Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let's Be Honest

Poor Diogenes (the cynic - 400 - 325 BC), he was a Greek that searched for an honest man and had to do it without the benefit of knowing THE ONE TRUE GOD ______ (please feel free to fill in the blank with your fav). He had to look for honesty within himself without the help of a guy in a shiny suit yelling the truth at him. But perhaps intellectual honesty is distinct from having a "right" god or religion. Perhaps an honest fundamentalist might even admit that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson don’t exactly speak for him. He might admit that these two actually hurt the cause of morality with their hate and schisterism. And so perhaps an honest conservative might admit that G. W. Bush and Dick Chenny didn’t exactly speak for him on the subject of torture and that those two might have set back the cause of justice and the reputation of the USA a few years. Now and honest economist, even a very conservative one, might agree that totally unregulated free market big money wielders don’t speak for them and that they don’t always represent the best interests for society as a whole. They might admit that the deregulation policies of the last few republican administrations had a lot to do with the recent financial melt down. That set us all back a few years. G. W. Bush told NASA that they had to do a 180 degree turn around and plan to land us on the moon again. That set our space program back a few years, and an honest anybody will agree to that. The Exxon corporation spent almost as much money on propaganda against climate scientists as they did on exploring for oil in the newly ice free Arctic. That set back any kind of response to Global Warming that anyone, honest or not might believe is appropriate. That may have even set us back so far that we can’t avoid the positive feedback of melting Arctic, Antarctic and tundra permafrost. I honestly think that the tipping point is past if we're still debating whether it exists or not.  There was that war in Iraq that will always be a waste of American lives, Iraqi lives, and lots of American money. Who knows how far that has set us back. How far back can you be and still set out for a future? I’d say that being honest requires at a minimum, the ability to recognize the lies, false assumptions, and ignorant policies that have put us where we are today. But to rationalize bad decisions, lie about the motives, or context, of those decisions so as to never admit mistakes because that might help the other guy win, isn’t honest. Sorry Diogenes, don’t bother looking here.