Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sick language in politics

I never understood what they mean, but these terms are standard in foreign policy discussions:
SPIEGEL: Is it a choice you chose because your foreign policy considerations trumped moral ones?
from this interview with Kissenger.

If a foreign policy consideration isn't about morality then what is it about? When we don't practice moral foreign policy isn't it immoral foreign policy? People talk about that like it's reasonable, normal and there's nothing wrong with it, yet by definition it's immoral.

I hope the confusion comes from the fact that most people think morally is about the short term--take a stand now--and not the long term--set a policy and stick to it, even if it harms in short run, to save more lives in the long run. In other words, the moral thing sometimes isn't referred to as moral for some reason.

But I think that's just the origin of how people started talking this way. Nowadays its perfectly fine to want to be a scumbag and draft foreign policy proposals that are abominable outright--in the long and short run.

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