Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pragmatism


I've heard Barry O called a "pragmatist" and have always responded that this means little beyond indicating he has no principles. It seems I may be wrong, he has principles, he just won't admit what they are. As this post by Veith, Pragmatism to do WHAT?, points out :

But pragmatism fails as a political definition, says Robert Reich, who served as President Clinton’s labor secretary, because it describes how a politician moves toward a goal, not the goal itself. “It’s possible to be ruthlessly pragmatic in terms of how you get to an objective,” Reich said, “but the phrase is nonsensical in terms of picking an objective.” . . .

“Most presidents who were change agents . . . described themselves as centrists but clearly had a collection of values about what was good and right,” Reich said. “The question becomes one of how much you reveal about where you want to lead people.”

So that presidents keep most of where they want to lead people hidden? This does not sound fitting for a self-governing people.

These points about pragmatism apply not just to governing but to churches, businesses, and individual decisions. The goal has to be considered. Actually, the goal is especially paramount in pragmatism because it is not so much a philosophy as a tactic: the ends justify the means.

Full post is here.

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