Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Politics and Change

In the Brothers Karamazov,  Dostoyevsky deals in part with the problem society and freedom.  One of the brothers relates a poem he wrote that imagines Jesus returns during the Spanish Inquisition and the Inquisitor explains to Jesus that God gave people freedom but they want bread and security, so the Inquisitors give it to them, good and hard.

This is a reworking of 1 Samuel 8, in fact I wondered if Dostoyevsky had ever read that passage, but this is only a character speaking.

I once noted to an aspiring politician who wanted my vote because we needed "change" that every politician says the exact same thing upon entering, but so far nothing has changed.  How would he feel if this was true for him too?  "That would be sad."

They go in saying the Capitol is a cesspool but decide in time it is a hot tub, and a party one at that.  In time they all decide that the people want to be oppressed, given "a king to fight their battles for them."  hence all of these odious elements and practices they inflict on us by law.

Now that is some consolation when pursuing a life of graft, bribery, whoring, substance abuse and whatever else is par for the course in politics.  You are just giving the masses what they want.

But here is the problem:  when a genuine person arises that begins to lead people to a more just and peaceful, genuine society, he is murdered by the very people who insist the masses want to be oppressed.  Gandhi, King, X, and so on. What they claim is a sad compromise becomes an existential imperative.

It may be a satisfying conceit to claim as a politician to be doing the peoples' will, but if and when the people express a will contrary to hot tub ethics, their response is vicious, like a cokehead in a hot tub.

And change is upon us.  A new hit movie has the FDA as the villain, Robert Redford has a movie out in which his solo sailboat runs into a loose shipping container on the high seas and he is in for the struggle of his life (get it? rugged individualism, crashes into materialism, and the existential crisis of systems breakdown and even some disaster prep thrown in... something for everyone).

No one wants this system.  those who have done well want it to end first, so they can avoid any "justice" rough or otherwise.  Those not doing well, want to drag it out hoping for justice.  Between the two of them, they both want violence for change.

Not much we can do about where we are headed, more a question of how we'll behave when we get there.

 Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

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