Messianism and Realistic Thinking

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post which referenced the scandal regarding Greg Mortenson, I found wisdom in this, again from Megan McArdle. We look for Messiahs who can do anything and fix everything. But mere men are mortal and the problems of the world resist instant, overnight, single-handed solutions. And yet we look for such.

If we refuse to fund anything but the most ambitious products, we are vulnerable to con men, or starry-eyed optimists who don’t understand what they’re up against. We can’t transform the lives of the global poor overnight. We can make them better. But only if we are clear-eyed about the projects that we undertake.

There is great work being done in the world. But it will tend to be small scale, limited in scope, and incapable of grand claims of success. But there the kingdom of God is being built.

For sober thinking on development, I encourage people to go here.