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Political sobriety II

May 6, 2011

Another good exercise to practice often on my 12-steps program towards apolitical nirvana is to make a list of as many New Year resolutions as one can remember ever having made. Then pretend that all those well-meaning proposals were somehow “voted” into law and that they started being enforced on your person alone. You have to imagine that every bureaucratic outfit, the police, the IRS, the justice system etc…steadily and relentlessly goes about the mission of making sure that you do in fact follow these new “laws”. Imagine also that no realistic way of quickly going back or retract your initial resolutions exists.

This exercise is meant to get a practical appreciation of how the democratic system works and why we often get stuck with bad policies that we don’t ever seem to be able to get rid of.

Now an individual put in this situation would quickly learn and start making much different (inconsequential) New Year resolutions. It would definitely put a break on flights of imagination. Society on the other hand has a much harder time learning such lessons. First of all because a society is clearly not a person, but more importantly because a society is much better at holding many conflicting opinions simultaneously.

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