View Poll Results: Is Citizen's United et al ruling compatible with democracy?

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  • yes

    29 65.91%
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Thread: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

  1. #51
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RStringfield View Post
    No. I have never heard any libertarian argue that the state should go out of its way to encourage this sort of behavior.
    Who said anything about encouraging it? The classic libertarian way of thinking is that you are allowed to hire and fire anyone at will for whatever reason, allowed to deny service to customers for any reason, etc. The government does not have that privileged. This is why a lot of libertarians do not like parts of the Civil Rights Act.


    Are you talking about the idea of requiring anonymity? Why isn't it plausible? Donations do not have to be made in cash or by handing someone a check. It may not have been that plausible 50 years, but when I donate to a cause I usually do it online. The only reason they know who I am is because the government makes them gather that information.
    The reason requiring anonymity is not a plausible solution to the problem is because of the fact that there would be no way to prove that the law is being upheld. Becuase you donate on-line, if I really really wanted to, I could find out who you are donating too. The parties could just say "the candidate figured it out"

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Perry View Post
    I find it odd that you believe that people can not think for themselves. It seems to be a common belief of those who generally are on the minority side of things. There must be someone pulling the strings to get people to think in a way you do not understand.

    Yes, people try and influence people's belief but the majority are perfectly able to make up their own mind. They do not need some group to instruct them how to do this. I suppose if you feel the need of an outside organization to help you do this, well good for you for taking the steps necessary.
    You don't know much about modern propaganda and influencing thinking on a wide scale do you? Or are you one of those people that believe most people actually think critically about issues?
    Hayek - too liberal for republicans

  2. #52
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    Ok, I had to go back and read up.

    Corrections to my above posts as follows:

    CU wanted an end to rules against electioneering near elections. The Supreme Court threw in ending spending limits on corporate/union/non-profit campaign activities.

    So I take it that a lobbyist being able to threaten a legislator with campaign expenditures against them for failure to vote the way the lobbyist wants is ok?
    That is what they do. Nobody is forced to listen to them. Granted, the politician craves their money and will kiss their ass. So it would seem that your problem is with the politician. If they wanted to, they could all agree to limit what they will spend.

    Further, there is no mechanism in place to prevent corp. donors from using corp assets for political purposes that their individual shareholders might disagree with without their knowledge. Which would seem to be a violation of free speech itself. Anti union forces use this argument as it applies to unions all the time.
    Not in this ruling there wasn't as they do not make the laws so to speak but this was added to one of the reform packages passed recently. I'll have to go look for it.

  3. #53
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpiher View Post
    You don't know much about modern propaganda and influencing thinking on a wide scale do you? Or are you one of those people that believe most people actually think critically about issues?
    I hate answering a question with a question but please allow me the exception here to start with. I'm assuming that you believe you do so you are simply more knowledgeable than the unwashed masses?

    (besides, I already answered this) Post 49.

  4. #54
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RStringfield View Post
    That's going to cause you trouble. Assuming that others are "programmed" or are "not thinking for themselves" will alienate them. I looked over your link and it mostly seems to be common sense stuff about how to manipulate people, e.g., avoid alienating them. Nothing revolutionary.
    "Scanned briefly" would have been a better descriptor. Tbe methods/techniques described on that site are the basis for a $10 billion dollar industry and are at the heart of every single political message we see.

    Did you see the article about how people universally believe that they are less susceptible to these techniques than "other people" are even though they are not?

    My method is to encourage people to become aware of this science, as much of it can be rendered less effective by simple exposure. Much like stage magic, once you know how the trick works, it doesn't fool you any longer.

    Thank you for another opportunity to inspire curiosity about this subject.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  5. #55
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    "Scanned briefly" would have been a better descriptor. Tbe methods/techniques described on that site are the basis for a $10 billion dollar industry and are at the heart of every single political message we see.
    Most of which are dismissed as nothing more than political mumbo jumbo.

  6. #56
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RStringfield View Post
    I agree, mostly, and would add that being obsessed with how others might be trying to manipulate you will turn you into a cynical prick, which really is not much better than being a manipulative prick. You have to let your guard down or nobody ever gets in and you become isolated and alone.

    I do think it is good to be aware of how you are vulnerable to manipulation, especially, when dealing with politicians, car salesman and other unscrupolous scumbags. The information on the site is all fairly well known, common sense stuff. I am a skeptic and read things written by skeptics on how to spot hokum. So, maybe, it is just that exposure that makes it seem rather mundane to me.
    That makes sense and means that my dismissal of your dismissal should be qualified appropriately. Most people are NOT aware of this science though, so I feel it important to bring it to the attention of as many as possible.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  7. #57
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpiher View Post
    Who said anything about encouraging it? The classic libertarian way of thinking is that you are allowed to hire and fire anyone at will for whatever reason, allowed to deny service to customers for any reason, etc. The government does not have that privileged. This is why a lot of libertarians do not like parts of the Civil Rights Act.
    You are talking about encouraging it by requiring disclosure. Your argument is akin to a state law that requires you to disclose your sexual preference and makes the data easily accessible. While SOME libertarians might believe that people should be free to discriminate in commercial activities, none of them would support the state encouraging it by forcing people to disclose their private information. Your argument fails, miserably.

    The reason requiring anonymity is not a plausible solution to the problem is because of the fact that there would be no way to prove that the law is being upheld. Becuase you donate on-line, if I really really wanted to, I could find out who you are donating too. The parties could just say "the candidate figured it out"
    There is no law that cannot be violated. That's just a worthless point.

    It is definitely plausible, with the use of electronic transactions to shield the donor from whoever receives the donation. You just setup accounts where the deposits are made directly by the donor and do not allow the recipient to know who donated. Yes, you could violate the law. So? You can violate the law on disclosure by simply using multiple proxies to donate smaller amounts or even just one proxy.



    You don't know much about modern propaganda and influencing thinking on a wide scale do you? Or are you one of those people that believe most people actually think critically about issues?
    Yeah, nobody thinks for themselves, except you. This sort of thinking actually make you more vulnerable to manipulation. The site actually touches on it. Maybe, you should look it over.
    Last edited by BayToBay; 07-02-11 at 01:46 PM.

  8. #58
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Perry View Post
    Most of which are dismissed as nothing more than political mumbo jumbo.
    $10 billion dollars a year, plus State department "public diplomacy" and military "psyops" and all the PR professionals in politics is "mumbo jumbo"?

    Seriously?
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  9. #59
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    $10 billion dollars a year, plus State department "public diplomacy" and military "psyops" and all the PR professionals in politics is "mumbo jumbo"?

    Seriously?
    Indeed there is (we'll use your figure) $10 billion spent to reach a relatively small number of people.

  10. #60
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    Re: Is Citizen's United et al (new rulings) compatible with democracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    "Scanned briefly" would have been a better descriptor. Tbe methods/techniques described on that site are the basis for a $10 billion dollar industry and are at the heart of every single political message we see.

    Did you see the article about how people universally believe that they are less susceptible to these techniques than "other people" are even though they are not?
    "Looked it over" or "scanned briefly" whichever you prefer is fine with me. I did not read everything on the site. I looked for new information and did not find any. I am a subscriber to the Skeptical Inquirer and read articles on this sort of thing regularly. So, it is kind of like preaching to the choir, but I am not one of the choir members that gets all excited about hearing the preacher reaffirm what I already know/believe week after week.

    No, I did not miss the thing about people believing they are less vulnerable. This is common in all subjects. For instance, as Ron Paul pointed out in the SC debate, most people defend drug laws on the basis that others (not them, but the unwashed ignorant masses) will be not be able to resist drugs if they are readily available.

    If it is impossible to avoid being vulenrable to manipulation then what is the point? I thought you were arguing that by exposing people to the techniques they are less vulnerable to manipulation? If that is true, then obviously, some people ARE less vulnerable to manipulation.

    I do agree that believing you are totally immune makes you more vulnerable. You have to almost constantly check yourself and not let ego or arrogance fool you into believing you are above it.

    I have also found that it is useful not to makew excuses for others who are manipulators, but do so for some interest you believe is right. That is, avoid the manipulators. We all tend to try to manipulate a little, but I mean when they do it consciously and without any bit of remorse. Those people should be avoided unless you want to end up being manipulated.

    My method is to encourage people to become aware of this science, as much of it can be rendered less effective by simple exposure. Much like stage magic, once you know how the trick works, it doesn't fool you any longer.

    Thank you for another opportunity to inspire curiosity about this subject.
    See above. Your statements are contradictory. Either some people are less vulnerable due to knowledge of how one can be manipulated or they are not.

    Also, it seems that you are the one who is certain that everybody else is just ignorant. It seems to me, that most people know that people are susceptible to manipulation. Their real error is in assuming that that knoweldge makes them special. It does not.

    Some of the most manipulative people I have known were otherwise idiots. They did not learn to manipulate from a book. They learned it through observation and, possibly, introspection. I think, every female on the planet knows that males can be manipulated fairly easily through sexual attention. I have certainly walked into that one a few times and I doubt there are many males that have not or are completly unaware of how it makes them vulnerable.

    The ones that really think they are above it all are almost invariably young douchebags who lack the experience of being manipulated. Young people tend to think their epiphanies are revolutionary instead of rather mundane and boring to anyone that has been around the block once or twice. Older people tend to be a little more cynical and weary of others, but I don't really think that is all good. It inspires bitterness and fear which can actually make you more vulnerable to manipulation.

    I prefer to be aware but open. That is, I am aware of how others might try to manipulate me. But I refuse to build a wall around myself. A few dicks might take advantage of it, but at least I won't be constantly turning away people who sincerely want to be friends. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

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