My Dearest Wish
less politics, more cooperation
Once you experience politics as the fight with the enemy you can’t unsee it. Politics makes everything into a fight between “us” and “them,” between our kind and the enemy.
So it has been down the ages. But just the same, for humans to thrive, you need to keep the fighting down to a dull roar. How do humans do this? Mostly, I suspect, with the aid of hierarchy. You have a tribal chief, or a king, or a president, and everyone underneath the chap on the top finds a way to find their place in the hierarchy. If you don’t respect the existing hierarchy then it doesn’t take too much for the governing hierachy to tag your as a rebel and an insurgent.
We righties tend to be outraged that the Democrats are currently doing a fairly good job of branding anyone beyond the fence as ultra-MAGA armed insurgents, and enemies of “Our Democracy,” but I suspect it was ever thus. You were either one of the king’s men or… Yes, who do you think you are, questioning the Lord’s Anointed?
So I would say that our official narrative, of two parties appealing to the people for their votes, rather misses out the fact that there is always a temptation for the Inner Party to be extremely suspicious about the plans and the loyalty of the Outer Party.
In other words, I would say that the McCarthy era, of Commies under the bed, and the current Woke era, of racist-sexist-homophobes threatening “our democracy,” is not the exception but just normal politics amped up a bit.
In the old days, if you weren’t a king’s man, you kept your powder dry. Today if you are not a supporter of the educated class you know that you need to keep your wits about you.
And the educated class? I think that every educated person walks around with a sense that they know. As Bruce Bawer writes of the educated class,
And their own political stances are, for them, identity markers, less about reality than about image, less about substance than about style, less, even, about actual policies and specific actions than about making the right gestures, parroting the right slogans, and cleaving to the right ideology.
In other words, a court, or a religion. And while politics experiences the “other” as the enemy, religion experienced the “other” as Satan.
How do you get people to change their minds on Satan? Nietzsche says it only happens when God is Dead.
But how do we get the educated class to stop thinking of themselves as gods? Probably their leaders must fail them, fail them to the extent that they can no longer enjoy their sinecures and that ruin stares them in the face.
For instance, suppose that we had a tech collapse and millions of tech workers lost their jobs and their ability to exchange emails about social justice?
Yeah. The trouble is that they would take the rest of us down with them.
What it would take is for the best and brightest and their followers to decide that politics was really rather beneath them, old chap, and that the best people do not descend into the muck of politics and its enemies.
I know. In your dreams.