Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We need change but what is best?

The parties in Aristotle's Politics, the democrats and the oligarchs, both have the desire to better themselves. This is good in itself but when one side or the other tries to better itself at the expense of the other then there is injustice. There is a need to compromise and the patriots of the American Revolution expressed as a desire to work for the common good.

Those in power need to exercise moderation and balance. One cannot just represent a faction and claim to be working for an entire nation. It is not winner-takes-all. When political parties become too divisive and single minded the political system fails and changes need to be made.

An arbitrary change is not likely to produce the desired effect since economics tries to optimize the overall gain from one's efforts. A small change in any direction reduces the total profits and one ends up worse off than where one started. The change has to go from one global maximum to a better one. The change has to be fundamental and of an evolutionary nature. One needs to be sure about what one is doing. Tinkering with "the system" can lead to catastrophic failures. One needs only to look at what happened to Chernobyl to be reminded of this. Good intentions do not always guarantee good results.

We need to equate success with good conduct. Just trying to tear down a bad system is not enough. We have to replace it with something better and stop repeating the mistakes of the past. This probably will require a better methodology than that currently in use.

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