Thursday, March 3, 2016

On the charge of 'obsolete'

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott: are his ideas obsolete or just false?
My recent Canberra Times column was on the charge of obsolescence: 'Saying something's obsolete doesn't make it so'.

I'm arguing that this notion is often ill-suited to ethical and political debate: it suggests finality where none exists; progress where only struggle exists. A sample:
I don't believe that history is somehow on my side; that we can stop arguing now, because of some inherent historical momentum. If we accept our ideas and values can triumph over others, we also recognise the opposite can occur: strife is our political and ethical condition, and it does not magically fade when my clan is victorious. 
Phones and floppy discs become obsolete – humans must endure less convenient categories of failure.

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