Means, ends and reasons

Further to the crisis of confidence in Human Rights Watch of last week, the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber, and the stunningly unfounded allegations of organ theft by Israelis, three scenarios and a two theories from S.O.Muffin.

In the comments to that piece, Eve Garrard reminds readers not to underestimate the importance of vanity on human affairs, and to think about the implications of publicly pillorying our policy makers for making mistakes.

David Runciman, author of a fairly recent book Political Hypocrisy: the Mask of Power from Hobbes to Orwell, and Beyond, also cautions against this, arguing that merciless pillorying promotes hypocrisy:

“Runciman argues that we should accept hypocrisy as a fact of politics, but without resigning ourselves to it, let alone cynically embracing it. We should stop trying to eliminate every form of hypocrisy, and we should stop vainly searching for ideally authentic politicians. Instead, we should try to distinguish between harmless and harmful hypocrisies and should worry only about its most damaging varieties.”

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