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A Dose of Bruno

April 11, 2013

It takes something like courage to admit that we will never do better than a politician. We contrast his incompetence with the expertise of the well informed, the rigor of the scholar, the clairvoyance of a seer, the insight of the genius, the disinterestedness of the professional, the skill of the craftsman, the taste of the artist, the sound common sense of the ordinary man in the street, the flair of the Indian, the deftness of the cowboy who fires more quickly than his shadow, the perspective and balance of the superior intellectual. Yet no one does better than the politician. Those others simply have somewhere to hide when they make their mistakes. They can go back and try again. Only the politician is limited to a single shot and has to shoot in public. I challenge anyone to do any better than this, to think any more accurately, or to see any further than the most myopic congressman.

–from “Irreductions” (3.6.3), in The Pasteurization of France, by Bruno Latour

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