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Descriptions

Welcome to the staging ground for new communities! Each proposal has a description in the "Descriptions" category and a body of questions and answers in "Incubator Q&A". You can ask questions (and get answers, we hope!) right away, and start new proposals.

Comments on Politics

Post

Politics

Site Name

Politics

Description

I, perhaps unconventionally (but I would be interested to know if the idea mirrors any previous thinkers), define “politics” as human social phenomena which come from humanity’s tendency for subjectivity - that people may have fundamentally different beliefs, preferences, or wishes, regarding the world - and the fact that we have a shared environment in which we must collectively make choices about the state of things. Naturally, it follows from this that politics is very much about “power”, essentially, which free actors in an environment appear to exercise their will with broader success or influence than others. However, I am open to alternative definitions of what “politics” is.

From this broad attempt at abstract definition, my hope is that it would follow what the natural intuition for what “politics” is: governments, laws, states and their interactions, social movements, rights, justice, differing forms of social organization, inequality, current events impinging on these topics, and aspects of human nature relevant to them as well.

Topics

Topics covered would include:

  • Current events
  • Specific political figures
  • The history of various societies, particularly regarding their political and/or social organization
  • Different political parties, views, or values
  • States, nations, and other forms of organization (“polities”)
  • The nature of human rights, freedom, obligation, morality, and/or duty
  • War
  • How government policies are affecting certain people
  • Explanations for how certain social and political groups think, feel about, or view something, or why they have undertaken particular actions

Exclusions

To attempt to wrangle this into something more clear-cut, I would say that the moderators can use intuitive, practical judgment to identify what is not really about “politics”. For example,

“Why did political candidate X win the general election?”

would be politics, since it concerns things like governments, and elections. Whereas,

“What did Aristotle believe about human nature?”

would not, because it is too fundamentally broad, so that it would be better handled by a philosopher. Whereas,

“What rights did citizens have in Ancient Greece?”

Might be acceptable, because it asks a concrete question about a political system, or, an emergent structure which in some way determines the high-level decision-making character and behavior, of a society.

Special Features

Based on my experience on Politics Stack Exchange, I am open to the idea that a Politics Codidact site might benefit from more heavily structured moderation protocols. The reason for this being that politics is divisive. Whereas ‘politics’ derived from the Greek term polis (πόλις), meaning city (which makes sense), the term is (arguably) now synonymous with interpersonal fractiousness. This, too, makes sense: in politics, sometimes the biggest things are at stake: life and death, pain, suffering or joy, freedom or degradation; and the ability to choose what kind of life one wants to lead, what kind of society what wishes to see in the world around them; and these are naturally things which can incite strong passions and emotions. This means that the tendency for acrimonious interaction is much more probable on a politics site. Therefore I would like to use this as an opportunity to explore how we could, in a fair way, satisfactory to hopefully a majority of participants, find a moderation or regulatory code or set of principles which effectively reduce the amount of interpersonal friction and keep the site focused on reasoned, principled, impartial, intelligent, and open debate, discussion, conversation, knowledge generation, and above all, learning.

Overlaps

See above. Potentially some overlap with History, Philosophy, and especially Law (there are many posts migrated from Law Stack Exchange to Politics Stack Exchange, in my experience.)

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4 comment threads

Some definitions of “politics” (1 comment)
A need to specify sources (3 comments)
Do we have a commitment to hardcore freedom of inquiry? (2 comments)
Casual browser (1 comment)
Do we have a commitment to hardcore freedom of inquiry?
Julius H.‭ wrote 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

On both Politics SE and Philosophy SE, I have encountered the rude awakening that some ideas are simply too taboo for some people to accept. Then let us try to at least define, on principle, and explicitly, where we draw a ‘boundary’, if any, and why. Will we, as a site, have a commitment to sanctioning progressive, even transgressive, ideas? I am open to all views; but lean towards hardcore freedom of thought, personally - my one-sentence ‘apology’ being, basically, ‘How can you know a claim is not true if you haven’t intellectually engaged with it?’ Thus, my creed is that no topic is “beyond debate” - no matter how personally offensive or hurtful someone airing such a notion may be: because it is actually, in the long run, in the interest of a more just world (and universe), that we analyze claims we detest in order to debunk them, rather than - in my opinion, petulantly - resort to reactionistic suppression.

Do you have any examples of what you mention from SE?