The need for pragmatic politics

Personally, I see no convincing evidence for the existence of supernatural beings. But even supposing I am wrong and the firmament is positively teeming with spirits, ghosts, angels, demons, saints, archangels, deities of every flavour, even that would not be reason enough for our political life to concern itself with anything other than immediate secular pragmatism. Politics, like ethics, should not ask "How did we get here?" Apportioning credit or blame for the status quo is an exercise for armchair philosophers. Government should address two questions: "Who is suffering genuine hardship?" and "What can we do to help?" There is work enough in a programme based on these two questions to keep politicians busy for years. If in doubt as to the meaning of genuine hardship, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a good starting point. As long as we have people struggling to find food, shelter and basic security, we should not even give ear-time to the complaints of corporations and lobbyists. They are already disproportionately privileged.

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