France’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing burqa-style Islamic veils Tuesday, part of a determined effort to define and protect French values that has disconcerted many in the country’s large Muslim community.
Officials have taken pains to craft language that does not single out Muslims. While the proposed legislation is colloquially referred to as the anti-burqa law, it is officially called the bill to forbid concealing one’s face in public.
It refers neither to Islam nor to veils. Officials insist the law against face-covering is not discriminatory because it would apply to everyone, not just Muslims. Yet they cite a host of exceptions, including motorcycle helmets, or masks for health reasons, fencing, skiing or carnivals.
Making it apply to everyone and rigorously enforcing it are keys to making this work. That means no veils, gas masks, face masks, etc. I would not be happy with it at all (gas/cloth biohazard masks have been an Industrial/EBM fashion staple for years, and people I’m acquainted with would be directly affected), but in the name of not hiding identity (which is what this should really be about) I would understand it. Of course, once face transplants and “temporary face technology” become cheap enough, it may not even matter; then we’ll have to deal with the next level: DNA-based identification or chipping (intrusive, not perfectly reliable, and of course, hackable.)
Singling out a group will likely lead to this backfiring, and worse, a repeal of the law, which will only make the government look pathetically weak.
We should have periodic regulatory reviews. It’s not as simple as strong/weak, but of currently useful/not useful. It could go several different ways:
Existing regulation gets stronger
Existing regulation gets weaker
New regulation added
Existing regulation removed and different one put in its place
Existing regulation removed and not replaced
This would be determined using a variety of methods.
Bottom line: we could weaken, remove, change, or add regulations, and should do so on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be framed as “strong/weak” but as “right balance and mix.”
Original discussion in Regulation Ratchets
Nations need to collectively move towards "rational/empirical based policy-making" that uses whatever tests and tools will work to reach their ultimate goals, whatever they define them to be. Then we're not talking about Libertarianism, Socialism, Social Democracy, or Capitalism. We're talking useful policy.
It's the very antithesis of "process legitimizes outcome" policy-making. Instead, we:
- Will try to use the proper mix of public and private institutions, ownership, power, market solutions and non-market solutions, and actors
- Will try to use the proper mix of centralization and decentralization
- Will try to use the proper amount of regulation or lack thereof
How does this differ from the real world, where things are already "mixed?" Goals first, then process. Right now, we have this seemingly chaotic mix of conflicting goals and desire to use varying processes at the municipal, state, and national level. We're still fighting over things like ALL PATERNALISM BAD! ALL PATERNALISM GOOD! MARKETS ALWAYS BAD! MARKETS ALWAYS GOOD!
I'm all for passionate debate and serious rational inquiry into the proper solutions to problem X, with constant renegotiation of the proper mix of things to fix that problem or meet that goal, but we haven't gotten even past the basics. It's so ugly and dishonest. Instead, we should be talking about using everything where it's appropriate: For goal X, unregulated markets work best. Let's use those unless something proves we should change it. For goal Y, state administration and distribution work best. Let's use those until something proves we should change it. We'd rather waste time punching each other in the knee and blindly quoting dead radicals.
We basically need to admit that goals-based technocracy is how we are going to be able to make progress until we get FAI government or some other future-oriented system. What we have now is far too ideological in many places (though some are better than others - Singapore, for example) and results in pendulum elections and policies. First we elect one party, hate what they do, replace them with another party who does something radically different, then we hate them, and it starts all over again. Obviously, this is oversimplified, but the main point stands. The process is hardly a process. It's a haphazard, often random, non-process that takes us all over the place.
In the U.S., lack of collective agreement on just what it is government is supposed to do is currently the largest roadblock. It may just be that this country is too big to govern effectively. A restructuring at the federal level (bi-national state or two separate, but allied states would be things to consider here, but that's digressing pretty far out.)
Back to the main point. In a society where there's collective agreement on outcomes, good faith actors can come together and rationally debate and argue about policy means. The U.S. is so polarized at the moment that this doesn't seem possible. Not only do we not all agree on broad outcomes and have ideologues that cannot be shaken from their positions, we also have bad faith actors littering the political map. The Republicans are much worse in this regard, but the Democrats are hardly immune here.
Finally good governance is a process and a balancing act. A balance between public and private. Individual, group, corporation, and state. Regulation and lack thereof. Societal governance has many levers, which have to be adjusted as the situation demands it. What we have now is not conducive to this; it's conducive to confusion, contradiction, and uselessness.
Conservatism is fundamentally about order. It pursues stability and sameness at the expense of all else. Same people, same ideas, an attempt to achieve the same way of living, year after year. Of course, Conservatism is reborn, over and over in countries and times, all over the world. It attempts to take some window of human experience and freeze it, always rejecting the new, but always being consumed by it, which produces yet another Conservatism. There's a fear that comes from having an ordered, and seemingly ideal type of existence be upset. Fear of losing that so-craved sense of stability. Fear of the other. Fear of losing a world and a worldview, that, in the mind of the Conservative just makes sense. A world that's well organized, well categorized, well delineated. A world where the rules are known and can't be changed. A world with us and them. You know your friends and your enemies. You know who is good, and who is bad. You know who to trust, and who to punish. A world that's easy to make sense of. A world of order.
When looked at in a general sense,Conservatism is not really a specific ideology, like Liberalism. It doesn't have a set of universally applicable principles. What it has is simply a desire to cement a way of seeing the world and existing that conforms to a perceived ideal, whatever that ideal may be. And that ideal changes over time (look at all the different Conservatisms throughout US history - Agrarians, Patricians, Southern gentlemen, etc. - all different ideologies, but linked together by their desire to freeze time.)