One of the problems of the interventionista –wanting to get involved in other people’s affairs “in order to help”, while genuinely wanting to do good, results in disrupting some of the peace-making mechanisms that are inherent in human’s affairs, a combination of collaboration and strategic hostility. As we saw in the prologue, the error continues because someone else is paying the price.
I speculate that had IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots) and their friends not gotten involved, problems such as the Israeli-Palestinian one would have been solved, sort of –and both parties, especially the Palestinians would have felt to be better off. As I am writing these lines the problem has lasted seventy years, with too way many cooks in the same tiny kitchen, most of whom never have to taste the food. I conjecture that when you leave people alone, they tend to settle for practical reasons.
People on the ground, those with skin in the game are not too interested in geopolitics or grand abstract principles, but rather in having bread on the table, beer (or, for some, nonalcoholic beverages such as yoghurt drinks) in the refrigerator, and good weather at outdoors family picnics. Also they don’t want to be humiliated in their human contact with others.
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Dear Professor Taleb,
Despite the degree of desagreement even in fundamental matters, individuals tend to settle if left alone. I witness at first hand this phenomena every time I visit Steinway Ave (A Middle-Eastern neighborhood in Astoria, NY where many Muslim communities live) I am thrilled by the harmenous cohabitation between the Muslim community and the western society. It truly feels that tollerence is instilled and everyone goes about his/her business. Of course, it is absolete to compare my example with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but nonetheless the initial ideological conflict was overcome precisely because people were left alone. In my opinion:)