LIFE IS COMPLICATED
I am not what I would call a “deep thinker”. In many cases the ideas of recognized philosophers are beyond my comprehension. I just cannot follow their line of thinking and make sense of them. Therefore when I came upon this article in Foreign Affairs by Iain Hampsher-Monk in the January-February issue 2015 of a book by David Bromwich ” The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke” I felt compelled to put it into my blog, not because it solves all human problems, but because it made sense to me.
Burke perceived that any theory that loses touch with people`s natures risks perverting them, just as any theory that simply accepts people as they are is helpless to improve their condition. Burke did not seek to make state institutions conform to precise moral ideals, much less to achieve the abstract goal of democracy. Instead he pushed for what people today might call “good governance”. At its most basic, this means considering whether policies are suitable to the customs and nature of the people to whom they apply and considering the likely effect of any particular policy before establishing it. To prevent abuse, Burkean good governance requires constraining political power, even- perhaps especially- the influence of majorities. And it requires regularity, consistency and predictability when it comes to interpreting and enforcing laws
This vision of government is difficult to turn into anything resembling a rule; it might sound more like common sense. But for Burke, such objectives- and not more abstract quests, such as maximizing equality, liberty, or wealth- represented the important stuff of politics . Burke`s goals cannot be achieved through the mere application of logic; instead they require the use of political persuasion and the exercise of that rare skill judgement.
I add this as my personal observation. When one considers the selfishness of the persons who place themselves in contention for political office, and the real lack of understanding of the electorate of the real needs of the country, to achieve Burke`s vision is next to impossible . The only real benefit of the Democratic process is that a new election has to be called within a proscribed time.
HUMAN NATURE IS WHAT DETERMINES HUMAN ACTIONS AND THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE, SAD BUT TRUE ! HUMAN NATURE ENCOMPASSES “POWER, SELF-INTEREST AND HYPOCRACY ”