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"Slow Politics"

Complete this sentence:

Just like "Slow Food" is about "good, clean, and fair" food that reclaims the sense of taste ("pleasure") from the corporate food chain, "Slow Politics" is ___________________________________.

Hey, I'm just a phrase coiner, not a political scientist! But as soon as "slow politics" rolled off my keyboard, I thought, Hey! That might actually mean something!

Damned if I know what, though. Readers?

NOTE I can think of one operational test though: Appearing on the teebee is a FAIL. No ads, no stories, no talking heads, no nothing. Maybe late night public access, and probably not even that.

UPDATE This poem about "vegetable love... vaster than empires / and more slow" also comes to mind...

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Submitted by lambert on

... over power.

Whoa! Too meta? Then again, as Madison said: "If men were angels...."

UPDATE However, I'm a believer in looking to success for lessons in how to succeed, and there's no question that institutionally, AA is a huge, and rhizomic success. Perhaps "Carry this message to others in all our affairs...." has something to do with that.... Yes, I know, "Higher Power." And I agree, admitting we're powerless over power to a Higher Power is a just a little bit meta. Nevertheless, surely it is true that all the systems that are accessible to us are components of larger systems ("if you are squeamish, don't prod the beach rubble." Or the sky...). That seems to be unexceptionable. And do note "higher" and not "highest" -- "which we choose to call" Foo, a metasyntactic variable... Not a bad idea, actually.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

That helps the people reclaim power from the oligarchy/patriarchy.

Is that what you mean by slow politics?

Submitted by weldon on

"... the leisurely journey of all ideals to beyond the event horizon."

Submitted by SophieCT on

Slow politics is such a perfect idea that I had to come out of lurking mode and get an account here!

The slow food movement began as a protest of the opening of a McDonalds in Rome. The idea is to

  • prepare food from scratch--real food that you know is real because it came from a small family farm,
  • that isn't laden with pesticides and fertilizers,
  • that came from a real seed that occurs naturally in nature.
  • Once prepared, the meal is enjoyed slowly with friends and family.

Compare that to our current political system of factory-farmed GMO candidates complete with astroturf'd supporters. Instead of the two corporate-created species, I'd like to see us start re-cultivating the heirloom varieties. I think those correlate to your C and D blogs. Like food, those species lack any taste or texture. They simply ship well in a box and retain their shape on the supermarket shelves.

Submitted by lambert on

And so powerfully.

Note that there is a sophisticated critique by both Arthur and Jack Crow on power. As Jack Crow says, "Power is power over...." And as Madison Federalist 51:

But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

This policy of supplying, by opposite and rival interests, the defect of better motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, private as well as public. We see it particularly displayed in all the subordinate distributions of power, where the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other -- that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights. These inventions of prudence cannot be less requisite in the distribution of the supreme powers of the State.

In other words, even though it's fun to think of FDR as an heirloom tomato, people are more complicated....

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

It must be rooted in values (I'd propose truthfulness, fairness, and empathy) and thoughtful policy goals.

It must prize ideals, not savvy and raw power.

It must be deeply skeptical of insider truisms about the art of the possible.

It must eschew cynicism about "purism," rather it should facilitate the march toward fulfilling ideals and long-term goals.

It must be scrupulous about avoiding tribalism and groupthink.

It mustn't shirk from truths that are unflattering to its own heroes, leaders, organizations, campaigns, prior statements, and so forth.

It must be wary of kabuki goals, flash-in-the-pan heroes, self-serving access and fundraising, and otherwise mistaking activity and buzz for achievement.

It mustn't squander its energies -- or sully its integrity -- with flogging irrelevant boogeymen and -women.

It must be above judging or attacking (or staying silent while others do so) anyone on the basis of such attributes as gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, weight, appearance, or socio-economic status.

It must have a conscience that itches when a wilding is taking place, even if it's directed at someone or some group unliked by one's peers (or even by oneself).

It must have horse-sense (pony sense?) that itches when a new messiah or a magic bullet becomes all the rage.

Zero's picture
Submitted by Zero on

Small ball in baseball is teams that chip away with, singles, sacrifices and base running as opposed to teams that swing for the fences.

Supporting candidates who are not corporate owned. Politicians who truly get their money from the people (small donors). Or maybe fund raising not being the prime determining factor of who is and is not a viable candidate? People/policies that break the legacy two party stranglehold on politics?

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

I have to say this: I am a Green, and I will not accept donations from corporations or PACs, (even sympathetic ones like unions), because the party has a strong position on the funding of our politics, and you can't change the system if you are engaging in the behavior you want to change. Limiting myself to that kind of contribution, by definition, makes my campaign slow and small. BUT...there have been many documented cases of under-dog opponents, with a true populist message, that have won their races, and the common denominatior in all of them is "boots on the ground". A door-to-door effort by the candidates and volunteers to engage with and discuss the situations of the day. I think that also defines "small" politics..the face-to-face encounter, rather than some anonymous literature, or slick, over-produced ads. However, at the same time, I do need name recognition, and that takes a certain amount of media. Electronic media is great, but without paid staff, it's all up to me to write/produce/post/print (or have printed), and that is also "slow and small", but carries a heavy penalty vs my opponents funded by the legacy parties. The only way I can think of to overcome this, is keep chipping away, do my best, and count on many "small" people to get involved and carry the message.

Submitted by Anne on

about citizen-driven and -funded electoral choices that, once elected, retain their connection to the people for the duration of the term.

Gotta get the corporate money out of the electoral process. Period.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

If organic farming is the natural way, shouldn't organic produce just be called "produce" and make the pesticide-laden stuff take the burden of an adjective? ~Ymber Delecto

We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
J. R. R. Tolkien

Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it.
Lao Tzu

“If a pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm” Arab proverb

Some consultants are like the bottom half of a double boiler: They get all heated up but don't know what's cooking.”

Too many people work up a head of steam before they find out what's cooking”

Cooking should be a carefully balanced reflection of all the good things of the earth."
Jean & Pierre Troisgros

Submitted by lambert on

... since storming the field didn't seem particularly effective.

Submitted by lambert on

I'd need to know a lot more. The Red Shirt/Yellow Shirt events in Thailand, and MsExPat's coverage of them, really convinced me of the need to understand the ground before imposing my own "frames" on events in different cultures and countries. Slow, eh?