Tuesday, March 12, 2013

logical politics

The Prophet Daniel (Michelangelo)

Conclusion

After listening carefully to the comments, and considering the situation and the personalities, and the motivating forces and preceding events, I have decided everyone is wrong. Where it is not plain wrong, your understanding of the facts is superficial, and your criticism more political than logical. I have therefore decided not to change my perspective, conduct, or approach. I have decided to push back.

I would have expected to relish this situation. Greatness needs fortune in order to rise, like the acorn needs fertile soil. The opportunity to stand firm in the light of truth against the storm of unenlightened opinion is a gift. Righteous indignation is a rare and invigorating joy. 

Considerations

Then there is hubris. Certainty blinds. Moving tongue, deaf ears. Established experts are often the last ones to notice the changes that make their knowledge obsolete. Perhaps you are all genuinely trying to bring my attention to something new, so new that we have not yet found words for it, and because it cannot be defined, I deny its existence, when I should instead join your efforts to describe it.

What if I am right? You will not thank me. You will remember only the bitterness of being wrong, and you will think of that bitterness when you think of me. Our differences center on certain shared interests, but we also have our own held personal interests which take priority over these other interests, and, no doubt, all of our personal goals include not feeling wrong, or bitter, or an asshole. 

So in the end, looking at the bigger picture, why don't I just go with the flow? As important as we all hold our shared goals to be, let's face it: we aren't talking about rescuing starving refugees from advancing troops on the wrong side of the desert border. We aren't disputing whether the convulsing open heart surgery patient will be saved or killed by tightening of the clamp. Egos are at stake. So why not keep my gunpowder dry and live to fight another day?

Practical Realities

What fight? What day? What's the profit if I sacrifice my integrity? The stand I take now determines the nature of the challenges I will face in the future. If I give up ground, I condemn myself to fight similar battles in the light of a precedent that weakens my position and gives strength to my opponents. "The man who trims himself to suit everyone soon whittles himself away".

Unconclusion

Of course, we all succeed or fail together. It is small satisfaction to the man on the sinking ship to have seen the iceberg. The situation calls for influence and persuasion. We must be led gently into the light so that we are able to see the truth for yourself. Because we are too easily distracted by the arguments, and lose sight of the what is really important. Logic often leads away from the truth.



If you prefer less introspective fare, my other blog is for the more practical and professionally-minded reader

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