Tag Archives

Archive of posts published in the tag: pragmatism

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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’…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Pragmatism and Fascism

“Part of Mussolini’s reputation as a new kind of leader stemmed from his embrace of “modern”ideas, among them American Pragmatism. He claimed in many interviews that William James was one of the three or four most influential philosophers in his…

Read More

Statism and Pragmatism

Words like communism, socialism and fascism are most likely to be used pejoratively: to criticize in such a way as to intentionally anger the object. While there are a few elements of socialism and fascism in our government it does…

Read More

Pragmatism

Pragmatism, a philosophy  devised by William James, John Dewey, and others, is anti-principle.  Pragmatism says that principles are snares and delusions.  Pragmatists teach explicitly that contradictions are inevitable and that it is folly to try to define a consistent set…

Read More