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Archive of posts published in the tag: pragmatism

Pick Your Revolution

In our new revolutionary atmosphere, we face a Jacobin moment where our political and social institutions are called into question by woke vigilantes who follow in the footsteps of Calhoun’s racism, historicists, pragmatists, and the early progressives in challenging the philosophy and principles of the founding. Reform is always seductive; comparing visible faults and errors with untested intentions or in the case today nothing constructive. Like the French Jacobins the woke wish to deconstruct (destroy) the existing order in the name of systemic racism, critical race theory, vague concepts of equality, intersectionality or whatever concept oozes out of our citadels of credentialed ignorance.

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Acid Pragmagtism

“By pragmatism’s own metaphors, their philosophy is like an acid that dissolves dogmas. The problem with acid is that it never knows when to stop burning. That’s why liberals are constantly discovering new crises that require more government solutions. Suggesting to activist liberals that maybe some day they could just go home and get a real job elicits nothing but bewilderment or rage when you bring it up.”

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The Folly of Pragmatism

“Hence, the great irony: Hayek, one of the greatest champions of individual liberty and economic freedom the world has ever known, believed that knowledge was communal. Dewey, the champion of socialism and collectivism, believed that knowledge was individual. Hayek’s is a philosophy that treats individuals as the best judges of their own self-interests, which in turn yield staggering communal cooperation. Dewey’s was the philosophy of a giant, Monty Pythonesque crowd shouting on cue, “We’re All Individuals!”

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When the Parties Abandon Ideology

A political party is a coalition of interests designed to convince a majority to trust it enough to let it govern. The Progressive Era in its aim to neuter the constitutional speed bumps to majoritarian democracy pushed for democratic primaries. Initially the parties retained some ideological commitment, but in the age of instant outrage media, they have descended into tribal warfare where emotions rule over ideas. The two sides do not share common information or common narratives that define us as a nation.  There is no mere disagreement on how we arrive at common goals; we no longer agree on who we are.

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A Checklist of Priorities

Pragmatism is considered the antithesis of ideology but fails to recognize that it has become an ideology.  Ideological is not the same as dogmatic.  Ideology according to Goldberg is checklist of priorities. 

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Detours and Destinations

At some point ideology does matter. sound ideology must yield results but also requires commitment and patience. This requires the clarity of leadership that can balance ideology and pragmatism.  Pragmatism without ideology is a an unmoored ship that will eventually crash on the rocks.  Having a sound ideology, while acknowledging its imperfections, is a map that assures that detours do not become destinations.

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The Rejection of Ideology

Voters respond to tribal and cultural cues more than ideology. They respond to demons and saviors more than ideas. I find this unsettling, but a reality that must be accepted in the competition of ideas.  Ideas must be expressed in a way that connects culturally. FDR and Reagan accomplished this but it is very uncommon.

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Illusions of Pragmatism

by Henry Oliner “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” Friedrich August von Hayek The difference between a liberal and a conservative is often just…

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Pragmatic Liabilities

by Henry Oliner The reason ideology is relevant in the health care debate is that at the core of the difficulty is the separation of pragmatic solutions from sound ideological support. Our health care problem is an accumulation of short…

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The Failure of Pragmatic Health Care

The health insurance controversy is the pragmatic apex of sharply conflicting ideologies and both will not easily coexist. It will take more than the repeal of Obamacare to fix. Obamacare was just a bad response to a history of bad policies. Trying a different bad response will not fix the problem either.

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Pragmatic Exhaustion

by Henry Oliner I sense an exhaustion with all things political. Too much to absorb, analyze and understand. In the hail of information, data and events we resort more to our previous beliefs to make sense of it, and in…

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Venezuelan Pragmatism

From National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, Throw Away the New Playbook: What he meant by this is that sometimes you can’t be told something, you have to see it or experience it for yourself. I could write a dozen different columns…

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Pragmatism and Morals

from an interview with Penn Jillete in the January Reason Magazine When I talk about the death penalty to people, there are a zillion pragmatic arguments to make that the death penalty is more expensive, that you could make mistakes…

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Ideology and Pragmatism

from Peggy Noonan at  The WSJ, What Trump Got That Romney Didn’t: “Americans are not ideologues,” I wrote. “They think ideology is something squished down on their heads from on high, something imposed on them by big thinkers who create systems…

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The Most Dysfunctional Ideology

It is not the act of being ideological that disturbs the left, it is the ideology.  Faith in an idea or principle makes you ideological;  faith in their own  ideas and principles makes them pragmatic.  Pragmatism with a capital ‘P’…

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Beware of Pragmatism

An astute value investor maintains a disciplined approach to his craft.  He knows to value the company based on careful analysis and avoids the seduction of rationalizing the acquisition of attractive companies that fail to fit the criteria. There will…

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Another False Ideological Construct

The dark side of pragmatism is not obvious to most people.  Like so many terms its application and meaning in the private sector can alter greatly when applied in the public realm.  But changing reality while being numb to principles…

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Pragmatic Failure

When We Say ‘Conservative,’ We Mean . . . by Jonah Goldberg at National Review I think this is because conservatism isn’t a single thing. Indeed, as I have argued before, I think it’s a contradictory thing, a bundle of…

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Ideology and Pragmatism (pt deaux)

When we complain about others being ideological, aren’t we really complaining about their ideology? It is not the act of committing to a principle, it is the principle they are committed to.  It is the other person’s ideology we have…

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A Government of Laws

from Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal, Clinton is Already Vowing to Overreach: This is no small matter. “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands,” James Madison warned in Federalist 47, “may justly be pronounced…

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