That's Too Idealistic
"That's too idealistic," most people say when I raise principles and concrete policies that I believe in. This implies, I presume, that they agree with them but have doubts in terms of feasibility and execution. But how "idealistic" are they, really?
In the current industry I work in right now, we always look at best practices in other markets just as a benchmark or a source of thought-starters for executions that could be locally contextualized. It's always best practice to look into what works and what doesn't work and then mix and match those that could work in our local context. That being said, before we judge something as "too idealistic" -- why don't we look for data and research successful case studies on what other countries do to address social issues similar to ours?
The photo above is an extensive research by The Heritage Foundation about economic freedom rankings of different countries in the world. The beauty of this is that these are already real-world demonstrations. They are empirical data based on how pro-market economic policies and civil liberties strongly contribute to a country's peace and prosperity.
To avoid bias, there are more sources you can contrast the data to such as the International Property Rights Index. You can check and validate the methodologies used in their research. You can disagree if you wish. What's important is that we take a step back and base our policy positions on data before we discredit principles or ideas.
Yes, there are contentions with Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore or Pinochet's Chile (as seen on photo of top 10 most economically free countries above) when it comes to authoritarian leadership. The point, though, is that their economic policies favor less government meddling and economic freedom allowing the market to flourish thus increasing prosperity and people's standards of living.
My main objective for this specific post, I guess, is not exactly to push my own principles but to push back on people who easily jump the gun and say that something is "too idealistic".
This pessimism has existed throughout history. There are those who tend to find profound and forward-thinking ideas as "too idealistic". This was true when there were skeptics and opponents of the abolitionists who pushed to get rid of slavery. This was true when patriarchal society shrugged off women's struggle for their right to suffrage. This was true when Rizal envisioned to use fictional novels to open people's eyes to the oppression of colonialism.
Ideas will always be too idealistic until there are results, of course, but with sound and logical principles that're already backed by real-world demonstrations, I don't see the merit in being cynical or hopeless.
If you are reading this right now and you reached this part, the next time you feel strongly that something is too idealistic and cannot be implemented, I hope you could push back on the cynicism. For a few seconds, just grab your smartphone and take note of the proposal so that you could look it up when you have the time.
My only hope is that a few seconds of typing some keywords on Google and skimming through some case studies and success stories from other countries could maybe spark hope in us and relinquish this "too idealistic" mentality.