Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Centrist

The Centrist

In the realm of politics the "centrist" is the golden constituency. Political pollsters usually designate the "centrist" as the single largest political group. Voting-wise the "centrist" is the swing voter.

The Centrist Defined

According to the Wig Party, a centrist party, a centrist is:

Centrist- n. One who takes a position in the political center. That is the technical definition of a Centrist. One who takes a political position in the center? What is the center? A Centrist is an independent and someone who does not hold themselves to the party politics of the right or left. Being a Centrist allows you to have your politics a la carte, to have the freedom of political thought. A Centrist can support some liberal principles and some conservative principles while having the freedom to disagree with both. A Centrist cares about finding the right workable solution to a problem regardless of whose idea it is or whether it is from the right or the left or from anywhere else. (1)

The Centrist as a Politico

From the brief discussion above its clear that the centrist is a political entity. That is to say, politicos of the left and right make for two opposite political poles and hence the political middle is logically the center [centrist]. More succinctly, the left and right are political realms and hence the center is a political realm as well.

The "centrist" concept is generally offered as a rather simple politico proposition: black and white become gray in the middle. The south and north pole are marked by a mid-point known as the equator. The opposing goal lines of an American football field are marked by a midpoint of the fifty yard line.

The Centrist lives at the Political Center and Visits Both Opposing Political Positions

The political concept of the centrist is that he/she makes their home in the center yet visits both ends of the political spectrum and all points in between. Akin to a drive down route 66. They visit restaurants, see landmarks, laugh at billboards and return home with the best-of-the-best of their particular route 66 journey.

-Or- do they merely return with the best politics, the most persuasive politics, the best political promises of route 66? That is, if the "centrist" is framed and set forth as a political proposition then the centrist logically is interested in returning from their journey with political concepts, political arguments, and political propositions.

The Centrist Identity

The "centrist" concept has been long defined in political terms. Politicos of the left and right have defined the centrist in political terms and the centrist has consequently identified themselves in terms set forth by the opposing ends of the political spectrum. Its rather odd how the unaffiliated, the centrist, have adopted their label from exogenous entities. That is, they are not self described, they are externally described and accept the external label. That the opposing political poles, the north and south pole if you will, have designated the equator. That those living at the equator merely accept they are living at the equator (see Wig party definition above).

Which begs the question: why do those supposedly living at the equator not indeed look outward and designate what constitutes the north and south poles? Why do they allow themselves to be exogenously designated rather than designating themselves and others for that matter?
One might well say that the "centrist" is really a creation of politicos from the left and right and not a spontaneous political group that grew popular and self designated themselves "centrist".

Is Economic Man/Woman a Centrist?

We need to go back to the cruise down route 66. You see, the "centrist", as defined by politicos, merely searches the political spectrum for the best of all "political"worlds. Maybe, maybe not. Besides, what about the economics of the particular politics they encounter?

The first lesson of economics is that we live in a world of scarcity. There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to ignore the first lesson of economics. - Thomas Sowell

The centrist must then ask himself/herself: if he is a supposed centrist politico,  is he then the centrist economic man?

Centrist Economic Man?

Can one be a centrist politico and a centrist economic man (woman)? Going back to the journey down route 66, the centrist politico supposedly brings back the best political notions from the left and right. However, economic man needs to take a separate journey down US 1, leaving behind the mystical world of "political notions" and journey down the highway of economics. That is, since the centrist is a political creation what about the economic creation?

Once economic man (woman) returns from their journey down US 1 they find two distinct poles exist in economics: centrally planned collectivism vs. individual freedom and free markets.

The political proposition of the centrist is that the centrist can collect political notional propositions from the left and right and pick and choose the best notional propositions. However, can economic man (woman) pick and choose economics from the realm of collectivism and somehow add those items to their desire to be free and enjoy the vast values created by free markets?

You see, "centrist" is basically a creation of, by, and for politicos and the implicit assumption is that centrist economic man exists inside of/along side of centrist political man.

Does Centrist Economic Man Exist?

For instance, we are going to collectively farm yet market the farm's yield in the free market? The collective is going to unionize every position yet have workers compete for jobs in a distorted labor market? Collectively central planned output is processed and you are merely left with the freedom to examine your hierarchy of unfulfilled needs? Collectively abandoned is the price system in favor of price fixing and you consequently have the freedom to choose among rationed goods? 

The above propositions are absurd. Yet the absurdity is implicit in the political notion put forth of the existence of centrist economic man (woman) being the same as centrist politico.

Centrist Economic Man Doesn't Exist

One can clearly see that the implicit assumption by, of, and for politicos that centrist politico and centrist economist exist along side one another is fallacious. There is no equator between collectivism and free, self determined, self directed economic man (woman). Either you want the collective to determine your outcome or you want to determine your outcome. Either you want your economics determined by an exogenous authority or you want the economic authority.

Hence economic man (woman) is either left or right. Either collective or free. Meaning economic man (woman) doesn't exist in some gray-ish center world of collectivism and freedom.

The "Centrist" Doesn't Exist in Political-Economy

How can the political concept of the "centrist" exist in the realm of political-economy if there is no centrist economic man? Answer is the centrist doesn't exist in political-economy. One can not have centrists in political-economy as no equator exists. That is, political-economy is either left or right because centrist economic man doesn't exist. That political-economy arguments are either left or right and not "centrist" arguments.

The Politico Concept of "Centrist"

How can "centrist" exist even as a concept by, for, and of politicos? -Or- is "centrist" merely a contrived notional concept really meaning: undetermined electorate segment that can be swayed by notional political  propositions. That is, no center exists for politicos, only a vast sea of unaffiliated who need convinced to affiliate with particular politico notional propositions. That the supposed equator of a political center is in fact a non-existent equator, merely a political line that needs moved notionally by the particular politico in their particular notional direction.



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