What is to be done?

J. S. ScifoUndesignated 2 Comments


Below is an excerpt from “Fragments,” my book of essays available at J.S. Scifo on Substack | Substack.  This was written in February/March 2023.

So what can save us from the obvious conclusion of my rantings, i.e., the near total collapse of a coherent, sane society.  People seek a plan.  A way forward.  Sadly, like Churchill, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat, and tears.  Or as H.L. Mencken put it: “My business is not prognosis, but diagnosis.  I am not engaged in therapeutics, but in pathology.”[1]

People, especially conservative people, believe that pragmatism—what works—is a way forward.  I believe that pragmatism is a trap. We have seen this in my home state, where for years Republican elites preached that the party had to drop all of the divisive social issues (abortion, gay marriage, guns, immigration) to ensure its continued relevancy.  “There is no Republican or Democratic way to fix a pot hole,” they’d say.  The result is that we now live in a one-party state and many of the people who made those (or similar) statements have either left the party (Nathan Fletcher), left the state, or abandoned politics altogether (Mark Kersey).  And I can attest, the potholes are more numerous than ever.

As we have seen time and again, people are willing to sacrifice utility in pursuit of a Glorious Cause, which is why Communism survived for nearly a century.  It is why the social welfare state persists in our time, despite the evidence that poverty and want persist even after the appropriation of billions (trillions?) of dollars toward their eradication. It is why the public school system survives, more or less in the same form that it has since the early 20th century, despite substantial evidence now stretching several decades that it has failed to produce a literate citizenry (and by that I mean a citizenry that has a broad fluency in history, literature, composition, numeracy, and critical thinking beyond simply being able to read).  No, people need a reason to believe that goes beyond simple utility.  Or, to once again quote Chesterton, “Pragmatism is a matter of human needs; and one of the first of human needs is to be something more than a pragmatist.”

But what about the moderates, undecideds, and independents who are supposedly so ripe for conversion if only were it not for poor candidates and misplaced priorities?  I say forget them.   READ THE REST, AT “What is to be done“?

J.S. Scifo is a North County resident who has worked in national and state politics

[1] Notes On Democracy


Comments 2

  1. I have learned that for years now, Christians have been told if boarding the ‘Political Bus’, they must sit in the rear and be quiet. That must stop NOW!. Christians are the most patriotic Americans and must take over the ‘Political Bus’ and drive it in the right direction to restore our County and our Country.

    I have learned that our current Republican Party Central Committee has moved way too far to the Left and ALL (with just a few exceptions) need to be replaced with candidates who will restore America’s founding principles back into our Party: ‘God-Family-Country’. Please vote for the candidates in your district.

    Question: If we need to replace most of the Incumbent Central Committee members, why is Carl DeMaio’s political machine – ‘Reform CA’ endorsing a majority of Incumbents?

    Question: Why is ‘Reform CA’ endorsing 16 other candidates whom our district leaders would not endorse?

    To REFORM CALIFORNIA, we must RESTORE CALIFORNIA as a pro-American State focused on the best interests of all legal California Citizens instead of illegal migrants who are not legal citizens of California or the USA.

    You are urged to share our website with all Republicans, and others who oppose the ongoing demise of our beautiful State, so they have a chance to know why our candidates need to be voted into the majority. Without YOU, and without new leadership, we cannot turn California around.

    Please help us restore San Diego by voting for the featured candidates on our website – http://www.SDcentralcommittee.org ! Thank You!

    Constance ‘Lee’ Sandvick
    U.S. Army Veteran, San Diego Supervisorial District # 4 Central Committee Candidate

  2. Regarding my last comment. I was proved wrong.
    Either not enough people read the message on my website or people do not want to Restore California, they want to Reform California (Is that ‘R’ version of Hope & Change?)

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