Friday, February 11, 2011

Magic and Politics

An interesting quote to think about:

"It has been said that a miracle is the result of causes with which we are unacquainted. Once these causes are discovered we no longer have a miracle, but natural law....In a way, all of us dislike the laws of nature. We should prefer to make things happen in the more direct way in which savage people imagine them to happen, through our own invocation." Robert Parrish, The Magician's Handbook.

Do our politicians engage in "magical thinking," as it were, thinking that they can make things happen "through [their] own invocation"? No children left behind. All racing to the top.[So DOD Sec. Rumsfeld could assert smugly: "I don't do quagmires!" thinking no doubt that this invocation settled the matter.] So, therefore, if we wanted something we like to happen in Iraq, it would, if we made use of the proper invocations or use the appropriate tricks, e.g., "shock and awe" or "counterinsurgency." We need not be constrained by "natural law" or the limits of our knowledge about Iraq. Quite magically, we will, as Shrub said in his speech, "bring freedom to Iraq!" Abracadabra, "Mission Accomplished"!

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