Posted by: captainfalcon | May 5, 2010

Politics is the art of the sociologically possible

Since my first post elicited so much feedback, I thought I’d add another hypothesis, viz. pacifists are more likely to accept the psychologically possible as the politically relevant set, realists the sociologically possible.

Inspiring possibilities also tend to be those that are only psychologically possible; the most effective anti-war ballad, for example, deals in that modality. (Bonus that it features the Boyne.)



  1. It seems to me, the more I think on it, that this boils down to a pragmatism vs. idealism divide (a split that the pacifism/realism divide lays bare). The problem, especially as we head into IR, is how would a liberal internationalist (say Wilson or GWB) and a pacifist deal with each other. Both are arguing toward two mutually exclusive psychological possibilities (we have to save the miserable of the Earth vs. war is evil).

    Me? I smell another triangle graph coming on.

  2. […] subject which, if nothing else, grapples with the psycological versus sociological paradigms for public policy that CF discussed earlier and the dilemmas conservatives face in seeking to defend traditions and […]

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