As the story goes, the best people on face of the earth are best described as, Pragmatic. Pragmatic persons do not have head-in-the-sky syndrome. In an imperfect world, pragmatic persons understand that absolute perfection is, in entirety, a misnomer.
How can anyone have any knowledge of what exactly constitutes absolute perfection if life itself inherently is imperfect?
But what then does it mean to be Pragmatic? Well, a pragmatic person shoots for whatever is achievable, does not insist on what can be described as ‘perfect solutions’.
But is a perfect solution the same thing as an ‘ideal solution’? A perfect solution refuses to take cognizance of constraints that exist on a society; demands simultaneity of attenuation of constraints, and implementation of perfect solutions.
An ideal solution is the solution that, conditional on current state of society, equivalently, conditional on current constraints, best moves society towards achievement of it’s objectives.
In an imperfect world, typically, perfect solutions turn out inherently self contradictory.
For illustration, Consider College Education. An ideal solution for College Education focuses not on how exactly education is funded, but on effectiveness of education at producing well rounded individuals who, on basis of their qualifications, are prepared for different roles in society.
Relative to effectiveness of education, funding of education is of secondary importance. A well funded program of College Education that simultaneously is ineffective is a misnomer.
In presence of addition of ‘free education’ to a program for College Education that already is known to be an ideal solution, there is arrival at a perfect solution. There is arrival at a perfect solution, because a supposedly effective educational system has opportunity for emancipation of every single person in society. What then happens? In presence of education that is free, relative to their strengths and weaknesses, socioeconomic agents do not any longer weigh relative merits of going to, or not going to College.
We arrive at a situation within which there is not any cost to a square peg attempting to fit itself in a round receptacle.
In presence of anticipated response of socioeconomic agents, the perfect solution ceases to be effective, turns out inherently self contradictory.
In context of College Education, an ideal solution focuses on optimization of effectiveness of College Education at production of well rounded individuals who, on basis of their qualifications, are prepared to fill different roles in society.
Suppose then, desire in a Pragmatic Solution — an achievable solution — for organization of College Education. Clearly, a pragmatic solution that destroys effectiveness of College Education cannot simultaneously be deemed a beneficial solution. We arrive then at an important insight, which is, absent characterization of what exactly constitutes an ideal solution, a pragmatic solution can turn out to be an extremely bad solution. Clearly then, Pragmatism that is not predicated on Idealism can be a bad recipe for advancement of a society.
Pragmatism that is good for society always is predicated on an understanding of what exactly is ideal for a society.
A society that does not invest in ascertainment of solutions that are ideal, which then picks, on an ad hoc basis, solutions that are pragmatic, may end up in need of major surgery at some point in future.
A society, which prides itself on pursuit of perfect solutions becomes a poster boy for a society that always is retooling on the exact same issues, for it is normative that, in an imperfect world, perfect solutions inherently are self contradictory.
A society that invests in ascertainment of ideal solutions, which then, on basis of pragmatism picks from a menu of available solutions provides itself with the best opportunity for attainment to development that is progressive.
Absent idealism, there always is a decent chance that pragmatism is no more than an exercise in bad judgment.
Beneficial Pragmatism always is leveraged on well founded Idealism.