B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Little Statesmen and Philosophers Stuck In the Mud

without comments

Come Rain Come Shine
Come Rain Come Shine

Funny isn’t it that facts never get factored into the discussion. Or rarely. Even though austerity as an option to solve economic duress has not worked, now, or ever, those proponents never give in, and adjust their mantra to factor in new facts. Instead, they just increase their voice’s volume.

Paul Krugman notes:

Ralph Waldo Emerson understood this. The original version of his famous quote — I had forgotten this — reads:

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

I don’t know about the divines bit, but the little statesmen thing is completely accurate. Suppose George Osborne were to admit that austerity isn’t working. What, then, would be left of his claim to be qualified to do, well, anything? He has to stick it out until something turns up,no matter how many lives it destroys.

Suppose that some pundit who has spent his whole career calling for bipartisanship, a compromise between the extremes of left and right, were to admit the plain fact that Obama is very much a centrist, who is in particular proposing deficit reduction through exactly the kind of mix of tax hikes and spending cuts “centrist” pundits demand — and that the GOP, by contrast, is an extremist organization whose extremism is almost solely responsible for the bitterness of the partisan divide. A pundit making that admission would in effect be saying that everything he has said and done for the past several years was not just useless but harmful, actively misleading readers about the state of the debate. He just can’t do it.

The point is that a large part of the reason we’re locked into such a mess is careerism. And yes, that’s quite vile, if you think about it: politicians and pundits alike letting the world burn — probably unconsciously, but still — because their personal position would be hurt if they admitted to past mistakes.

(click here to continue reading Little Statesmen and Philosophers – NYTimes.com.)

It isn’t only politics, but topics like Climate Change, Gun Control, even to mundane topics like does Steely Dan suck…

Written by Seth Anderson

February 24th, 2013 at 10:52 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with

Leave a Reply