Time to admit: U.S. polit powers might be in typical,if not unique, type echo chamber-Halts Progress

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tstorm823:

Phantom Kat:

Wait wait, so how are New Zealanders and Americans the same?

In almost every possible way. People are people. Most governments are doing mostly the same thing. I'm not saying that New Zealanders and Americans are identical in every way. I'm saying that when someone says "New Zealand is just so laid back compared to America" it doesn't actually mean anything. It's hardly true, only a thing because people keep claiming it over and over, and isn't actually really a difference in the first place.

I'd disagree though it's more because there's a lot less problems that would affect New Zealand. New Zealand's a group of small islands with like 4.5 million people, in the middle of no where. It's the equivalent of living on a farm compared with living in the city. There's just not all that much going on worth caring about. There also isn't a constitution like the USA's, which (as far as I'm aware) plays an important role in American politics.

Nil Kafashle:

This really isn't a contentious issue. I've already provided an overview of the Nazi economy before so I'm merely going to repost that.

the Nazi economy was characterised by close cooperation between the state and leading industrialists with state's primary function in industry merely being the suppression of organised labour. Under Hjalmar Schacht the Nazi economy was largely similar to many parts of Europe at the time with an emphasis on high public spending and large deficits. In 1937 power shifted to Göring and now the Nazi economy was being shifted to operating as a war economy which sustained itself by having the private economy controlled by price, wage and financial controls. Similar measures would actually be introduced, except at a far greater scale in the U.K in the lead up and duration of WWII.

I'm quite certain the Nazi policy on private property was "you can have private property as long as ou use it for things we like" which really doesn't count. The wikipedia article on nazis has an entire section labelled "anti-capitalism." They quote Nazi propaganda saying "The maintenance of a rotten industrial system has nothing to do with nationalism. I can love Germany and hate capitalism." They summerize part of Mein Kompf as Hitler saying "the only means to maintain economic security was to have direct control over resources." You're trying to claim Nazi Germany was capitalist because instead of using a direct command economy, they just put economic controls on literally every aspect of trade and enforced unfair advantages for select individuals. The only characteristic Nazi Germany shares with capitalism is they used money to buy things, and that's true of almost every economic system in human history. You're just wrong, that's all I can really say here.

jamail77:

dyre:

Well, most Americans have a political persuasion of some sort. It's just absurd to notice the flaws of three guys at a dinner table and then superimpose that onto all Republicans/Democrats, or that intellectual circle jerking is somehow unique to Americans.

As we discussed earlier, it exists to some degree in all political groups, but it's incorrect to claim that our "culture as a whole" is an echo chamber (though I'm sure the media wishes it that way).

I already covered this in a response to someone else. I only used that dinner table as an example to phrase the question because it centers the point home and it is what got me thinking about this in the first place. It's not so much me superimposing them as it being an analogy of a larger problem I feel like I notice, not just in news or Internet comments but among everyday people including people I know and stories covered on real life events. I could very well be wrong. The effect feels so palpable to me though that it's hard for me to accept it's something else that is wrong and/or a more serious problem.

hmm, I think the whole disagreement boils down to this: in your personal experience / interactions with people, you see this problem to such a great degree that you suspect that it may be a problem with America as a whole, whereas in my personal experiences, I do not feel that the problem exists to such a high degree as to suspect a culture-wide issue. Would you say that's a fair summary?

If so, I guess there's not much either of us can do to convince the other. Though, let me just end with one note: for the US, "culture" is a near meaningless term because our society is very heterogeneous. You may be right that the local culture of your region/state/county has an echo chamber problem, but drive one hundred miles in any direction and you may find that the people there are much more open-minded.

AgedGrunt:
Nations with State media don't let crony corporations tell their people what to believe, makes it hard for governments to do that.

Laugh if you want. I'm just stating facts. Specialisation is built into, and is one of the aims and best features of, free markets. It is what allows the high efficiency and low production costs that makes them so appealing.

That's why there's hundreds and hundreds of TV channels but you're only ever watching a few that show what you want to watch. Why would a channel show a spread of different shows when it can be a channel devoted entirely to comedy, or entirely to documentaries, or entirely to news, and make far more money?

Specialise into catering to a more specific demand, and you make more money than if you generalise.

The same applies to radio, magazines, papers, and websites.

Because of this, and advancing technology lowering production costs, it is has become more profitable for the media market to fracture into ever-smaller specialised channels catering to every-smaller niches. This includes the peculiar political entertainment market-- something that hasn't caught on over here-- and has resulted in a situation where everyone can consume all and only media that agrees with their views. That's how free-markets have lead to "echo chambers".

It didn't used to be that way. In the past, there were fewer channels due to technical limitations, so each one showed a spread of content. In my country, the BBC still provides a spread of different products on each channel. It does this because it can afford to thanks to, effectively, a tax on TVs, and I a clause might be in its Royal Charter somewhere. Consequently, the other big TV channels must do the same, because the state has set the format. I've been to a lot of places, including the USA, and I've gotta say I'd take British TV over the TV of anywhere else I've been in a heartbeat.

Being exposed to different content that you wouldn't seek out yourself but you will sit and watch if it's given to you prevents this echo-chamber effect, where individuals end up laughing dismissively at views they consider oppositional when they, in fact, utilise the same foundational propositions as their own, and should give them pause for thought.

dyre:
snip

As an avid lover of the discipline of Statistics and someone who has taken two years of related class (admittedly it was the same class twice as, when I was in Advanced Placement Stat in high school, I was afraid to take the AP test when I had the chance), I know it's not a good idea to apply anecdotes to reality. It is a very overpowering force though and couple that with the discussions I've had and the research that has been done I can't help but think that.

I am also well aware of you 2nd point and because I've gotten counter-points like this so many times I think I need to edit my original post for clarity and change the discussion title. Here, let me clear things up by quoting some miscommunication resolutions from earlier in the thread. Sorry, if it's a little long:

jamail77:

tstorm823:

jamail77:

[snip] See, I'm not saying every single American is in an echo chamber. I'm saying those that are have a powerful hold on the government and our way of life. As I said, we still have the two-party system for good or for ill. With others jumping ship those that remain can crawl more into their bubble more than they did before, the politicians especially so as you already said. I'm not sure if those of you saying this or something similar to this are saying this because you're extrapolating my statements or because I'm not making myself clear.

[snip] It's not that I disagree with the idea that all it takes is two people to convince themselves they're right. It's not that I think there aren't many American political figures guilty of this problem. It's that you framed it in a way that makes it sound like its a ubiquitous feature of the US or a particularly sinister problem here. If you say "Americans are all stuck in an echo chamber of there own opinions and its so much more of a problem in America than everywhere else" we're gonna be like "what you talkin' 'bout Willis?" But if you say "Some people in America, particularly political figures, just repeat each other until they believe it's true" we say "yeah, duh, so what?" I, and I assume others, entered in thinking the conversation was more like the former fake quote, but if all you want to say is more like the latter fake quote, its just been a miscommunication, to which I say "yeah, so what?" Why start a thread pointing out American politics has the same problem as every other politics in history other than you only noticed the problem when the things you heard being echoed you didn't agree with?

I didn't say it wasn't obvious. I said it has a palpable effect on peoples' lives to the extent of worried concern. From my international news reading, my one time out of the country, and the foreigners I've talked with, both those visiting or studying in my own country and those outside the country, this problem is unique to American politics because it has a worse effect. Some people in these forums outside of this topic and in it have expressed their befuddlement at our politics, so again I don't seem to be the only person who thinks so because I'm an American and my life is more centered around American stuff. Other countries have barriers preventing this from turning to a problem whether they're cultural or have something to do with the structure of their lives due to government, size of populace, geography, education or whatever.

[snip]

Sorry about leading your around in circles. It's nice to know you get my point a little better. That tells me that maybe I'm getting better at this whole "concise and clear" thing.

jamail77:

tstorm823:
snip

[snip] Perhaps, saying that my country's problems are unique makes me feel better when another country gets past the same problems better. [dyre: I added this to clarify for someone in a a different response that had me using this quote: I meant this in the sense we have the same problem but amplify it or make it worse due to our culture or propagation of it or other factors. At the very least, if it's just as bad and certainly not any worse, I don't like it and want to point it out even if it is obvious to most people in this thread, including myself for a VERY long time now by the way.] I'm not one to go into comfort denial, yet that may be why I think this in the first place. Perhaps, it's just under the hood, something subconscious I don't want to acknowledge.

Danny Ocean:
/snip

I'm not sure I follow on the points you make as they relate to a free-market media vs. one influenced by government regulation. To be certain, I'm not saying corporate interest and money hasn't polluted and corrupted America (it has).

But as a lifelong American what is clear to me is government and our media have an incestuous relationship, one that's far more insidious and destructive than a "don't worry, be happy consumer" message that we're more traditionally subjected to on a daily basis. I don't like either extreme, but by far the most dangerous is when the two combine forces for a war on our minds, and I blame that squarely on consolidation and abuse of political power, not free-market principles.

tstorm823:

I'm quite certain the Nazi policy on private property was "you can have private property as long as ou use it for things we like" which really doesn't count.

A very simplistic outlook that can be applied to virtually every capitalist state.

tstorm823:
The wikipedia article on nazis has an entire section labelled "anti-capitalism." They quote Nazi propaganda saying "The maintenance of a rotten industrial system has nothing to do with nationalism. I can love Germany and hate capitalism." They summerize part of Mein Kompf as Hitler saying "the only means to maintain economic security was to have direct control over resources."

Yes, in theoretical matters Hitler (and a few other NP officials) expressed personal contempt for capitalism however, as is common knowledge, Hitler didn't particularly care for economics and played little to no role in its direction. Although Hitler may have had a dislike for capitalism (or a vaguely defined understanding of capitalism) this does not mean the material mode of production in Nazi Germany was not capitalist.

tstorm823:
You're trying to claim Nazi Germany was capitalist because instead of using a direct command economy, they just put economic controls on literally every aspect of trade and enforced unfair advantages for select individuals. The only characteristic Nazi Germany shares with capitalism is they used money to buy things, and that's true of almost every economic system in human history. You're just wrong, that's all I can really say here

No I'm saying the Nazi economy was functionally capitalist because the bourgeoisie still owned the means of production, the state's relationship with the bourgeoisie was one of cooperation wherein it was merely a tool used to crush any form of worker organisation, private enterprise continued to persist, state interference (in the Schacht era) was minimal and economic policy itself was largely based on radical Keynesian economics with high public spending and large deficits.

In the war years the economy continued to function as capitalist but was now being structured to fit the needs of war with the private economy not being abolished or co-opted but rather being manipulated by price, wage and financial controls. Although in the war years state interference in the economy certainly increased this does still not negate the fact mode of production was still functionally capitalist.

I see that I did repeat myself but to be fair you never really refuted anything I said. You merely pointed to a Wikipedia article on "Nazism" wherein Hitler and others expressed a personal dislike of what they understood capitalism to be.

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