Beware the political and philosophical buffoons who masquerade as statesmen, and who fool the ignorant masses into believing them with trite phrases no more profound than “hope” and “change.” Beware of those whom Roy Campbell, in his poetic satire “The Botanocracy” described as
“Statesmen-philosophers with earnest souls,
Whose lofty theories embrace the Poles
Yet only prove their minds are full of Holes.”
Real statesmen are not philosophers or metaphysicians. Rather, they are persons of wisdom, educated at the feet of our ancestors. As Charles Kingsley explained in his essay “Ancient Civilizations,” the wise do not feed on the shame of our forebears, but on their honor and glory, on great times, noble epochs, noble movements, noble deeds, and noble folk, which mental feast Kingsley also points out, is the political implementation of St. Paul’s wise injunction for us to think about whatever things are just, pure, true, lovely, and of good report (Phil. 4:8).
Those are not the channels in which most modern political minds now move. If Alinsky, Marx, Keynes, or the latest New York Times poll are your mentors, you are a fool. So are those who vote for you. When you, your voters, and your schemes are finally shipwrecked on the rocks of reality, undeception follows, at least for a moment, until human nature and the noetic effects of sin again re-assert themselves and we unlearn the lessons of history and replace them with fantasies spun out nothing more substantial than the arrogance of the so-called experts and the attendant practical hubris and self-deception that they alone can do what all others failed to do: namely, to escape the rule of reality. For them, somehow (we know not how) bad ideas will not yield bad consequences.
I call it the Harvard delusion.