lunedì 8 maggio 2017

Contro la discussione politica

POLITICAL PARTICIPATION CORRUPTS - Against Democracy by Jason Brennan
Come educare un popolo alla democrazia?
Il pensiero di molti: facendolo partecipare.
Il pensiero innanzitutto di John Stuart Mill...
... Mill hoped that getting citizens involved in politics would induce them to take on broader perspectives, empathize with one another more, and develop a stronger concern for the common good. He hoped political engagement would develop their critical thinking skills and increase their knowledge...
Si chiama "education argument" e si snoda così...
... 1.Civic and political activity requires citizens to take a broad view of others’ interests, and search for ways to promote the common good. This requires long-term thinking as well as engagement with moral, philosophical, and social scientific issues. 2.If so, then civic and political activity will tend to improve citizens’ virtue and make them better informed. 3.Therefore, civic and political activity will tend to improve citizens’ virtue and make them better informed...
Convinse persino Tocqueville...
... Nineteenth-century historian and author of Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville also advanced it, though with many reservations...
Tuattavia, è più probabile che la partecipazione democratica ci corrompa eticamente piuttosto che ci educhi. Vediamo perchè.
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La tesi di Mill va verificato sul campo...
... The education argument is popular among philosophers and theorists, but is not really a philosophical argument... Instead, the education argument is a social scientific one... Whether it in fact produces those results is something we can, in principle, test using social scientific methods... One must provide strong empirical evidence that when citizens participate more, they will tend to take a broad view of others’ interests...
Ma nasce un problema: cosa intendere per partecipazione?...
... what forms of participation are supposed to ennoble and educate...
E su chi ricade l'onere della prova?...
... Now suppose we don’t know how to measure what participation does to us, and so we just don’t know whether Mill is right or wrong. In that case, we should still not accept the education argument. Just as we should not accept, without proper evidence, that the paleo diet makes us healthier...
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Nel verificare dobbiamo fare attenzione: chi partecipa potrebbe essere più informato perché più appassionato e non per il fatto che partecipa...
... Chapter 2 demonstrated that people who are more interested in politics are both more likely to be well informed and more likely to participate. That evidence implied that voters know more not because they vote...
Analogia...
... we already have strong evidence of a selection effect. High school students who say they intend to major in philosophy have higher average SAT scores than those who are drawn to any other intended major, except physics...
Un dato cruciale: dove il voto è obbligatorio la preparazione del cittadino cresce?...
... Some governments force citizens to vote, and this allows us to test whether getting citizens to vote causes them to acquire greater levels of knowledge...
No...
... The test results are negative. Political scientist Sarah Birch, in her comprehensive book Full Participation, reviews nearly every published paper examining whether compulsory voting improves voters’ knowledge. She concludes that it does not... In a related work, political scientist Annabelle Lever recently reviewed the empirical studies on compulsory voting, and concluded that it had “no noticeable effect on political knowledge or interest [or] electoral outcomes.”...
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Obiezione: partecipare non equivale a votare ma a discutere...
... Many advocates of the education argument will be nonplussed by these results. They would say that for participation to educate and enlighten us, it’s not enough to vote. We need to talk...
Apologia della democrazia deliberativa...
... Hélène Landemore says, “Deliberation is supposed to … [e]nlarge the pools of ideas and information, … [w]eed out the good arguments from the bad, … [and lead] to a consensus on the ‘better’ or more ‘reasonable’ solution.”10 Bernard Manin, Elly Stein, and Jane Mansbridge contend that democratic deliberation is a process of training and education.11 Joshua Cohen claims “the need to advance reasons that persuade others will help to shape the motivations that people bring to the deliberative procedure.”... Habermas says deliberators should observe the following rules: •Speakers must be consistent; they must not contradict themselves. •Speakers must treat like cases alike. •Speakers should use terms and language in a consistent way so as to make sure they are all referring to the same things. (There should be no equivocating or switching definitions in ways that would interfere with communication.) •Speakers must be sincere; they must assert only what they believe. •Speakers must provide reasons for introducing a subject or topic into the discussion. •Everyone who is competent to speak should be allowed into the discussion. •Speakers should be allowed to discuss any topic, assert whatever they like, and express any needs—so long as they are sincere. •No one may coerce or manipulate another speaker...
Gli apologeti avevano in mente una discussione ideale...
... If people are sincere, rational, offer reasons for their views, give every voice proper respect, and so forth, then of course deliberation will educate people. If people were to follow Habermas’s or Cohen’s rules, then they would deliberate the way vulcans would deliberate. Of course deliberation would educate and enlighten them...
Ma si tratta di una fantasia spericolata...
... But as philosopher Michael Huemer comments, deliberative democracy so described looks like fantasy: “If there is one thing that stands out when one reads philosophical descriptions of deliberative democracy, it is how far these descriptions fall from reality...
Innanzitutto, giustificare le proprie proposte non è mai stato richiesto da nessun sistema democratico. Come fare, del resto?
Nei fatti, la discussione di Habermas si traduce in una sequela di appelli retorici e slogan urlati...
... Habermas and Cohen say that citizens must advance reasons for their proposals....But in actual democracies and deliberation, no one is literally required to state reasons for their policy proposals... What matters are rhetoric, sex appeal, and promoting the team...
Di fatto, a dominare la discussione politica è la caterva di bias cognitivi che ci affliggono...
... As I discussed in chapter 2, political psychology shows that most of us are much more like hooligans than like vulcans. We suffer from a number of biases, including: Confirmation bias: We tend to accept evidence that supports our preexisting views. Disconfirmation bias: We tend to reject or ignore evidence that disconfirms our preexisting views. Motivated reasoning: We have preferences over what we believe, and tend to arrive at and maintain beliefs we find comforting or pleasing, or whatever beliefs we prefer to have. Intergroup bias: We tend to form coalitions and groups. We tend to demonize members of other groups, but are highly forgiving and charitable toward members of our own groups. We go along with whatever our group thinks and oppose what other groups think. Availability bias: The easier it is for us to think of something, the more common we think that thing is. The easier it is for us to think of an event occurring, the more significant we assume the consequences will be. We are thus terrible at statistical reasoning. Prior attitude effect: When we care strongly about an issue, we evaluate arguments about the issue in a more polarized way. Peer pressure and authority: People tend to be influenced irrationally by perceived authority, social pressure, and consensus...
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Veniamo ai  fatti: misuriamo i benefici della discussione. Entità? Minima o inesistente...
... In a comprehensive survey of all the extant (as of 2003) empirical research on democratic deliberation, political scientist Tali Mendelberg remarks that the “empirical evidence for the benefits that deliberative theorists expect” is “thin or non-existent.”19 In her survey, Mendelberg finds: •Deliberation sometimes facilitates cooperation among individuals in social dilemmas, but it undermines cooperation among groups. When people self-identify as members of a group, including as members of political groups, deliberation tends to make things worse, not better.20 (Remember that in the real world, people tend to self-identify as members of a political group.) •When groups are of different sizes, deliberation tends to exacerbate conflict rather then mediate it.21 (Note that in realistic circumstances, political groups tend to be different sizes.) •Deliberation does tend to make people more aware of others’ interests. Nevertheless, other empirical work shows that if groups simply state their preferences without any discussion, this is just as effective as stating their preferences with discussion.22 So deliberation per se isn’t itself helpful in this case. •Status seeking drives much of the discussion. Instead of debating the facts, people try to win positions of influence and power over others.23•Ideological minorities have disproportionate influence, and much of this influence can be attributed to groups’ “social appeal.”24 •High-status individuals talk more, are perceived as more accurate and credible, and have more influence, regardless of whether the high-status individuals actually know more.25 •During deliberation, people use language in biased and manipulative ways. They switch, for example, between concrete and abstract language in order to create the appearance that their side is essentially good (and any badness is accidental) while the other side is essentially bad (and any goodness is accidental). If I describe my friend as kind, this abstract language suggests that they will regularly engage in kind behavior. If I say that my enemy donated some money to Oxfam, this concrete language leaves open the question of whether this kind of behavior matches my enemy’s character and could be expected again.26 •Even when prodded by moderators to discuss controversial matters, groups tend to avoid conflict, focusing instead on mutually accepted beliefs and attitudes.27 •When a discussant mentions commonly held information or beliefs, this tends to make them seem smarter and more authoritative to others, and thus tends to increase their influence... Deliberation works best on “matters of objective truth”... During “other times”—when citizens debate morals, justice, or social scientific theories meant to evaluate those facts—“deliberation is likely to fail.”...
Per Mandelberg domina la razionalizzazione...
... the use of reasoned argument to reinforce prior sentiment is a widespread phenomenon that poses a significant challenge to deliberative expectations...
Altri studi: discutere polarizza e fomenta il dissenso...
... Rather than causing consensus, public deliberation might cause disagreement along with the formation of in-groups and out-groups.43 It can even lead to violence...
Discutere scatena isterie ed emotività
… Deliberation over sensitive matters—such as pornography laws—frequently leads to “hysteria” and “emotionalism,”…
Discutere rende nichilisti
… Deliberation frequently causes deliberators to doubt there is a correct position at all. This leads to moral or political skepticism or nihilism…
Discutere rende agnostici
… Deliberation often makes citizens apathetic and agnostic about politics,…
La discussione ci rende più manipolabili
… During deliberation, citizens frequently change their preferences and reach consensus only because they are manipulated by powerful special interests…
La discussione è cordiale quando evita le questioni spinose
… Consensus often occurs only because citizens purposefully avoid controversial topics…
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I fautori della democrazia deliberativa, forse perché consapevoli delle debolezze della loro proposta, hanno elaborato metodi di discussione ad hoc. Esempio, il polling...
... Some deliberative democrats advocate replacing or at least supplementing mass voting with “deliberative polling.” In a deliberative poll, one brings together, say, a thousand citizens to deliberate about a given topic. The citizens are selected at random, although the poll’s organizers try to ensure that the demographics of the deliberative body are similar to those of the community or nation as a whole. The organizers give the deliberators relevant informational sources, such as news articles, social scientific papers, and philosophical arguments for various sides. A moderator helps spur participants to deliberate and do so properly. The moderator tries to ensure that people stick to the topics at hand and that no one dominates the conversation. There is some evidence that this kind of moderated deliberation can work, at least in the laboratory and even in some real-world scenarios...
Attendiamo con fiducia le prove empiriche a sostegno finora mancate, altrimenti...
... In the end, I am an instrumentalist about the choice between democracy and epistocracy. If democracy with deliberative polling (with whatever abuses and flaws it suffers) turns out to produce better results than the best form of epistocracy (with whatever abuses and flaws it suffers), then I’ll advocate democracy with deliberative polling...
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La conclusione consolatoria di alcuni: il metodo deliberativo non funziona ma nemmeno fa danni...
... It would be tempting in that case to conclude that deliberation is pointless and ineffective, but at least not harmful...
Tuttavia, una conclusione neutrale è una conclusione negativa. Vediamo perché.
Chi discute e cade nel bias cognitivo (per esempio non rettifica le sue posizioni originarie a fronte di validi argomenti che gli vengono presentati) è, dal punto di vista epistemologico, in una situazione peggiore di chi non discute…
… What is rational for you to believe or not depends on the evidence available to you. Imagine a child has led a sheltered life, with no exposure to history, geology, biology, physics, or cosmology. They believe, on the basis of their young Earth creationist parents’ testimony, that the universe is six thousand years old and that all animals were created six thousand years ago. But suppose this child then takes sixteen years of classes in history, geology, biology, physics, and cosmology. Along the way, they get to sequence DNA, re-create Gregor Mendel’s pea experiment, handle fossils, and the like. After sixteen years of intense study, though, suppose they continue to believe the world is six thousand years old and that all animals were created as they currently are. In this case, from an epistemological standpoint, they got worse. After all, they encountered an overwhelming amount of evidence confirming evolution and disconfirming young Earth creationism. They should have changed their mind, but didn’t….
Poiché chi discute di politica cade ripetutamente nei vari bias sopra elencati, possiamo concludere che la discussione politica ci rende persone peggiori
… when deliberation has no effect on citizens’ beliefs or their degree of credence in their beliefs, we should generally interpret this as showing that deliberation made them worse, from an epistemic viewpoint…
E’ questo, per un difensore della discussione deliberativa, è ancora più vero: quelli che abbiamo chiamato doveri epistemici sono per lui doveri etici.
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Come reagisce il “deliberazionista” di fronte alla confutazione della sua teoria? E’ perplesso, prende tempo, introduce ipotesi ad hoc, dice che c’è “partecipazione” e “partecipazione”
… One might expect that most deliberative democrats would advocate deliberation cautiously or with reservations, only in those cases where we had solid evidence it works.48 On the contrary, deliberative democrats tend to be nonplussed by the empirical results described above… They tend to assume the benefits of deliberation will be revealed in due time… people aren’t deliberating the right way…
Ma soprattutto conclude che la gente discute in modo scorretto
… Deliberative democrats can rightly assert that the research hasn’t falsified their views, because people aren’t deliberating properly…
Logicamente questa posizione tiene. Ma praticamente è fallimentare.
E’ come quando i comunisti, di fronte all’ennesimo fallimento del socialismo reale, dicono vanamente: “ma quello non è socialismo”.
E’ come quando i capitalisti, di fronte a Bernard Madoff, dicono: “ma quello non è capitalismo”.
Pensate solo se il Papa, di fronte alla piaga dei preti pedofili dicesse: “il loro comportamento comunque non è cattolico, quindi la Chiesa Cattolica è immune da tutto”.
Vero, ma la Chiesa reale produce di fatto tutto cio’. Allo stesso modo ai deliberazionisti diciamo: vero, ma di fatto la discussione politica produce tutto il marasma che abbiamo visto…
… If they say, “Sure, actual deliberation messes people up, but proper deliberation would improve their character and knowledge,” that’s not much different from stating, “Sure, actual fraternities mess men up, but proper fraternities would improve their character and scholarship.”…
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Conclusione: meglio l’ignoranza che il sapere deforme. Meglio non peccare in assenza di tentazioni che peccare indotti in tentazione…
… Sometimes it is better for a person’s epistemic character if they remain ignorant and apathetic…
Meglio allora non interessarsi alla politica: ci rende irrazionali facendo di noi persone peggiori… 
… For these reasons, we have strong presumptive grounds against encouraging more and more citizens to participate in politics, spend time thinking about politics, watch political news, or engage in political deliberation…