Tuesday, September 02, 2014

ideas are dangerous, especially good ones

The outgoing mayor of Reykjavík:
One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned is that ideas are dangerous, especially good ones [laughs]. Because it is almost certain that some halfwit will pick them up and misinterpret them and misuse them. And this is why it was so important that the Best Party presented no ideology, no solution. No theory. Nothing that some idiot could then adopt and develop and use as a basis for something horrible, making us the ideologues behind some atrocity. And this is why it was so important that the Best Party remain blank, that it stood for no idea or theory other than impotence and powerlessness. And the will to collaborate, to seek help.
There are lots of great ideas out there. But they get misunderstood. And the cause is more often than not simple human frailty, which the theories don’t account for, because they exist solely on the ideological plane, without taking into account emotions and error. Just look at our best thinkers over the past few centuries. From Schopenhauer and Nietzsche to Marx and Engels. Their ideas led to a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of horror. Schopenhauer was Hitler’s favourite philosopher. Karl Marx created communism because he was outraged by how the underclass was being treated. But then, their theories eventually inspired all sorts of atrocities, events and ideas that in no way reflect their intentions.
We thus figured that the best ideology would be no ideology, save for the one espoused by the AA: Powerlessness, humility, frailty. To realise that we don’t have all the solutions.
Interesting man. I have put Gnarr: How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World on my list of books to read, where it nestles snugly among several hundred others.
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