The Ends Justify the Means (politics)

So the “whistleblower” Chris Wylie fell back to earth. it’s a shame because I was cheering for him. We worked together for, I don’t know, a year or two(2010-2011). He was a nice guy. A bit arrogant, but very smart.

He was always frustrated with how so many others inside the party just didn’t understand what data could do. He was always a few steps too far in front. I usually thought he was right but he would lose people by jumping too quickly ahead of where there thinking was at. We needed to slowly change minds, not try to blow their minds. Needless to say he would usually not get very far.

It’s strange because all of the nasty things about politics are exactly the same in those emails that Buzz feed talks about. The biggest sin of them all is the ever present “The ends justify the means” that is so prevalent in politics. His quote “Then we will cleanse our souls with other projects, like using the data for good rather than evil. But evil pays more.” is pretty much the common thinking. Destroying people’s careers, attacking people personally, releasing dodgy information to the media, creating companies to bypass election rules, making questionable uses of public funds for partisan purposes. It’s so prevalent. Often the excuse is “the other team is doing it, so we have to do it” or “We’re doing it for a better country” or “You have to pick your battles”, the last one implying that we couldn’t actually just do the right thing all the time and we shouldn’t focus on those.

I think something I fear is that it’s not just in politics. That it’s like that in many other places. I guess it really wouldn’t surprise me for some industries, investment banking for example.

It’s just become apparent to me that some people might think I’m talking about a whole bunch of secrets I might have. I’m not, all the stuff above can be found by in a few minutes via Google :).