Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On "The Spirit of Compromise"

The human capacity for willed blindness never ceases to amaze me.
I added two comments, both obvious, both repeats, but succinct.
1
"...for one of the striking things about their book, written, of course, by two world-class political theorists, is the degree to which they seem to agree that it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to make “general arguments about compromise” in the sense of providing algorithms for when one should or should not compromise."

I'd always thought it obvious that good politics is made by adults more than rules. I took Dworkin's "Hercules" to be an imagined ideal and "consistency" to be no more than the consistency we imagine ourselves having rather than something that actually exists, a necessary dual consciousness of faith and irony, of a lawyer for example, (not a judge) committed to the advocacy of his paying client.

The focus on rules and algorithms makes us dumber, less aware. And here there's a simple way to make my point:

There's an elephant in this room and it's sucking up so much air I'm surprised there's any left to breathe.
[Both Levinson and Margalit are avowed Zionists. One link among many. And as usual when linking for white people, I link to white people.]

2
Something I forgot to mention, regarding algorithms, adult behavior and Professor Levinson's fixation on the flaws in our Constitution.

He's treated it as argument over which of two boats is safer in a storm but ignored the fact the storm is on. He says our boat has a 60% chance of survival and his opponents say the number is 70 or 75, but at this point the odds of surviving the switch is 50/50. Now is not the time for academic argument.

Kurt Gödel panicked thinking he'd discovered a flaw in the Constitution that could legitimize dictatorship. Some people wonder what he found. Most people just think he was nuts. He was a mathematician and logician; the flaw he found was language: White>Clear>Empty>Void>Black.
Kurt Gödel, meet David Addington.

Kurt Gödel is not the model of a political thinker.
That is one thing we should not even be debating. Yet here we are.

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