Elenkus

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Truth Through Combat

Rectal Confidentiality

I couldn’t think of anything else to call this post, so there you have it: http://www.wisn.com/cnn-news/18796315/detail.html.

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Filed under: Bioethics, Uncategorized

Archyarchy

Archyarchy — the rule of the state by the state. The self-multiplication of bureaucracies. Blind leadership, since no one is minding the store and everyone only minds his small fief. The system is not consciously teleological, since there are no minds in this system. The system is, however, teleologically ordered: its aim is to grow. How this purpose comes about is the mystery. 

Why do people seek power in an archyarchy? 

AKA statocracy. Description of latter here:  http://www.polyarchy.org/paradigm/english/democracy.html#statocracy

Filed under: Philosophy, Politics, ,

Psychopolitical Questions

Plato’s psychopolitics posits a five-stage deterioration moving from aristocracy to tyranny. 

  • Where would bureaucratic socialism fit into Plato’s scale? 
  • What type of man would correspond to bureaucratic socialism?

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Federalism and Anarchy

The North’s victory marked the end of federalism in the U.S. After this point power became increasingly centralized at the federal level, with the states shrinking into extensions of the federal will. That will has — in the last few decades — become decreasingly defined by loyalty to ideological commitments and increasingly defined by the love of power for the sake of power.

The mechanism by which power is acquired is simple: those who are most credible representatives of the general will at any given moment have power.

This means that law is impotent in the United States. The fact that the general and popular will of the moment always trumps whatever legal or ideological obstacles might stand in the way of that will means that law is largely irrelevant to the way that life is administered in the U.S.

The U.S. is thus in a state of anarchy.

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Bloody Spring of 2009

The deadline of March 4 for laying out the specifics of the plan has set up an artificial deadline for a lot of people who need to decide whether to stop paying their mortgage, enter into a modification agreement, or file bankruptcy.

March and April will be brutal. A ton of people are going to be disappointed in Obama’s program.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Government and Competence

Is it possible to track the competence of a government? I wonder if one could make an argument for the thesis that the United States government is trending toward incompetence.

The argument could be partisan or nonpartisan. It could focus on the incompetence of a certain party, or instead on incompetence rooted in inexperience (younger governments would be more incompetent than older ones, perhaps).

It would be interesting to consider whether this argument could be conscientiously and impartially constructed. Some will argue that such an argument is impossible because all arguments about politics are inherently biased and therefore incapable of assessing a government’s competence.

If such an argument is possible, however, then it’s because it is in fact possible to assess competence. But this implies that it is possible to objectively determine a definition of governmental competence. Presumably, this definition would vary from function to function and agency to agency. The government is varied. The definition of its competence must be similarly varied.

I suppose not much hinges on this, but a psycho-political point can be made: perhaps political cynicism is nothing but the belief in the inextricably political nature of government, and perhaps such cynicism is wrong.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis as a Tool for Population Beautification

Not surprisingly, the Pope is against the use of PIGD (Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis) to select for certain “cosmetic” features of embryos. Possible paper topic: Should the United States (or the State of NY – pick one) ban the use of PIGD for the sake of determining the cosmetic features of embryos?

Resources:

Filed under: Bioethics, Uncategorized

A Bad Idea?

Consider the possibilities: humans can now re-establish extinct species that have been forced into nonexistence by the actions of those very humans. Isn’t this application of cloning a great way to assuage any guilt that might exist as a result of those actions?

Well, perhaps not. Along with guilt, humans also possess a general lack of competence when it comes to manipulating the environment (whether locally or globally). After all, if humans have been so inept that they have caused the extinction of several species, how can they be competent enough to fix the problem?

Now, without further suspense: Here’s the story.

Filed under: Bioethics, Uncategorized