April 4, 2009

What I dislike most ...

 “What terrifies you most in purity,” I asked? “Haste,” William answered.  

—Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose


What I dislike most about the political attitudes and behaviors of a certain kind of “political activists” is the way some people tend to extremize their views, which often leads them, in the best cases, to a certain Manichaeism or, in the worst cases, to what I would call the intellectualization of political hatred. They never concede an inch to their opponents, whom they see as inherently “evil” or “immoral” or “stupid,” whatever they think, say and do.

They are natural and irreconcilable enemies not merely of political transformism and opportunism, which obviously would not be a bad thing in itself, but of common sense and also of a sense of proportion.

They seem to be fascinated by the myth of their own political purity, or what they firmly believe to be such. To these “true Conservatives,” without any ifs and buts, of course, or “true Liberals,” etc., I would like to dedicate the above quote.



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