Open-ended thinking is being undermined by the noisy demands of advocacy.
There has been a lot of discussion of what the Occupy movement stands for, or perhaps now stood for, and whether it is like the US Tea Party movement. On a trip to the US in October I spent maybe an hour together talking to whoever would talk to me at Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Washington DC. Here I formed the view that the resemblance is striking. But my slipshod sample swore blind they had nothing in common. Their distinction was clearly capitalised: they are Left while the Tea Party is Right and this seemingly simple fact overrides any commonality.
I say ''seemingly simple'' because I made an earth-shattering discovery a little while ago: both the right and the left care about creating a healthier, happier, more prosperous society. An economist of my acquaintance, who had the misfortune to find himself on the right after a promising career start as a Marxist, once even admitted (in a moment of weakness, no doubt) that he entered the profession to study how people could be best served. His alignment, he claimed, had moved along with his honest opinion of what type of economic management would allow for the best outcomes.
Despite the accusations hurled at each other by ideological opponents, my contact with both so-called "left" and "right" has convinced me that in general the two sides share common goals while disagreeing only on implementation. Perhaps it is time for each side to stop dismissing the other as shadily-funded stooges and use the intellectual rigour in their opposites as a whetting stone for their own ideas.Read the at The Age (AU)
Intellectual substance abuse
by Parnell McGuinness
(h/t Senexx via Twitter)