T Nation

The Problem of Politics


#1

"Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit. A politician is anyone who asks individuals to surrender part of their liberty -- their power and privilege -- to State, Masses, Mankind, Planet Earth, or whatever. This state, those masses, that mankind, and the planet will then be run by ... politicians." -- P. J. O'Rourke

"Political tags -- such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth -- are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire." -- Robert A Heinlein

The problem of politics is that its essential feature is that of controlling mankind. A politician is a person who spends his day trying to figure ways in which he can prevent man from doing what comes naturally to him and forcing him to do that which he considers to be repugnant.


#2

Yep.


#3

My understanding of the nature of politics is this: politics = conflicting interrest. The ideas, ideology etc
that the political players claims have only the purpose to making theire interrests look moral, legit, scientific etc. This is my wiew of politics.


#4

Except the nature of man isn't the savage, it's the highest form of himself, which can never come to him by anarchy.


#5

I see politics as those who will cater to the highest bidder, whether that is a corporation,lobby, or a union.


#6

The nature of man was certainly expressed through government during the 20th century, to the tune of 200 million corpses at the hands of various governments. If this is not a refutation of government it's difficult to know what is.


#7

Amen...spread the word.


#8

From "Shit My Dad Says" on Twitter:

"He's a politician. It's like being a hooker. You can't be one unless you can pretend to like people while you're fucking them."


#9

But the problem with this is that you neglect the fact that politicians have their own interests in mind too. There is no way for politics to resolve the problems of human nature because it relies on one thing that hinders a human's nature -- that is coercion, theft, and violence.

Resolving human conflict can only happen in an intellectual manner as good ideas become understood and mankind aligns his behavior to those ideas. It's a long, slow process that cannot rely on the barrel of a gun.

The more I study ideas the more I realize I haven't even scratched the surface of human possibility. I do know one thing:

Freedom is only possible if mankind devotes himself fully to the idea of peace.


#10

And how is this different than any other century?

"Governments" don't kill humans - humans have always had governments, and humans have always killed other humans. They always have, and they always will - for power, for money, for love, for revenge, for honor. Humans haven't changed, only the size and scope of their weapons.

The 20th century wasn't dominated by "governments" - it was dominated by "ideologies" acting through governments. The government is the agent.

My kingdom for a "libertarian" with even a fifth grader's understading of basic history.


#11

Oh, yes. Let's just group the governments as all being equal. Those were "progressive" governments, if you hadn't noticed. Created by such things as godlessness, revolution, and a complete lack of morals.


#12

the interrestest of the individual politician and the politicians as a group are offcourse existing. What about my post did say something different. As an example is the norwegian labor party. It started out as a true workersman party consisting of average workers who wanted to improve theire conditions ( 8hour working day, universal suffrage, establish a social security system etc ). But after ww2 when they got in power, the elite of the party represented more and more themself than the working man and 50years later the labor party is almost an institusion within our state and the elite of that party have more in common with
the top bureacrats and the capitalist elite of my country. So yes I agree, the interrests of the politicians must be taken into account.

I absolutly agree, freedom as in freedom from any form of "state" is only possible if humans adopted a non-aggressive culture. the problem tough is that it is not really likely to happend from my point of wiew.


#13

And what do you think that ideology was, pray tell?


#14

There were, of course, more than one.

One, of course, was your first True Love and Solution to All of Mankind's Problems - communism. We also had fascism, Nazism, basic imperialism, radicalism causing violence that triggered monarchical and tribal alliances. These are just a few.

And these ideologies were fought by peoples who rejected those ideologies (in both hot and cold wars). And thankfully so.


#15

In the end those are all the same idea -- that man can control other men and expect good results from it.


#16

So, you just take to the French Jacobin ideology now?


#17

What's in a name? It's the actions that man undertakes that matters to me?

Either man believes that he can control other men or he does not.


#18

Hunter gatherer groups would have had more relaxed forms of government. More likely meritocratic spheres of influence.

It was agriculture and city life that lead to big government.


#19

Industrialization. As soon as industrialization started to mass produce wealth it encouraged the parasites (those averse to productive work) to figure out new ways to loot private citizens of that wealth.

In a way capitalism can be said to be to blame for big government.


#20

This is a guess at best, it's certainly not fact with evidence backing it.

It seems to me that man's highest degrees of compassion are NOT obtained when he submits to a system of powerplays, but rather when he separates himself from it and spends his time on things the political system doesnt deem important, such as those at the very bottom of it, spending time in nature, giving away worldly powers such as money, prestige, and control, living apart from society, and questioning authority. At least, thats what it seemed to me that Jesus was trying to get people to do.