De Mesquita and Smith on is/ought


in Politics

But remember, what constitutes doing the right thing must be understood from the perspective of a potential supporter: it may have nothing to do with what is best for a community or nation. Anyone who thinks leaders do what they ought to do—that is, do what is best for their nation or subjects—ought to become an academic rather than enter political life. In politics, coming to power is never about doing the right thing. It is always about doing what is expedient.

De Mesquita, Bruce Bueno and Alastair Smith. The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics. PublicAffairs, 2012. p. 37 (italics in original)


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