This political term describes situations benefiting one's (or a few ones') short term and restricted interests.

In a more restricted sense (as used in the TUNES project acronym), expedient implies that the expedient thing may be harmful or disastrous for the global long term welfare. We thus oppose this restricted expediency to real Utility.

Beware that this does not mean anyhow that all expedient things in the general sense are expedient in the restricted sense. Actually, most of the time, we have only a vague idea of what is really useful or harmful, so in the limits of this knowledge, expediency is the best approximation we have; if we do not have clear ideas about expediency either, we follow traditions and habits.

For example, mass murdering and concentration camps are expedient to dictatorial governments; racketeering, selling drugs or weapons are expedient to the mob; industrial monopoly is expedient to the owners of these monopolies and partners in a trust (a.k.a. the white-collar mob); wasting the Earth's natural resources may be expedient to those who exploit these; wasting human work is expedient to those who sell broken el cheapo products in a cheated market with unfair competition; but all these are extremely harmful to the world.

This page is linked from: Open   Open Development   Statism   Utility