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Practice political tolerance

August 10, 2014

Why do I hope that no one with my exact set of convictions ever gets elected to high office? First, because I change my mind pretty often, so that person would have to have the same exact changes of heart that I’m having. Second, any mistake or failure on the part of this person would immediately be ascribed to me as well, whether deservedly or not. Third, fellow-travelers often scare me. If it’s hard to find one person with a very close match of opinions, try an entire movement. Fourth, because power corrupts both materially and intellectually. Finally, and most importantly, because I believe that societies evolve from the bottom up, and never the other way around. Good administrators are like good surfers, they intuit the right wave and ride it for as long as possible. Bad politicians on the other hand tumble often and struggle to swim against the current. So from this point of view, I might not be a good surfer myself. What if I am having all the wrong intuitions? Emergent change is anybody’s guess, we don’t know until after the fact. For all these reasons, my attitude towards politics is one of tolerance. I try to let them be, the way I tolerate Hollywood celebrities, bad poets, and sports commentators. Annoying yes, but survivable.

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From → Politics?

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