Why In Politics We're Afraid to Talk About What's Real
If you look at the terms of political discourse today in the United States, it’s not a pretty picture.
I think that we shy away from debating hard controversial, moral questions in public discourse for an understandable reason.
When it comes to values, when it comes to competing notions of how to value this or that good, people disagree, sometimes fiercely. And so there’s a temptation to have a kind of public life that leaves hard moral questions, hard ethical questions to one side.
For the sake of agreement, for the sake of toleration, that’s the impulse, to be non-judgmental.
But I think it’s a mistake because if you look at the terms of political discourse today in the United States, it’s not a pretty picture. Our public debates are not going very well. They mainly consist of shoving matches on cable television and talk radio and ideological food fights in Congress.
I think the reason we have such an impoverished public debate is that we are too reluctant to take on hard controversial, but important moral questions that really go to the heart of the question of what kind of society do we want to live in. So I think that’s why we’ve shied away from a serious moral debate about where markets belong and where they don’t. And the result is we have a kind of managerial, technocratic politics that many people find uninspiring.
So I think we should face up to the challenge of raising serious questions about where markets belong, where they serve the public good, recognizing that that will involve moral controversy. People have different views about reproduction or about organ sales or about education and motivating children or about how to allocate military services. But those are the debates I think that we need to have.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
When these companies compete, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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