On Politics and Personal Responsibility
I’ve had some pretty scathing things to say about the politics of “personal responsibility.” Believing that the world would be a better place if people were just better people is more a tautology than a political stance. We make political decisions based on the world as it is, not the world as we want it to be. Don’t use somebody else’s personal failing as an excuse for your crap politics.
The inverse is also true. Maybe someday we’ll manage to eliminate some of society’s worst vices. But until then, we play the hand we’re dealt as best we can.
My annoyance with the libertarian-style “Get your own life together and stop blaming society” mantra isn’t that it’s bad advice for those who can do it. People can do amazing things despite the worst circumstances. But that’s more appropriate for a self-help book than a political platform.