Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Elite Determinism versus Popular Realism

Capturing a thought to be returned to later.

Elite Determinism versus Popular Realism.

The general idea is that our elite tend to approach complex social problems and issues in a fashion steeped in arrogant determinism. They think they know the problem (ignoring the multiplicity of everyone else's goals) and they think they know the solution (ignoring the nearly consistent history of underestimating the gap between theory and practice.) The elite's conviction in their own goodness, comprehension, and competence is so complete that it blinds them to reality. They treat all life outcomes as necessary products of intent and deterministic steps. If Z then there has to have been A, B, C . . .

Among the other 95% there tends to be a grounded realism, an acknowledgement of the inherent tragedy of the human condition. An acceptance that people are not widgets to be fine tuned to some totalitarian agenda but are free, independent, flawed, inspiring, unimaginably good and inconceivably evil. A belief that outcomes are the result of a series of probabilities rather than certainties. If X then Y is more probable. If Y then Z is more probable. But nothing can be taken for granted.

The Elite Determinism smacks of ignorance and arrogance. Popular Realism smacks of self-defeating fatalism.

Progress is a product of a delicate balance between the extremes. It would seem.

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