Mass debatings

You already knew this, I surmise, but it won’t hurt to see it in plain ASCII:

Public debate is not a search for truth, but a search for a way to convince a majority of the public. Similarly, the market is not a search for the true value of a good or service. It is the search for the bigger share of a financial transaction. Inevitably such systems reward the people who are good at gaining the trust of their fellow citizens in order to deceive them.

It’s not by design, necessarily; but human nature being what it is, you will almost always end up with something like that.

In the present age, this institutional dishonesty is most obvious in politics, where the parties are now completely dominated by sociopaths. A system that is supposedly built on respect for the public will is now run by people who hold the people in contempt. They take pleasure in lying to their most important voters. It’s not just the Right, the Left does the same thing, only with more skill. Elizabeth Warren will run as an opponent of big business, but in office she will be entirely beholden to global corporate interests.

What compounds this problem in democracy is the people are conditioned to think it is normal and healthy to be ruled by sociopaths. Politics becomes the inverse of what people expect in their daily lives. Among your friends and acquaintances, you expect a high degree of trust and honestly. In politics, you have been trained to demand the most extreme forms of lying. If a politician makes the mistake of uttering the truth, he is hooted off the stage. Democracy makes the people an enemy of themselves.

“A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth — some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.” So declared commentator Michael Kinsley; such sayings are now almost universally known as “Kinsley gaffes.” Politicians go out of their way to avoid saying such things. Sometimes they even succeed.


  1. hollyh »

    28 June 2019 · 8:22 am

    This piece got me to fact-checking the statement “Elizabeth Warren will run as an opponent of big business, but in office she will be entirely beholden to global corporate interests.”

    I couldn’t find any evidence to support this assertion. In fact, on (site below), here’s an excerpt:
    “Elizabeth Warren has sworn off private dinners and fundraisers with wealthy donors entirely.”


    So….permit me to doubt the likelihood of this casual assumption. They seem to be pulling it out of their derriere.

    Just another false equivalency that muddies the waters and confuses voters.

  2. McGehee »

    28 June 2019 · 8:47 am

    If I want to know what a Senator is up to, I would check the Congressional Record, not a website purporting to conduct institutional journalism.

  3. CGHill »

    28 June 2019 · 1:55 pm

    HH: Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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