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Thread: Compromise

  1. #1

    Default Compromise

    Compromise (OED)

    8.II.8 ‘To put to the hazard of being censured’ (Phillips); to expose (oneself, one's own or another's reputation, credit, or interests) to risk or danger, to imperil; to involve in a hazardous course, to commit (oneself).
    What's so great about compromise, and why isn't it considered a last resort in the exhaustion of other options? Why is the mere presence of compromise, rather than the content or subject, valorized?

    Politics
    Compromise stripped down is a function of votes. If something is worth passing into law, it is worth not compromising. Compromise is only tolerable when goals are shared. Compromise is not any kind of worthwhile ideal in itself. Often, compromise and bipartisan effort produces some of this country's worst legislation.

    Life
    You only compromise when:
    1. You care more about your relationship with the other agent(s) than the object under compromise.
    2. You have no strong preference. Any of small factors could determine the outcome. (Is it really then "compromise"?)
    3. You are being coerced or commanded.


    Upon inspection, the two spheres aren't so distinct.


    Beyond the 'electionism-as-ideology' of the New Democrats, when and how did people get it in their heads that compromise is valuable and laudable?

    Now that's what you call "political correctness".

    Be cautious in referencing the English tradition or the early Republic's statesmen, as they found compromise first and foremost preferable to open bloodshed (until compromise failed, to the bemusement of some).

    "Moderation" is distinct from compromise (though equally nebulous as a value and buzzword).

    Taking into account the needs of minorities is distinct from compromise, and I would advance that compromise tends to be inimical to the interests of most minorities except in those cases where the majority has a material interest in preventing non-participation or sabotage by those minorities. In land management, it could correspond to a bunch of owners whose plots border each other. In fragile societies, it could correspond to the mitigation of recurrent ethnic/sectarian insurgencies. In mature societies, what we see is the political cartelization of consensus-making, where the actors that can form majorities or minorities among one another far outstrip the average private individuals, who are not the owners or users of the system.
    Vitiate Man.

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  2. #2
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    As I have begun to typify myself:
    I am endlessly flexible in [how] the practical details of a matter are implemented.
    But a total zealot when it comes to matters of principle (that I care about).

    e.g. something I care about:
    have an absolutely cast-iron principle that britain does not end up in a serf-like position a-la EUrope.
    but really don't mind how that is achieved in practice, no religious beliefs about SM, CU, EFTA, ECJ.

    e.g. something I don't care about:
    capital punishment in [my] society. an odd position, most are either strongly for or against.
    I'm willing to go with either option as it meets the 'need' of the wider polity.

    Compromise in politics:
    Something i have been toying with for a while is that fptp politics encourages an empathy for others, and thus encourages compromise.
    Because I (my tribe) need 'their' votes in order to take first place.
    Whereas, my experience of adherents of consensual is that they preach compromise without practising it, because their preferred method insulates them from the need to care about the motivations of others.
    Health warning, not sure if this attribute represents correlation or causation; it could easily be the case that consensual politics people tend to be liberal (in the american sense), and thus fall foul of Jonathan Haidt's rule vis-a-vis liberals and conservatives, i.e. that latter understand the former than is true vice versa.
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

  3. #3
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    Health warning, not sure if this attribute represents correlation or causation; it could easily be the case that consensual politics people tend to be liberal (in the american sense), and thus fall foul of Jonathan Haidt's rule vis-a-vis liberals and conservatives, i.e. that latter understand the former than is true vice versa.
    And where do conservative liberals figure in this? Ie. people who like the liberal world that we live in, and feel no particular need to roll things back to some mythical golden age. And what about those like myself who believe in the socialism of responsibility, with a society that enables individuals to take responsibility for themselves and for their community. That stipulates low level action by low level governments that necessarily requires consensus. But that kind of low level consensus politics has been marginalised in favour of high level government that overrides anyone that disagrees with the winning side, based on ivory tower political theory and demonisation of social groups. I don't give a toss about abstract liberty that requires the Commons to stomp over every other form of government. I want more bike racks and better public transport.

  4. #4
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    In First Past the Post, the first rule is to design a position that captures the required number of seats. The second is to then divide into safe seats and "marginals". Then ignore all the safe and "lost" seats, and concentrate on the marginals. Do whatever they want to keep power. Build ships in Glasgow we don't need? Done if they hopefully will vote Labour. Offer to torture animals to death in the countryside? If that's what keeps the marginal Shires blue so be it.

    Any disagreement in government is viewed in terms as "fractures" or other such terms. FPTP creates false monoliths where discussion and dissent are all but outlawed. Leaders to change allow this or God forbid change their mind are weak and are undertaking U turns.

    Low level politics in England remains FPTP with the MP locally elected having almost no role to play in the local area, yet those who remain local are barely known to anyone. This all but destroys anyone caring about local politics.

    Occasionally Central Government tries to make things at a more local level. Historically the issue has been there is then variance and some things might work better in some places than others. This is generally blamed on the central government and no one seems to listen that they have no control. The latest iteration might work better since they have installed local lightening rods (or Mayors) who can be held accountable for this. And local government tend to be more inclusive since ideals are less important than the bins being collected.

    The UK I am informed is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society, and this is a Good Thing. I am not sure when the Plebiscite was on this, but I clearly missed the memo. I'm all for the former, but against the latter. I really dislike having to look at France with envy.

    Everyone has to not just tolerate each other but actively like each other, as this is a Good Thing. To not do a Good thing makes you a Bad Person and an Intolerant Xenophobe who with absolutely no irony can therefore be Prosecuted.

    However, Sunnis view Shi'ites as heretics. Catholics (especially) view all other denominations as heretics. I even had a friend at University who thought that heterosexual sex was disgusting - he was gay. At work most of the African people I worked with actively disliked those from the Caribbean and vice versa - one of the latter stating "I'm not Afro-Caribbean - I'm no f*cking African!"

    I would view a compromise as for people to tolerate each other - but then I am agnostic. I am not sure how one can be deeply religious in one of the more... literal religions and be expected to get on with those one's religion has said to at the very least shun.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Compromise

    Far be it from me to deny you guys the opportunity to speak from a personally-relevant perspective, but I wanted to hear about:

    What's so great about compromise, and why isn't it considered a last resort in the exhaustion of other options? Why is the mere presence of compromise, rather than the content or subject, valorized?
    When did compromise become an end of government (particularly legislative activity) in itself, at least in the rhetoric of pretty much all politicians and mainstream media?
    Vitiate Man.

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Far be it from me to deny you guys the opportunity to speak from a personally-relevant perspective, but I wanted to hear about:

    When did compromise become an end of government (particularly legislative activity) in itself, at least in the rhetoric of pretty much all politicians and mainstream media?
    Compromise may not be a desirable end in and of itself. But it's a good indicator that anyone that is unwilling to compromise is someone you wouldn't want ruling over you. A shibboleth, if you like.

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Oh, that's easy!

    The old example of there being two ice cream sellers on a beach. Long story short they end up very close to each other in in the middle - as long as you are nearer more of the target audience than the other lot more will like you / hate you less than the other lot. And on average you'll win. So those that stick to principles will get nowhere unless this happens to be closer to more of the target audience.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  8. #8

    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Compromise may not be a desirable end in and of itself. But it's a good indicator that anyone that is unwilling to compromise is someone you wouldn't want ruling over you. A shibboleth, if you like.
    What if the party or politician you choose to represent you decides, say, that they would be willing to negotiate the privatization of most public services to foreign low-bid contractors according to the "practical" reasoning that this can be traded in exchange for raising maximum penalties on regulatory violators by 5%? That's certainly one way of getting results, after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Oh, that's easy!

    The old example of there being two ice cream sellers on a beach. Long story short they end up very close to each other in in the middle - as long as you are nearer more of the target audience than the other lot more will like you / hate you less than the other lot. And on average you'll win. So those that stick to principles will get nowhere unless this happens to be closer to more of the target audience.

    I don't think real life corresponds well to this example. The beach goers have many different preferences, more or less malleable, and may exist in three-dimensional space around the beach plane.

    Regardless, as I said, yeah?

    a last resort in the exhaustion of other options
    And what if sometimes defending principles is likelier to get you results than accepting just about anything in the name of "pragmatism".

    Fight as hard as possible, only then settle?
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I don't think real life corresponds well to this example. The beach goers have many different preferences, more or less malleable, and may exist in three-dimensional space around the beach plane.

    And what if sometimes defending principles is likelier to get you results than accepting just about anything in the name of "pragmatism".

    Fight as hard as possible, only then settle?
    The example is static, one dimensional. Of course real life is dynamic, and multi-dimensional. That is why parties often move what they stand for and what they do stand for can have odd statements in it as they carve out niches that make sense in the particular election they are standing for. Corbyn is getting a mass of flack since Labour MPs can see many votes in just being anti-Brexit with the added bonus they might never have to follow through whereas Corbyn is sticking to something called his "principles" which only confuses career MPs.

    For any matter, often it is the time frame one looks at that determines what the "best" approach is: Idealism after WW1 bankrupted germany and was a major catalyst of WW2. The idealism of pacifism in the 1930's followed by the appeasement pre-WW2 and also made WW2 more likely. Fighting WW2 on ideals gave the USSR East Europe on a plate and ensured the British Empire fell faster than it otherwise would have done and in a far more messy way. Whilst pragmatically the Allies teamed up with a power they had been at the very least hostile to since its inception - where before they had not allied with for idealistic reasons.

    Depending on the time frame and the outcomes you focus on either idealism or pragmatism could be shown to be good or bad.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    The example is static, one dimensional. Of course real life is dynamic, and multi-dimensional. That is why parties often move what they stand for and what they do stand for can have odd statements in it as they carve out niches that make sense in the particular election they are standing for. Corbyn is getting a mass of flack since Labour MPs can see many votes in just being anti-Brexit with the added bonus they might never have to follow through whereas Corbyn is sticking to something called his "principles" which only confuses career MPs.

    For any matter, often it is the time frame one looks at that determines what the "best" approach is: Idealism after WW1 bankrupted germany and was a major catalyst of WW2. The idealism of pacifism in the 1930's followed by the appeasement pre-WW2 and also made WW2 more likely. Fighting WW2 on ideals gave the USSR East Europe on a plate and ensured the British Empire fell faster than it otherwise would have done and in a far more messy way. Whilst pragmatically the Allies teamed up with a power they had been at the very least hostile to since its inception - where before they had not allied with for idealistic reasons.

    Depending on the time frame and the outcomes you focus on either idealism or pragmatism could be shown to be good or bad.

    If Corbyn had stuck to his principles, he'd never have pretended to be for Remain whilst doing the minimum he could leading a party that was decisively (super-majority) pro-Remain. If leading a pro-Remain party was against his principles, he should have let someone else do that job instead. If he doesn't want to lead the Loyal Opposition against the government, he should stop taking money as Leader of the Opposition and let someone else do it instead. And as for career politicians; there are few in the Commons who've been there as long as Corbyn has.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Compromise

    If it is valorized or preferred, it either has to do with the 1) status quo or 2) resistance to compromise as counterpoints, the latter being unhealthy for a healthy democratic process. It has always been evaluated the same way you would judge a law or policy. If it’s a given that the goal is political prudence, compromise is sought for when it is perceived to come closest to it.

    It's tough to discuss the abstract in length. I have no idea what or where we are talking about.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    I think compromise is often the goal in the sense that people

    a) know that compromise is the only way to get anything because the opposition is well-known

    b) as some kind of shortcut due to a, why state positions the other side won't agree with anyway if one can work on a practicable solution right away?

    c) because people believe that everyone's interests should be served to some extent in a democracy and it has become common belief that compromise is the best and sometimes only way to recognize everyone's needs. Taking everyone's needs into account is seen as valuable and laudable, therefore compromise is valuable and laudble.

    And "getting things done" faster is also seen as valuable and laudable.

    In general I would guess compromise is preferred by risk-averse people, i.e. the mainstream, because they don't want to go all or nothing if nothing is a 90+% likely outcome.


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  13. #13

    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    <snip>
    The historical example is a muddle.

    Idealism after WW1 bankrupted germany and was a major catalyst of WW2. The idealism of pacifism in the 1930's followed by the appeasement pre-WW2 and also made WW2 more likely.
    I don't see the applicability or relevance. "Pacifism", i.e. not preemptively attacking Germany, was driven by the pragmatic understanding that no one was ready for a Continental war, and that war was very expensive in all senses. What ideals bankrupted Germany?

    Fighting WW2 on ideals gave the USSR East Europe on a plate and ensured the British Empire fell faster than it otherwise would have done and in a far more messy way.
    The ideal of not finishing off World War 2 with a total war against a Eurasian superpower? And as I recall, Britain came off best when it accepted the situation and used diplomacy to secure its interests instead of fighting rearguard wars of attrition like Indochina or Algeria (or Kenya). Would you call Eden's grab for the Suez Canal an example of idealism or pragmatism, given the greater care afforded to dreams of imperial glory over the facts on the ground?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    If Corbyn had stuck to his principles, he'd never have pretended to be for Remain whilst doing the minimum he could leading a party that was decisively (super-majority) pro-Remain. If leading a pro-Remain party was against his principles, he should have let someone else do that job instead. If he doesn't want to lead the Loyal Opposition against the government, he should stop taking money as Leader of the Opposition and let someone else do it instead. And as for career politicians; there are few in the Commons who've been there as long as Corbyn has.
    If Corbyn didn't, he should have laid out his vision vis-a-vis Europe and why he disagreed with the party line. Has he avoided playing his cards? I don't want to have to look this up for myself, but you harp about it so frequently I may just have to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Showtime View Post
    If it is valorized or preferred, it either has to do with the 1) status quo or 2) resistance to compromise as counterpoints, the latter being unhealthy for a healthy democratic process. It has always been evaluated the same way you would judge a law or policy. If it’s a given that the goal is political prudence, compromise is sought for when it is perceived to come closest to it.

    It's tough to discuss the abstract in length. I have no idea what or where we are talking about.
    It's definitely a status-quo favorable value.

    You have to be familiar with American political culture.

    I could find a bunch of quotes from politicians and media to illustrate this, but basically the idea is that contemporary American politicians spread rhetoric about how good they are at compromise, how the other side is bad at compromise, how compromise is really important, and how the people want compromise. Then the media amplify these points, with the effect that people come to expect that "compromise" is something they are looking for in Congress and politicians.

    I don't believe it was like that in the 19th century, and compromises of that era were sweeping affairs that involved intense competition between strong, irreconciliable positions (and often devolved into bitter acrimony).

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    I think compromise is often the goal in the sense that people

    a) know that compromise is the only way to get anything because the opposition is well-known

    b) as some kind of shortcut due to a, why state positions the other side won't agree with anyway if one can work on a practicable solution right away?

    c) because people believe that everyone's interests should be served to some extent in a democracy and it has become common belief that compromise is the best and sometimes only way to recognize everyone's needs. Taking everyone's needs into account is seen as valuable and laudable, therefore compromise is valuable and laudble.

    And "getting things done" faster is also seen as valuable and laudable.

    In general I would guess compromise is preferred by risk-averse people, i.e. the mainstream, because they don't want to go all or nothing if nothing is a 90+% likely outcome.
    I feel like my OP addresses this.

    Cutting through, compromise is often against the interests of the majority of the population, even majorities of different groups represented by parties. Like the Democrats and Republicans during Bush and Clinton terms on border security. They compromised between "tough" and "tougher" policy, resulting in multiply compounding crises today. Like presently with the Social Democrats and the Conservatives in Sweden. Though the vast majority of the population reports a desire for higher taxes in exchange for more social services, both parties have issued assurances that taxes will only be cut, not raised. Thereafter, the compromise is over just how much to lower tax rates. Meanwhile, immigration is scapegoated for the decline of social services and welfare chauvinism infects popular discourse.



    "Your money or your life!"
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    Compromise...

    Even the Bible acknowledged the irony inherent to compromise:

    1 Kings 3:16–28 recounts that two mothers living in the same house, each the mother of an infant son, came to Solomon. One of the babies had been smothered, and each claimed the remaining boy as her own. Calling for a sword, Solomon declared his judgment: the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half. One mother did not contest the ruling, declaring that if she could not have the baby then neither of them could, but the other begged Solomon, "Give the baby to her, just don't kill him!"

    The king declared the second woman the true mother, as a mother would even give up her baby if that was necessary to save its life. This judgment became known throughout all of Israel and was considered an example of profound wisdom.

    It is so critical to understanding the present day that one recognizes the parallels to the political Left.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    As I say it you should always at least be willing to compromise, even if you really disagree, but demand something back

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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post

    Pacifism", i.e. not preemptively attacking Germany, was driven by the pragmatic understanding that no one was ready for a Continental war, and that war was very expensive in all senses.
    Like everybody WAS ready and it was LESS expensive when the war did start.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Even the Bible acknowledged the irony inherent to compromise:
    Do you realize whose intervention you make imminent when you mention Bible?
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
    The article exists for a reason yes, I did not write it...

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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Don't understand your skepticism Monty...

    Compromise is symptomatic of a healthy democratic political discourse. Increasing polarization in politics signals decreasing functionality of the body politic. Both in will to commit to projects that sustain the nation and in the analysis of options.

    Bush/Clinton "tough" policies you talk about isn't a point against compromise, it is a point about the ability of the public to make bad decisions. Tough policies on border security was what the nation wanted at the time. The current leftist thought towards pro-immigration and diversity policies are a deviation from the pro-union leftist positions of the 90s which were strongly anti-immigrant.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Don't understand your skepticism Monty...

    Compromise is symptomatic of a healthy democratic political discourse. Increasing polarization in politics signals decreasing functionality of the body politic. Both in will to commit to projects that sustain the nation and in the analysis of options.
    I don't see how that's necessarily true. It may be better described as getting shot at from all corners.

    Why isn't compromise better understood as a last resort? There is no such thing as a "middle ground", and the rhetorical pursuit of it seems to routinely deny good government. See again, the parable of King Solomon and the mothers' dispute.

    Bush/Clinton "tough" policies you talk about isn't a point against compromise, it is a point about the ability of the public to make bad decisions. Tough policies on border security was what the nation wanted at the time. The current leftist thought towards pro-immigration and diversity policies are a deviation from the pro-union leftist positions of the 90s which were strongly anti-immigrant.
    I agree that Democrats have become less anti-immigrant since Bush, but I'm not familiar with a connection to "pro-union" positions.

    That's part of my point though. Democrats from the 90s on - though really beginning with Carter's admin - abandoned a coherent picture of what government should look like and do for the sake of imagined, putative popularity and moderation. Compromise should be about acceding to the best you can get, not proactively selling its image for its own sake. Making compromise your brand and motivation surely means you have nothing to offer.


    I expect this is in Seamus' professional bailiwick, so hopefully he can check in by the end of the month.
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Indeed, very interesting thread

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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I don't see how that's necessarily true. It may be better described as getting shot at from all corners.

    Why isn't compromise better understood as a last resort? There is no such thing as a "middle ground", and the rhetorical pursuit of it seems to routinely deny good government. See again, the parable of King Solomon and the mothers' dispute.
    Let's hold up here and recap the King Solomon story and see if I follow.
    Two women claim to be mother of a child.
    Solomon's judgement is to cut the baby in half, one for each woman.
    Woman A goes along with the judgement. Woman B does not and asks Solomon to give woman A the child to spare his life.
    Solomon declares Woman B to be the mother.

    You interpret Solomon to be "the middle ground" when I don't see him as that at all. The cutting of the child doesn't reflect the equal partition to both parties, it is the outcome of an all or nothing declaration. If both sides demand everything, in essence you get nothing.

    Woman B is actually willing to make the personal compromise to allow Woman A to have the child in return for the child's survival and she gets rewarded for it. W.B advocates for a wider purpose (general welfare of the child/other) than her personal politics (ownership of her child). Arn't biblical parables fun?

    Another approach is historical. When was American politics most polarized? Likely the 1850s. In that scenario we see the all or nothing tactic play out to its full extent. Without rambling through lots of details, we see that unless one side is successful in exterminating any and all resistance, you wind up with gridlock or even potential reversal of gains. What gains from the emancipation of slaves were not totally reversed in practice, if not in law, by the turn of the century?


    I agree that Democrats have become less anti-immigrant since Bush, but I'm not familiar with a connection to "pro-union" positions.
    Labor unions wish to protect their competitive advantage by preventing cheap labor from immigrating to the country and undercutting their workers...and profits. These labor unions up until recently were the main financial drivers of the democratic party and their influence was present in democratic policies until the post-1960s style of liberalism became the dominant public strain sometime in the mid to late 1990s. See passage from a book I am currently reading (Rorty, Achieving Our Country):
    Most leftist reformers of this period [pre-Sixties - ACIN] were blissfully unaware that brown-skinned Americans in the Southwest were being lynched, segregated, and humiliated in the same way as were African-Americans in the Deep South. Almost nobody in the pre-Sixties Left thought to protest against homophobia, so leftists like F. O. Matthiessen and Bayard Rustin had to stay in the closet. From the point of view of today's Left, the pre-Sixties Left may seem callous about the needs of oppressed groups as was the nation as a whole.

    But it was not really that bad. For the reformist Left hoped that the mistreatment of the weak by the strong in general, and racial discrimination in particular, would prove to be a by-product of economic injustice. They saw the sadistic humiliation of black Americans, and of other groups, as one more example of the selfishness which pervaded an unreformed capitalist economy. They saw prejudice against those groups as incited by the rich in order to keep the poor from turning their wrath on their economic oppressors. The pre-Sixties Left assumed that as economic inequality and insecurity decreased, prejudice would gradually disappear.

    In retrospect, this belief that ending selfishness would eliminate sadism seems misguided. One of the good things which happened in the Sixties was that the American Left began to realize that its economic determinism had been too simplistic. Sadism was recognized as having deeper roots than economic insecurity. The delicious pleasure to be had from creating a class of putative inferiors and then humiliating individual members of that class was seen as Freud saw it - as something which would be relished even if everybody were rich.

    With this partial substitution of Freud for Marx as a source of social theory, sadism rather than selfishness has become the principal target of the Left. The heirs of the New Left of the Sixties have created, within the academy, a cultural Left. Many member of this Left specialize in what they call the "politics of difference" or "of identity" or "of recognition." This cultural Left thinks more about stigma than about money, more about deep and hidden psychosexual motivations than about shallow and evident greed.

    This shift of attention came at the same time that intellectuals began to lose interest in the labor unions, partly as result of resentment over the union members' failure to back George McGovern over Richard Nixon in 1972. Simultaneously, the leftist ferment which had been centered, before the Sixties, in the social science departments of the colleges and the universities moved into the literature departments.
    That's part of my point though. Democrats from the 90s on - though really beginning with Carter's admin - abandoned a coherent picture of what government should look like and do for the sake of imagined, putative popularity and moderation. Compromise should be about acceding to the best you can get, not proactively selling its image for its own sake. Making compromise your brand and motivation surely means you have nothing to offer.
    I would say that (if I am understanding Rorty's position correctly), when liberals become psychoanalysts instead of economists they purposely abandoned government as an ineffective tool towards cleansing Americans of their personal sins. This of course will undercut their commitment towards any large scale policy goals and reinforces a self-flagellating mentality that insists your vision of the world is inherently flawed, and must be merged with many different values and opinions if it wishes to meet a purity test. In that perspective, yes, compromise is the ideal and is promoted for its own sake.
    Last edited by a completely inoffensive name; 05-23-2018 at 03:11.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  20. #20
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    ...I expect this is in Seamus' professional bailiwick, so hopefully he can check in by the end of the month.
    I have been reading the backroom only for a bit now. I had been taking it too seriously.


    The use of compromise as a tool for conflict management has a long history but by definition, compromise never produces an ideal outcome. Consider this short piece on Thomas and Killmann's conflict management styles.

    Ultimately, none of the five conflict management styles is ideal as all have their strengths and weaknesses. Avoidance may delay a problem, but seldom solves one and they often worsen, competition gives you the chance to win outright, but a mis-estimate of your power or the other party's can leave you locked in a painfully costly stalemate, etc. Compromise tries to minimize losses and realize some gains thereby, but by definition everyone loses a little.

    Other points to consider:

    Type of issue central to conflict. Something tangible and concrete like money or a commodity really is a zero sum situation. I wish to sell my home for as much money as possible and the buyer wishes to purchase it for as little as possible. If one of us can force the other to accept our preference, then competition is the logical choice for that power party. On the other hand, the power differential may not be very much, so both parties compromise rather than fighting it out on a win lose basis. Compromise is an acceptable and effective tool in such instances.

    However, intangibles -- identity, respect, the values of a culture or religion, etc. do not lend themselves well to compromise, and neither do existential questions. If my daughter feels I do not respect her, we have to address the issues at hand and one or both of us will have to modify behaviors. I cannot compromise and respect her on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. To really address conflicts that center on intangible issues, either a collaborative or a competitive solution needs to be effected.

    Importance to you. If the issue doesn't matter to you, accommodation may well be better than compromise. If I want to eat out with the wife so we can have a date night, and she wants Mexican cuisine again, compromising and going somewhere she won't enjoy so much but I can avoid Mexican food might end up souring the date night. If my real motivation is the date/relationship (and it is), then I should probably order the fajitas. On the other hand, should you threaten my children, I will do or die to stop you and there will not be compromise.


    Interests v Positions. A classic from Fisher and Ury in Getting to Yes. Most people fight over positions "I want X!" when they are trying to achieve a certain end state {the interest}. They hide their real interest on the assumption that if it is known to the other party, that that other party will try to screw you over it. Sadly, most people get so caught up in arguing their position that they forget what it was in service of in the first place.

    You are often better served by "revealing" your interest and then seeking to learn theirs. It can be surprising how collaborative solutions can become with clearer thinking.

    A classic example is the Camp David accords. Both Israel and Egypt wanted the Sinai (which Israel held following the 1967 conflict and retained after a near loss in the 1973 dust up). Carter was able to keep them talking long enough to actually learn WHY they wanted it. Israel's concern was physical security. Egyptian tanks starting an attack from only 5 miles south of the kibbutzim was an existential threat. Israel took the Sinai as a buffer. Egypt, by contrast, wanted the Sinai for identity reasons. It was a part of their country, part of their national pride centered around Egypt being run by Egyptians etc.

    The answer ended up being surprisingly simple. Israel gave back the Sinai, Egypt agreed to leave it as a demilitarized zone and allow the Israeli's to verify that status. That one agreement stopped the every-decade-or-so bloodlettings that characterized the Middle East in the mid 20th. There certainly have been unintended consequences and any number of other concerns in that region, but the CDA did completely alter the landscape. Without Egyptian personnel, even the most hateful of Israel's neighbors realized that the "push them into the sea" thing was a non starter. Obviously, it did NOT inspire all parties to follow Jordan's path and seek a quieter path.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    Default Re: Compromise

    Seamus, now that you've covered the theoretical details do you have any ideas on how the contemporary 'cult of compromise' arose, at least in American history?

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    For example, this paper's introduction (I haven't read the full thing) suggests the author argues the Founders had a sense of compromise that was substantially similar to the modern sense, something I'm dubious of.


    Interests v Positions. A classic from Fisher and Ury in Getting to Yes. Most people fight over positions "I want X!" when they are trying to achieve a certain end state {the interest}. They hide their real interest on the assumption that if it is known to the other party, that that other party will try to screw you over it. Sadly, most people get so caught up in arguing their position that they forget what it was in service of in the first place.

    You are often better served by "revealing" your interest and then seeking to learn theirs. It can be surprising how collaborative solutions can become with clearer thinking.
    I like that you brought this up because I think it is entirely appropriate as a component of replacing a compromise-as-ideology approach, implied by the deficits thereof. To be concrete, I perceive the modern Democratic party's great sins to have been overemphasizing narrow positions, striking up a pretense of competition, and preemptively compromising in the service of centrally-contrived narratives (policy becoming secondary to strategic optics). With complicity in the following process:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    I don't want to indulge in the standard idealistic both-sidesism and suggest that "both sides" should be more collaborative, but that good Lefty policy, though dicey on paper for establishment operatives, would inherently be more collaborative regarding the perceptions and needs of conservative citizens than relentlessly pursuing and moderating the GOP agenda.

    The absence of this being exactly why enough districts shifted red to cost Hillary Clinton the election despite in theory being a superior candidate and human to the alternative, the argument goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post


    I would say that (if I am understanding Rorty's position correctly), when liberals become psychoanalysts instead of economists they purposely abandoned government as an ineffective tool towards cleansing Americans of their personal sins. This of course will undercut their commitment towards any large scale policy goals and reinforces a self-flagellating mentality that insists your vision of the world is inherently flawed, and must be merged with many different values and opinions if it wishes to meet a purity test. In that perspective, yes, compromise is the ideal and is promoted for its own sake.

    Solomon: You passed over the crucial bit, that the system forced a situation where the best option has to be routinely dismissed for 'something better than the worst outcome'. This isn't a positive demonstration of the power of compromise. It illustrates how differing stakes and interests may cast compromise into abnegation.

    Think of the American Civil War as the product of irreconcilable differences, papered over by half a century of delaying tactics. Unfortunately we didn't have the political will to carry out thorough deConfederatization. This failure, fittingly, must largely stem from the economic capture of the North/Republican Party by industrial and agricultural interests, and the general racism of its people - both of which features neo-Confederates are fond of drawing attention to. "Getting on with business" was more important than maintaining a costly and distracting ideological occupation of territory in the interests of the Negro.

    Labor unions wish to protect their competitive advantage by preventing cheap labor from immigrating to the country and undercutting their workers...and profits.
    I understand the immanent condition to labor unions (who could resolve it just be extending equal treatment to all, just as they were forced to do with women and minorities, which itself drove white men out of unions from the '70s). What I mean is, what explicit pro-Union hock was there when Kennedy and LBJ were in many respects lefter on immigration in the 1960s. I just don't see how, without more information, '90s Democrats supported hardline border security legislation specifically out of deference to unions, whom they were already in the process of marginalizing.

    As for Old vs. New Left, why not both dot jpeg? Of course the kind of "identity politics" salient today (which are really just in addition to the religious, ethnic, and mode-of-life identity politics in the rest of the country's history) must be coupled with (economic) class politics to reach their full development - and vice versa.

    It's what they call I N T E R S E C T I O N. Seriously one of the best ideas out of feminism and critical theory, and one that should be more widely disseminated reflected upon. Because it's so obviously important once you think about it, and for once in a red moon the terminology is transparent in meaning.
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  22. #22
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Seamus, now that you've covered the theoretical details do you have any ideas on how the contemporary 'cult of compromise' arose, at least in American history?

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    For example, this paper's introduction (I haven't read the full thing) suggests the author argues the Founders had a sense of compromise that was substantially similar to the modern sense, something I'm dubious of.
    The founders certainly viewed compromise as a tool of governance within a legislature. They were classically trained debaters who wanted an issue argued over, judged on the merits, and voted up or down. Where no clear cut decision coalesced in the minds of the representatives, then compromises would be bruited until one achieved enough support. That is compromise as a tool OF governance, not as an end state. Thoughts to mull over:

    These governance structures were designed without accounting for political parties. I don't think our Founders were idealistic enough to assume there would never be political parties, but I do NOT think they thought we would recreate the then extant English two-party system here in the USA. I suspect they viewed something more like the Knesset -- smaller interest groups shifting support issue by issue -- would develop. Instead, Hamilton managed to instill political parties despite the huge distances involved between New Hampshire and Georgia, and the stop Hamilton group that followed begat our two party approach.


    Compromise would have been understood on a more intimate level by most of society. The early USA was largely moneyless -- not poor, but literally short on specie. Many transactions throughout the economy were done on a bartering/haggling basis with both parties suggesting alternatives until a workable deal had resulted or both parties refused to deal. Some of this was quite collaborative, others -- particularly on tangible things -- were compromises. Culturally, there was a strong tradition that once you had shaken hands on a deal, you were obliged to stick by your end of it, even if you had been "taken." This even led to 'horse-trading' competitions with people trying to out-do one another to trade the worst possible horse as a form of entertainment. Lincoln's story about the saw horse was one example of the frolic this was. Our culture was, therefore, more "in tune" with the use of compromise AND the concept that once a deal had been struck you moved forward from there (and did not simply re-fight the same fight 6 weeks later if you thought your power position had changed).


    During the period of our founding, anybody who was really ticked off with the whole political situation could (and in quite a few instances did) opt out and head West. The open frontier (well, open in the sense that the Amerinds didn't have the population density or tech base to hold it) was an outlet for frustration and malcontents for decades. This served to bleed off steam politically in the short term, even as it led to future involvements and political questions.


    Our Founders, however amazing they were (and I am a fan), were not perfect. They kicked the can down the road on slavery, they failed to address the likelihood of political parties, they crafted a budge cycle that was far too short term (in part they wanted the fed government limited by the budget cycle, but they were a little too tight on the timing to promote stability and they did not obviate deficit spending in peace time right from the outset, which allowed for the growth of government they mostly didn't want), and they did not set out the judiciary system with the clarity they had put into the executive and legislative. For good (and for ill) they allowed it to self-define.


    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I like that you brought this up because I think it is entirely appropriate as a component of replacing a compromise-as-ideology approach, implied by the deficits thereof. To be concrete, I perceive the modern Democratic party's great sins to have been overemphasizing narrow positions, striking up a pretense of competition, and preemptively compromising in the service of centrally-contrived narratives (policy becoming secondary to strategic optics). With complicity in the following process:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I found the cartoon amusing, and certainly that kind of process DOES result from shifting latitudes of rejection and acceptance over time (that's classic SJT), but as a student of history yourself, you are aware that the pendulum inevitably hits a point where it swings backwards and re-centers.


    I think you make a great point about the Dems as a source for this stronger reactionary tone in US politics. When the Dems were in the ascendency, they did so by championing the working 'class.' Their shift towards leftism and towards marginalized voters beginning in the 1950s was a double edged sword. They did shift African Americans from a strong and sometimes unthinking support for the 'Party of Lincoln' into a near lock-step support for the Dems, but in doing so they focused more and more on identity politics and crusades against injustice....without remembering the working class voter (mostly white) upon which their party success had been built. Had they kept those voters and added the marginalized groups we would have a different political story today. Since Reagan, the working class has very often been willing to vote GOP if they thought it would mean jobs and a bit of national pride.
    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    ...As for Old vs. New Left, why not both dot jpeg? Of course the kind of "identity politics" salient today (which are really just in addition to the religious, ethnic, and mode-of-life identity politics in the rest of the country's history) must be coupled with (economic) class politics to reach their full development - and vice versa.

    It's what they call I N T E R S E C T I O N. Seriously one of the best ideas out of feminism and critical theory, and one that should be more widely disseminated reflected upon. Because it's so obviously important once you think about it, and for once in a red moon the terminology is transparent in meaning.
    The critical project has spent a lot of effort trying to reinvent itself. The Frankfurt School, Engels own feminist efforts after the death of Marx, etc. Intersectionality is just the latest wrinkle -- admittedly a more unifying rather than particularizing effort for the critical project -- in an ongoing theme.

    Critical theory still excels at pointing out the failings of modernity and the culture/power structure that is but still falls short of a means to rectify it (which is why some deride it as whining and self-victimization). Still, the critique is worthwhile as it spawns other efforts, often more practical in character, to address those wrongs that are repeatedly highlighted. The Marxist criticism of capitalism did eventually beget useful oversight of financial transactions and the development of unions (which, at least in the USA, screwed up royally beginning in the 1960s, but had a hugely beneficial impact on workplace safety etc. prior to 1960). The spotlighting of persecution against those who have a same-sex orientation did eventually produce measurable results towards change. But the critical project endlessly rails for change without realizing that the change they seek MUST be established through cultural shift in values and thinking and is a multi-decades project, not something that can be accomplished by fiat. The critiques of capitalism began in earnest in the 1840s, it would be 30 years before Unions began to make an effective counter. Modern feminism can trace its trace its roots to the late 18th century, but it would be 40 years before the first "woman's issue" laws were put on the books. The Stonewall Riots occurred in 1969, but same-sex marriage wasn't legal until 2000 in the Netherlands, 2015 in the USA, and still ISN'T legalized in half the world. The critique is a worthy effort, but values and cultural norms change slowly.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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  23. #23

    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    The founders certainly viewed compromise as a tool of governance within a legislature. They were classically trained debaters who wanted an issue argued over, judged on the merits, and voted up or down. Where no clear cut decision coalesced in the minds of the representatives, then compromises would be bruited until one achieved enough support. That is compromise as a tool OF governance, not as an end state.
    So what about the last 50-100 years?

    I found the cartoon amusing, and certainly that kind of process DOES result from shifting latitudes of rejection and acceptance over time (that's classic SJT), but as a student of history yourself, you are aware that the pendulum inevitably hits a point where it swings backwards and re-centers.
    That's what many are advocating.

    I think you make a great point about the Dems as a source for this stronger reactionary tone in US politics.
    I didn't say they were a source, and they are not. What they did was choose not to resist it in a principled way.

    They did shift African Americans from a strong and sometimes unthinking support for the 'Party of Lincoln' into a near lock-step support for the Dems, but in doing so they focused more and more on identity politics and crusades against injustice....without remembering the working class voter (mostly white) upon which their party success had been built. Had they kept those voters and added the marginalized groups we would have a different political story today.
    You've got things on their head. The act of adding the marginalized groups was in itself what enabled the loss of older constituencies.

    Suburban white people abandoned the Democrats, not the other way around. This was indeed essential to the formation of suburbs. Wherever there was a push for inclusion and desegregation, whites broadly responded by retrenching their spaces and institutions to continue exclusionary practices. As I mentioned above, white flight from unions starting around Nixon coincided with legislation and grassroots activism to bring in women and blacks en masse. Unionism should have been stronger than ever before in the 1970s, but, as with urban spaces, the depletion of the white core made political and economic marginalization inevitable. Fun fact from the article above: the first unions to receive setbacks in the 1970s were the oldest and strongest, the manufacturing unions. White flight wasn't a direct cause of marginalization, it just allowed capital interests to swoop in and leverage the knock-on vulnerability.

    Chauvinism is what you call it. Responsive government for me, not for thee.

    The problem with the Democratic platform shift was that it prioritized personal economics over group and class interests, and to the extent that group interests were present they were erroneously focused on reducing discrimination to enable the mythical "level playing field" between all types of individual.

    But the critical project endlessly rails for change without realizing that the change they seek MUST be established through cultural shift in values and thinking and is a multi-decades project, not something that can be accomplished by fiat. The critiques of capitalism began in earnest in the 1840s, it would be 30 years before Unions began to make an effective counter. Modern feminism can trace its trace its roots to the late 18th century, but it would be 40 years before the first "woman's issue" laws were put on the books. The Stonewall Riots occurred in 1969, but same-sex marriage wasn't legal until 2000 in the Netherlands, 2015 in the USA, and still ISN'T legalized in half the world. The critique is a worthy effort, but values and cultural norms change slowly.
    That's exactly what the Right has done so effectively for two generations, through think tanks, the Federalist Society, media organizations, and myriad other groups. They've been terrifyingly effective in transforming society. While it's true that leftist academics (mostly confined to the humanities) have done a bad job getting their perspective out to the masses, providing an alternative viewpoint, and explaining what should be done, the main reason the Left has failed to counteract or replicate this success is fairly simple: (lack of) money. Without money, you can't reliably promulgate ideas to millions. Up to now the large proportion of the general population's exposure to Left ideas has been a distorted and falsified product of conservative media. And while there are upper-middle class and rich liberals (like George Soros), they have very limited overlap with the Left - opposition to persecuting minorities and to elevating religion over science mostly - and their class interest aligns with Right and Neoliberal ideologies. You're never going to see a progressive Prager U, or WSJ, or American Enterprise Institute, etc. You don't even have a left-wing equivalent to George Mason University or Harvard Law School.

    This is also why notions of an underdog conservative "intellectual dark web" is so comical. Conservative ideas have and still do hold primacy throughout media, government and politics except on minority rights, which at least superficially they already ceded and tried to co-opt decades ago. Even the alt-right uses euphemistic language of paring back "special privileges" to soften the reality of its agenda.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 05-25-2018 at 14:46.
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  24. #24
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    So what about the last 50-100 years?
    Prior to WW2, I think compromise was a frequent part of the national approach to governance because there were more points of policy commonality. Prior to FDR, most of our foreign policy goals were pretty shared and defined by isolationism and building US trade. In addition, the nation was largely churched and traditional values were fairly commonly held. Thus two areas of constant contention today (foreign policy and social policy) were fairly parallel between the two parties. Economic policy was not -- but economics is often the one most amenable to compromise. The Cold War, the growing impact of FDR's social programs, and the USA taking a dominant role in overseas events began to change this after WW2.

    Roughly 50 years ago, we hit something of a sea-change in the USA, both culturally and politically. All of the quasi-socialist student protests from 1968, the advent of common drug use, the burgeoning numbers of college educated persons, the breakup of the old Democrat party and Nixon's cold-blooded use of the 'Southern Strategy,' 3 major political assassinations (JFK, MLK, RFK), the choice to ramp up and make Vietnam a fully US conducted proxy conflict, the poor results of our efforts in Vietnam, the explosion of numbers in the baby boomer era, and all of the political turmoil and national angst over Watergate, ALL of these occur between November of 1963 and August of 1974. US political culture has never been the same again and following Watergate the level of disdain (hatred) for the political other, and not merely the need to oppose certain policies, has greatly increased.

    How we view, and use, compromise is now in a very different context.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  25. #25

    Default Re: Compromise

    Without contesting any of that, I remind you that in the first place I asserted that the ideal or concept of compromise is seen and used a certain way today, and that I don't believe this was the case until relatively recently. I'm asking about why and howcompromise came to be emphasized this way, now. The most relevant fields to examine would be political rhetoric and media discourse.

    I'm not good with corpora, and one I found just has a few presidential speeches (we need much more, and from many more players). Several hundred mentions of "compromise". Most of them attributed to Polk and Obama. (Probably insufficient data to jump any guns.)

    But I don't think you need to read many contemporary quotes from politicians across news reports to get what I'm saying. I mean, it could all just be an artifact of my experience of the Obama era, I don't know. Maybe compromise was getting played up because it was the only trick the Dems had in their bag. That's why we need data going back to at least the 90s.

    EDIT: Sorry if that sounded harsh Seamus, you were trying, but I wanted us to hone in on my question and you gave a generic summary of pivotal eras in the 20th century without moving on to describing an answer.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 05-26-2018 at 12:40.
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  26. #26
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    As for Old vs. New Left, why not both dot jpeg? Of course the kind of "identity politics" salient today (which are really just in addition to the religious, ethnic, and mode-of-life identity politics in the rest of the country's history) must be coupled with (economic) class politics to reach their full development - and vice versa.

    It's what they call I N T E R S E C T I O N. Seriously one of the best ideas out of feminism and critical theory, and one that should be more widely disseminated reflected upon. Because it's so obviously important once you think about it, and for once in a red moon the terminology is transparent in meaning.
    Not to mix my metaphors, but isn't calling it "one of the best ideas out of feminism and critical theory" still firmly in the territory of putting lipstick on pigs?

    Identity politics - with its hierarchies of oppression, and power as the sole arbiter of group dynamics - is both uselessly reductive and socially divisive. Intersectionality attempts to mitigate the reductiveness, but only serves to further remove understanding of the the model from general public understanding.

    They're left with a socially divisive lens through which to view the world, one which is so kaleidoscopic that their use of it must be interpreted for them by experts.

    There is a better way, and it is called [classical]** liberalism. Ignore the artificial constructs that people invent to define collectives, instead focus on the liberty of the individual.

    ** by which i mean the english tradition of classical liberalism rather than the french, but either serves in this purpose.
    Last edited by Furunculus; 05-28-2018 at 23:15.
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

  27. #27
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    Not to mix my metaphors, but isn't calling it "one of the best ideas out of feminism and critical theory" still firmly in the territory of putting lipstick on pigs?

    Identity politics - with its heirarchies of oppression, and power as the sole arbiter of group dynamics - is both uselessly reductive and socially divisive. Intersectionality attempts to mitigate the reductiveness, but only serves to further remove understnading of the the model from general public understanding.

    They're left with a socially divisive lens through which to view the world, one which is so kaleidoscopic that their use of it must be interpeted for them by experts.

    There is a better way, and it is called liberalism. Ignore the artificial constructs that people invent to define collectives, instead focus on the liberty of the individual.
    Depending on which side of the water Monty is from, liberalism may mean something different.

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  28. #28

    Default Re: Compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    Not to mix my metaphors, but isn't calling it "one of the best ideas out of feminism and critical theory" still firmly in the territory of putting lipstick on pigs?

    Identity politics - with its heirarchies of oppression, and power as the sole arbiter of group dynamics - is both uselessly reductive and socially divisive. Intersectionality attempts to mitigate the reductiveness, but only serves to further remove understnading of the the model from general public understanding.

    They're left with a socially divisive lens through which to view the world, one which is so kaleidoscopic that their use of it must be interpeted for them by experts.

    There is a better way, and it is called [classical]** liberalism. Ignore the artificial constructs that people invent to define collectives, instead focus on the liberty of the individual.

    ** by which i mean the english tradition of classical liberalism rather than the french, but either serves in this purpose.
    I don't like this infantile epistemology propounded by many, where refusing to recognize the facts of division allows that division to disappear.

    I also, of course, oppose attempts at defining persons in a solipsistic way.
    Vitiate Man.

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  29. #29
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    i barely understood that, but it sounded awesome! have a "thanks". :)
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

  30. #30
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromise

    I think he is saying that by arguing that identity politics create division, you're basically ignoring the division that already exists and spawned identity politics in the first place.


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

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