Intentional bad decisions vs the unintentional

#1 Edited by Serraph105 (27840 posts) -

In the world of politics I feel like we often come across unintelligent decisions made by public officials, but because these people come across as quite intelligent it's hard for us to decipher if those decisions were made knowingly or unknowingly. Harder yet for me is to come to the conclusion which is worse, a bad decision made due to the incompetence of the public official or because it was they knew full well the consequences, but they were trying to accomplish some ulterior motive.

Both are bad, but which is worse? Incompetence vs essentially corruption? On the one hand nobody wants corruption for obvious reasons, but at least corrupt people are not blundering about making bad decision while believing that they are actually doing good which leaves some room for them to do good for others when it is also profitable for them. Incompetent officials might do good once in a while, but for the most part suck at their job.

Which do you guys think is worse?

#2 Posted by magicalclick (22505 posts) -

Or politics simply has no right or wrong.

#3 Posted by plageus900 (1005 posts) -

Both are equally destructive, but i guess it comes down to who you can forgive.

I can let it go when a person with down syndrome gives me a funny look.

#4 Posted by Serraph105 (27840 posts) -

Both are equally destructive, but i guess it comes down to who you can forgive.

I can let it go when a person with down syndrome gives me a funny look.

Sure this subject can span just about any facet of life, but for the purposes of this topic let's keep the discussion around the realm of politics.

#5 Posted by plageus900 (1005 posts) -

@Serraph105: Sorry I didn't mean to take it off track. I was engaging in reductio ad absurdum. My first sentence is my answer to your question. I think it's worse if a politician is intentionally making bad decisions.

#6 Posted by Shmiity (5064 posts) -

Oh, corruption is definitely worse. Someone who manipulates power by choice and capability is scary. Someone who is just bad at their job, oh well.

#7 Edited by lamprey263 (23300 posts) -

Incompetence and corruption go hand in hand, it's not just one or the other.

#8 Posted by Mikey132 (5101 posts) -

Incompetence and corruption go hand in hand, it's not just one or the other.

May I ask how you came to that conclusion?

A fully competent person can be fully corrupt. Nucky Thompson from Boardwalk Empire is just one example.

#9 Posted by MrGeezer (56152 posts) -

@Shmiity said:

Oh, corruption is definitely worse. Someone who manipulates power by choice and capability is scary. Someone who is just bad at their job, oh well.

Well, the thing is, corruption sort of entails the ability to manipulate people or systems. And at least sometimes, that skill can actually be quite valuable if it's applied correctly. Whereas unintentional bad decisions are more along the lines of, "durrh, I made a boo-boo."

One is repeatable, the other isn't. One is an actual skill/ability/talent, the other is just fucking up.

#10 Edited by surrealnumber5 (23044 posts) -

no such thing as unintentional consequences, just lies.

if you are not willing to research all perspectives when creating a plan of action you are at fault for its failure.

#11 Posted by lamprey263 (23300 posts) -

@Mikey132 said:

@lamprey263 said:

Incompetence and corruption go hand in hand, it's not just one or the other.

May I ask how you came to that conclusion?

A fully competent person can be fully corrupt. Nucky Thompson from Boardwalk Empire is just one example.

I don't mean in all instances, but I find our current political system, assuming many people go into political office with good intentions, puts them into a position of appeasing their financial backers to secure future financial security in running re-elections and supporting them in maintaining or elevating their power. Because of this, they can't entirely fulfill their duties on the convictions that got them elected into office, but rather fulfill the wishes of an outside party. They are incompetent in the sense that they can't get re-elected on the merits of their convictions, their actions, and rely on money more than anything to secure their future in politics. Because of this they are also corruptible. I'm sure there's a spectrum of competence/incompetence, corruptibility/incorruptibility were people can fall into, I don't find the two to be mutually exclusive from each other.

#12 Posted by Rhocky (22 posts) -

"The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes." ~Thomas Paine

This is one of my favorite quotes from Paine. It is also a favorite quote of many other liberty-minded indies, too. It is also, however, a favorite quote of many conservatives, and of many liberals.

It is a wise point to be made, but also, unfortunately, when taken in the context of its repeated use by those from any party, the perfect example of why corruption is often a red herring. As is stupidity. Because the same sorts of problems exist on all "sides," and end up taking the focus and blame of the other "sides" thus perpetuating a narrower and narrower perspective from all involved to the exclusion of rational thought.

Imagine I'm an average person who identifies with either of the two popular parties engaging in public debate about any average issue. I will enter into the debate knowing that my intentions are good. I will enter into it knowing that I'm smart; whether I am or not. I will recognize some of my opponents are idiots; some always are. Therefore, I will assume that the only two logical explanations as to why anyone might not take the same stance I do are that they are either stupid or corrupt.

But... the truth is, most often bad legislation is pushed by people with good intentions and of moderate intelligence, who simply become absorbed into the groupthink I described above. We know our intentions are to improve the world, and we know some of our opponents are stupid and some are corrupt, so therefore we can envision no justification for anyone to oppose us and see no need to broaden our perspectives or certainly ever to potentially change our stance.

So I guess I'm saying it's mostly unintentionally bad decisions, but it's not really stupidity, either. It is a lack of wisdom, perhaps, but intelligence and correctness do not run parallel.