Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Idealism, democracy, and politics

I was down at the ALP National Conference yesterday handing out "Troops out of Afghanistan" leaflets to the conferees. They're an evasive bunch... Most started life as political hacks handing out leaflets and now they run a mile to avoid being handed one... Strange...

Anyhow, after a couple of hours, having seen the delegates nicely tucked away inside, we lefty pinko bastards went and had coffee and a chat.

I made a comment that idealism can lead to extremism if not tempered by pragmatism (or some such comment).

Well... you could have heard a pin drop!

They looked at me like I was a blathering fool, or worse, an ASIO plant.

I've seen those looks before, when I was a member of the Greens. It seems that people drawn to ideologically driven political parties are not practicing philosophical free thinkers but blind regurgitators of ideological "Absolute Truths", and heaven help anyone who utters blasphemies which might question or challenge these.

True believers... It seems thinking and true belief are mutually exclusive cerebral activities.

So there you are, a minor political party, staunchly idealistic, with the balance of power in a hung parliament. The two major parties (one of which is trying desperately to govern) don't share your ideals, but hey, we live in a democracy. Majority rules.

What do you do? Do you negotiate compromises which will see at least some of your ideals (maybe even watered down) embedded in legislation, or do you stick blindly to the purest form of your ideals, knowing, as you do, that you, the select few, are in touch with the Absolute Moral Truth, and thereby cause the governing party to do deals with "the opposition" in order to get their legislation up? Remember, in a democracy, majority rules, ok?

What do you do? You sing this song >>>


Blogger Davoh said...

No, i don't.

December 04, 2011 3:23 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Clearly not a Lanie Lane fan, eh Davo?

Anyway, the question was somewhat rhetorical, pointing to the dilemma between ideology and pragmatism.

The answer may be similar to the one which answers the question "How long is a piece of string?"

December 04, 2011 3:50 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Anyway, I shared this blog post with one of the coffee drinkers and she seems to have been offended by what I've written. Now I'm wondering if I've lost a friend. :-(

December 05, 2011 7:17 AM  
Blogger The Heathen Republican said...

I'll echo your sentiment from the right. Ideology only goes so far, and we need to be pragmatic to get anything done.

December 07, 2011 8:40 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

HR, Now you've really gone and done it... My lefty street cred is now totally shredded. If a right winger is agreeing with me, I can't possibly be a kosher lefty. :-(

But I'm sure right wing ideologues are equally horrified by the watering-down effect pragmatism has on their own brand of perfect dogma.

December 07, 2011 10:06 AM  
Blogger The Heathen Republican said...

Well, if it helps your street cred, I do disagree with the rest of your post, but I decided to simply comment on what I agree with. I see the humor in your list and it made me laugh, but I certainly don't think any of it is true.

Hope that helps.

December 07, 2011 11:07 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Thanks for that, HR. Now what would really help is if you debated with me the stuff you think is not true, so that I could educate a poor deluded right winger and thereby improve the planet. :-)

December 07, 2011 11:43 AM  

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