måndag 29 juli 2013

A Digression on Alliances

For most political strategies to work, it's necessary to cooperate with others. Here I'll discuss what the members of alliances can have in common, how the alliances can be structured, and how secret they can be.

Alliances of Preferences, Perspectives, and End Goals
There can exist at least four types of alliances, those of:
  • preferences, where everyone cares about roughly the same values;
  • perspectives (on society), where everyone has the same model on how societies work;
  • perspectives (on strategies), where everyone believe that a certain was of action is the best one to follow; and
  • end goals, where everyone wants to achieve the same society (albeit maybe for different reasons and with different strategies).
The ultimate alliance would then be between those who share the same views on all of these questions. All the others will either have the potential to become ultimate alliances or not. When would some alliances never become ultimate alliances? Or, when would two individuals never join in that alliance?

That seems to only be possible when they share different values, when some member's values restrict him/her from from using some source of information or method of reasoning, or when the members don't have enough time to discuss a matter. Because, if everyone who believed in the same basic rules of reasoning (which most people do, although not for all problems) they are bound to reach the same conclusion, if they discuss the problem long enough.

Alliances between representatives and non-representatives
I believe alliances can be structured in at least four ways:
Non-representatives   - These, who gather for some purpose, only represent themselves. When they say ”I agree” they mean just that, that their own process of thought have led them to the conclusion that what someone said is true.

Constrained representatives  – These represent someone else's opinions and can be in the alliance only because they do so. If they step out of bounds their principals will select another agent to represent them.

Empowered representatives – These have some principals who give them their strength but they have faith in their representatives and will simply acquiesce in their decisions.

Similar representatives  – These have principals but they all think more or less the same. So if this representative takes a controversial stance, when the principal learn of the reason for it they will agree that it was the most prudent action.
The last three groups are probably difficult to differentiate in practice. No one would consider themselves to be principals of the first kind, but that might just be what most voters are.

Why is this important? Well, because large alliances probably needs to consist of representatives. Otherwise there would be too few decisions per meeting. If they need representatives to function effectively, it should be necessary that the representatives know enough about their principals, and vice versa. Because only then can members of an alliance select representatives who will reason and act just as they would, which seems to be the ideal.

Open and secret alliances
An alliance might have secrets they do not share with the rest of the society or they might be open about their intents and views. How open/secret an alliance is might be measured on a scale from one to ten. On the one end no one except the members of the alliance knows about its existence, its views or goals. On the other they post everything they do and think on twitter. In the middle people don't acknowledge they are part of any political alliance, or they keep their perspectives, strategies, or preferences a secret.

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