Time Heals All Wounds, And Then Kills the Patient
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Wed Dec 12 04:59:45 2012
Hitting the Ground Running

One of the metrics by which I judge a political philosophy, particularly in its applied bits, is whether it is ready to "hit the ground running". There's a remarkable divide here; some political philosophies will say anything in order to criticise their opponents, criticising things they would do were they in power, or generally criticising things any government must do were it to be doing a good job. Like having police; some political philosophies (mostly those that never have nor ever will need to protect some people from other people) are so bothered by the idea that there's a necessary path for any political philosophy that builds on power politics and (ideally) eventually reaches the civilised norms of a tamed people. I consider these political philosophies fatally immature; afraid of the necessary and rational, too pure for this world, they disdain the inculturation that each generation gives the next, fear the civics that keep a society together. Were they human we would imagine them scratching continually at themselves, disgusted that flabby, vein-wrapping flesh is curled around their bones. For the rest of us, comfortable with how societies work and always work, even as we aim to improve the function of those societies, we're comfortable in our skin, and ideally honest enough to keep our criticisms honest. Occasionally we will agree with our political foes. We will always recognise the possibilities of our foes that do not exist in any noticable numbers. We have the twin ideals neither to be too pure for this world nor unfair enough that were we in power we would be hamstrung by our criticisms. I call this feature, a component of a metaphilosophy of politics, metafairness.