Monday, 11 October 2010

Politics Embryo

Politics is inevitable once you accept a few widely accepted, but not necessarily necessary, facts:

1) You cannot be trusted to run your own life.
One could re-state this as:
1) Other people will always seek to manipulate you.
1) Humans are more innately evil than they are innately good.

Whichever formulation you lean towards, and I'm sure there are many more, the central idea remains that individuals need to be coerced into treating each other with any kind of respect or care; humans won't do it on their own. One has good reason to fear anarchy if one thinks people are seething balls of irrational rage waiting to slip the bonds of social responsibility and lash out in every direction.

This leads to:

2) For there to be any such thing as justice it needs to be enforced by an authority.
2) You and I must be controlled or we will surely run amok.
2) Save me from the bad men!

Once you accept that others cannot be trusted, then one needs an authority to govern them, otherwise who will keep our violent neighbours in check?


3) Communities cannot regulate themselves.
3) People you know can't be trusted to make good decisions.
3) You cannot be trusted to make good decisions.

There are cultures in the world where communities punish crimes, prevent unfair treatment of their members and educate their young without interference from a faceless authority. I suppose within these micro-cultures there is something approximating politics going on, but in every situation where there is more than one person involved there is a kind of politics. But that is not the kind I'm interested in here.

4) Mysterious figures, whom we have often never met, should be given the power to regulate our finances, punish our misdeeds, send our armies into war and speak on behalf of everyone in the country.
4) We need God on earth.
4) Please; I don't want to think about any of this - can't that guy do it?

Once you have accepted these points as facts, assuming you have a say in the matter, the only question you have left to answer is: "Which guy?" And that is politics.

No comments:

Post a Comment