Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Friday, 2 October 2015

You know, we're just not reaching that guy.

The above cartoon probably means different things to different people; but most of those being in some way funny: How do you become a "eurosceptic"? If you were cynical you might suppose that the "devils" are our politicians and the "worker" is us. But that's far too fine a fit to be intentional! Actually I would strongly support the very reverse "intentions": Our politicians have given up trying to "reach us".

Previously, I've Been Expecting You...  it was noted how the News-Media aka The Legacy Media channels in particular present arguments using structures which ill-fit the scale and complexity of politics actually operating; their over-reliance on story tropes, on what we also call "the lowest-common denominator" or "dumbing down" according to commercial competition in a market of consumers who can be more efficiently exploited (aka "monetized") via techniques to create an emotional reaction. This in turn transforms a mere "event" into an "experience" to use further technical language from an altogether different subject domain. Information and Education are presented mixed with Entertainment and the portmaneau expression "Infotainment" is achieved.

This is a big problem on several levels: News-Media is competing with multitudinous sources of entertainment for people's limited attention and hence potential further interest and commerce. Namely a successful exchange of "value". Secondly, politics as above being a complex layered subject is in danger of becoming a specialist knowledge domain for, to use George Orwell's Animal Farm expression: "Brain Workers"

Squealer: "Comrades!" he cried. "You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples."
EU Parliament Building

There is inevitably going to be specialization and stratification of society as it becomes ever more complex and hence a state with which the people (society) form a contract. Therefore through this division of labour according to economies of scale, people who are elected to represent other people through an election and voting process is necessary and functional for modern nations. This is simply obvious and we call such people in the UK "Ministers Of Parliament" who we task professionally to do this important job for us at Westminster Parliament or MP's: Our Politicians representing "We The People".

Houses of Parliament at Westminster
Having accused the News-Media of profiting from a model of communication that leans to heavily on a structure that is a poor fit for our modern politics, to then cite George Orwell's Animal Farm might seem to be hypocritical. Coming back to How about a nice game of chess? It was noted the consequences of "Narrowing down the Debate" to binary responses void of greater context leads to it's own set of "nested problems within nested problems"; a bit like the Russian Doll concept to take some infamous political leaders:-
Again the rise of such people either in the visible "villain" motif we identify so easily or the faceless, nameless government that is equally detached from the people that it serves. Alternatively the striving for greater participation by more people: The Greatest Political Problem of Our Time is an historic example of the opposite of "the possibility" within "Broadening the Debate". Specifically the allusion to the creation of a map within which such a greater context or to hit the nail on the head and quote Dr. RAE North's immensely consequential phrase: "Intellectual Framework" to which our arguments are sensible, are coherent and hence above all can THEN be communicated across differences in understanding.

At present "We The People..." are still travelling along The Road To The European Union along with Hayek, Orwell, Habermas and many other's arguments: Some will be arguing the right arguments but perhaps come to different conclusions; this is at least a start, or "Beginning to begin". Others, most will be arguing the wrong arguments and inevitably leading to the wrong conclusions much like the Russian Doll concept above, concerning the political leaders control over political power to then be able to actually enact policies.

Daniel Hannan (Conservative MEP) enjoys oratory on the subject of the EU and Brexit and is very good at it. He often likes to point out, mischievously,  if people are fed up with the above and hence by implication our politicians then, In a democracy, you get the politicians you deserve . It does sound like the "Pigs are now sleeping in the beds", and you could ask Daniel very fairly: Are you also one of those pigs?!

Coincidentally, Scribblings from Seaham (see blogroll) makes the point that our Prime Minister, David Cameron is not listening to one of his constituents at all: A letter to the Telegraph .

There's dozens of such insights to make, but it becomes necessary to encapsulate the arguments so far and come back to the "Central Point of The Argument":
  • (3) The Politicians are operating  at a level where a "nested set of problems" as per a Russian Doll has superceded the original problems and hence arguments are mixed producing effectively mishmash in communication with people.
  • (2) The Media are operating at a basic level of communication that indicates low quality arguments in our democracy.
  • (1) What about the people? 
Here's a rare example of when things do go right with our politicians' managing to set out "strong arguments in daylight" only for the media process itself to dilute the value in the communication:-

Evan Davis (who iirc new to the job and against his nature is attempting the combative interview technique, which does not suit his style at all) interviews Owen Paterson on the subject of EU Membership. Here is a rare occassion where a politician attempts to broaden the argument while the Media in Evan Davis attempts to narrow it and we have a situation where "Talking Heads" are merely in disagreement over "which map" is of better quality let alone actually understanding "the map" and hence the people "are left none the wiser": It's been bogged down by the "sound-bite nature of the interview process based on spoken words only".

Coming back to the cartoon at the start: The devils "job satisfaction" is being questioned here: Their job satisfaction relies on "reaching through to their charges" to presumably ensure that in hell they are in eternal state of toiling hardship and hence miserable. Our politicians should seemingly gain "job satisfaction" from correctly representing us, but the problem is that without people clearly being represented and hence expanding the debate through greater representation, we end up with an outcome not dissimilar to the Pigs in Animal Farm: Their job satisfaction becomes "the political arithmetic" arguments not the arguments of the people themselves.