The Jury Talks Back

3/24/2009

What is a Hypocrite?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 9:39 pm

 

Maverick Philosopher has recently written some interesting posts about hypocrisy.  He notices that the charge of hypocrisy is a popular one, but few ever attempt to get to the bottom of what it really means with any degree of philosophic rigor.  He noticed that since, short of being a saint, we all fail to live up to our moral ideals (unless those ideals are scandalously low), being a hypocrite can’t mean simply not living up one’s ideals or hypocrite would simply be an uninteresting synonym for human being.

To solve this problem, and breath some life into the word, he makes a useful distinction between what he calls Strivers, those who espouse high ideals but fail to live up to them; Hypocrites, those who espouse high ideals but make little or no effort to live up to them; and Scamps, those who do not espouse any ideals at all. 

What got me thinking about MP’s post were the following statements: (more…)

What Are Political Parties For?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 10:37 am

A political party qua political party is an organization dedicated to winning elections.  (A politician is a self-interested seeker of re-election.)  The winning of elections is the primary goal of a political party. All other goals which any particular political party may espouse are either secondary or strategy.  Furthering an ideology, distributing goods and services to supporters, petitioning a redress of grievances, etc…, are all either secondary or strategic considerations.

The true nature of political parties is a problem for an ideologue, or, to be more fair, those who wish to espouse a particular ideology above all else.  The Libertarian Party is not a true political party.  Its primary goal is not to win elections.  The Libertarians refer to themselves as the party of principle.  Winning elections is often an unprincipled business.

True political parties adopt the ideological positions they do because they think that those positions will help them win elections.  They “sell” that position to voters by providing distinctions (or blurring distinctions as the case may be), disseminating positive and negative information, and making persuasive arguments to voters so as to give them reasons to support that political party.

 


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