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Incoherence and a lack of principle make it impossible to advocate with any force for . . . well . . . anything.

Not so. Incoherence may inhibit those who realize that their position is incoherent or they might just not care. And some of the worst monsters we have had never even realized or accepted that there was any fault with their ideas. The problem is that politics operates much more on rhetoric than on philosophy. Most leaders throughout history have either inherited their position or have just "solved" the practical and rhetorical problems facing them sufficiently to gain control of the power of the state and then used that power to insure the continuation of their rule. Only in the last few centuries have we developed systems that allow leaders to exit office other than feet first.

But, ever hopeful, I would like to see an intellectually coherent position developed. When I was 20 I set for myself the task of examining all of my ideas and revising them until they became mutually coherent. Needless to say I soon found this task to be most grandiose. Fortunately, I did not have too much time to devote to it. My fall back position became one of accepting that all of my ideas were provisional and committing myself to attempting to reconcile differences when I became aware of them. Then I realized that some of the biggest problems were likely to be ones of which I was unaware.

Such is the human condition. As a friend said long ago: "sometimes I feel that life is a joke that someone is playing on me." I could appreciate the sentiment.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 11:32:22 PM EST
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