Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Democracy Market

I was reading this article about the primary election in North Carolina today when I came across this lovely passage:

"The key will be the Raleigh-Durham market," Jackson said. It usually makes up between a quarter and a third of the overall turnout vote. "If that is creeping up to 40 percent that spells good news for Obama," he said.

No longer are the politicos pretending that population centers are composed of citizens or even simply voters. No, now we Americans are organized in "markets." It is clear that the Clinton and Bush years of deregulation and economic warfare against the poor and other disenfranchised groups has reached its logical acme. We are not individuals, we are not citizens, we aren't even politically organized, we are simply a "market" for selling candidates.

I've always been rather hateful of the marketing industry, with good reason it seems. From the days of women's suffrage to modern times marketing preys on people's insecurities and expectations of the world to convince them to buy things they most likely don't need. To extend that to marketing presidential candidates is the logical next step, especially given that there is so little difference between the two major democratic candidates. Both have environmental plans that are based on craptastic cap and trade schemes, again with the market. Both have similar "market based" health insurance plans.

Blah, blah, blah. That's all I hear these days.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Free Will

I'm a skeptic about free will. I must say that I want to believe in free will, it seems a good thing, though I suspect I have little choice but to believe that. What it comes down to for me is that free will seems not to have any sort of mechanism that could give rise to it. If one rejects the idea of the immaterial giving rise to the material then one would have to reject the idea that a free will, which is necessarily immaterial, could cause one's body to do something. How can my will *cause* anything?