Monday, October 1, 2007

POCKET PARADIGMS

If you're going to be serious about politics -- the way a race track aficionado is serious about horses -- then the first thing you got to figure out is what's fact and what's fluff, what you can believe and what you can't. Fantasies are for sex, not politics. And democracies fail not because of excessive skepticism about their leaders, but rather due to a mass illusion that everything is going to be all right.- Sam Smith

6 Comments:

At October 1, 2007 3:45 PM, Anonymous Richard said...

"Everything is for the best in this,the best of all possible worlds."

 
At October 2, 2007 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And democracies fail not because of excessive skepticism about their leaders, but rather due to a mass illusion that everything is going to be all right.

It's not only democracies that fail for that reason, as Jared Diamond has shown (Collapse).

Any culture that fails to insist on intelligent, other-interested leaders/rulers will go under, if the environmental conditions are marginal. That's because any other kind of leader/ruler will be narrowly self-interested in an "apres moi" way.

Diamond has documented societal collapses that seem inexplicable at our remove: how could those people not have realised that they were committing mass suicide?

But on another level, it's not really hard to understand. All we have to do is look around and see how tightly focused we ourselves are on everyday concerns, and how ready we are to accept the self-serving "interpretations" of the unscrupulous about what's going on.

--Mairead

 
At October 2, 2007 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not so much acceptance of the bushwa as it is a sense of futility in being able to anything about it. Here in the Heartland there exists a foreboding and frustration with our condition. Predominant is the notion that ours leaders have become indifferent and unresponsive to the needs of their general constituencies.
How can we counteract the feelings of helplessness and despair that have grown so prevalent?

 
At October 2, 2007 2:11 PM, Blogger xilii said...

Fantasies are for sex, not politics.
A truth known and practiced by every whore holding or seeking public office.

 
At October 3, 2007 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's because any other kind of leader/ruler will be narrowly self-interested in an 'apres moi' way."

This implies that kings would be much better than rulers elected for a limited period of time. The only "apres moi" a lifetime ruler gets is "apres mort" which, according to this logic, would probably encourage them to avoid pissing the people off. Somehow, it rarely worked that way in practice, though.

 
At October 3, 2007 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This implies that kings would be much better than rulers elected for a limited period of time.

I don't follow your reasoning. Should I have used a different quote, perhaps?

The point I was trying to make is that stupidly self-centered people don't care what happens after they go, and that's true regardless of their tenure in office. There's a rather (in)famous quote that goes something like "why should I care about the future? When I die, the universe dies too."

--Mairead

 

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