9.20.2004

Philosophy or politics?

I’m having a hard time deciding which to delve into tonight. Aimlessly surfing, trying to find something to get my gander up. Nothing. Boredom. No deep thoughts. No thoughts at all. Just a random stream of consciousness rant.

The problem with politics and Americans and I guess people in general is that everything is about the now. Every action is about the immediate gain, the short game if you will. We all recognize the need for a long term plan but somehow we can never be bothered to but it into action. This is true from the individual level all the way up to the species level. We don’t want to be bothered with future problems, we want action, and immediate gratification.

Look at Iraq. Whether or not you agree with the action there, in hindsight it should have been clear that it was going to be a complicated situation to resolve. We have a complex problem of building a democracy in a country that has never had such a thing. But instead of preparing to deal with the possible problems involved in rebuilding a country we choose too focus on the short run, because it was rosey. The happy talk of greeted with flowers and kisses was more pleasant than the doom and gloom.

If you point out problems before they occur your being pessimistic. If you point out problems while they are occurring you are part of the problem. If you point out problems after they occur then you are being a politician.

The economy, the environment. Whatever problem you can think of. Point out one situation where a group of people has chosen to act in a way that acknowledges the possible long term ramifications of our actions.

The ignoring the possibly unpleasant consequences of your actions just because they are delayed can lead to some sticky situations. Our problems, short term and long term have to be faced, we have to acknowledge the problem before we can fashion a cure. I’m fairly sure that this is one of those completely obvious rants so I think I will stop now…