March 22, 2008politicsPublic Policywisdom

Change, examined

Not all clean kurtas are the same

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Ravikiran Rao’s post is in the context of the US election campaign, but the insight is timeless.

…no one anywhere in the world is completely happy with the current situation, whatever the situation is, so if someone credibly promises change”, they will vote for him. They will assume that the change will happen in the direction they want, not in the direction their neighbour wants.

But the reason the current situation is current is not because most people are happy with the current situation, but because different people have different ideas for the direction in which things should change. The current situation is the equilibrium that has been achieved among the various pushes and pulls. If you really want change without going through a violent revolution, you need an insider familiar with the workings of the system who will nudge it in the right” direction (whatever the right direction is.) Likewise, I will respect someone’s reputation for cleanliness a lot more if they maintain a spot of cleanliness after having been in the gutter than someone whose Kurta is clean because they have never had to enter the gutter. [The Examined Life]

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