Here is one to file under the category of paradox. Pragmatism is an ideal.
Occasionally I come across extremely empassioned pleas for people to cast their ideals aside and to follow the pragmatic course of action.
For example, the Bush administration had an impassioned plea for the United States to throw aside the ideals of the Powell Doctrine and the ideals of the United Nations to directly confront radical Islam by invading Iraq.
The problem, of course, is that pragmatism itself is an ideal. Even worse, it is an ideal that, from its inception, has nullified itself through resort to paradox.
When you look at modern history, I think you will find that many of the worst atrocities have come from the hands of people claiming themselves to be pragmatists.
Look at Western History: We adopted slavery because it was a way to get things done. The feudal order was based on pragmatic notion that a hierarchical order was the way to get things done. In US history, Andrew Jackson, Armstrong Custer led us in extermination wars with the Native Americans as pragmatic ways to get things done.
Further on the left: Stalin and Mao appeared as the great pragmatic leaders of the people. Breaking eggs (that is genocide) was the pragmatic step towards a peoples' paradise. Hitler considered himself a pragmatist. He and his band of rogues got into power as they were the ones willing to take the ugly pragmatic steps to get the job done.
In the cold war, the United States developed an unpleasant pattern of casting aside American ideals and supporting dictatorships simply because that was the pragmatic way to get things done.
Pragmatism is an ideology just like all of the ideologies that pragmists despise. Just as blind adherence to ideologies leads to folly, blind adherence to pragmatism led to great suffering.
The seduction of pragmatism is its paradoxical nature. People love to think in paradox. Unfortunately, since "pragmatism" is founded on paradox, it is one of the most dangerous ideals. You never know which direction it will take. In most all cases, the pragmatic man of action declares pragmatism simply because he wants to take us in directions that we are ill advised to follow.