Consequentialists base the rightness or wrongness of actions on their outcome. If the outcome is good enough, it doesn’t really matter what you do, or how you do it.
Basically, the better the outcome, the greater the justification you have for using means that have no intrinsic moral value.
The ends justify the means – Machiavelli
It is important to note that before undertaking an action, you must already know what the consequences of that action will be. Otherwise, you have no rational grounds on which to base your action. In previous posts I have mentioned Hannah Arendt’s conception of the “banality of evil” in which rational thought has no grip on evil and leads to an almost unconscious evil behaviour, even in the most “normal” looking person.
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil – Hannah Arendt
In voting for Brexit, the UK has decided to leave the EU without any idea of what the consequences of this decision will be, despite Theresa May’s “brave” reassurances at the Conservative party conference.
“Do we have a plan for Brexit? We do.”
“Let’s be clear about what is going to happen: Article 50 triggered no later than the end of March.”
“It is, of course, too early to say exactly what agreement we will reach with the EU. It’s going to be a tough negotiation, it will require some give and take. And while there will always be pressure to give a running commentary, it will not be in our national interest to do so.”
“A quiet revolution that took place in our country just three months ago – a revolution in which millions of our fellow citizens stood up and said they were not prepared to be ignored anymore.”
“This is a turning point for our country. A once-in-a-generation chance to change the direction of our nation for good.” – Theresa May (October 2016)
Well, it seems to me that Theresa May does have a Brexit plan after all, she just doesn’t yet know what it is.
A means can be justified only by its end. But the end in its turn needs to be justified – Leon Trotsky
It also seems that, even if she does have a Brexit plan, it is highly unlikely that she believes in it.
The opportunities for the people living here in the UK will be more secure, will be better, if we’re inside the EU – Theresa May (April 2016)
Another explanation, of course, is that Theresa May either lied during the referendum campaign or is lying now, as prime minister. Either way, this state of affairs is very disturbing. No wonder she doesn’t want to use parliament.
Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than to be loved – Machiavelli
Whether people will love Theresa May for what she is doing remains to be seen. She certainly needs to be feared for the way that she is usurping the true values of democracy and playing with the futures of millions of people.
This week, I have had my own “encounter” with consequentialism. Last weekend I decided to change my blogging platform from Blogger (run by Google) to WordPress, unaware of the consequences of doing so.
Why did I decide to change? Because I found out that by using Blogger I did not actually own my blog, Google did. Yes, I admit it: in the same way that Brexiters want their country back, I wanted my blog back. I wanted to be the proud owner of a blog that would, one day, have 100m subscribers. My aspirations and dreams even make Brexit look sensible.
In transferring my blog from BLogger…
…to WordPrESS, I was BLESSED.
And what consequences there were. I spent my Sunday chatting online with my server’s help centre (who were very quick and obliging, I must say), and the rest of the week transferring images of posts that got left behind during the transfer.
Today, it’s up and running.
All that remains for me to do, is to continue writing.
Oh yes, one more thing:
The worst thing you DO write is better than the best thing you Do NOT write
And, from now on, I really DO own my blog.