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Social Conflict Resolution Systems
Posted by: Jon Henke on Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ezra Klein has always had some sympathy for libertarianism. Let me see if I can offer reason for a bit more of that. Ezra writes of his frustration with the difficulty of making progress on important issues through bipartisan compromise, because (A):
It's easy for people of good faith to get together and compromise on their ideas.
[NOTE: this is what happens when people outside of government must discuss, negotiate and resolve an issue. We call it a market.]

And (B):
What's hard is getting people of power together to compromise on their interests.
[NOTE: this is what happens when people try to resolve differences wherein consent need not be given. We call that Government.]

Ezra is right that bipartisanship isn't really much of an answer to what are fundamental differences of opinion and interests. I would suggest that the best answer is to expand the spectrum of areas where section (A) is the path to resolution. Unfortunately, we seem to be in a place where the two dominant solutions are:

  1. Ruthless partisanship


  2. Legislative compromise through political bribery

Whatever you may think of the resulting policies, neither of those are healthy conflict resolution systems.
 
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"I would suggest that the best answer is to expand the spectrum of areas where section (A) is the path to resolution"
Unfortunately there are too many people who think their way is the only proper way and are not willing to leave decisions up to individuals and localities. Ezra, I’m certain, can identify with that mindset.
 
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