Thursday, October 07, 2004

Going Political

Last one for today.

I plan to continue my discussions on Democracy, soon, with some comments on US electoral procedures.

Before that, though, I'd like to establish a unifying metaphor, that I hope will stand in for much of what I will say.

Many people have compare politics to a game of chess, counter move, move, misderection, seconding guessing. etc.

I would like to propose, though, that democratic, liberal democratic, particularly, politics, is like a game of Go.

Go is a game of stragey, properly played on a 19x19 board, though beginners can play on a 9x9 board to get the hang of it. It's about capturing territory, a reactive struggle between two equal and opposing forces. In the full game, several skirmishes are being fought at once, and the heat is off, each corner unfurling separately, each move does not demand an immediate response.

In the small game it's different, there is no margin, no recovery, no chance of invading the huge swathes of enemy territory and making your peices safe, you need to cut the board in half, and hope you get the winning margin. If you don't, there is every chance of being utterly wiped out.

Hold onto that metaphor, and I'll get working on my proper analyses.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

First let me apologise. I did check our mini-debate below but then I was distracted for a few days by a dispute with the 'virtual stoat', and thus I missed your response. Needless to say, I didn't accept any of it but perhaps we can leave that one for another day.

I am intrigued by your metaphor (although I'm not sure Marx would have approved of such literary extravances) but I'm not sure which one you are pointing me to, the 9x9 or the 19x19?

(Incidentally, it has become necessary for me to warn Left-wing bloggers that if I outstay my welcome, just say, "Piss off!" and I will go quietly. Apparently I drive them mad in the end.)

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, that was me up above, and I always sign everything I write,
David Duff

8:29 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

I never wish people just to piss off - I usually crush them by force of reason and leave them in whimpering heaps on the floor.

I was, of cours,e pointing to the whole of Go, in its various forms, as will become clear in a post or two's time...

11:28 AM  

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