Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Life Cycle of Bad Ideas

The world is awash in bad ideas; so I thought I would write a short piece on the life cycle of bad ideas.

All bad ideas start out as progressive. The originator of the bad idea is self-deluded and thinks that he found a magical shortcut to progress.

Bad ideas tend to concentrate benefits on a few and the costs on the many. The marketers for bad ideas will present them to these beneficiaries as liberating, and will exhort nay-sayers to open-mindedness.

So, at birth, bad ideas are liberal.

As people begin to realize that a bad idea is not liberating, it will become the protectorate of the centrist who is anxious to support anything that is compromising.

After a bad idea has been tried and disproved, the bad idea becomes the fodder of the Conservative who will defend the bad idea because that's just the way it is.

So, if you look at any given bad idea, you are likely to find that it has been supported at some time or other by progressives, liberals, centrists and conservatives.

Sadly, in our partisan age, anyone who calls out a bad idea as a bad idea is likely to get attacked from all sides.

No comments: