Thursday, March 24, 2011

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to fear hypocrisy

Came up with the quote above myself. I really hate the argument that you're not allowed to do something good unless you always do that good thing. Mostly lately used to say the US shouldn't be allowed to stop Qaddafi because we've not bombed Yemen's dictator. Not that we should rush in everywhere, and I even think there are reasonable arguments not to get involved in Libya, but everywhere or nowhere isn't a good argument.

We're no angels, and hypocrisy is a good argument to make if we claim to be angels, but it's not an argument for inaction.

I often see its counterpart argument, btw: someone says they should be allowed to do something wrong because other people have done something wrong previously. Land developers make this argument constantly, "people ten years ago built their homes right into the streamside habitat, therefore I should be able to as well." No.


  1. Been going thru this nonsense with Tom Fuller, but my take on it is that you need to do things by laws and regulations to show that there are no free riders. People hate when free riders show them up to be fools.

    As to Yemen, what is being done in Libya has concentrated Ali Abdullah Saleh's mind quite strongly. We will see if this works its way through to Syria.

  2. Obama seems to be trying to follow some type of international legal regime in the use of force, while not being all that interested in War Powers Act stuff domestically.

    Yemen seems like a slow motion fall of a dictator - hope he just keeps falling.


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