Demonization of your opponent is an intellectually lazy way of avoiding the defense of your position. A more subtle way of such demonetization, rather just calling your opposition stupid, racist or anti-science is to call them ideological. This infers that the opposition are so wrapped in an idea or a principle that they are oblivious to whether it works. Pragmatism is proposed as an alternative to the blind faith of ideology. This brief video featuring Jonah Goldberg addresses this ruse.

It is not the act of ideology that is actually the problem but the ideology itself.  And those who claim not be a slave to ideology are in fact precisely so, because they are not in fact non ideological, they just refuse to recognize the ideology they hold.  Thus they never have to defend it intellectually.

In the early days of Progressivism Pragmatism (capital ‘P’) was offered as a formal school of philosophy. Addressing Pragmatism as an ideology could give one a headache.  Pragmatism becomes a word that is considered a virtue in the private sector yet can become a vice in the service of government policy.

Intellectualism is the fascination with the world of ideas, and its study is often considered aside from their practicality.  Pragmatism in its renunciation of ideology is thus anti-intellectual.

The application of  principles and philosophies is the world of politics and economics, and it requires pragmatism (with a little ‘p’).  But it does not require nor should it tolerate the expulsion of principles or ideology.

Jonah Goldberg has noted in other articles that much of was is pursued in the name of Pragmatism because it works often proves not to work.  Jonah Goldberg address this subject more broadly in his excellent Liberal Fascism.

 

 

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