Saturday, June 16, 2007


In dire situations, sometimes it is easier to defer responsibility and control to some external force. Consider, for example, global warming. A religious person, genuinely concerned, reasons:
God with his omniscient benevolence will take care of it.
Someone who has faith in the free market might say:
The market with its invisible hand will take care of it.
A promoter of government intervention would suggest:
The state with its bureaucracy will take care of it.
I hope you noticed the pattern. Instead of actually addressing global warming (or any other pressing concern) by examining the source of it (our behaviour), we have this awful tendency to hoist the problem onto an abstraction. God does not exist, the invisible hand is ethereal, and the state's bureaucracy creates way more waste and mess than it could ever hope to undo. Abstractions have no business solving our problems; we are going to have to accept responsibility for our actions and truly seek a way to remedy the situation.

Change begins with the individual.


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