L.A. Hall

This conversation is closed.

Are our problems beyond politics?

Is politics is a system of persuasion? Doesn't it look to tow you towards one idea or a competing one? Aren't our largest problems -- overpopulation, massive discrepancies in consumption from nation-to-nation, hunger, disease, AIDS -- problems that we can all agree on? It's not like abortion, where it's a matter of belief, right? Does anyone out there think people should starve? Is it a matter of what to vote for? Or a matter of how to vote for it, what actions to take? And in any kind of situation like that, doesn't a collaborative body work better than a deliberative one? Haven't we seen that if you leave two parties to argue, they will do just that? People who disagree don't often come to compromise by idealizing their arguments to the extreme, do they?

So are we beyond politics? Can politics save the day? Or is it becoming obsolete when it comes to making real, big change? What CAN make that change?

  • thumb

    Gail .

    • +1
    Jan 6 2013: We can all agree that there are problems, but we will not agree on the cause/solution to those problems.

    If you take the politicians out of the mix and leave it up to the individuals to address, if those individuals use the same techniques that politicians would have, you have gained nothing. As Daryl said, you can't solve problems using the same methods that caused those problems in the first place.

    There needs to be a paradigm shift. There are answers, but not from within the current paradigm.

    What can make that change? When enough people become self-aware, it will happen spontaneously.
  • thumb
    Jan 6 2013: The main problem with politicians is that after learning how to use the political hammer, everything looks like a nail. Politicians should have a stronger tecnical background so they can at least see the gap between the tecnically optimal solution to a problem and the political compromises that are made to address it, and hopefully realize how outlandish some of those compromises can be.

    Preferably tho, I would like to see more problems usually left to politicians being crowdsourced in what would be a truer democratic government spirit.
  • thumb
    Jan 5 2013: Isn't it interesting how we generally associate politicians with corruption, greed, lies…..the means used in politics to perpetuate, if not cause the bigger picture issues, yet we continue to look to them to solve the problems our world faces.

    You can not solve the problem with the same means used to create the problem.
  • Jan 25 2013: Politics don't work. Let's get rid of them.

    Then a conflict arises. In the process of resolving the conflict, leaders emerge.

    We have politics again.

    Any conflict we face, we need leaders to resolve. The most challenging enduring conflicts demand leaders more courageous than we have ever seen.
  • Jan 7 2013: The main issue with trying to solve the problems you've described is just how to do it. There's going to be many different ways to solve each problem, and people will argue about which one is best. So I guess, yeah, we do need politicians. The only problem is that the politicians don't seem to actually care about solving the problems, just winning their power struggles. I do agree with you that politics can't really make change anymore. It's gotten too bogged down, too much baggage now. Besides, the only real change that can exist is when individuals change themselves. The world will keep going the direction it's been going for thousands of years unless enough people change to become unselfish, loving people. But that's a very personal thing that can't be forced by an outside source. You can try to persuade and help them along, but it won't be easy and it certainly won't be fast.
  • thumb
    Jan 7 2013: Politicians are a reflection of society. We've lost our way and will find it again with critical thinking and integrity.
  • Jan 6 2013: I think politicians are just there to make an illusion to citizens that everything is under control and that there's nothing to worry about .Except that this is so untrue ,and it's quite obvious that our daily issues are too broad to be categorized as political ones .We can solve our own problems without being totally dependent on government ,so I do believe that we should start from our own selves and make the change we want to witness without the need of politicians who themselves are deemed in some countries as the "essence of corruption " .
  • Jan 6 2013: Yes, today, some people think that some other people should starve, and are deliberately starving them.

    Today, we can grow enough food to end hunger. Hunger persists because of economics and, mainly, because of politics. So the solution to some problems have a political component.

    When a problem (many diseases) has no economic (free market) solution, we look to the government for a solution. So these problems also require political intervention.

    Many problems can be solved without government or political involvement. Overpopulation will certainly be "solved" whether the government acts or not.

    Many of the big problems will eventually be solved by the free market. Inventors are developing new technology and entrepreneurs are finding profitable ways to distribute the technology. For example:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_pritchard_invents_a_water_filter.html
    • thumb
      Jan 6 2013: Just as an aside to this topic, this is a powerful and simultaneously disturbing statement -

      "Overpopulation will certainly be "solved" whether the government acts or not."

      Nature does have a way of dealing with overpopulated species so we would well advised to take our own initiative in that arena.
  • Jan 6 2013: Good Fran. but politicans have their own constituencies that may limit their ability to do good work or the right thing.