Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Political & Personal

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- Four times now in the past month I've read that our political problems will remain with us until people become more intellectual, less atomized, less party loyal.
- And you don't think that's true.
- It occurs to me this claim is related to the way liberal politicians keep surprising me with their betrayals. Let me ask you a question. Say our political goal is independence, justice, to be left in peace by others. Why would anyone open himself up to a stranger for the purpose of getting to the goal of a politics which would control strangers to our benefit, allow us to stay closed to strangers? For that is what it means to be more social, more open, more smart about our relations to others, but only for the sake of a political goal, not the relations themselves.
- Putting personal relations in the service of politics, hypocrisy is built in.
- I wonder. If you ask someone to engage in liberal politics with you so to be left alone, at any moment your political comrade may leave you alone too.
- And that is what you think liberal leaders always do?
- Yes. So I thought then we have start the other way around.
- Which is?
- Like in Plato's Republic, where politics are discussed, not for their own sake, but as a means to improve personal life and understanding. Our leaders betray us, and they always will, so long as they keep asking us to get together only to change our politics, to keep us better apart and safe from each other's crimes.
- Can you give me an example of discussion of politics made to serve personal understanding?
- Easy, I already have: leaders betraying us after doing the opposite.


- I'm not saying you're wrong. I think there's some truth in your ideas. Our leaders betray us because they have power and we don't, and they develop class loyalty with those like themselves with power, and see us, the people they lead, as children in their power to be managed as they see fit. I also think there's truth in your argument that our leaders, proposing better ways of keeping us from assaulting and robbing each other, end up keeping themselves in isolation from us too. But...
- But?
- I think the level of discussion is wrong. Put together ideas of class, and efficiency of each of us like a part in a clock to be kept in maximal order and free from damage from the other parts, and what do we get? We get a materialism of selves. We get economics. And economics, as a primary description of human nature, is insane.
- Tell me how.
- Have you ever heard our leaders say that capitalism does not necessarily involve employment by hire? or the hoarding of unused property? That both can be forbidden without challenge to private property and investment?
- Those are anarchist ideas.
- Yes they are. You don't like them? Then add back in employment for hire and hoarding of unused property and you get classic capitalism: the employed are also consumers, and three kinds of insanity arise: first, that of class relations, master to slave.
- The insanity there?
- Of vanity. Thinking that you are a kind of thing, a master, a slave, defined by your repetitive relation to another person seen as a kind of thing.
- Why is that insane?
- Because the power to force a repetition of that relation is felt to be a power over the world as a whole, when in fact maintaining that relation results in less power, blindness and ignorance of the world outside of the relation between classes.
- Ok. Next.
- The next insanity is the employers' doing for the sake of doing. Endless, pointless, continued pursuit of profit for profit sake. A classic example of compulsive behavior.
- Ok. Next.
- Hallucination in the necessity to create a world in which money creates money, that world where more and more money is needed to fund the slaves' consumption of products at prices higher than their wages.
- Vanity, Compulsion, Hallucination. You've sold me. Our leaders, by promising us a mere economic rearrangement, an alteration in the world of things, are living in a world of insanity, and can't help but fall victim to it themselves.

Further Reading:
Leaders Who Betray