Hey, I was just wondering what the implications of the Van Oenen in 6 card were and relatively how offensive the argument is in the debate round.
Focus on process kills the product
Gijs Van Oenen, senior lecturer in the department of philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam, â€œA Machine That Would Go of Itself: Interpassivity and Its Impact on Political Life,â€ Theory and Event, 2006 (Project Muse)
This metaphor signifies of course that the hierarchical relation between government and citizens is being replaced by one of 'equal standing' â€“ conjunctive instead of subjunctive, we might say. But it also symbolizes how the 'interest' in politics itself is changing. The 'locus' of involvement with politics shifts from the 'product', or social praxis that it aims to realize, towards the earlier phases of preparation, consultation and policy-formation. This shift implicit in the growth of 'interactivity' serves the interests of both parties involved in political life. In the official rhetoric, interactivity strengthens the involvement of citizens in politics, by committing them not only to the results of the political process but also to that process itself. In this way they become 'co-producers of policy', dedicated citizens so to speak. In turn, government is able to 'fine tune' its policies and in general stay in close contact with its citizens, enabling it to reach its objectives in a more precise and secure way.Â¶ More realistically, citizens become interactive because they see this as a better option to safeguard their (partial) interests than the traditional options of party membership or voting behavior. They feel that interactivity will let their voice more forcefully be heard. Or even more straightforwardly, their attitude towards politics in general is one of 'what is in it for me?' In such a self-centered view, politics appears primarily as an institution that may facilitate one's own plans and preferences, rather than as a process of collective will formation furthering socially desirable practices. Government, in turn, sees interactivity as an effective way of 'polling' views and interests, which are usually better accommodated in an early stage of policy formation than in later stages, that may involve troublesome renegotiations, or protracted litigation.Â¶ But more importantly, the official view or 'ideology' underwriting interactivity denies that a shift in political interest is taking place. It suggests that the interest of both citizens and government in what politics 'produces' â€“ some form of collective good â€“ is enhanced and supplemented by an increased interest in the process of policy formation. Against this 'win-win' view, I want to suggest that the increase in involvement in the political process, the sphere of policy formation, goes along with a loss of involvement in the 'product' of the process. The point here is not merely that people lack sufficient time or means to be involved in both process and result. Rather it seems that people nowadays feel more attached to the process than to its eventual product. Being actively involved in the process has acquired a sense and meaning of its own, that may compete with, or actually override, the interest in what the process aimed to realize. In other words, what the process now mainly realizes, its main 'product', is involvement with itself.