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Conservative Review

Why our ‘solutions’ so often fail

People are not basically good.

It’s not enough to know that, though, based simply on the awful visuals of small children suffering from the chemical attack in Syria last weekend. While those images are horrifying, the simple fact that there is evil in the world is not by itself evidence that we are all on some level complicit in a more general fallen state.

It could be that we lost our inherent nobility through a series of sloppy choices. It could be that we were a victim of circumstances that got the better of us and forced us into decadence or malevolence. It could be that we simply chose to forsake the goodness inside of us because of a drug-like obsession with the bad.

And most of us, Christian or otherwise, usually default to these beliefs in the aftermath of children being slaughtered: This can’t be who we are, and clearly we are better than this.

That’s why we create things like the United Nations. Or mandate public education. Or pursue gun control. The problem is never really us, but instead the insufficiency of the organizational or motivational feng shui we find ourselves in.

In essence, rearranging the deck chairs really can save the Titanic from sinking when you practice this worldview. For example, former Obama State Department spokesperson Marie Harf – who was just given her own radio program on Fox for reasons surpassing all understanding – once opined that the violent urges of the Middle East could largely be solved by a quality jobs program.

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