The current state of political debate is a negative loop based on second generation/ more sophisticated approaches to propaganda.
People need more direct access to information that has not been filtered through special interest and mass media. Until that happens we will fight on the level of parrots to no useful end for the population. Although this does serve an end for the interest of the greatest power structures in place. It keeps everyone distracted.
We don't actually have two political systems. In action they are basically the same, but they use inflaming rhetoric based in fear in relationship to one other keeping people distracted from real issues. It creates a deliberate, albeit artificial polarizing effect. It is a brilliant application of propaganda because it provides an illusion of free thought and choosing sides. You are not told what to think, but what between two "opposing" positions, so you have the freedom to choose which false front you support. It's basically Pespi vs. Coke only its consequences effect the lives of millions of people.
We need access to new streams of unfiltered information, and at this point the internet provides some hope, but an accountability to fact checking needs to be taken up a level at least a power of ten higher than is being used across the media. There needs to be journalists and individuals with the cahones to find raw data and disseminate this information so that people can have something that approaches freedom of thought and break the chain of propaganda dressed up with its directly new term, "public relations".
The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY
Well I do think that there is relative consensus between the, apparently or supposedly, competiting parties in a multi-party democracy and that consensus is often contra their very constituencies.
Sometimes that may be because the constituencies are motivated in their own political agitation, which could be only electioneering, by extreme or immoderate vision and goals which are out of keeping with what can be achieved in the lives of even three terms of political office or which have wide ranging consequences the constituencies are unprepared to seriously consider.
Sometimes it will be plain greed or special interests but I do think that's not as great as I once believed and presently believe that a lot more of politics and government is plainly management of the public in such a manner as to create or manipulate private banking or capital confidence. That's perhaps more the case in heavily finance dependent nations such as the US and UK than for instance Germany, which has managed to maintain a manufacturing hub which is mass employer and exporter.
However, even accepting that rise of managerialism as a given, I do think that there are real political differences within the population, which whether they really seriously register on the radar of politicians or legislators remain significant because they manifest as cultural and normative phenomenon.
Where I get this from for the moment is to do with some reading I've been doing, which is dated, its from the eighties and ninties, but it was carried out by serious political economists, despite being socialist inclined they where willing to take seriously all of the monetarist and other neo-liberal economists and did really fantastic comprehensive assements of their ideas and dismissed not a one, however, they did conclude that the various perspectives and consequent policies where mainly only of a normative value.
So you could be confronted with a bizarre situation in which an economy which is experiencing jobless growth continues to adopt policies aimed at compelling people to support themselves through seeking work despite their being no jobs because voters, whether they are working or not, think that is culturally imperative.
However, that's not the point. The point which the authors did make was that there was no meaningful engagement with critical appraisals of neo-liberalism by neo-liberals but instead dismissive treatments of all critical appraisals or doubts as vialed marxism or something like it.
Its something which I see on other topics too, such as global warming, there's less of a willingness to examine the issue and more to adopt entrenched positions and fight, there's nothing like a will to objectively consider the issue when it can instead be treated like a vehicle for partisan thinking and a sort of game of "cowboys and indians".
Honestly, I see a lot of the dialoguing and debating and discussion as essentially canned, at my current level of understanding. I'm sort of pessimistic, but it's not totally warranted.
The higher up you go, the more baggage and BS stuff gets in the way. I don't think a president should cancel a trip to another country because in his home country he's losing support for not showing enough emotion or 'getting angry' about the BP oil spill. And there is way too much power lobbying going on for 'massive change' to take place. It's... not that it shouldn't happen, nor that people aren't trying. I think it's just harder, and uglier, than people generally get to know.
So it's easier, then, to bitch about red v blue, and to harp on human weaknesses and prejudices and whatever can get a rise out of people. And then to play that on the news and make a big deal out of it - the news people have to make money, too.
Real political dialogue is possible. It's just up to whoever wants to initiate it to make it so.