Friday, November 4, 2016

Quotes from Ophuls, Pt. 4

 William Ophus, sage

N.B. Please read the quotes for today and consider the circumstances of the current election season.

More participation, for example, is often put forward as the panacea for our political ills. But this is a singularly inappropriate remedy – unless those who participate do so in a responsible and public spirited fashion, which is less and less the case. 68

Our myth, of course, is that in partisan debate "the marketplace of ideas" will result in good ideas driving out bad. But the actuality seems to be that all marketplaces, including those including that of political discourse, are dominated by Gresham's law. So slogans and symbols have driven out reasoned discussion; and systemic mendacity has largely preempted reasonable argument. Public discourse in a hyper pluralistic polity therefore generates heat, not light. In fact, that is the real purpose, for the winners of the political struggle are those who build the hottest fires under the politicians feet. 69-70

In effect, politics is now a spectator sport: the moral and social vacuum left by the decay of Lockean society has been filled by an ersatz media community. 78

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