Friday, 18 January 2013

A word on Technicalities

I read a comment from a chap who didn't care at all about technicalities but just thought people should pay their share of tax.

He didn't understand that it is the technicalities that make it possible to know what one's share of tax is so that one can pay it.

I think he felt like a benevolent dictator who could whip people into paying their share, but didn't realise the chaos that would ensue when the dictator next to him did the same thing but with a slightly different idea of what the share should be.

It was a sad case of the dangerous liberal dictators which goes like this: "If only everyone would do it my way it would all be so much better and we'd all get along so nicely."

It also reminds me of the more rabid US anti-gun folk who steam away thinking: If only we could MAKE them give up their guns, the country would be more safe and more peaceful; but without realising that they would have to MAKE them like it too, which is no more possible than making the anti-gun chaps like guns.

In other words: We only have these hard conversations because agreement is hard. Yet another attempt to sweep away disagreement isn't going to work.

Technicalities bring peace and order to confusion and disagreement without the need for full agreement.

It is sometimes easier to agree on technicalities than on principle; and that is what politics is, although in politics often the principle is not so much at stake as is who will get the bigger slice of pie.

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