Mëds wrote: ↑Wed Aug 03, 2022 5:39 pm
donlever wrote: ↑Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:35 am
My Spideysense says control.
Yep. The other reason UW suggests (not saying he subscribes to it) doesn’t actually make sense…..to anyone with common sense.
Everything Jr. has done since he took office has been about control. Sometimes I wish we were a bit more Sri Lankan at times in this country of ours….
Well, Mëds, I do lean "control" -- if not as a dominant motivation for each of the actors, a dominant motivation of system dynamics because those insisting on control who are willing to use powerful tools to maintain it (co-opt the professional boards, create a shaming culture towards dissent (or just ban or shadow ban it) as opposed to engaging it on the merits, seize a few bank accounts....) will "persuade" people who are in the middle or indifferent or who lean towards "action" for other reasons and with the presence of the "control" actors deploying strong strategies now have a strong incentive to go along.
Having said that, the idea that a politician or bureaucrat would "do something" in the face of an intractable problem (as opposed to do nothing recognizing actions won't have a meaningful impact on the problem) primarily for the purpose of being seen to be doing something about the problem makes perfect sense as a short term strategy when you have an office of public accountability. Because bad things will happen, and inaction makes you a target for blame whereas action allows you to say "it could have been much worse". And its really hard stuff for the citizenry to unpack, especially if the marketplace of ideas is getting fucked with.
There's a third explanation, too, I suppose. And that's that both the politicians and the technocrats suffer from path dependency, the sunk costs heuristic, and a sort of anchoring bias. Let's take the last one -- the idea is simply that the first information you hear takes on greater weight than subsequent information. Add to that the fact that new information might contradict (instead of simply confound) old information and the person has to admit error. That's hard, and a person will fight coming to the conclusion that they were wrong, not as a matter of gaslighting or malevolence, but simply because admitting error goes against instinct and is hard. In battles of pure science where there are competing hypothesis to explain a phenomena and some early research that might be used to support both schools of thought, if the data starts showing Hypothesis A is likely true and Hypothesis B is most surely false it takes a long time for the proponents of Hypothesis B to ever change their minds. Paradigm shifts often take many years to take hold as the dominant view; data regarding covid, its treatment, and the effectiveness of public health policies, etc., its both new and evolving. There hasn't been time for people to allow new data to overcome developed positions.
But let's get to control. 5th says "to what end." And that is exactly the thought I had. But 5th, you seem to think that fact this is a question means that control isn't a solid theory. Personally, I think Jr. believes strongly in state control for very traditional far left wing reasons, though I offer that thought humbly and tentatively as only an "hono_rary Canadian" who gets exposed almost only to the worst of him (that's the nature of "news"). To someone like that, control is valued as a mechanism for bringing about future change, and building the apparatus that can be deployed in the future to address a "crisis" in the present is a tactic as old as time. But Jr. isn't everyone exercising control.
There's a part of me that think government (particularly though not exclusively left of center governments and particularly though not exclusively "public health" technocrats) desire control for its own sake. Like a chiropractor sees cures in everything by doing chioropractry things government cures everything by exercising its sole unique domain -- lawful coercion. Whatever the problem, more control fixes it, that brain thinks. Sometimes it might be right, often it is not. It can't always be right due to the simple fact that there are always problems and humans can't be fixed like machines. But the "control" brain defaults to "we will fix as much as we can, because that's what we do."
The purposeful exercise of control (to bring about a communist state, to end global warming, etc.) is more rational insofar as we can understand it better. X leads to Y. And it can be far worse. See 20th c. The good thing is that because its rational, there's still a domain to counter that rationality with competing thoughts and ideas. You can argue X doesn't lead to Y. You can argue that Y isn't something to value. You can argue that X also leads to Z, which is undesirable. You can argue that X isn't consistent with Y and the ends can't justify means.
But control for its own sake, while likely less prone to catastrophic effect, is also a little harder to counter because (if my hypothesis is correct) it is something that's baked into the modern state with all of its "complexities" to be addressed by "experts." To be sure, some of these arguments are available, but institutional biases are quite strong, rarely perceived by the practitioners themselves, and might themselves be a necessary side effect of a complex state. At least to a certain degree.