Quick Thought: on “Common Sense Politics”.

Be wary of politicians who advocate a ‘common sense’ approach to policy. Common sense allows us to solve simple, relatively insignificant everyday problems, (for example, I don’t need to calculate the kinetic energy of an HGV to know that it’s a very bad idea to walk in front of one) yet modern politics is anything but, it is complex and chaotic and has huge repercussions on many aspects of society. The sense needed to solve big issues that affect millions of people is not common and to use common sense to do so is not sensical.

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6 Responses to Quick Thought: on “Common Sense Politics”.

  1. Foot says:

    Translation: Lib/Lab/Con want to brush all important issues under the carpet, like usual.

    Vote UKIP.

  2. Bill Smith says:

    The term ‘common sense’ is stupid.Not many can give a definition to describe it but the term ‘the ability to recall past expreience’ does. So, apply that to see if common sense is present.

    • Yeah, ability to recall and apply past experience is certainly invaluable in any situation. Not many individuals possess the past experience to manage a national economy though (well, there are some schools of political thought that no-one does or ever could do but that’s a whole other debate that I’m probably not qualified to comment on).

  3. fran says:

    You have some good points, but you should perhaps practice what you preach in regards to keeping an open mind Everyday problems have everyday solutions, by simplifying and adopting a common sense approach, the solutions will in turn be simple.

    • The best solution is almost always the simplest solution, definitely, but there’s a difference between informed simplicity (a simple solution that simultaniously addresses lots of aspects of a complex problem) and unthinking simplicity (a simple solution that only addresses one aspect of a complex problem to the detriment of others). If we are to aim for the former we need to comprehend underlying complexities as well as we can first. In everyday decision making we don’t normally bother to do this simply because it would take up far too much time, to paraphrase Stuart Sutherland “you wouldn’t perform a cost-benefit analysis to decide whether to have pizza or pasta for tea.”

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