Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pillorying the politician

We had demanded of Don Boudreaux to explain his ontology on February 27 [7:06 PM]. It seems that during another bout of pillorying George Bush, he has laid his hands on one - though rudimentary, but suffused with profound significance - in the following post:

"A defining characteristic of this economy that produces such enormous abundance for us all (and yes, despite the current downturn, it continues to produce prodigiously) is that no one is "in control." Indeed, no one could possibly be "in control."... Remember, no one knows, no one has ever known, and no one can possibly know, all that is necessary to make even the ubiquitous commercial-grade pencil. It's astonishing how prevalent is the view that economies are "run" by people pulling levers -- or should be, or could be, run by people pulling levers. This misconception is the economics equivalent of the belief that the earth is flat, or that volcanoes won't erupt if they are fed a sufficient number of virgins." [Our Economy Is Not a Child's Erector Set (by Don Boudreaux) from Cafe Hayek]

He is clearly against the idea of any hand - visible or invisible - behind the economy, but nonetheless, must indicate his version of the watchmaker - blind or intelligent?

His characterization of politicians as "children disguised as adults - persons who ought to be playing with wooden blocks" [Emotional and Ethical Dwarfs (by Don Boudreaux) from Cafe Hayek 7:55 PM] seems to be an attack below the belt.

Dr. JP Calls Upon the Brightest to Enter Politics by presenting a counterpoint:

“Politics is perhaps the noblest of all endeavors because it is about reconciling the limited resources with unlimited wants, and reconciling seemingly irreconcilable conflicts among various groups in society, particularly in a very diverse and complex society." [from Jayaprakash Narayan's Blog by JP 7:55 PM]

Politics is a difficult vocation as Pratap Bhanu Mehta put it eloquently a while back:

"The impurity of politicians allows us to feel pure, their crookedness affirms the uprightness of the rest of us, their actions allow all of us to behave as victims and their presence explains all our woes....This contempt for politicians is usually high on emotion and short on analysis, and has become a convenient way of displacing responsibility. Politicians are the totem of profanity by which we all affirm our own sacredness." [The Hindu Saturday, Dec 27, 2003 9:40 AM] [TNM]

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