Machine Politicians

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 8:29 pm | כ”ד שבט תשע”ו Otto von Bismarck, first chancellor of Germany, said, “Politics is the art of the possible.” Similarly, he said, “Politics is not a science, as professors think. It is an art.” Over the centuries, adherents of one political hero or another have ruefully discovered the truth of Bismark’s observation. Politics requires compromise. Only idealists talk seriously about “what must be done.” Politicians realistically think in terms of “what can be done.” It gets worse. British historian Lord Acton wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The word “tends” often gets dropped from the quotation. Indeed, for some, it was more than a tendency. “The incorruptible” Maximilien Robespierre, revered leader of the French Revolution, later launched the Reign of Terror.…

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