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  • Mark 6:48 am on October 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , depoliticisation, , ,   

    The outlook of the digital technocrat 

    From Automating Inequality by Virgina Eubanks pg 123-124:

    The proponents of the coordinated entry system, like many who seek to harness computational power for social justice, tend to find affinity with systems engineering approaches to social problems. These perspectives assume that complex controversies can be solved by getting correct information where it needs to go as efficiently as possible. In this model, political conflict arises primarily from a lack of information. If we just gather all the facts, systems engineers assume, the correct answers to intractable policy problems like homelessness will be simple, uncontroversial, and widely shared. But, for better or worse, this is not how politics work. Political contests are more than informational; they are about values, group membership, and balancing conflicting interests. The poor and working-class residents of Skid Row and South LA want affordable housing and available services. The Downtown Central Business Improvement District wants tourist-friendly streets. The new urban pioneers want both edgy grit and a Whole Foods. The city wants to clear the streets of encampments. While Los Angeles residents have agreed to pay a little more to address the problem, many don’t want unhoused people moving next door. And they don’t want to spend the kind of money it would take to really solve the housing crisis. These are deeply conflicting visions for the future of Los Angeles. Having more information won’t necessarily resolve them.

  • Mark 12:00 pm on June 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , depoliticisation, , financial system, , IMF, ,   

    Institutionalised depoliticisation at the IMF  

    From No Such Thing as a Free Gift, by Linsey McGoey, loc 2771:

    The tendency for political objectives to drive economic decisions –which are then propagated as purely technical policies geared at improving economic growth –is a well-known operating principle within the IMF. The late economist Jacques Polak, a former IMF director of research and one of the longest serving staffers –the IMF honoured him after his death by naming its annual research conference after him –once put it bluntly. ‘The proprieties of the Fund’, he said, ‘contain an unwritten rule that, if at all possible, political arguments be dressed up in economic garb’.

  • Mark 8:21 am on March 27, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: depoliticisation, , , , , primaries,   

    How depoliticisation and political polarisation co-exist in American politics  

    From The Deep State, by Mike Lofgren, pg 231. This strikes me as a really important point: politicians are insulated from external pressures while nonetheless having their behaviour shaped all the more by internal pressures, driving a political polarisation which can seem prima facie like the intensification of politicisation rather than its diminuation:

    Thanks to the scientific gerrymandering of House districts and the voluntary “social sorting” of people with similar political beliefs into the same zip codes, incumbents are roughly 96 percent safe in general elections. So it is highly unlikely that a Tea Party Republican will ever be defeated by a Democratic candidate in the general election. The Economist has pointed out that House members, both Democratic and Republican, are safer in their districts than the crowned heads of the European monarchies, who have had a higher rate of turnover through death or abdication. The only threat to an incumbent Republican is a primary challenger who stands even further to the right. Thus has ideology replaced money, by no means in all races, but in the contests for a crucial fifty or sixty seats in the House of Representatives.

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