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I don't think humans are political in the sense it's usually meant.

The real issue with politics, business, and economics is that they're simple - but somewhat disguised - instantiations of competitive Darwinian self-interest.

And that's all they are.

So there's no rational logic to any of them. They're simply action reduced to the human version of animal instinct, hidden under various layers of misdirection.

You can't expect a herd with a few alphas battling it out for resource control to act rationally. The big lie of politics, business and economics is the nonsensical suggestion that animal self-interest is the definition of rationality, when in fact it's its opposite.

But as individuals and collectively, we are capable of assessing, planning and acting in truly rational ways that aren't limited to simple animal brutality.

So the challenge is to make politics more human, and to move it past the stage of dumb animal self-interest - not just sporadically, as has happened in the past, but consistently and institutionally.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 13th, 2013 at 10:32:42 AM EST
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(h/t LeftyMathProf)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 13th, 2013 at 12:23:49 PM EST
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Every corporation is a hierarchy, with shareholder's interests at the top. How do we move those pyramids?
by das monde on Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 03:42:14 AM EST
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Redefine their role in law as suggested by about 10 gazillion business academics. There's lots of perfectly reasonable work on fixing problems with corporate governance, much of it championed (ostensibly at least) by the assorted accounting and management bodies, but not transposed into law.

The core problem is that under US law (in particular) the sole responsibility of a public corporation is to maximise shareholder returns (barely) within the law. And that shareholders will successfully litigate the living fuck out of the directors personally if they can figure out a way you haven't done that.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 03:57:49 AM EST
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Thanks to Milton Friedman, I heard. Was the US corporate law the same before the 70-80s? So how would you convince hardcore shareholders to relax their positions? Or defeat them?
by das monde on Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 04:34:38 AM EST
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I'm fuzzy on the process: i'm not sure if it was judicial activism or legal changes.

You change the law so that directors can't be held hostage by possible shareholder action or use it as an excuse. And you regulate more. And change the tax laws where they're unfairly being taken advantage of.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 04:44:10 AM EST
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But first we get TPP, TTIP...
by das monde on Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 12:23:41 PM EST
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Which on the political side, are comparable to environmental disaster. Why shouldn't we throw accountability out the window, to be decided by the next round of corporate courts?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Nov 15th, 2013 at 12:06:43 AM EST
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Meidner plan was an interesting idea: progressively making worker unions as shareholders. The corporatists were quick to deflect it.  (H/T Talos)
by das monde on Fri Nov 15th, 2013 at 08:00:29 AM EST
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