Sunday, May 17, 2009

A reminder

If your ideology ends up with thousands of dead bodies in the streets, your ideology is immoral and wrong. Sorry. That applies whether you call your ideology "neo-conservatism", "conservatism", "libertarianism", "communism", or whatever. The only ideology that has ever actually worked is pragmatism, for the simple reason that pragmatism is defined as, "do what works", heh. I.e., if there is a problem, look at all the solutions that have been tried and choose the one that works, rather than choosing according to whatever specific ideology first proposed and implemented that solution. That's pragmatism.

Let us remember that the whole purpose of any form of social organization is to produce the most good for the most people. People who raise any "-ism" to the level of religion are dangerous -- and, in many cases, evil, and not knowing they're evil because they view their own ideology as "good" and everything else as "evil". But if their ideology leads to dead bodies on the streets... I don't know what else you can call these people other than evil.

-- Badtux the Pragmatic Penguin


  1. I stand and clap and cheer for the truth of this post and thank you for writing it.
    I wish you would put it up on a very regular (and frequent) schedule.

  2. Yes! If it ends in bloodshed, it ain't my revolution. The penguin is spot on about that.

    But ... here's the problem with embracing pragmatism: it works to do *what* exactly? What goals or ends is it working toward? For instance, do you want to distribute wealth or concentrate it in the hands of a few? There's always gonna be a value system lurking in the background. I'm not saying those values can or should add up to an "ideology," only that pragmatism alone is insufficient.

  3. True enough. There's nothing wrong with having a core ideology that you prefer to follow. The only thing wrong is continuing to do what that ideology requires even when it's clear that your ideology doesn't have an answer to that particular problem, whether it's health care, disaster recovery, road construction, or whatever. Once your ideology starts resulting in dead bodies, you've jumped the shark.

  4. That's exactly it. And along those lines: I've really appreciated your recent posts on health care and "Medicare for All." People are in fact dying unnecessarily, thanks to our crazy insurance "system." So yeah, that's one area where we've definitely jumped the shark.

  5. Are you writing about health care, war, or religion? Sometimes I can't tell the difference.

  6. Sharecropper: Yes. It is an observation I've made in a number of contexts, three of which you quite well mention.


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