Re: MD Dutch referendum on European constitution

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Mon Jun 06 2005 - 06:05:48 BST

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    Dear Platt,

    Sent: Sunday, June 05, 2005 4:21 PM

    > Wim:
    > > Well, that seems to me the essential difference between conservative and
    > > progressive people. Like sq and DQ both are needed in a society.
    > Are you saying that leftists (progressives) are more responsive to DQ than
    > conservatives? If so, this appears to be more of the "pin a rose on me"
    > syndrome that supports the charge of elitist arrogance. Actually, as I've
    > pointed out, today's progressives look a lot like a bunch of new
    > Victorians, trying to preserve static government welfare programs.

    No, that is not what I meant, certainly not if you take 'conservate' and
    'progressive' as referring to the labels people give themselves or are given
    in US politics. You are right 'progressive' may not be the right label for
    those still promoting policies which their political ancestors with that
    label where promoting 50 or 100 years ago. Also progressive intentions do
    not guarantee progressive politics.

    > > > It's human nature to prefer one's own tribe to outsiders. I doubt if
    > > > millions of years of evolution can be overcome by "education."
    > > There are a lot negative tendencies in human nature that civilization
    > > level patterns of value) and education (4th level patterns of value in
    > > sense in which I used it) HAVE overcome (or at least caged).
    > No doubt. But the history of the 20th century and the beginning of the
    > 21st suggests there is still much human nature to "cage."

    I agree. But doesn't history show that it can be done?

    > To put what you say in my words, "We're not educating everybody equally as
    > we ought to."

    We surely ought to give children with less capacities the same amount of
    (free or state-sponsored) education as the more gifted ones ... if they
    want. The problem I was hinting at is, that our system of education
    (competitive) discourages most of the less gifted at an early age to take
    even the same amount of education as more gifted peers, let alone extra
    education to compensate for their lack of capacities. So maybe you should
    make education less competitive. But if you are preparing children for a
    competitive society ... (less so in the Netherlands than in the USA, but
    still). I have no easy solution, but maybe society should change first
    (gradually, not revolutionary, of course) to give children (e.g. those
    growing up in American getto's, with lots of violence and low employment
    chances) a better chance that taking more education really pays off? I just
    read in my newspaper a gruesome analysis about the US detention system, the
    huge chance for black people to be jailed at least once in their life and
    the lack of stimulus it gives detainees to better their lives. Also that the
    getto life most of them come from (and get back to after jail) is much, much
    harder to escape from than that of the middle class. Also that zero
    tolerance is directed primarily at those living in backward social
    environments. Middle class children, let alone the children of the rich and
    famous are hardly jailed at all for things blacks can get lifelong sentences
    for when cought thrice.

    > Again, in my own words, we ought to adopt the liberal education model,
    > whatever that is.

    I have no idea what it is given your (American) different meaning of the
    word 'liberal' than we use in the Netherlands. How yould you strive to
    decrease (not necessarily eliminate) the differences in chances between
    blacks and whites in the USA?

    > So today's educational system doesn't give everyone an equal chance.
    > Right? If so, the solution is .... ??

    Education combined with the rest of society, yes. If you agree, can we
    search for solutions together? I certainly don't have THE answer.

    > So a business woman making a profit by supplying a service that others
    > willing pay for in a free market is not serving the "common interest?"

    She is. Where did you read in my words that she isn't??

    With friendly greetings,


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