Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Virtues of Hypocrisy

"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue"  wrote La Rochefoucauld  (learned something from the bio, I had him pegged as late 18th century, wrong by 100+years).

As shown by its presence as a label, I've written fairly often on hypocrisy.  The political parties are liable to it, as their positions on some issues, particularly procedural and legal, flip-flop with the election results.

There's also hypocrisy in issues like global warming and the Paris Accord.  Both Trump and his critics pretend the accord is more powerful and more binding than it actually is. In a way they've a de facto agreement to misrepresent it.  By portraying it as very important, they can rally their backers to greater and greater efforts to defeat it/defend it as the case may be.

See this Keith Hennessey post for a somewhat similar perspective on Paris:
A surprising dynamic often surrounds QTIPS policy changes—the most passionate supporters and opponents have a common interest in arguing that this particular policy change is enormously important, while downplaying the reality that its direct impact is barely measurable. These mortal opponents have a shared goal of hyping the issue and the battle.
 The key point I'm getting at, and Hennessey also does, is the two sides agree on the same thing.  

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