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The Uses of Pessimism

British philosopher Roger Scruton says false hope is the biggest danger to humanity and that doses of pessimism help keep us on track toward gradual positive social change: "Scruton identifies seven fallacies that he sees as underwriting false hope. Put briefly, these translate into a tendency to always look on the bright side, a belief that freedom is hampered by law, an unwillingness to countenance refutation, a belief that failure in one human quarter is directly connected to success in another, an inclination to impose solutions rather than letting them evolve over time, the idea that human history has an endpoint, and the tendency to assume agreeable concepts such as liberty and equality are mutually reinforcing."
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