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Change the Path or Change the People?

The Elephant and the Rider. Cover image of The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

The American Constitution and capitalism are successful because they change the path.

The French Revolution and communism/socialism/collectivism fail because they try to change the people.

Changing the path and changing the people are defining characteristic traits of the Constrained and Unconstrained visions, which is to say of conservatism and leftism.

It causes no end of frustration in me that seemingly 99.99% of analysis and debate surrounding social issues ignores or is unaware of these basic differences, and amounts to little more than riders vs riders throwing rationalizations of their respective defining traits back and forth at each other.

Even the focus on evidence and reason, while laudable on its face, ignores the fact that evidence and reason are always employed in service to one of the two defining traits.

It’s a textbook example of fish unaware of water.

It affects even voting. Rider-based rationalizations of each side aside, a vote for the right is a vote for the approach of changing the path, and a vote for the left is a vote for changing the people.

The rest is noise.


One thought on “Change the Path or Change the People?

  1. Given the scientific advances in psychology, cognitive neuroscience and complexity science, we are now aware that ALL ideologies and dogmas are examples of narrow, one-dimensional linear thinking. By definition, this means that they will never solve complex problems in a complex world, but yet both left and right equally cling to their illusions.

    Also, anyone who denies that facts and evidence is the starting point of all discourse, has no claim to the historical linkage with the thinking of Aristotle, Locke, Newton, Hume, Smith or the Founding Fathers. In the definition of Ayn Rand, that person is a witch doctor.

    Lastly, reason has nothing to do with facts, as Sperber and Mercier have demonstrated(in addition to Hume), reason has never been a path for discovery of truth, but merely a mechanism to win arguments, so linking reason and facts is logical fruit salad.


    Posted by tomrossman2017 | September 15, 2019, 11:43 am

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