Sunday, February 21, 2016

The deception of knowledge: How we are wrong when we are right

I agree with Bernie Sanders, in part.  There is a massive mount of inequality in America and it is unfair, there's corruption on Wall Street and in DC, and that greed hurts people.

Time out: Just because I agree with Sanders on this, certainly doesn't guarantee either of us are right.

But to make the point of this post, I think Bernie is right with his analysis of the situation we are in, but he's mistaken on the conclusions he draws, particularly in his offered solution.  His goals are flawed even though he's properly upset -- even while he sees the problem clearly.  Time will tell, but if history teaches us anything, "Bread & Circus" is more harmful than the threat of any outside invaders.

I could use the same logic with Trump.  Illegal immigration is a problem these days, but there's no way on earth you can deport over 10 million people from America.  It would literally take over a thousand years if you did the math.

Here's another way to look at this.  Have you ever watched a couple argue in a restaurant?  The man and woman are in a heated debate.  You think, what a scoundrel, look at this guy!  You think, he probably smacks her around at home.  You blood is boiling now, you are ready to take matters into your own hands.  Your analysis is, there's a conflict.  The problem is, you have no idea what it's over, and, you can't possibly know what advice to offer.  Yet, in your own mind, you are confident you know what's best for them.  I'm fairly sure your advice wound't be right or welcomed.

Here's an even better example.  Have you ever been lost, maybe while driving?  You realize (analyze  and assess correctly) you are lost!  Does this suddenly impart a mystical knowledge of how to get home, or to your destination?

An accurate analysis doesn't necessarily lead to the correct conclusion.  Read that again.

You might see the problem clearly, and that's the deceptive part.  Because we know what the problem is, we suddenly believe that entitles us to a clear insight into resolving the situation.   One doesn't lead to the other, just because you can identify the problem realistically that doesn't mean you know the right path forward.

Back to Sanders for a minute.  His suggestion that democratic socialism would be the solution is mistaken, in my opinion.  So, what is proven to work better under pressure than capitalism on the right, and socialism on the left?  A system we'll not go to willingly, but it's the oldest system of trade known to mankind.  We only go to it, these days, in times of natural disasters or when economies collapse.  The barter system was here at the dawn of civilization, and it will be here when it collapses.
In the meantime, what economic system is best?  I honestly don't know, but I do know what we've done isn't perfect and some of the proposals are worse.  I do know this, changing the name of the system won't patch up our problems, because you can't legislate morality.  The problems we face as a nation are matters of the heart, and until we fix our hearts as a nation, it doesn't matter who's in the White House or what system they back.

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