Though I consider myself to be politically extremely left-wing, I am not (I hope) blindly so. There is an element of the left that I refer to as “Liberal Nit-Wits.” Like their counterparts on the far right, they don’t have a great track record of thinking things through. Big-hearted people with tiny or misguided brains tend to solve problems in a Don Quixote way.
They also tend to believe that “policies” can be formulated that will keep all people safe at all times. Nuh-uh. That doesn’t work. For starters, they shouldn’t kid themselves into believing that policies can anticipate all situations. Also, all situations with similar circumstances are not exactly alike. Policies must be generalized with room for discretionary interpretation. There must be room left for professionals to exercise common sense and professional judgment.
I know that misjudgments and mistakes would be made. But I believe that well-intentioned policies cause more misjudgments and mistakes and they are far more frustrating to deal with because policies tend to be inflexible. Once a policy is in place there seems to be no room for reason to prevail.
In a similar departure from “Liberal Nit-wittism,” I believe that if social cohesion is to hold sway, we must all start by obeying the police. I know that there is a school of thought that considers the police to be the untrustworthy, well-armed “Blue Gang” and that obeying them is only kow-towing to gang mentality. That’s just plain stupid! Yes, in a sense they are the “Blue Gang.” They are OUR blue gang, society’s agreed to and funded blue gang. They are the gang who is willing to put themselves in harm’s way on behalf of reasonable living order and ultimately on behalf of social safety. The misguided racist and violence-loving individuals among the police need to be identified, re-educated, and if necessary they should be fired or prosecuted and jailed. But step one for everyone else is to obey the police order, then work out the justice of the order afterwards. And yes – the police do have the right and the requirement to use physical force to see that you do what they tell you to do! We depend on them being able to do that!
See: Time to Think Gooder
I tend to part from the right wing pretty severely in some respects. I think that the races of humanity are completely equal in their intellectual potential, but equal development requires equal education, equal opportunity, equal rewards.
Since that has not happened in many places, I don’t think that jumping to any conclusions about racial superiority or inferiority can stand the appropriate tests. Moreover, insisting that there is such an underlying difference in potential has the tendency to seem to prove itself right by denying equality of opportunity, then judging the results. That’s seriously poor thinking.
There are many puzzling things in life for which we seem to have no clear answers, or at least there are no answers upon which we can agree. Darwinian-influenced folk point to considerable evidence of evolutionary change but can’t explain many, many curiosities. On the other hand, “Intelligent Design” folks make quantum leaps in logic from “I can’t explain it. You can’t explain it. Therefore, there must be a God.”
Thunder and lightning, that must have scared palaeolithic mankind into premature evacuations and belief in God, can now be explained in terms of interactions between positive and negative ions, etc. Look it up on Wikipedia. But fear and ignorance are better served by search, research and understanding than by beseeching God for deliverance from that which is not understood and is greatly feared.
Even though both the Darwinian and ID camps would seem to negate the other, they do not. Isn’t it possible that both are right? Isn’t it possible that there is strong evidence of evolutionary change and there was some involvement of extra-terrestrial or even super-natural elements at some point in world development? Both could be right without necessarily negating the other.
People have to learn to get over themselves. Not only can we not explain many things in life and in our world, we could also be gone in a flash (become dust in the wind) if the sun became less constant, if it had a hiccup or a burp! Life is precious. Don’t waste yours and most certainly don’t waste someone else’s time and energy by constantly insisting that your way of seeing things is the only way things can be seen correctly.
That doesn’t mean that I think we should stop trying to find answers and explanations for mysteries. It is good to think deeply about things from time to time. But perpetrating violence against each other because we cannot agree on difficult or unanswerable questions is a sure route to short-term, personal disaster. And for what? Sometimes we just have to learn how to leave things alone and move on in life. See: Sam and Pam Celebrate life itself, rather than celebrating victories over a perceived adversary. Living life well is its own challenge and its own reward. Earn it and get on with it!
See: Earn it!