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Compare and Contrast Rational and Incremental Policy Making
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In this essay I intend to investigate both rational and incremental policy making, identifying the differences between them. Despite the notable differences I also intend to draw comparisons between the two in order to establish which is the more favourable method to use when introducing public policy. Rational models of policy making assume policy makers identify all problems, then gather and review all the data about alternative possible solutions and their consequences and select the solution that best matches their goals. The incremental model of policy making involves taking small steps which are based on previous policies or previous...
who may have different goals. Both models are developed to find the best possible decision available. Both Simon's rational model and Lindblom's incremental model are very different but both share a common goal and both methods can be effective under different circumstances. Using the rational decision making model, there is a high level of control over policy allocated to planners as opposed to the incremental which allows solutions to evolve over time. However, no single type of model can do everything, the rational model provides an ideal model whilst the incremental model provides a realistic view of the world.
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1. A little over a decade...1. A little over a decade after the "collapse of Communism", it might appear that Marxist theory has been relegated to little more than an historical or even archeological artefact with little relevance to or influence over an ever encroaching and expanding, globalising capitalism. Socialism "proper", as a state economic model and ideology seems to have been banished to the margins of the world scene. The disastrous results in terms of the dictatorships and totalitarianism that have ensued wherever an attempt has been made to implement a socialist model; the Fukuyaman proclamation of the "end of history" after communism collapsed, this end being equated with the eschatological triumph of free-market capitalism; and the insistence of multinational enterprises and capitalist governments on the expansion of global capital appear to some extent to have marked the death of socialism and marxist critique. 2. However, it cannot be denied that fundamental contradictions remain and are increasing in intensity. Recent events, such as often violent demonstrations whenever and wherever bodies seen to be representative of global capitalism, such as the World Trade Organisation, meet, and the upsurge in anti-western sentiment, especially in Islamic middle-eastern nations, point to a trend that now denies the triumphant mood in the West during the early nineties. Magnus and Cullenberg referred to these already in 1994 in their Introductions to Derrida"s Specters of Marx: Given the difficulties some democratic, free market economies are experiencing - including the plight of the homeless, the lack of adequate health care, environmental degradation, and enormous debt burdens - what sort of model for the future do we have? And what is one to make of the destructive, even violent "nationalisms" which have followed in the wake of the collapse of communism, not to mention virulent forms of ethnocentrism and xenophobia perhaps not seen since Hitler"s Germany? What does this imply then for"¦the global economy and life throughout our shared world? viii Derrida also takes note of the economic contradictions undermining the "end" of history: And how can one overlook, moreover, the economic war that is raging today both between [the United States and the European Community] and within the European Community? How can one minimize the conflicts of the GATT treaty and all that it represents, which the complex strategies of protectionism recall every day, not to mention the economic war with Japan and all the contradictions at work within the trade between the wealthy countries and the rest of the world, the phenomena of pauperization and the ferocity of the "foreign debt", the effects of what [Marx"s] Manifesto also called "the epidemic of overproduction" and the "state of momentary barbarism""¦it can induce in so-called civilized societies, and so forth? 1994: 63 3. We have seen the effects of the GATT conflicts in cities like Seattle and Melbourne, with large-scale demonstrations against the World Trade Organisation. Much more powerful, shocking and consequential a symbol of late capitalist contradictions, however, is the destruction of the towering World Trade Centre in New York by suicide bombers earlier this year and the ensuing "War on Terrorism" waged by the West upon Afghanistan. 4. It seems though, that with the "end" of history, the West has also experienced the loss of history. A truly critical self-analysis, requiring at least a depth consistent with that of the Marxian tradition is patently lacking in light of the virtually automatic and instant response of what has been widely dubbed as the "War on Terrorism" as opposed to, say, " Yet another War in Afghanistan". 5. What of the "reality" of socialism though? Feher, Heller and Markus 1983 have argued that, whatever else they have been, those countries which have defined themselves as socialist have been anything but. Socialism has not yet actually existed: The new society, the "dictatorship over needs", is neither a novel, modified form of state capitalism, nor is it socialism - it is "something else". It is a social formation completely different from any that has existed in European or world history to date and it is equally different from any relevant conception in terms of which socialism, either "scientifically" or in a utopian manner, has ever been conceived 221. As they go on to explain, one of the reasons for this spectacular failure of socialism to become a real social formation is that, Marxism and socialist theories in general were much too self indulgently value-free, in the positivistic sense typical of nineteenth-century theories, to make unambiguously clear the conditions, the fulfilment of which would constitute socialism and conversely, the conditions, the want of which constitutes an anti-capitalist formation, which however cannot and should not be identified with socialism Feher, Heller & Markus, 1983: 229. 6. Both Lukacs" concept of reification and Heller"s analysis of the Marxist theory of needs, which I attempt to elucidate here, are themselves attempts to counter this positivism inherent in Marxism, which has tended to plague socialism to its extreme detriment wherever it attempts to engender itself as a social reality. This type of curbing of positivism in Marxian critique has appeared elsewhere also, for example in Baudrillard"s [Symbolic Exchange] which tends to criticise the valorisation and naturalisation of the concept "work" over and against that of excessive "play", and in Derrida"s already cited Specters of Marx 1994, which highlights particularly that historically sited Marxism and communisms are mediated by the societies, cultures and traditions in which they appear and argues for a plurality of Marxisms and even of the proper name Marx. 7. Concepts such as Lukacs" "reification" and Heller"s "dissatisfaction" are still valid, especially in light of the triumphant "self-indulgence" and "positivism" of capitalist theories, such as globalisation and economic rationalism, which are now attempting in a similar manner that appears to many people as more dictatorial than democratic, at the least in a "sinister" manner, to become global social realities. For this reason I have digressed somewhat: too often university essays can seem abstract exercises, with little relevance to the "real" world, but in digressing onto recent historical contradictions, I want to highlight that Marxist theory need not die peacefully at all, or simply be an academic exercise in a theory which is only of historical interest. 8. Both Lukacs in his analysis of reification and Heller in her analysis of needs in Marx posit as central effects of commodifaction the fact that the worker becomes dominated by and alienated from his own activity and labour power - the effect of commodification is fundamentally one of estrangement and alienation. Heller 1974: 48 defines this as follows: In alienation and particularly in capitalism the end/means relation inherent in labour is turned upside down and becomes its opposite. In commodity producing society, use value the product of concrete labour does not serve to satisfy needs. Its essence consists, on the contrary, in satisfying the needs of the person to whom it does not belong. The nature of the use value that the worker produces is all the same to him; he bears no relation to it. Hence, the worker in modern capitalism is alienated from his labour as concrete because its product serves to satisfy the needs of someone else, not his own. What the worker performs for himself is "abstract labour" 48 which he performs for another in exhange for money in order to satisfy his own necessary needs, which labour appears then as an obectivated commodity when rendered as concrete. The result is that "capitalist industry and agriculture do not produce for needs, nor for their satisfaction. The end of production is the valorisation of capital, and the satisfaction of needs on the market is only a means towards this end" 49. 9. Lukacs renders this alienation in terms of the reification of the commodity: What is of central importance here is that because of this situation [commodity reification] a man"s own activity, his own labour becomes something objective and independent of him, something that controls him by virtue of an autonomy alien to man 1971: 86,87. 10. Although Lukacs sources his analysis of reification in the section in Marx"s Capital entitled "The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret thereof" Lukacs, 1971: 86, we can see the essence of both of the above citations in Marx"s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts. In these, in a much stronger tone than is used in, say, Capital, Marx already develops the themes of alienation, commodity reification and the concept of the worker"s needs and their satisfaction, or the impossibility of satisfying these under capitalism. In terms of reification and the alienation of man"s labour, Marx writes: "¦the worker sinks to the level of a commodity and becomes indeed the most wretched of commodities"¦the wretchedness of the worker is in inverse proportion to the power and magnitude of his production"¦ The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and size. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates"¦ Labour produces not only commodities: it produces itself and the worker as a commodity - and this at the same rate at which it produces commodities in general Marx, 1997: 60-62. This process has the direct effect of alienating the labourer from the object in the capacity of the product of his labour: The worker puts his life into the object; but now his life no longer belongs to him but to the object. Whatever the product of his labour, he is not. Therefore the greater this product, the less he is himself. The alienation of the worker in his product means not only that his labour becomes an object, an external existence, but that it exists outside him, independently, as something alien to him"¦ 62 This is a process of instrumentalisation that is affecting the worker. It results in "estrangement, the loss of the object, of his product" 63, which in turn directly affects the needs of man and how they are satisfied, which is the focus of Heller"s analysis. As a result of alienation, man"s need becomes ever greater, but the only way he can respond to his need is in the selfish objectification of the other: Man becomes ever poorer as man, his need for money becomes ever greater if he wants to master the hostile power [which is the need as alien power placed in him by the other, so that the other may attempt to satisfy his own need - which turns humans into mere means towards an alien end: that of profit]. The power of his money declines in inverse proportion to the increase in the volume of production: that is, his neediness grows as the power of money increases 82. The culmination of the alienation of labour and subservience of man to alien, "imaginary" 82 needs is the triumph of money [defined in "The Fetishism of Commodities"¦" as the ultimate form "of the world of commodities that actually conceals, instead of disclosing, the social character of private labour, and the social relations between the individual producers" Marx, 1954: 76], as virtually omnipotent, taking the natural place of the human being, relegating humans to something like the "mist enveloped regions of the religious world" 72 from wich, by analogy, the Fetishism itself was originally derived: The less you are, the less you express your own life, the more you have, i.e., the greater is your alienated life, the greater is the store of your estranged being. Everything [taken] from you in life and in humanity, [is replaced] for you in money and in wealth; and all the things you cannot do, your money can do. It can eat and drink, go to the dance hall and the theatre; it can travel, it can appropriate art, learning, the treasures of the past, political power - all this it can appropriate for you - it can buy all this: it is true endowment 84. However, the one thing it specifically cannot do, is fulfil human need, for money only wants to create and multiply itself, whilst the worker, finally, may only own as much as will make him want to go on living, needing always more, in a perpetual cycle of dissatisfaction. 11. Lukacs" concept of reification is particularly elucidated in the essay "Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat" especially in the section "The Phenomenon of Reification" which appears in History and Class Consciousness 1971. The term "reification", however, is a rather unwieldy one, and suffers from a symptom that foreign terms often tend to suffer when translated into English: the tendency to use uncommon or obscure terms in English. We note a similar fate in the translation of Freud"s "das Ich", literally "the I", rendered as "the Ego"; and "das Es", literally "the it", rendered as "the Id". The term "reification" is hardly an everyday word, and its verb form "to reify" is defined by the Encarta World English Dictionary as, "to think of or treat something asbtract as if it existed as a real or tangible object". The original German term is "Verdinglichung" Lukacs, 1923, which conveys the sense of the process of being changed into a thing. That which is changed is the "relation between people" Lukacs, 1971: 83 which "takes on the character of a thing" 83. The key impact of Lukacs" analysis lies in his invocation of the word consciousness. As Johnson 1984: 10-11 draws out, Lukacs locates the revolutionary dynamic in the social existence of the worker, as opposed to mechanical economic laws which are supposed to inevitably and automatically transform capitalism into socialism. Lukacs consequently relates consciousness to the whole of society 1971: 51 in order to infer or impute consciousness to the proletariat "as if they were able to assess" 51 their objective situation. This is may be identified as the anti-positivist strain in Lukacs" thought, which is later specified in his criticism of "vulgar Marxism", which "bases itself on the "natural laws" of economic development which are to bring about these transitions by their own impetus and without having recourse to a brute force lying "beyond economics"" 239. However, because - as argued above - humans are, in capitalism, become completely subservient to and in thrall to perpetually generated imaginary needs which might be defined as "luxuries" which they are all too busy attempting to satisfy, the worker is continually persuaded of his subjective value in terms of his consumptive power mediated by money - even if this subjectivity is only in the end a "false consciousness". Therefore the proletariat cannot become aware in order to analyse its situation with a view to achieving true consciousness and revolution. In the end, Lukacs is forced to rely on the Communist Party as a mediating power for the imputation of a revolutionary class consciousness. 12. Heller"s analysis of needs in Marx on the other hand, specifically the analysis of radical needs, proposes that "the worker becomes conscious of the contradiction between the need to develop his personality and the "accidental" character of his subordination to the division of labour" Heller, 1974: 90. This consciousness is precipitated by the emergence of radical needs, which are needs which capitalism is structurally incapable of satisfying. However these needs "cannot be "eliminated" from capitalism because they are necessary to its functioning"¦ it is not the Being of radical needs that transcends capitalism but their satisfaction" 76. Where dissatisfaction of radical needs then becomes a historical reality, the possibility of transcending capitalism also becomes real. Take for example the notion of "free time": [The worker] is convinced that from a certain point onwards capitalism is incapable of shortening labour time any further: the need for free time then becomes in principle a radical need, which can only be satisfied with the transcendence of capitalism. When related to the need for free time, the character of "radical needs" is brought out in a particularly striking manner: it is produced by capitalism itself, by its contradictory character, and thus belongs to the very functioning of capitalism"¦ At the same time, need itself mobilises the working class into transcending capitalism 91. Heller"s analysis of needs in Marx thus offers the possibility of the working class becoming conscious of its own situation and revolting against it in a manner which Lukacs" theory of reification cannot. Lukacs in History and Class Consciousness is forced to arbitrarily and unconvincingly rely on the party as mediator of the revolution - however the question remains, If the proletariat is incapable of coming to consciousness, what will guarantee that the Party is any more unfalsely conscious than the proletariat it is supposed to represent? It would appear that the history of the Communist Party has shown that there is no guarantee of this whatsoever. As Heller reminds us: As yet, history has not answered the question as to whether capitalist society in fact produces this "consciousness exceeding its bounds", which in Marx"s day did not exist, and whose existence Marx therefore had to project 1974: 95.   

1. A little over a decade after the "collapse of Communism", it might appear that Marxist theory has been relegated to little more than an historical or even archeological artefact with little relevance to or influence over an ever encroaching and expanding, globalising capitalism. Socialism "proper", as a state economic...

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As the complexity of government increase,...As the complexity of government increase, the legislative branches of many western democracies have lost power to their executives giving rise to terms such as "elected dictatorships" and the elected members of parliament as merely "lobby-fodder". While occasionally eclipsed, and led, by strong Presidents the American Congress has mostly managed to maintain its control over the legislative process and imperial presidencies. President Bush's Nov. 13 executive order asserting his right to establish military tribunals for terrorists and the antiterrorism bill containing a section entitled "Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus" Newsweek, 12/10/2001 is an example of the executive attempts at grabbing for power being controlled by congress. Congress has four main functions these are representation, legislation, investigation and scrutiny oversight, and financial control. This essay is concerned with the legislative element only though it will be seen that due to the nature of American politics representation must always be considered The construction of the constitution is such that it implies that Congress was to be the dominant institution of the American political system Article 1 S1-S8 of the constitution. The powers of congress are granted, guarded and constrained by the constitution and it is not, like the British House of Commons, the sovereign power able to do what it pleases. Within the Federal structure Congress is checked by the President as set out in the Constitution and now also by the supreme courts power of Judicial review which was established in the case of Marbury v. Madison 1803. Further more the division of powers between Federal and State governments also constrains Congress but over its lifetime Congress has increased its influence first by widening the scope of its power to govern inter-state to include activities within a state the landmark Court rulings being Heart of Atlanta Motel Inc v. United States 1964, Katzen v. McClung 1964 and Labour Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin 1937. Congress is a bicameral legislature with the House of Representatives representing the people and the Senate representing the states. Both have legislative responsibility and then distinct clearly defined, by the Constitution, separate powers. The Senate is responsible for approving bureaucratic and judicial appointments made by the president, ratifying treaties and acting as a court in impeachment proceedings. With its six-year term, against two-years in the House, the Senate is regarded as the more prestigious of the two chambers. Occasionally refereed to as the upper chamber as in the original congress building in New York it was on the floor above the House of Representatives. The House is responsible for originating finance bills and initiating impeachment proceedings. Central to the legislative process is the passage of bills through congress. This process is outlined below and various aspects of the process will be discussed later A bill can be initiated by members of Congress, interest groups or the executive branch of government. Ed Davis California state senator " About 90% of all legislation is conceived by special interest groups. And probably less than 5% by governors, by individual legislators, by government itself" Williams p167. A bill may only be introduced by a member of Congress and if it relates to finance it must begin in the House. Once introduced the bill is allocated to one of the 37 various standing committees by the Speaker of the House or the Majority Leader if in the senate. The chair of the committee will then decide if the bill needs to be considered by the full committee, a sub-committee or pigeonholed for later consideration. The bill is considered and examined in depth by the committee. Unless the bill deals with sensitive material, the deliberations are open to the public under the so-called "sunshine" rules. The amended bill is then voted, or not, for progression to the full chamber. In the House the Rules Committee assigns a time slot of the bills debate in the Senate this is done by the Majority Party Policy Committee. The bill is debated and passed by each chamber. If the bill is passed by both chambers but with different amendments, a conference committee is made up of members from each chambers original standing committee to agree a single version of the amended bill. This jointly drafted bill goes to each chamber for a vote and if successful goes onto the president for approval or veto. If the President vetoes the bill Congress can override the veto with a 2/3rds-majority of both chambers vote but this rarely happens. The main foci of power in congress are the committees and party leadership. In the House of Representatives, there is also the Rules committee that decides which bills and in what form them come to the House floor. Giving a power to withhold bills or allow passage in an amended format, acceptable to party in power. Until 1975 the Rules committee was dominated by Southern Democrats who refused to grant rules to, thus stopping, bills they disliked "“ typically civil rights. The chairs of standing committees greatly influence the progress of a bill. They control meeting schedules, resource allocation and speak on the floor on behalf of the committee. A chairman's decision to pigeonhole a bill means that it will be consigned to obscurity and effectively fail. Prior to the reforms of the early 1970's, the chairs were allocated on the seniority basis in that the longest serving member of the majority party on said committee became its chairman. Leading again to a system dominated by elder southern democrats. Now that the majority party caucus can remove committee chairs and nominate their own replacements, committee chairs must consider party lines rather than treating committees as their own personal fiefdom. The weakening of committee chairs Party loyalty in Congress is weak compared with European governments, as members know that their election depends not on the party but on their own ability to raise finance and the electorate in their home states and districts. Having said this, votes will follow party lines unless it does not coincide with an individual's stance on the subject. Congress needs accurate information to base its decisions on. Until the middle of the twentieth century, Congress used to rely on the executive but now it has its own independent information gathering capacity. Members of the House have an average of 17 staff. Senators have typical 36. Compare this with British Members of Parliament who might have two. In addition, there is the Library of Congress and the Congressional Budget office bringing the total number of congress staff to just over 40,000 Williams P130. Pressure groups and professional lobbyists are also used by congressmen as a source of information. Contacts or interested parties in industry will send congressmen information if it benefits them The first priority of a congressman is re-election. Members of congress are mostly motivated by re-election by trying to convince their constituents that they deliver the goods pork barrel politics. Congressmen will support legislation that benefits their district. In mustering enough votes for their projects congressmen engage in the practice of Log-rolling which is bargaining, vote trading and exchanges of favours. In the 1970s and 80s, alliances among congressional committees, federal agencies, and industry could steamroller legislation through congress. The recent occurrence of legislative and executive branches being frequently under the control of different parties' along with the increase in pressure groups that funded any whom supported their cause irrespective of party has lead to the break up of these iron triangles. Such was the coziness of these so-called Iron Triangles that congress staff would leave to join industry who would then go on to join the federal agency. This "revolving door problem" became so acute that legislation was bought in imposing a two-year ban on congress staff going to work for companies they had dealings with. Many laws are not passed unless legislators see a particular benefit for their own constituency. Colloquially referred to as 'pork-barrel' legislation. As there are only a quarter the number of Senators as there are Representatives the time demands on Senators are much greater. Many Senators are double booked for committee meetings and either give a proxy vote to a trusted colleague or send their staff to represent and act for them. The less important and less prestigious the committee the greater the proportion of staff to senators attending. Congress has maintained its power because the American system of government has a true seperation of powers and Congress can call the executive to account. Unlike the British Parliament which has no control over the executive who can lie and withold information at no risk of sanctions against them as the leader of the executive is also the leader of the legislative Of its four main functions, congress carries out that of representation with the most enthusiasm. Representing the spectrum of American aspirations set within the complex interplay of voters, interest groups, industry and its own membership. During the 103rd congress, 465 out of the 9824 bills introduced became law Bowles p173. The main choke points available to congressmen and pressure groups in the legislative system have produced a veto system where positive action is impossible but thwarting the will of other groups is relatively simple   

As the complexity of government increase, the legislative branches of many western democracies have lost power to their executives giving rise to terms such as "elected dictatorships" and the elected members of parliament as merely "lobby-fodder". While occasionally eclipsed, and led, by strong Presidents the American Congress has mostly managed...

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