Top ranking political online newspapers
If you are interested in current affairs, I highly recommend the Indian blog, The Acorn. Always clearly & succincly written, you will get a daily editorial on international affairs on the sub-continenent that is informed and analytical.
The despair of the right
Dedicated as I am to reading their thoughtful and professional analysis, I’m not sure though that I can subscribe to their world view.
One of their themes is to dismiss the righteous and the cynical as being unable to engage in ‘real politik’.
Some time last week, they published a good parable about two fishermen. One fisherman was virtuous, never broke any rules and did not catch enough food to feed his family. The other was cynicial. He knew that other people were more successful fishermen but never learned their skills.
Accept the challenge by the right
I think it is always useful for the pragmatic ,and even resolutely right-wing, to challenge liberals and lefties. We should take right-wing taunts as a reminder that sometimes we are lazy and use the notion of being right to avoid hard work and the anxiety of challenging moral choices. It is also true that cynics are lazy, if not feckless, and cover their lack of application with curmudgeonly commentry.
But don’t buy into their existential despair and ’emperor’s clothes’
I don’t buy the argument, though, that we have to cheat to meet our worldly needs and our reasonable worldly need for status.
Why can’t we simply decide to make money honestly? Yup, I know they are calling the virtuous and the cynical as sour grapes. That is a reasonable call. But I think ‘emperor’s clothes’ are worse. Pretending that sour, rotting grapes are sweet and delicious is just as bad, as dismissing the victor’s grapes as sour.
How I know this is your emperor’s clothes and not my sour grapes
There has to be a middle way of defining a fresh ripe harvest and working honestly, with others, to achieve it. I want a prize worth having. Sweet delicious grapes, please. You may be sitting on a bigger pile. May be all your grapes are delicious. But do you know, I don’t believe you. You are so concerned with losing that you would lie rather than be seen to lose.
That is the real difference between the right and the left. You want to win even when there is no prize. It is so important to win that you will invent the race and describe a prize that doesn’t exist. You say to us. Prove it. Prove the prize doesn’t exist.
Hmm. I don’t have to. If the prize existed, you would be busy enjoying it. You wouldn’t be trying to get my attention!
Show me the prize or race just for fun!
As for the left, we want the prize and we won’t compete unless there is one. Yes, I know. When we compete and lose, we justify our lack of ability by claiming there is no prize. Yes. That happens a lot. Right wing politics has its share of curmudgeons though. Hegemony is rampant on the right. But we wouldn’t be whining if we thought there was no prize. It is up to us to go out and get it.
I want to see the prize first. The lads and lasses that just want to race up and down for prizes that don’t exist can be my guest. I might even join them sometimes for fun. But I am not going to kid myself that they are doing anything more than that. This is leisure activity. Not politics or economy.
Living with the compulsively competitive right wing
So indeed there will be fisherman who are unsuccessful and cover up their lack of success under the cover of virtue or cynicism. But if the others are so successful, they wouldn’t give a jot about the unsuccessful fisherman. They would not necessarily be callous either. They would make the unsuccessful offers. They would discretely ensure their children were OK. They would even rein in any unfair practices. But they wouldn’t be threatened by the unsuccessful. Why would they? They have the prize. Or do they?
All they are doing is negotiating for a prize that they believe they would win. I think this is what Warren Buffet calls being attracted by the terms of a sale. “We want a race so we can win a prize.’
Sorry. We aren’t going there. First, the prize is too important and your racing takes up too much time. Second, you won’t necessarily win and then you will whine.
We’ll aim for the prize. We’ll even set up races and prizes so you can have fun. But aren’t turning everything into a race to satisfy your compulsion to win (which you won’t necessarily do anyway). We just aren’t going there!