Monday, August 11, 2008

George Santayana and Reform

This evening I had reason to look up a George Santayana quote and found a site with a number of his sayings. One was extremely thought provoking in the view of our state legislature:

George Santayana
“The only kind of reform usually possible is reform from within; a more intimate study and more intelligent use of the traditional forms.”
—The Sense of Beauty, MIT Press, 1988, p. 105

While there are merits to this position -- a familiarity with a system is very useful in reforming it, over familiarity with it can be detrimental -- think of the frog in a pot of water who does not notice it getting hotter degree by degree.

Some long-time state legislators, like Rep. Greg Vitali, have clearly kept a moral compass, while some others who have been in Harrisburg for a number of years, might have lost theirs (What you say?) Those with some experience but not so much as to have gotten acclimated to it and accept business as usual without question, like Rep. Josh Shapiro, might have a better chance at reform.

Just a thought. And check out the Santayana quotes. He's the guy who said those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

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