Rationalization is a trick of the mind to deceive not only others but yourself too. Your husband may be practicing rationalization himself. Whenever he says to you, “This is a rationalization,” it may be nothing but a rationalization on his part. He wants to avoid, he wants to escape; he does not want to answer directly. He condemns you.
And of course he uses a big, very big word: rationalization. And naturally the wife is cowed down – there must be something wrong. And the husband knows, and he is a professor of philosophy, so he is bound to know. He is practicing rationalization himself.
Rationalization is not true reasoning; it is a strategy, a pretension. It pretends to be rational but it is not.
“Why do you drink?” asked Hogan.
“Booze killed me mother,” answered Kehoe, “and booze killed me father – I am drinking for revenge!”
This is a rationalization. If you want to drink, drink. But this is a very subtle way of deceiving yourself and others.
From a diary of an Italian girl on a Caribbean cruise:
Monday – was invited to dine at the Captain’s table.
Tuesday – spent the day with the Captain.
Wednesday – Captain made ungentlemanly proposals to me.
Thursday – Captain said he would sink the ship if I did not agree to his proposals.
Friday – saved five hundred lives.
This is rationalization. Man is very cunning; man’s cunningness is unlimited. And people go on doing things in the name of reason.
Today Acharya Vinoba Bhave is going to start his fast unto death – because he wants a total ban on cow slaughter. He calls it his religious duty. How can this be a religious duty? This is blackmail; this is threatening the country. And from where has he got the idea? He says that his mother appeared in his dream and told him, “This is the work that you have to do.”
Now, for his dream, and a mother of the dream, he is threatening the country: “I will commit suicide if you don’t listen to me.” But rather than saying it directly, “I will commit suicide,” he says he will fast unto death.