After listening to the caucusing coverage, the candidates, the audience reactions, the prognosticators and pundits, and the man-and-woman on-the-street interviews, I stumbled across this paragraph in Why We Work, by Barry Schwartz:
Ideas or theories about human nature have a unique place in the sciences. We don’t have to worry that the cosmos will be changed by our theories about the cosmos. The planets really don’t care what we think or how we theorize about them. But we do have to worry that human nature will be changed by our theories of human nature. Forty years ago, the distinguished anthropologist Clifford Geertz said that human beings are “unfinished animals.” What he meant is that it is human nature to have a human nature that is very much the product of the society that surrounds us. That human nature is more created than discovered. We “design” human nature, by designing the institutions within which people live. So we must ask ourselves, just what kind of a human nature we want to help design.
This book is not about politics. Yet dealing and working with human nature is about politics. We live, work, eat, read, listen to and watch the institutions we all work and live in. We choose who to believe and what to believe.
I worry that we’re losing ground…
Vladimir Makovsky. 1883