Politics for the Twenty-first Century
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Politics for the Twenty-first Century
Politics for the Twenty-first Century
A moderate approach for a sane world
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The Left-Right Axis Redux: More on the War of Ideas

The Left-Right Axis Redux: More on the War of Ideas | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

 I am one of the leading proponents for abandoning the left-right axis, it is hard for me to say what are the leading ideas of the left. But let me try with a four-state metaphor.

Capital "L" Left = loony mystical platonists who want power over us so that they can (for our own good) ensure rule by philosopher kings who ERADICATE class differences.

Capital "R" RIGHT = loony mystical platonists who want power over us so that they can (for our own good) ensure rule by philosopher kings who EMPHASIZE class differences.

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The Power of Proxy Activism

The Power of Proxy Activism | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

In view of how generous Americans are in times of crisis, how can the goodness of average people become better leveraged, especially during intervals between crises? Proxy power is the uniquely convenient ability of a modern person to participate in activism... helping to change or improve the world... by the simple expedience of joining some group that is vigorously pursuing that part of your personal agenda. You add both your membership dues and political impact, to people who are striving to save the world for you. 

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A rant about stupidity... and the coming civil war...

A rant about stupidity... and the coming civil war... | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

This is not about classic left-vs-right anymore. (As if that metaphor ever held cogent meaning.) Not whenevery measure of national health that conservatives ought to care about -- from budget balancing to small business startups, to military readiness, to States' Rights, to the economy, to individual liberty, to control over immigration at our borders -- does vastly and demonstrably better under democrats.  With nearly 100% perfection.

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Turning The “Patriotism Disadvantage” On Its Head

Turning The “Patriotism Disadvantage” On Its Head | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

Let’s admit that Democrats -- in our eager rush to solve practical problems -- have sometimes forgotten the power of symbols, to our own detriment, and that of the nation. But today, let’s remember those who died to keep this country united. Those who fought to make it more just and free. Those who made America better with solutions using both markets and government. Those who marched and argued and legislated and innovated, in order to make our country the brightest beacon of hope in four thousand years. 

And those who we are educating today, to be leaders in a better tomorrow. 

The American flag has been misused at times, but nothing should and can take away from us the core thing that it represents... that progress. That eager willingness to better ourselves. That hope.

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Attention henchmen! Voting machines and other flawed conspiracies

Attention henchmen! Voting machines and other flawed conspiracies | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

There is an old saying. When you're playing poker, if it's not immediately evident who the patsy is......the patsy is you.
I have something to say to a very special audience. Those of you out there who are actually involved in endeavors to game or cheat the electoral process. Yes, I am talking to you guys -- the henchmen (because that really is the word) of those conniving Blofeld types who plan to manipulate voting machine results, or who are purging voter rolls or arranging for "accidental" losses of ballots or biased disqualifications or any of the other shenanigens at issue here….Have you heard of the Prisoner’s Dilemma?

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The Real Culture War, Defining the Battleground

The Real Culture War, Defining the Battleground | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

The issue is Modernity and how to deal with a new century of change. And while America tears itself apart, in phase three of its Civil War, the rest of the world appears deeply concerned about whither goest the leader of our Western Enlightenment Age. This older article (from just after the 2004 election) proved remarkably prescient and contains some insights that you'll find nowhere else.

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The Real Culture War, Part Two: Fighting for the Enlightenment

The Real Culture War, Part Two: Fighting for the Enlightenment | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

We start with simmering worry about new technologies. Disruptive media barge into homes, where moral teaching used to be the province of parents. Add a tendency for entertainers and reporters to lean ever more toward the decadent and lurid. 

 

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Alliance for a Modern World

Alliance for a Modern World | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

Suppose we do manage to push past today's dogmatic rigor mortis and culture war. Might believers in modernity -- whether "liberal" or "conservative" -- find ways to break free of doctrinal rigidity, foisted on us by fanatics of both the so-called Left and the so-called Right? Why not form coalitions that agree to promote -- boldly and openly -- a dozen consensus agenda items, and refuse to be drawn into other fights? Here's one example. Let's call it an Alliance for a Modern World, aiming to help foster practical trends in politics for the 21st Century.

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Democrats and Republicans -- two very different kinds of internal party struggle

Democrats and Republicans -- two very different kinds of internal party struggle | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

There seem to be civil wars taking place within both of the major American parties.  At least, that is how internal disputes among republicans, and among democrats, are portrayed in the media -- as bitter tiffs  between political pragmatists and stubbornly intransigent (or else 'principled') idealists of either the far-right or far-left.

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Questionnaire Regarding Certain Fundamental Questions of Politics, Ideology and Human Destiny

Questionnaire Regarding Certain Fundamental Questions of Politics, Ideology and Human Destiny | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it
Tired of the insipid "left-right" political metaphor? Interested in exploring which dogmas or reflexes you might have adopted out of reflex? Take a simple questionnaire in which I poke at the deeper assumptions that under-lie many ideologies we take for granted. Like: do you believe there ever was - or will-be - a human "golden age"? Do you see progress being made through incremental problem solving or dedication to an ideal? The aim is to help folks step back and ponder why they cling to certain types of ideology. Try it. Only be warned. You may gain flexibility... at cost of some comfy certainties!
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The Choices We Face...

The Choices We Face... | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

A deep flaw - perhaps the most tragic in human nature - makes delusional hallucinators of us all, blinding our eyes to any evidence that runs counter to our favorite dogmas. (This applies in all directions, to all dogmas, left as well as right.) Even more urgent is the need to find excuses forour side, our team, our tribe. In the face of this core human trait, it takes an awfully big person to admit that cherished, idealistic plans went awry... even diametrically opposite to every fervent hope.

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The Urgency of Lockean Revolution

The Urgency of Lockean Revolution | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

What Locke emphasized -- and his followers gradually implemented -- were systems designed to take into account the devils within us, the ever-present temptations to oppress, cheat and exploit our neighbors, while creating new opportunities for the angels within to act and to grow. Such systems simply cannot arise out of ideological prescription, since they have to adapt and learn from every generation’s capabilities and problems. Indeed, some of the “angels” are highly competitive, while the worst devil - the one most responsible for human suffering - is the impulse of oppressive elites to cooperate with each other.

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The Ostrich Papers: How it will take all Americans to restore Decency

The Ostrich Papers: How it will take all Americans to restore Decency | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

We don't just need victory for one electoral side, kicking out a set of bums or ending culture war. We need a victory for the very concept of decency and openness and accountability. And a return to the American genius at pragmatic negotiation. For that to happen there must be a seismic change on the right. The dream we should hold out to our neighbors is the restoration of a conservatism that is worth talking to. A version no longer tied to jibbering loonies and an outright criminal gang.

Yes, strong language. From someone who would love to see a political landscape filled with a diversity of strong -- adult -- voices.

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War in the 21st Century: Maturity vs. Panic and the true role of Pax Americana

War in the 21st Century: Maturity vs. Panic and the true role of Pax Americana | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

My kind of passionate centrism is devoutly loyal to the Enlightenment and -- yes -- patriotic toward a version of Pax Americana representing our best and smartest virtues. Passionate centrism can be roused by events to express vigorous partisanship in a particular election. Not because I prefer simpleminded "left" or "right" -handed solutions, but because overwhelming evidence leads me to conclude that civilization is in danger from a particular gang of manipulative rascals.

In this older article, I appraised the road chosen for us by the "neoconservatives" who used every excuse to plunge us into two trillion-dollar land wars of attrition in Asia, a fetish that may have ended the American Pax. Comparing Iraq and Afghanistan to the Balkans Affair and others, I show that there are fundamental differences between the way Democrats and Republicans wage war. In fact, the party often portrayed as "naive" is by far more practical and fiercely effective. (This will be updated soon, taking into account Libya, Uganda and the take-down of Osama bin Laden.)

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Essences, Orcs and Civilization: The Case for a Cheerful Libertarianism

Essences, Orcs and Civilization: The Case for a Cheerful Libertarianism | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

Is it healthy to re-evaluate from time to time? Especially the sort of assumptions that foster rigidity in an era of rapid change? Stiff doctrines can hamper the agility of any movement, thwarting its meaningful participation in the tug and pull of an open society. Libertarians ought to represent a strong and meaningful part of the national conversation about progress, freedom and problem-solving methods in a complex world. So why do they never rise above 1% of the vote... and seem to like it that way? I once keynoted an LP convention offering "tough love" about fixing their impotence. See also an incisive and devastating critique of Ayn Rand, the libertarian darling who was, in fact, the greatest acolyte of Karl Marx: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/11/atlas-shrugged-hidden-context-of-book_27.html

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Militant Moderation

Militant Moderation | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

Many people claim to be 'balanced' -- while steeped in 20th Century political cliches. Evenhandedness doesn't mean lack of passion. My passion is for a civilization smart and adept enough to get us across the challenges of this generation, using every tool that's proved worthwhile, toward the practical goal of both saving our planet and inhabiting it with people who are safe, happy, responsible, diverse and free. 

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You Broke It, So You Fix It: A Modest To-Do List for Congress

You Broke It, So You Fix It: A Modest To-Do List for Congress | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

Was the recent election enough to make a difference?

Have the nation and Western Civilization been rescued by -- (of all people) -- the People?  Indeed....What can the House of Representatives do all by itself? Some suggestions incllude: Restore Independent Advisory Agencies for science, technology and other areas of skilled analysis to counsel Congress without bias or dogma-driven pressure.

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Neoconservatism, Islam and Ideology

Neoconservatism, Islam and Ideology | Politics for the Twenty-first Century | Scoop.it

Another older aricle but (alas!) deeply relevant today. Traditional American conservatives must come to grips with what has happened to their movement. While old-style libertarians like William F. Buckley and Gingrich-era combatants such as Pat Buchanan and John McCain blink in astonishment, even dismay, the very definition of "conservative" has been shattered and the word taken over by a new brand of neoconservatism that has proved fundamentally different, though fantastically effective (so far) at seizing power in the world's greatest democracy.

Demonstrating that history is too weird ever to have been made up, the new 21st Century Neoconservatism has forged a bizarre alliance among several major groups with very little discernable ideological common ground, other than a shared hatred of "liberals." That is, there appears to be very little common ground, until you probe more deeply.

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