As many of you know, I have been diving deep into the intermittent fasting/keto worlds. I have gotten a kick out of all of the dieting debates. On one level it is a nice respite from all of the intensity arising in more traditional debates between Republicans and Democrats. Nevertheless, although these debates start friendly, they can rival the intensity of more traditional political debates. I mean, c’mon, have you ever seen a Vegan debate a Carnivore? They practically come to blows, the insults, the challenge of evolutionary history, the debate about the ideal human foods, the science, the impact on the earth.
It is easy to see why these diet debates get so intense. Most people enter the diet after failing at other diets. They get exposed to the diets, learn more about the principles, try it, feel better, and ultimately become ardent advocates after experiencing so much success. Nearly every camp has credentialed people with peer reviewed papers to back their research. And the people that become leaders of the various diet tribes are charismatic, attractive, and fun to listen to.
But one very human thing happens in nearly every space: overreach. If something works like exercise or fasting or high carbs or low carbs, it is very easy do too much of it, especially after experiencing so many benefits.
Very few things are unalloyed goods no matter how much you do it. Every virtue can become a vice. Nearly every human endeavor has that point of diminishing returns and nearly every activity can eventually becomes at a certain point. Even water can kill you if you drink too much of it all at once.
Duh, you may be thinking. Isn’t that obvious?
True, but this happens all of the time in politics. It’s good to remind ourselves of this. People seem incapable of adjusting once they look onto a political ideology. I see this happen so frequently with libertarians. They read their Milton Friedman, their Ayn Rand, their Von Mises (if they really think they’re smart). They may even run a successful business. Each individual dollar coming in confirms their view, hardening their views.
But often times fail to ask this question. Does the thing that I believe to be good, political libertarianism, ever reach a point where it becomes bad?
To the libertarians out there saying you do progressives do the same thing. Yep. We do. We get wedded to our ideology, our identity, and it is just incredibly difficult to admit you’re wrong about something.
Like diets, its very hard to disprove political ideologies are false. You can on some level. I mean the Soviet system clearly didn’t put goods on shelves, but short of a clearly dysfunctional system like the Soviet Union, it is very difficult to demonstrate that a political ideology is false. And there are just so many variables that affect performance of the economy for example.
Whether politics or diets, it is just good to remind ourselves that too much of a good thing can be bad regardless of how “true” our ideology or diet is. I am constantly reminding myself of that as I get deeper into the Keto/Intermittent Fasting spaces…