Posts Tagged Systems
Watching conservatives oppose military intervention in Syria has been entertaining to say the least. We all know that if the occupants of the White Hosue were a Republican, they’d be cheerleading for the most ruinous attack possible, telling us that Assad is the moral equal of Pol Pot, Hitler, Mussolini and Jeffrey Dahmer all rolled into one. Not so long ago, however, most of Washington DC would have joined in supporting an attack. A few years ago, an attack on Syria would have been a foregone conclusion, there would have been sporadic opposition but it would have happened, and at least inside the “establishment” would have been regarded as necessary and possibly even good. A great many Democrats supported action against Iraq in 2002 and 2003 (despite their doubts of its success) because the necessity of military action was accepted, common wisdom even if their instincts told them it was a disaster waiting to happen.
The disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan were/are simply to big to be ignored, even by hawkish political insiders. When someone as reliably dim and possessed of the conventional wisdom as George Will doesn’t favor a military strike, you know something has shifted. Read the rest of this entry »
Paolo Freire warns that “`Washing one’s hands’ of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”
From Power and Love by Adam Kahane
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
The moral component of leadership is the ability to understand and communicate the moral implications of our choices. Choosing policies that bailed out banks but not homeowners is a moral choice. Certainly, if we’d bailed out homeowners rather than banks, the economy would have played out very differently over the last few years. I think it’s fair to argue that the financial crisis was a symptom rather than the disease, so in flushing god knows how much money into the financial system we were likely not addressing the underlying problem. In dealing with problems, you want to use your resources effectively – and to put resources where they will do the most good. Bailing out the banksters wasn’t an effective use of resources. The financial sector consumed billions without actually helping the economy. In system wide problems, diffused solutions are more effective.