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David G
07-15-2018, 11:53 AM
I'm almost finished with a most excellent book, which I'd highly recommend --

"The Monarchy of Fear" -- Martha C. Nussbaum

https://www.amazon.com/Monarchy-Fear-Philosopher-Political-Crisis/dp/1501172492

From one of the world’s most celebrated moral philosophers comes a thorough examination of the current political crisis and recommendations for how to mend our divided country.

For decades Martha C. Nussbaum has been an acclaimed scholar and humanist, earning dozens of honors for her books and essays. In The Monarchy of Fear she turns her attention to the current political crisis that has polarized American since the 2016 election.

Although today’s atmosphere is marked by partisanship, divisive rhetoric, and the inability of two halves of the country to communicate with one another, Nussbaum focuses on what so many pollsters and pundits have overlooked. She sees a simple truth at the heart of the problem: the political is always emotional. Globalization has produced feelings of powerlessness in millions of people in the West. That sense of powerlessness bubbles into resentment and blame. Blame of immigrants. Blame of Muslims. Blame of other races. Blame of cultural elites. While this politics of blame is exemplified by the election of Donald Trump and the vote for Brexit, Nussbaum argues it can be found on all sides of the political spectrum, left or right.

Drawing on a mix of historical and contemporary examples, from classical Athens to the musical Hamilton, The Monarchy of Fear untangles this web of feelings and provides a roadmap of where to go next.

Ian McColgin
07-15-2018, 12:29 PM
Excellent reference. Thank you.

David G
07-15-2018, 12:58 PM
Different resources are useful at different times. Books I read in my youth sometimes went over my head, and re-reading them now is much more useful, as they speak to my current state of understanding.

So I know this book won't be for everyone. Perhaps the wisdom within will simply be 'old hat' for some. Or perhaps it will go over the heads of some. But for me, it successfully, cogently, and convincingly addresses both structural and tactical issues I've been wrestling with.

I hope others will enjoy it as much as I have been.

Osborne Russell
07-15-2018, 01:21 PM
. . . The inability of two halves of the country to communicate with one another . . .

bs bs bs

David G
07-15-2018, 01:52 PM
bs bs bs

Elaborate, please...

skuthorp
07-15-2018, 04:47 PM
Osborne Russell (http://forum.woodenboat.com/member.php?11718-Osborne-Russell)
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http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/icons/icon1.png Re: A Philosopher Looks At Fear & Politics

http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by david g http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?p=5623216#post5623216)
. . . The inability of two halves of the country to communicate with one another . . .



bs bs bs

Well how about 'unwillingness' Osborne?

ron ll
07-15-2018, 05:10 PM
Not sure I understand this premise:

Globalization has produced feelings of powerlessness in millions of people in the West.

Why would globalization make anyone feel powerless? To me it seems globalization makes everyone better off, a rising tide and all that. Maybe some conservatives fear it, but she ascribes it to both sides. Where is the evidence it has stripped anyone of power?

Durnik
07-15-2018, 05:19 PM
Jeff, thinking the problem starts with it's not a '2 halves' thing.

skuthorp
07-15-2018, 07:24 PM
You mean irrationally and fearfully, giving way to preconceived prejudice and all that stuff?

David G
07-15-2018, 09:00 PM
Not sure I understand this premise:


Why would globalization make anyone feel powerless? To me it seems globalization makes everyone better off, a rising tide and all that. Maybe some conservatives fear it, but she ascribes it to both sides. Where is the evidence it has stripped anyone of power?

In several ways.

First - it was a large outside force that disrupted things. And which any give individual was unlikely to be able to avoid/change. Powerless.

Second - This disruption was not evenly distributed, with benefits going largely to the already wealthy, and the costs being born by the poorest, and least equipped to adjust. A lot of high school graduates, who took manufacturing jobs with large multinational manufacturing firms saw their jobs with decent pay and benefits disappear. And the job growth that resulted... the jobs that were available to those folks as a result of globalization... were lower-wage jobs. Almost always without benefits. Often not even full time... so many are forced into working TWO such jobs to get within shouting distance of the standard of living they had previously enjoyed. Forced by the fallout of globalization. And powerless to dodge that fallout.

Most free trade is an overall win for both nations. Comparative Advantage is really real. I've mentioned before how we ascertain what is a 'good' trade agreement. Of course any such change is NOT going to benefit every party on both side. There will be 'winners' and 'losers' from the new arrangement. Here's the key question - If the deal is enacted, could the 'winners' reimburse the 'losers' and still come out ahead... on both sides? If so, it's a good deal.

But here's the catch - We're far better at coming up with the deals, calculating the costs and benefits, negotiating the terms, and getting them passed... than we are at then tilting the playing field in such a way that the 'losers' DO get made whole (or even, ideally, benefit) and the 'winners' still do come out ahead. We do make an effort. We're just not very good at it.

So... Third - the people who have the resources to get a seat at the table (by making campaign contributions, hiring lobbyists, etc.) where decisions upon the structure of the deal are made... garner windfall benefits while everyone else get spotty benefits... or just crumbs... or noting at all. And most people recognize that it's unfair... and that they are powerless to change it. It has always been thus. It's an imperfect process. But it's been getting worse and worse as the Republican way of doing business has taken over.

ron ll
07-15-2018, 09:19 PM
Isn’t it the Republicans and especially this administration that are trying to dismantle Globalization? It’s the isolationism that makes me feel powerless.

gypsie
07-15-2018, 09:29 PM
I think that's a good description of why people feel powerless in the face of globalization.

I think insecure work, because of the easy movement of capital across borders, is compounding a lot of that. People simply feel like they have no choices, they have no confidence that if they ask for better condition or pay that their job will not up sticks.

It also clear that the government is not wholeheartedly thinking of the people. The breast feeding fiasco recently comes to mind. Is it 70% of Americans want tougher gun laws, but its the tiny minority who want unregulated guns that win. Even when a clear majority want something very specific, they are powerless to effect that change.

gypsie
07-15-2018, 10:39 PM
Because the truth is, the "rising tide" is a LIE. This man is not a "wacko socialist marxist communist", spend ten minutes to educate yourself. Seriously.

http://evonomics.com/joseph-stiglitz-inequality-unearned-income/

Great link - thanks!

Ted Hoppe
07-15-2018, 11:38 PM
The clear picture is much darker.

the dismantling of labor intensive industries while removing the safety net while those who rather profit from the desolving of much of the the middle class to benefit the few us based globalists what hold nearly 85 percent of the National wealth.

I have noticed that few rich ever cry for the local struggling homeless and the destitute when is it is far better feeling to send thier child seeking meaning and college merit to build a clean water wells and schools 10,000 miles away from thier main residence. The ivory towers have grown much taller. The wealthy no longer mix even with the working classes any more.

gypsie
07-15-2018, 11:46 PM
The clear picture is much darker.

the dismantling of labor intensive industries while removing the safety net while those who rather profit from the desolving of much of the the middle class to benefit the few us based globalists what hold nearly 85 percent of the National wealth. Few of these select and fortunate have no agenda except to further thier wealth, play games with social politics as intended distractions and do what they must for the quarterly earnings report.

I have noticed that few rich ever cry for the local struggling homeless and the destitute when is it is far better feeling to send thier child seeking meaning and college merit to build a clean water wells and schools 10,000 miles away from thier main residence.

I think you give the 1% more credit than they are due.

Ted Hoppe
07-15-2018, 11:52 PM
I think you give the 1% more credit than they are due.

It isn't giving them credit. It is watching others democratically elected openly grant the .01% stake holders and aggressive foreign nationals that are loaded in capitalization funding from developing industrial countries with 50 year plans with even more than they are asking for or had expected.

You in Australia have yet to loose your cheap health insurance, social services and good portion of your safety net. But rest assured you will as your leadership sells out to the .01% and grants Corporate China most of your precious Australian national resources. Those costs to keep economic growth high without wage increases and declining individual laborer productivity will need your fellow countrymen to cut back on the expected social services, expensive healthcare and importation of cheaper labor to remain competitive.

Ted Hoppe
07-16-2018, 12:35 AM
In several ways.

First - it was a large outside force that disrupted things. And which any give individual was unlikely to be able to avoid/change. Powerless.

Second - This disruption was not evenly distributed, with benefits going largely to the already wealthy, and the costs being born by the poorest, and least equipped to adjust. A lot of high school graduates, who took manufacturing jobs with large multinational manufacturing firms saw their jobs with decent pay and benefits disappear. And the job growth that resulted... the jobs that were available to those folks as a result of globalization... were lower-wage jobs. Almost always without benefits. Often not even full time... so many are forced into working TWO such jobs to get within shouting distance of the standard of living they had previously enjoyed. Forced by the fallout of globalization. And powerless to dodge that fallout.

Most free trade is an overall win for both nations. Comparative Advantage is really real. I've mentioned before how we ascertain what is a 'good' trade agreement. Of course any such change is NOT going to benefit every party on both side. There will be 'winners' and 'losers' from the new arrangement. Here's the key question - If the deal is enacted, could the 'winners' reimburse the 'losers' and still come out ahead... on both sides? If so, it's a good deal.

But here's the catch - We're far better at coming up with the deals, calculating the costs and benefits, negotiating the terms, and getting them passed... than we are at then tilting the playing field in such a way that the 'losers' DO get made whole (or even, ideally, benefit) and the 'winners' still do come out ahead. We do make an effort. We're just not very good at it.

So... Third - the people who have the resources to get a seat at the table (by making campaign contributions, hiring lobbyists, etc.) where decisions upon the structure of the deal are made... garner windfall benefits while everyone else get spotty benefits... or just crumbs... or noting at all. And most people recognize that it's unfair... and that they are powerless to change it. It has always been thus. It's an imperfect process. But it's been getting worse and worse as the Republican way of doing business has taken over.

Your points could be seen as Kool aid and then tried to put it in a package with a made fresh date 2016. Those points you make are quite outdated to almost 20 years or more - something Tip O'Neal would have made as Speaker of the House.. The outside forces you mentioned were your own corporate and civic leaders which did not take in to consideration the effects of globalized industrial assembly and control on their own society and economy. There was a few years where the pivot toward developing countries and cheap labor made sense to every intelligent CEO in moving to industrializing developing countries. Once done, the swiftness in robbing from pensions, ripping the remnants gains of organized labor and great tax incentives made the whole thing pop with gathering urgency. With quick capital transfers and technological innovations - it was only a matter of time to strip production out of a developed country to an emerging one. Since there could never be any statistics to back up the hind-sighted domestic protections which would have benefited your nation population, we are stuck with what we know now, where we are at the moment and where we could be heading. No doubt you benefited from it at the beginning like everyone. I don't think those returns are coming back like you had anticipated based on those early numbers unless you were lucky to have enough to get your money to work for you on the ground floor of this change or were fortunate in some technological advancement which sped up development or transfer of capital.

The Democrats along with Republicans had a hand starting this crap. Reagan was the beginning. Clinton did a fair job forcing NAFTA down our throats. Those that followed are shepherds to this 3 year plan with numerous 4 year extensions. Where this economy is going is anyones guess but seems strangely stable enough with great job number reports and 3 percent inflation as of today despite near zero wage growth for the majority of Americans.

You are right about the biggest thing which makes many fearful. We now have to deal in a world that is a different reality than it was initially sold. There is no such thing as a domestic products except for agricultural goods and natural resources. You would be hard pressed to look at any device today and say it was entirely domestically made. This is very hard to unwind. No individual leader or country is capable of doing it either. It turns the whole understanding of the Marxian mode of production (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_of_production) on it's face making it very hard for leaders to deal with conflicted societies who witnessed an advantage. For many over the age of 45, we knew how things were before the big continued economic concessions and technological transfers to our own competitors. It would be natural to be fearful of those who want to eat more of our lunch and dinner. As a child who grew up in a large family, if you didn't get enough food on the plate the first time you knew damn well there was going to be no chicken when you came in for seconds.

skuthorp
07-16-2018, 02:36 AM
Ted, the present government would just love to sell off the State health insurance agency, and successive governments have sold State assets to private owners with the resulting massive increases in fees and charges as the shareholder takes his profit. Some of the contracts involved are little short of criminal, and the 'post dated bribes' in the form of directorships and sinecures roll on.
But electoral reality always stymies the plans of the far right, if they want to hold on to power they have to fake concerns and leave some thing alone.
As far as the Chinese and assets, they are buying them apace, and citizenship is on the block as well. Almost every politician has his price.

Osborne Russell
07-16-2018, 02:21 PM
Elaborate, please...

". . . two halves of the country to communicate with each other" = the implication of false equivalence combined with technology worship. Each side needs to learn, or be trained in, or (count on it) buy some technique so that the hidden will be revealed. The problem isn't that something is hidden. Nothing is hidden.

Not to mention just plain incorrect. We aren't dealing with two halves of the same thing. These people aren't Americans. Being American isn't some faint whisper from the past that you can hear when things get quiet. It's a system of principles. Communication, my butt.

David G
07-16-2018, 09:40 PM
The clear picture is much darker.

the dismantling of labor intensive industries while removing the safety net while those who rather profit from the desolving of much of the the middle class to benefit the few us based globalists what hold nearly 85 percent of the National wealth.

I have noticed that few rich ever cry for the local struggling homeless and the destitute when is it is far better feeling to send thier child seeking meaning and college merit to build a clean water wells and schools 10,000 miles away from thier main residence. The ivory towers have grown much taller. The wealthy no longer mix even with the working classes any more.

True enough... and precisely the sort of developments that Acton was warning against.

David G
07-16-2018, 09:45 PM
Your points could be seen as Kool aid and then tried to put it in a package with a made fresh date 2016. Those points you make are quite outdated to almost 20 years or more - something Tip O'Neal would have made as Speaker of the House.. The outside forces you mentioned were your own corporate and civic leaders which did not take in to consideration the effects of globalized industrial assembly and control on their own society and economy. There was a few years where the pivot toward developing countries and cheap labor made sense to every intelligent CEO in moving to industrializing developing countries. Once done, the swiftness in robbing from pensions, ripping the remnants gains of organized labor and great tax incentives made the whole thing pop with gathering urgency. With quick capital transfers and technological innovations - it was only a matter of time to strip production out of a developed country to an emerging one. Since there could never be any statistics to back up the hind-sighted domestic protections which would have benefited your nation population, we are stuck with what we know now, where we are at the moment and where we could be heading. No doubt you benefited from it at the beginning like everyone. I don't think those returns are coming back like you had anticipated based on those early numbers unless you were lucky to have enough to get your money to work for you on the ground floor of this change or were fortunate in some technological advancement which sped up development or transfer of capital.

The Democrats along with Republicans had a hand starting this crap. Reagan was the beginning. Clinton did a fair job forcing NAFTA down our throats. Those that followed are shepherds to this 3 year plan with numerous 4 year extensions. Where this economy is going is anyones guess but seems strangely stable enough with great job number reports and 3 percent inflation as of today despite near zero wage growth for the majority of Americans.

You are right about the biggest thing which makes many fearful. We now have to deal in a world that is a different reality than it was initially sold. There is no such thing as a domestic products except for agricultural goods and natural resources. You would be hard pressed to look at any device today and say it was entirely domestically made. This is very hard to unwind. No individual leader or country is capable of doing it either. It turns the whole understanding of the Marxian mode of production (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_of_production) on it's face making it very hard for leaders to deal with conflicted societies who witnessed an advantage. For many over the age of 45, we knew how things were before the big continued economic concessions and technological transfers to our own competitors. It would be natural to be fearful of those who want to eat more of our lunch and dinner. As a child who grew up in a large family, if you didn't get enough food on the plate the first time you knew damn well there was going to be no chicken when you came in for seconds.

We seem to be talking about two different things. I was talking about good public policy, and how it has been perverted, or short-changed... in response to a specific query. You are talking about the fallout from a push toward the laissez-faire end of things. The dysfunction than manifests and accumulates. You're right - it manifests in a lot of perverse ways. No question. But that underlying fact wasn't immediately germane to the question that was asked.