Observations, Politics-Government.

The Law of Political Scruples

In the world of politics, the degree to which scruples are exercised is in inverse proportion to the degree to which moral rectitude is claimed.

What could be more fun than to use some dry mathematical humor to add some refinement to this political epigram?

In that spirit is born The Law of Political Scruples:

Sp = 1 / (kiMc) 

where Sp represents political scruples; 

Mc represents claims of morality;

ki is the coefficient of political influence. The coefficient of political influence is an exponential function of the general character ki = (ώ + q)Lf, where

ώ represents the period of political office,

 q represents quid pro quo and

Lf represents filthy lucre, aka money. 

Interpretation of the Law of Political Scruples

A quick glance at this mathematical law and one can see that the greater the moral claims, the lower the political scruples, as moral claims are stated in inverse proportion to political scruples, as suggested by the original epigram.

The refinement is found with the additional ki, the coefficient of political influence. Note that it too is inversely proportional to Sp, political scruples. And note further that it is an exponential equation, which rapidly increases with any small increase of its exponent, which in this case is filthy lucre: Money is the most corrupting influence on politics, so a small amount of it lowers political scruples more rapidly than just claims of moral rectitude. The exponential base is a combination of deal-making, or quid pro quo, and the amount of time a politician is in office: The more back-room deal-making generates more quid pro quo, and the longer a politician is in office, the more power he accumulates, both of which act to further lower political scruples.

This is clearly a very cynical view of politics and politicians. And it misses the overall effect a politician’s acts have on the polity: Something good or something bad may have occurred somewhat independently of the political scruples employed to accomplish the act. It is also just as clearly subjective, since it is impossible to map the graph of this law to everyday political behavior with any precision. But is is inaccurate?

Who’s to say? It may feel right, in a fuzzy sort of way, but it may well be that the larger the claim for the precision of this law, the more likely the claimant has a talent for politics, where assertions abound, and where careful evidence for those assertions is rarely forthcoming.

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