1. Michael Allan
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    Michael Allan Member

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    Political Slogan

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Michael Allan, Feb 17, 2008.

    (apologies for cross-posting)

    I'm an open-source developer working in the area of social and collaborative media. (Hello again.) I am seeking advice on the wording of a political slogan.

    By way of explanation, I've been working with project textbender to develop recombinant text. It's a collaborative medium for poetry, creative writing, musical composition, and so forth. But it also has socio-political applications. These are being explored in a sister project, Votorola:

    I am working on a political slogan (of sorts), in order to express the purpose of 'open elections'. Here is what I have, so far:

    (Phew!) This summarizes the design purpose of open elections, well enough. It also roughly paraphrases Jurgen Habermas's critical theory of society (communicative action), which happens to inform the design. But, as it stands, it's not very inspiring... Are there any wordsmiths who could help? Can anyone suggest improvements?

    (Note: The collaborative tools under development for policy and legislative drafting will also be applicable to creative art. As they're developed, they'll be released to creative artists, too.)

    What do you think?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's way too wordy to be any kind of 'slogan'... you must distill your premise down to bumper sticker size, if it's to be effective...

    what i get from all that is you want something like:

    control the government, not the people

    or:

    governments should be controlled, not people

    or:

    people should control the government, not vice versa

    ...hope that gives you some useful ideas...

    love and hugs, maia [a firm believer in the concept!]
     
  3. Michael Allan
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    Michael Allan Member

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    Mammamaia, you're right. For bumper stickers, then:

    Tame the machine.​

    And if an inquisitive reporter wants an elaboration, we give her the sound bite:

    Communities ought to tame the political/economic machine, not vice-versa.​

    Or something like that...
     
  4. LinRobinson
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    LinRobinson Banned

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    In other words, "Power to the People"? Or 'Rage Against The Machine"?

    Slogans have to have that kind of punch.

    This one
    is closer to it, but not all the way to "Control govenment, not people."

    political slogans are no differnt from ad slogans. You're going for that "Finger lickin' good" or "Virginia is for lovers" thing (whatever THAT one meant)

    Boiling it down to the pith is the same thing you do creating a logline or blurb. Or famous line of dialog. Good exercise.
     
  5. Cicero
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    Cicero Banned

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    "Government should work the machines. The machines should not work the government."


    Though, I don't know how related that is to your topic.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    lin's 'control government, not people' is the best suggestion so far... though you might want to make it more universal, with an 's' added to the second word...
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Control seems a little weak to me. I'd prefer a verb like constrain, restrict, subdue, repress, or curb that emphasizes containment or reduction. After all, stomping on a car's accelerator is controlling the car too.

    How about:
    or even:
    I'd stick with government over governments though (no article), denoting the abstraction rather than concrete instances.
     
  8. LinRobinson
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    LinRobinson Banned

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    I think most people would see CONTROL as being a much stronger verb than any of those. It's what politics is about.

    Slogans are discourse. They are sledgehammers.
     
  9. Michael Allan
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    Michael Allan Member

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    Another artist's forum suggested that "tame the machine" was just too aggressive, given the nature of open elections. And I agreed, because open elections are supposed to be a kinder, gentler form of politics (in theory). So even "restrict [etc.] government, not people" may be too much of a battle cry. (?) But then we got side-tracked into a *long* discussion about the nature of open elections, and we completely forgot about slogans. (Unfortunately, that thread may now be lost, because the entire forum appears to have exploded! Caveat sloganeer.)

    http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=27332

    Meanwhile, in another forum, a Swedish politician and I were discussing open elections. He has a knack for colourful metaphors. I was bouncing my slogans off him, but they had no effect:

    http://groups.google.com/group/votorola/t/4d5ffb8690c2b4d2

    Then I thought of this one: Consensus is Sovereign.

    What do you think? I like it. It still had no effect on the Swedish politician, but it *is* technically correct. It fits the theory. And, when wrapped around a ballot 'X', as here, the meaning should hit home with practical force:

    http://zelea.com/project/votorola/
    --
    Mike

    PS: Slogan hunting has led me down another side track, where I have been trying to define a "principle of sovereign consensus." Probably this is nothing original, but now I am trying to use it as *lever* to engage sociologists and the like. If either of the following threads catches on (they were started just a few hours ago) we might catch a glimpse of some of the anticipated cultural effects of this technology. It's a stretch. This stuff is coming at them out of the blue. (They might not even reply.) And I don't know if anyone can see *that* far ahead, to the cultural effects. But maybe...

    http://groups.dowire.org/r/topic/S0KufDCDDOFFfeq7WvHsa

    http://lists.thataway.org/SCRIPTS/WA-THATAWAY.EXE?A2=ind0802C&L=NCDD-DISCUSSION&P=18816

    (To see the latter, which is the main thread, you probably must register.)
     
  10. LinRobinson
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    LinRobinson Banned

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    I like the concept a lot, but think that this would not be understood. It's obscure and the construction leads to the idea that that's the way it IS instead of should be.
    Like I said, you can't be very subtle with bumpersticker philosophy.

    In the US it would be like "CONSENSUS RULES" or probably CONSENSUS ROCKS, DUDE
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    wayta go, linster!

    if it's not already a bumper sticker, it probably should be...
     
  12. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    lmao.
    Indeed.
     
  13. Michael Allan
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    Michael Allan Member

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    Ah, but that's the intention. Expand it to a principle of sovereign consensus, and it becomes:

    This is intended as a predictive principle, not a normative one. It states what will happen, not what ought to happen. If you don't feel the force of the argument yet (it took me a while to see it clearly, too), it'll hit home when you read the following critical discussion. In particular, when you reach this paragraph:

    http://zelea.com/project/votorola/a/design.xht#consensus-and-power

    'Consensus rules' is an accurate translation of the principle. 'Consensus rocks, Dude' is hard to resist... Even a non-conformist like Jeffrey Lebowski would have to reply, 'Yeah, the Dude abides.'

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Lebowski

    I only wish the sociologists would abide. They haven't replied yet. (Come on people, you just love to talk. Take the bait...)
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Looks like we have a consensus...
     
  15. Michael Allan
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    Michael Allan Member

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    (I like your new face Cogito. It's less ominous, brooding. :)

    In follow up, I've been able pin down (tentatively) the cultural effects. These may be of interest to creative writers and other artists.

    [​IMG]

    This section (see links) hypothesizes the effects of placing an open electoral medium at the disposal of societal community and culture. In general, the predicted effects are the disentanglement of Lifeworld and System (Habermas, Theory of Communicative Action), and the consequent rationalization of the four subsystems of society. Specifically, societal community (bottom right) will effectively take the driver's seat of the political machine, so that community interests come to guide the general course of politics (top right). Distant goals will be expressed through the cultural sphere (bottom left), which will be disentangled from the economic (top left), and hooked, instead into community. Artifacts of collective creation -- of consensus expression -- will then become the travelogues, the sign-posts, and the visions that fill the blank spaces of the journey's map.

    The last two sections (links repeated below) are written in an informal style (not too theoretical or technical). These concern the direct cultural effects, with particular emphasis on creative literature:

    http://zelea.com/project/votorola/a/design.xht#ca-culture-untangle

    http://zelea.com/project/votorola/a/design.xht#ca-culture-community

    Comments and critique are welcome. Please tell me what you think,
    --
    Mike
     

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