Skip to main content

View Diary: Homicidal mentally ill felon obtains gun permit, arsenal, in Minnesota (324 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  many people don't lose much sleep (0+ / 0-)

    over a large variety of things, which is why the law of unintended consequences exists

    •  Hirschman: "200 Years of Reactionary Rhetoric:" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem

      ": The Case of the Perverse Effect," 1988 lecture.

      http://tannerlectures.utah.edu/... (PDF)

      [[R]eactionaries are not likely to launch an all-out attack on that [lofty] objective. Rather, they will endorse it, sincerely or otherwise, but then attempt to demonstrate that the action undertaken in its name is ill-conceived; indeed, they will most typically argue that this action will produce, via a series of unintended consequences, the exact contrary of the objective that is being pursued. This, then, is the thesis of the perverse effect...
      My second “reactionary” argument is what I call the futility thesis [which] asserts that the attempt at change is abortive, that in one way or another any change is or was largely surface, facade, cosmetic, hence illusory, as the “deep” structures of society remain wholly untouched. ...
      [In the third] argument the reactionary takes on once again the progressive’s clothes and argues as though both the new and the old progress were desirable, and then shows typically how a new reform, if carried out, would mortally endanger an older, highly prized one...  I therefore call this argument the jeopardy thesis.

      (His 1988 lecture formed the basis of his book, The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy, 1991.)

      Albert Hirschman maps the diffuse and treacherous world of reactionary rhetoric in which conservative public figures, thinkers, and polemicists have been arguing against progressive agendas and reforms for the past two hundred years. Hirschman draws his examples from three successive waves of reactive thought that arose in response to the liberal ideas of the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, to democratization and the drive toward universal suffrage in the nineteenth century, and to the welfare state in our own century. In each case he identifies three principal arguments invariably used: (1) the perversity thesis, whereby any action to improve some feature of the political, social, or economic order is alleged to result in the exact opposite of what was intended; (2) the futility thesis, which predicts that attempts at social transformation will produce no effects whatever--will simply be incapable of making a dent in the status quo; (3) the jeopardy thesis, holding that the cost of the proposed reform is unacceptable because it will endanger previous hard-won accomplishments.

      If the goal of DailyKos were to elect more reactionary politicians, to implement more reactionary policies, the so-called 'law' of 'unintended consequences' might be an effective rhetorical device. Would you like a shovel?

      Join us at RASA: Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment. (Repeal will not ban guns, just help regulate them.)

      by Sharon Wraight on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:26:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site