Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Objective politics: A short definition

American politics is mostly subjective and personal to the individual. Both facts and logic are personal too. That's why disagreements between liberals, conservatives and other competing ideas and interests never resolve. The combatants simply do not understand each other, or if they do, differences among personal morals prevent agreement. Political subjectivity is a major component of what's tearing America apart.

The Founding Fathers are a great example: They bitterly disagreed on many or most major issues and their differences (i) never resolved in their lifetimes and (ii) still echo today in the endless, unresolvable left vs. right or liberal vs. conservative disputes. Political fights over subjective ideology and morals are more like religious disputes than reasoned debates on secular topics. That's why subjective political ideology or morals is more bad for politics than good. Being objective would be much better.

Political objectivity defined
To be at least reasonably objective within the limits of human cognitive biology, politics has to be (1) based on facts (reality) and logic (common sense) that are as unbiased by subjective personal political ideology or morals and/or self-interest as human cognitive biology can reasonably allow and (2) those unbiased facts and logic must be focused on service to an objectively defined conception of the public interest (general welfare).

There is at least one way to make the mostly subjective public interest concept materially more objective. One does that by subjecting all significant subjective ideology or moral beliefs to a transparent competition among policy choices to find the best choice based on the unbiased facts and logic, i.e., all policy choices have to win on the objective merits, not on people's subjective beliefs. Human cognitive biology does not allow for near-perfect objectivity, except maybe for a very few people with unusual brain structure or function, so this is about the best that be done in view of (i) how the human brain evolved and works and (ii) a political system that is dominated by constitutionally protected spin (lies, misinformation, deceit, opacity, withheld information, etc) and detachment from both unspun reality and unbiased common sense.

All significant ideological/moral political beliefs in American politics currently includes liberal, conservative, capitalist, socialist, libertarian and various strains of Christianity and Judaism. Moderate beliefs are not included because moderates mostly hold a mix of extreme liberal and conservative morals or ideological beliefs. Apparently, there are few or no real political moderates in America.

If anyone can conceive of, or is aware of, a better conception of how to inject more fact- and logic-based objectivity into politics based on current understanding of our fundamentally intuitive-subjective (and morally judgmental and intolerant) human cognitive biology, Dissident Politics would very much like to hear about it. 

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