Retreat from idealism

December 25, 2012 

MICHAEL VOWELS, Richland

As a recent graduate of Washington State University from the department of philosophy and political science, it pains me to see the current state of politics.

I'm curious as to whether any of these politicians understands the underlying ideas behind having a government and having public policy in general.

There are competing and varying ideas on what the purpose of a government should be, however, I've never heard of a viewpoint that is consistent with the current political atmosphere.

The British philosopher John Locke thought the purpose of justice is to protect property. Thomas Hobbes thought it was for security. The modern politician does not seem to even have a theory, or at least said theory is not in the forefront of their campaign or political philosophies.

Rather, they focus on individual problems and issues that are not consistent with some sort of underlying pursued good. This is in a sense like putting a bandage on a broken elbow.

It seems like there's been a sort of hasty pilgrimage from idealism and actual political philosophy for no warranted reason, and this could be the reason for the seemingly downward spiral of modern society.

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