Saturday, May 10, 2008

Σωκράτης περι πολιτικῶν νέων

Socrates on recent politics.

caveat lector---for the politically inclined only.

A hypothetical dialogue via Berkeley economics professor Brad DeLong:

A conversation in Brewed Awakening this morning:

Thrasymakhos: Why are you chewing your tie?

Glaukon: I made the mistake of reading Joe Klein this morning...

Sokrates: How can listening to what somebody has to say ever be a mistake?

Glaukon: You'll see. The structure of Klein's argument was roughly as follows: (1) Hillary Rodham Clinton has been demagoguing the gas tax holiday; (2) I know it's a bad and stupid idea; (3) but my small unevolved journalist lizard-brain was excited and enthusiastic; (4) but she lost; (5) so I will kick her when she is down; (6) and I feel somewhat guilty; (7) and I will be a more substance- and less spin-minded journalist in the future...

Sokrates: But this is a story of self-development--of someone acquiring knowledge through experience. Why should that make you chew your tie?

Thrasymakhos: No, Sokrates, you are wrong. This is a story of someone pretending to acquire knowledge through experience--it is a false repentance narrative, a la Elmer Gantry. But did you expect any better?

Glaukon: I was not finished. Then there is: (8) John McCain is an honorable man; (9) if Barack Obama "wants to maintain his reputation for honor, he'll have representatives from his campaign sit down with McCain's people to work out a sane, equitable campaign-financing mechanism for the general election — and a robust series of debates." The fact that the initial gas tax holiday demagoguer was John McCain is not mentioned--Joe Klein hides it from his readers. If he meant his pledge to do better, the fact that the gas tax holidy was McCain's idea first would have made it into the column...

Sokrates: Your logic is irrefutable, Glaukon.

Thrasymakhos: You are correct, Glaukon. If I were as ill-mannered as Duncan Black, I would award Joe Klein yet another "wanker of the day" prize.

Sokrates: I do wish you wouldn't chew on your tie, however. It sends the wrong message...

Thrasymakhos: This is Berkeley. Why are you even wearing a tie?

1 comment:

abe said...

ha that was kinda funny