Thursday, November 14, 2019

Realistic Idealism

For the record, I haven't given up most of my central ideals. But I've come to see the contemporary left as even more opposed to them than the right. For example, I think democracy needs reasonably open, honest, and rational public discussions of policy-relevant issues. I think the liberals, when we had them, were less inclined to lie and distort the issues than the right--especially when the religious right was ascendant. But I think that the vanguard of the contemporary left includes an influential intellectual sector that rejects both truth and rationality as Western, male, white, etc. And I think that contemporary progressives live in a web of fantasies and myths (as I often say). The center and center-right is where, IMO, rational discussion and open inquiry is happening currently. It hasn't always been that way. It won't always be that way. But if you think that the left is somehow, magically, always right and always rational and always best...well, that's delusional. There's absolutely no reason to believe that the left is always the more rational faction. It's no coincidence that the end of the spectrum that's most radical at a given time is also most irrational.
   Progressives, for example, have convinced themselves that immigration--no matter how much and no matter what kind--is pure win for everyone involved. Only conservatives are willing to admit that immigration comes with costs and risks. You don't have to give up your vision of America as a place that welcomes immigrants...but you do have to be realistic about the costs and risks, for the love of God... It's insane to risk the nation--our nation--that's the best hope of the world because you are too politically correct to face the fact that massive immigration comes with costs and risks.
   They've also convinced themselves of that about "diversity" generally. That goes hand in hand with their refusal to face its costs, and that with their refusal to permit criticism of the idea.
   You can be idealistic, and keep certain ideals as long-term goals...but that doesn't mean it's rational to ignore their costs and risks. Not every ideal can be rationally implemented immediately. Sometimes a long-term goal would be disastrous if implemented immediately. Or unthinkingly.
   Blah, blah, blah.


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