Thursday, June 8, 2023


I'm not a cynic about politics, but skepticism is always justified. Theodore Dalrymple is here commenting on British politics, but his generalizations are applicable to any democratic polity:
The permanent possibility of demagoguery is the price that must be paid for universal suffrage. Politicians, if they desire office (and few do not desire it), must pander to electorates who may not be very logical, consistent, or well-informed. People want medicines without side effects and laws without unintended consequences, or even foreseeable ones. Demagoguery creates problems, then worsens them with the solutions it proposes to what it has caused in the first place.

Demagoguery thrives in crisis....

The quest for office easily trumps the national interest in any case—and demagoguery is the natural consequence of a political class that, taken as a whole, is without intellect, scruple, or character.
Theodore Dalrymple, "Demagoguery in the U.K.," City Journal, June 6, 2023.

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