Political scientists love
to talk about "stability." This obsession seems to mirror economists' blind devotion to the concept of "equilibrium
." Stability is characterized -- as best I can decipher -- as a lack of change in the political regime.
I am reminded of this as the CSM tell us that Putin provides Russia with stability.
Clearly, stability is not an intrinsically positive
characteristic, for one could easily imagine a stable equilibrium political situation (Russia) which is not necessarily rooted in the principles of a free society. In that case, the political scientists' focus on the importance of stability seems an incredibly dumb activity. Please extend this idea to politicians emphasizing the need for stability in Iraq.
"This moment in Iraq is a moment of truth," Kerry said. "Not just for this administration, the country, the Iraqi people, but for the world. This may be our last chance to get this right. We need to put pride aside to build a stable Iraq. We must reclaim our country's standing in the world by doing what has kept America safe and made it more secure before — leading in a way that brings others to us so that we are respected, not simply feared, around the globe."
Just for fun, take note of how many times you see the stability phrase repeated by politicians, intellectuals and the media (bloggers included, of course).