose the plan, but even then 49% support it and 42% oppose.

It’s a good idea but only if other states like Texas make the same reform. Maine and Nebraska already use the Congressional District system.
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The city continues to sink due to natural causes. This is what happens on River Deltas. Meanwhile, the NOLA Levee system is still defective and may fail again.

The government pumped $127 billion and accomplished little. Right now, we should encourage more people to leave the city and reduce it to a safer lever (around 50,000). The risks are severe so insurance rates should climb, unless the government uses price controls to stop “abusive price gouging” so people will underestimate risk and drown instead.

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