Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left

Author: Roger Scruton
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by dmix   2018-04-01
Got any more Huffington Post "web based surveys" to educate me on the merits of conservative ideology? That was so enthralling...

I find it hilarious how often US Democrats want to use the lowest common denominator, with their half-baked grasp of politics, economics, science, history, etc, to define their party's credibility (and to be clear I'm far from either American democrat or republican). As if the intelligence of the entire voting base (or whom either group decided to convince to vote for them) defines the merits of the ideology behind 0.0001% of the population who reside in congress, senate, and the white house.

Personally I'd rather seek out the intellectuals from either side (for ex: [1]), but also ideas from outside the two main left/right groups, and also from historical ideologies... and then decide what is best for society from that. And from there try to influence particular parties to adhere to the most rational and ideal ideas.

If /r/politics is any indication, the more people you have the dumber the conversations gets. It went from "somewhat annoying political tribalism" on Reddit to completely unbearable inane echo-chamber debates as it scaled up to millions of people. And these same people STILL think they are superior to 24/7 news media talking heads, which is the channel which most influences the wider population.

Is this the means from which we should determine the merits of particular political ideologies?

But by all means, let the opinions of the lowest common denominator, web surveys, and shamelessly biased 'news' websites like Huffington Post be your guiding voice on what's best. I'd personally rather not...


by dmix   2017-09-26
The book "Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands" has a recurring theme about how this obsession with viewing everything in the world through the lens of 'power' has resulted in misguided, irrational, and just plain wrong thinking. Often from otherwise smart people.

Power plays a role but it's only one of many. But reducing everything to that is a recipe for missing the big picture.

Foucault's work is one of the great examples of this. He loved to reduce complex systems with many competing motivations as merely the products of power.