Heroes and Villains in Politics and Socioeconomics

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Foxfyre, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I read this awhile back and have thought about it a lot. I hope some will discuss it at face value on its own merits, even if you know the author:

    Is he right?
     
  2. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    I think there is something to that.

    People have value systems and tend to identify "good" and "bad" guys in terms of how they measure up against them. That's why sound bites are so effective or destructive - they are little short cuts to score the subject.
     
  3. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, I agree.

    And I think that is why it is so hard for people to be objective about some of this stuff. It is tough to evaluate on its own merits an idea put out there by somebody we detest. It's tough to give credit to somebody we have designated 'villain' or to criticize somebody we have designated 'hero'.
     
  4. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    Well, it's pretty difficult to get through life without a value system. One can objectively evaluate policies, events, people etc. against one's value system - I don't see anything wrong with that.

    The real issue is the nature of the value system itself.
     
  5. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Well for instance, let me paraphrase an example used (in another essay) by the same author:

    During the aftermath of Hurrican Andrew, there was much in the news about the greedy merchants who quadrupled the price of bottled water and jacked up prices for hotel rooms needed by refugees. The attitude about this was universally unfavorable, critical, condemning.

    Our analyst, however, had a different perspective. If water was its normal price, many folks would have bought as much as they could carry and used it for bathing and washing hair, etc. while making water scarce for others who needed it to quench thirst and to cook with. Make the water expensive enough, however, and folks would buy only what they absolutely had to have leaving supplies available for others.

    When motel rooms are their normal price, a large family might rent two or three rooms leaving rooms unavailable for others who needed them. Make those rooms expensive enough, however, and that family might make do with one room leaving rooms available for others.

    So here we have conflicting issues. Appreciating that the law of supply and demand could have value in such a situation but being reluctant to give up our condemnation of people (the villains) who profited from it.
     

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