October 25, 2007

In Principle

Tristero notes that many things seem reasonable "in principle" that in reality are completely, utterly, batsh*t. Like the unitary executive theory, or the invasion of Iraq, or the idea that oppression is an inconsequential bit of historical trivia.

Principles can't abuse power. Principles don't have to reckon with the fact that if you murder people who are widely hated, you're still a murderer. Principles don't have to address centuries of injustice that have created real differences in life outcomes for people who are alive and walking around today.

Because there is no place called Principle where these neocon, utopian fantasies can roam benignly, living out their days in a peaceful land where they do no harm. Because principles don't have material existence and they can't be held accountable for their consequences, as can, in theory, the people who live and legislate by them in the real world.

This would seem obvious, but in fact, lots of people don't seem to understand it.

Posted by natasha at October 25, 2007 10:36 AM | Philosophy | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |