Weaponising Emotion (LORENZO WARBY, DEC 21, 2023, Not On Your Team, But Always Fair)

The imagined future progressives use as benchmark isn’t real. This gives them a huge rhetorical advantage: a future from which there’s no information is free from complicating sins and trade-offs. It can be imagined to be as perfect as one wishes.

That rhetorical advantage comes at huge cost for human flourishing. The problem is not the wish to do better. It is using one’s vision of the future as the benchmark for judgement rather than testing it against the accumulated experience of human action. This is especially so when mechanisms are adopted to block any testing.

Using the imagined future as one’s benchmark naturally inclines one to adopt a perfectionist outlook as perfectionism shines most brightly. However, perfectionist standards devalue human achievement, because all achievement is imperfect. Any failing can readily be construed as a de-legitimising failure.

The Right, in turn, does the same with the past.