From “The Wire” to “Heresthetics” – the game is rigged….

The game is rigged, you feel me? (At this point the wife will point out that I am not, in actual fact, a black man from B’more… Sorry “Baltimore”).

Anyway, back to game rigging- the word for the day is “Heresthetics”

William Riker was one of the leading scholars “positive political theory,” or the Rational Choice School of political science. He developed a theory of political action based on a skill he called heresthetics: structuring the world so you can win.

Positive political theory has three central assumptions: 1) Rationality-individuals make reasoned decisions; 2) Component analysis-only small parts of a system are important in predicting human behavior; and 3) Strategic behavior-individuals take into account what others may do before making decisions (interaction as opposed to action). All three assumptions play an important role in his model and attempt to answer the question: Does a distinctly political kind of behavior exist? Riker’s answer is yes: heresthetics. Riker coined this term from a Greek root meaning “choosing and electing.” For Riker, the rational political person wants to win at the game of politics. How they win is using rhetoric (verbal skill in persuasion) and heresthetics (structuring the process so one may win) to build effective coalitions.

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