Sunday, October 2, 2011

Agenda politics: How real is it?

Andrew D Atkin:

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.

Franklin D. Roosevelt.


The non-politicised academic world knows exactly what policies do and don't work, and they know exactly how market economies work and where their problems are, and how to deal with them. They know how to achieve real economic development and with egalitarian effect (no poverty). We've done it all before and the dynamics of recent histories are not ambiguous. So what's really going on? Why do we willfully insist on destructive policies? Are we being played for fools?


If we were cool-headed people wanting to develop public policy, then our starting point for any given policy would simply be the objective. As scientifically minded people we would have (or should have) made no religion out of any given ideological method. We would have been trained into looking at all public policy from a boringly matter of fact position, whereby our conclusions are derived from best research and reason, and not empty impressionistic opinions.

So, if our objective was, say, affordable housing, then we would study relevant histories to see what policy works best for that given objective, while also developing a critical understanding of why those given policies had worked well so we can then know how to apply them, or not, or modify them for our specific context. You know...boring, sensible, reasonable policy development. No bull**t. Just reason and realism. No childish debates. Just intelligent discussions.

Now shouldn't it be obvious to everyone that this is how policy development should work? Making love to ideologies without a willingness to test or reconsider them is for nit-wits. Right? Of course.

Even still, we seem to have created this political culture where everyone is conditioned into having a "team-A versus Team-B" relationship with public policy, and entire political parties for that matter. We link our ideas to our ego's and expect others to do likewise, when really we should be demanding intelligence. We also have the media feeding this relationship with an Oprah Winfrey style presentation of issues, where they could otherwise have provided a format for real understanding.

None of this is conducive to a culture of scientifically derived public policy.

What the conspiracy theorists and some analysts say:

Agenda politics is supported by what I would describe as scientific policy development. That is, the agenda (or objective) is the focus - not an ideological belief in any given policy method for its own sake. When the agenda is the strict focus policies would be predictably developed from an intelligent and matter of fact position, like I argued they should be in the beginning of this post.

Now the conspiracy theorists (and I don't know if that's a fair or exclusive definition for the club I'm referring to) have been saying that the entire world is run by agenda politics, and the 'agenda people' do indeed develop their policies scientifically, and with the same kind of direct objectivity that you would expect from the military. And they will tell you that the ideology show presented to the public is nothing more than a massive perception-management exercise with the purpose of providing to the public ideological rationalisations for policy that is, in truth, scientifically derived. The idea is that those false rationalisations are necessary so as to ensure people do not come to understand how and why they are being manipulated/managed, as that would naturally contradict top-down control. Especially of course if people don't agree with where they're being led.

Crazy idea? But why should it be. How many people in the political world cannot understand the obvious importance and desirability of developing policy from a scientific position? And why on earth would the UN (and the UN is a powerful driver for public policy, world over) recommend policies to nations that have not first been exhaustively long-term modelled? Don't tell me they can't afford it and it can't be done. Nobody just guesses about policy when they don't need to. (That's the point!).

Behind our politicians must be a force that represents agenda politics. This is the most reasonable assumption I believe we can make. If money rules the world (yes it does) then I cannot see how money would tolerate the petty world of opinionated politics. The money people will have an agenda, be what it may, and that agenda would surely employ people to find the right policies that have the right effects to reach the specific objectives in service of the people who have the most power (money).

So again, the idea that the real world of politics is driven by mindless ideology ahead of science is to me a bit far-fetched. Not enough people are that stupid. Demanding objective research is the most obvious and simple thing we can do, so surely it would be done?*

The curious Alan Watt has asserted that someone somewhere high in the United Nations (I can't remember the quoted name) once openly stated that there was both an official and real reason for every given policy that the UN pushes. He has also claimed that the people who really control national governments are the politicians advisor's, not the politicians themselves, and it is the advisor's who know what's really going on and what the real objectives behind the implemented policies are.

This could make sense, because if politicians are the frontline of a (supposed) propaganda machine then they would obviously be most effective (and reliable) in their role if they were to believe in their own nonsense. But regardless, with the effective compartmentalisation of power (like in the military) only a minimal level of propaganda would be required to achieve a political world of penetrating and scientifically directed top-down control. If people inside the system simply don't know enough to challenge a given policy position, then generally they won't. They will just take it on faith that the ordered changes are the right thing to do, as they do.

Maybe the best question the public can ask politicians, or whoever is advising or controlling them, is simply: "How did you derive this policy position? Where is the research and long-term modelling behind it of which I expect you to have done?"

But then, finally, if we are operating on Agenda politics, then that means we are being directed. And if so then where, exactly, are we being taken to?


*Note: Real research is not to be confused with political research. What I mean by political research is the scenario where vested interests pay a research body to "prove" a pre-desired conclusion, as opposed to just seeking the truth. That is, where researchers operate like lawyers trying to prove their case, rather than judges trying to objectively determine the truth. I believe that the IPCC is clear example of political (propaganda) research.

-Relating to my affordable housing scenario, Phil McDermott provides an excellent example of real research.


Addition: 27-4-2012: Ancient Agenda?

There is the argument that the world is being run by an "ancient" agenda, where we have locked-in foundations driving the world to an essentially predetermined script, utilising vast resources to that end, and backed by old institutional/monetary powers - be what they may. I have no idea if this is actually true (that is, a static agenda), but to me it is the scariest of thoughts.

Personally I can accept and respect the idea/need for some agenda politics ruling the world, but what I cannot accept is the idea that the central agenda is not living. If we are to be run by agenda politics then that agenda, be what it may, should be open to philosophical challenge and development.

Easy stability via dogmatic adherence to an in-stone agenda should not be tolerated by anyone, because a "stoneified" global agenda is madness. It reduces every human being to the status of a goon, no matter how high up the power-hierarchy they might be. We become worshipers of what is basically a machine. The human mind, obviously, should always be at the top.

I write in relation to this concern here.


Some other posts relating to this insight:

Time to put away your faith: The government is not your friend.

Agenda22: A personal wishlist for human-social evolution.

Operation population control?

Confessions of a political dominatrix wannabe.

A kind of WW3: Human management Versus individual liberty.


  1. Andrew, don't underestimate the incredible power of stupidity. I think stupidity could exist at the very top of all hierarchies. A person who chooses to put money and power ahead of happiness has already proved that he/she is incapable of rational thought. Political intellectuals tend to limit their understanding to the things that SEEM to work in their favour. It's called neurotic bias, and it exists in almost every human being. No act of will can eliminate this bias. Even Einstein was biased. He couldn't recognise some of his own errors which were obvious to his peers.
    If the powers that be are deliberately and harmfully disrupting economic growth, that, in itself, is proof of biased irrational thinking. If they believe widespread human suffering is a necessity, then they are capable of believing anything.
    Any RATIONAL person could apply sound techniques for improving the economies of all countries without ever resorting to mass-murder. Where are those rational people? Do they work in conspiracy theorist radio stations? Do they work in minor political parties? Do they work in vegetable gardens in Fiji?
    If we want to improve the world, we must recognise the difference between biased and rational ideas. We can't do that. Virtually every one of us is biased. This website is biased. There is only one solution; The Janov Solution. We must get rid of the bias.

    Oooooh yeeeaaahhh. Go Ricki. Go Ricki.

  2. Richard,

    I agree that bias exists with everyone on some level to some degree. But what level?

    An engineer can build a perfect rail system from a position of total objectivity for Auckland city, yet at the same time be completely incapable of asking the question as to whether he SHOULD be building a rail system for Auckland.

    No doubt you can have a super hierarchy of people who are excruciatingly realistic about what is and isn't required to manage the world via Agenda politics, while at the same time being quite unrealistic about what their agenda should actually be (I write about that in my 'Agenda-22' post, linked above).

    So yes, public politicians might be unrealistic tossers at base, but for all we know that might be the very reason *why* they were empowered to become politicians in the first place(?) ie. Tools. Indeed, I've often noticed how the best politicians seem to get sidelined.

    And I write about this 'tool' principle here too: