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 Progressive Democrats; About Us

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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:30 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Focusing on an issue or two would be a good direction for any of the parties but you need to get your heads seen above the parapet. Maybe you'll be lucky and people won't shoot at you but instead give you a few votes. Few of the other parties are doing this though I feel that Fine Gael in trying to go for the throat of the HSE (news of it about to be split - anyone know anything?) is a good move for them... The Green Party I wish would go after Education and Social Justice but definitely ye need in the PDs to try to pull yourselves up by the bootstraps now and an issue might be no harm to focus on.

(only good can come of it, even if it doesn't work for ye)

I heard a presentation lately about how Economies typically see Social Justice as a benefit of economic prosperity, not as something in itself to aim for. To some point I agree it has to be like this but only up to some point; I think now is the time for us to pursue Social Justice as an end in itself for this reason: the future will mean scarcities in many things - food oil water but aren't we forgetting that there will too be a scarcity of professionals with skills? At present we have a 25% rate of functional illiteracy and still plenty of the type of thing that is going on in Limerick, in Moy Ross.

So, how does the PD philosophy fit things like Social Justice into its World View? And do ye talk about these grand things at meetings and one to one etc?

I don't think there are many countries where a discussion like this could take place because most party politics is based more definitely on the interests of the different social classes. The idea seems to be that parties share out the various aspects of governance and get elected if their number comes up - if the people care most about "their" issue. Underlying this is surely the belief that the parties are virtually identical in ethos and intention.

While this might be true of FF, FG, SF and Labour, the PDs distinctly claimed the right-wing, Thatcherite, free market ground from the start and have stood clearly enough for low taxation and privatisation, with minimised social services. I think the reason why their Party has dwindled to near nothing is because FF, with the spoils of the boom to distribute to pacify any opposition, have been perfectly happy to implement PD policies themselves. The boom allowed FF to appear to be all things to all people.

Now that hard choices have to be made they may strategically not try too hard to win the next election, and let FG come in with their old axe sharpened up and do the dirty work for them for a while.
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:48 pm

So you're saying cactus that the line that parties take is: get the economy running excellently first and then let social justice flow naturally from that ?

I'd say there is a few fundamental problems with that picture, not the least being based around your reference to squandering a boom - people get greedy and issues revolving around social justice get brushed under the rag rugs during a boom.
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:08 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
So you're saying cactus that the line that parties take is: get the economy running excellently first and then let social justice flow naturally from that ?

I'd say there is a few fundamental problems with that picture, not the least being based around your reference to squandering a boom - people get greedy and issues revolving around social justice get brushed under the rag rugs during a boom.

I'm not as au-fait with the term Social Justice as you seem to be. From what you have posted it would seem that you equate social justice with economic justice. ie everyone gets a fair share of the financial pie.

I would have thought Social justice was more about, well, social issues.
Individual freedoms, privacy, family law, criminal law, health, environment, the right to a hospital bed, the right to a clean living environment, the right to unpoluted rivers, lakes and seas.
Are these not the issues of social justice?

Economic justice, the right to a job, a home, social welfare, be a member of a Trades Union and such like are a different arguement in my opinion.

I may be wrong but they are different issues.
Its a bit confusing sometimes. Is the right to a job the same as a right to work?
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:31 pm

Right let's put it up on the table . It's the laziest way to do it I know but wikipedia indicates that meanings for the term social justice are not clear and can be employed by both right and left in their own ways. The right makes the assumption that the free market will generate a just society once it's allowed to work properly; while the left sees Social Justice as an aim in itself to be aspired to.

So what is it?

In fairness the term can have very subjective interpretations - what is a Just society? Is it purely a fair share of the spoils that the international Production Machine generates as surplus? Is it the right to a place to live, adequate clothing, food and water etc.? Can it be purely a material-focused idea or is there a lot more? Should it be about the right of the individual to develop in a society rather than as an individual?

This is harder than I thought Shocked

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:47 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Right let's put it up on the table . It's the laziest way to do it I know but wikipedia indicates that meanings for the term social justice are not clear and can be employed by both right and left in their own ways. The right makes the assumption that the free market will generate a just society once it's allowed to work properly; while the left sees Social Justice as an aim in itself to be aspired to.

So what is it?

In fairness the term can have very subjective interpretations - what is a Just society? Is it purely a fair share of the spoils that the international Production Machine generates as surplus? Is it the right to a place to live, adequate clothing, food and water etc.? Can it be purely a material-focused idea or is there a lot more? Should it be about the right of the individual to develop in a society rather than as an individual?

This is harder than I thought Shocked

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice[/quote[/url]]

Sorry to go off thread - but is the site a bit wonky ? Or is it ok on Firefox.
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:13 am

How is it wonky for you? It's fine for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:18 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
How is it wonky for you? It's fine for me.

The latest discussions list has gone like a piece of spaghetti, only one or two words a line.
It still works though.
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:27 am

Auditor #9 wrote:


This is harder than I thought Shocked

And no votes in it either. Smile

I would be of the opinion that a "just society" is the goal and that capitalism is the means to that end.

But even I would admit that the second half of the 20th century, which was the century of socialism, was a success for millions.

I think more happened for the common man in that century than in the last 20 centuries combined and all this because we, as a society, put the common man at the centre of our society rather than, kings, religion, war or, indeed, profit purely for profits sake.

Capitalism is still alive and well but it works for a different master.
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:38 am

Johnny Keogh wrote:

I would be of the opinion that a "just society" is the goal and that capitalism is the means to that end.

But even I would admit that the second half of the 20th century, which was the century of socialism, was a success for millions.

I think more happened for the common man in that century than in the last 20 centuries combined and all this because we, as a society, put the common man at the centre of our society rather than, kings, religion, war or, indeed, profit purely for profits sake.

Capitalism is still alive and well but it works for a different master.
The use of machines and the employment of science were instrumental in that huge paradigm shift which still continues up to a point. Capitalism itself is a blind machine as it doesn't take time into account very well . It's all well to profit from a housing boom now but what about after it cools down ? Time is unfortunately ignored in the system of capitalism - it's a short-term philosophy and doesn't either take into account the deterioration of the environment or Value in our people and goods. The thing called Quality just about makes it in there and quality is very important..
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:51 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
The use of machines and the employment of science were instrumental in that huge paradigm shift which still continues up to a point. Capitalism itself is a blind machine as it doesn't take time into account very well .

The question is would machines and science have evolved without the massive injection of "capital" to fund research.

Capitalism is blind, as you rightly say, because capitalism is only a tool, the means to an end; Social Justice.

One of the issues that has always puzzled me about Communism is this; where's the motivation?
With Capitalism it's obvious.
I'm a P.Democrat because I sincerely beleive that money is the greatest motivation known to man.
It will motivate him to acheive almost anything. all we have to do as a society is channel that motivation towards a just and tolerant society where we all live in peace and free from fear of war and hunger.
Afetr Russia and China abandonded Communism. their economies leapt forward and carried quite alot, not all, but a lot of people with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:22 am

I agree that Capitalism is a good tool and mechanism and many other things and I also agree that Communism lacks the spirit of achieving which gives Capitalist societies their variety. I believe we should use Capitalism though so I am putting a higher entity above that - maybe it's parliamentary democracy which governs capitalism or maybe another system or even a culture but I think there are other motivations than money at the hearts of people - I think there are strong motivations for growth and development and involvement and community - but I don't at all believe that a system run solely using capitalism as its unique tool or mechanism will add to a just, equitable and sustainable society - Capitalism has to be seen as a tool, as an instrument only. There is a bigger picture in the background..
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:03 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
- I think there are strong motivations for growth and development and involvement and community -

I agree. I spent most of today filing about 42 bags of rubbish with a few other community activists from my area (www.donabatetidytowns.blogspot.com/) and most of last week running a Community games event (www.donabatebasketball.blogspot.com/).

Nobody except a few of us lunatics is interested in doing Free Community work. I'm a community activist and my collegues are similar. I meet plenty of people who are members of "Committees" but very few who are "activists".

This is, in my opinion, society at its most effective; when we choose to do something for others and for the benefit of our communities without pay or recompense.

Neither capitalism nor communism have cracked that nut yet. if i had a wish for the coming year,it would be for my party to take up this policy and turn it into a national movement.
To hell with politics; this is what we should be all about.
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Democrats; About Us   Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:00 pm

Johnny Keogh wrote:
Neither capitalism nor communism have cracked that nut yet. if i had a wish for the coming year,it would be for my party to take up this policy and turn it into a national movement.
To hell with politics; this is what we should be all about.
Thanks for those links. When you're younger and a child you have a more open view of what is a community - you don't see fences between properties, you can run away from cows quickly, you are more daring so your world is much bigger.

As you get older your world really shrinks though you see more of it. Your post above reminded me somehow of the writing (the bits I've read) of the conservationist Aldo Leopold
http://gargravarr.cc.utexas.edu/chrisj/leopold-quotes.html#wolf

Is community work and local activism a strong element of the PD philosophy then?
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