I have zero faith in the political process. I think it is an antiquated, obsolete and detrimental way to make decisions for society at best
. At worst
, and a little closer to reality, any politician who has any chance of getting elected has already been bought and paid for by various interests to finance their campaign.
One example of this fuckery, albeit a dated one
Or, if that’s not the case, any sweeping fundamental change they would want to make, beyond the passage of new legislation, would probably get blocked or get them assassinated.
Bearing this in mind, its very easy to dissociate myself from all the noise. Even moreso when everything politicians say is typically flawed or constrained by present modes of thinking.
Enter the Boston Marathon Bombing. Not having a television means I get to miss most of the news coverage but some does creep into my facebook newsfeed. One such gem I noticed was that Stephen Harper was taking shots at Justin Trudeau for his comments regarding the bombing.
Trudeau’s comments were:
“Now, we don’t know now if it was terrorism or a single crazy or a domestic issue or a foreign issue. But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. Completely at war with innocents. At war with a society. And our approach has to be, where do those tensions come from?”
And Harper’s criticism was:
“When you see this kind of action, when you see this kind of violent act, you do not sit around trying to rationalize it or make excuses for it or figure out its root causes. You condemn it categorically and to the extent that you can deal with the perpetrators you deal with them as harshly as possible and that is what this government would do if it ever was faced with such actions.”
Both quotations taken from the National Post.
Let’s deal with Harper’s buffoonery first. He takes the notion that thought should precede action and rips it apart. He wants action. ANY ACTION, so long as it vindicates the national honour. Forget preventing future violence, just condemn the perps (or whomever we have conveniently labelled the perps) and punish them harshly to satisfy the mob’s biblical need for revenge.
I’m reminded of a line by rapper The Game in his song “120 Bars,” where he references another rapper talking shit about him. Game says, “He don’t write his own raps so I gotta forgive him.” This is how I feel about Harper et al. These fucks don’t actually write their speeches and they have PR teams to make sure that they portray a certain image so how am I really supposed to get mad at him for shit he didn’t think up? Bearing this lack of accountability in mind, I have to approach Justin
Bieber’s Trudeau’s comments with the same wariness but also the same magnanimity.
So obviously he didn’t write his own comments. But given the circumstances that’s kind of a drag because HE’S SAYING SHIT THAT ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE. If you read my blog with any regularity, you have probably read the words “root” and “cause” several times, as well as derivatives like “causality.” For example, I use such terms extensively here, here, and here. So needless to say my spider-sense tingled when I read these comments from Trudeau. And here is where the danger lies; its easy to dismiss the “why plan when you can react” rantings of Harper for the idiocy inherent in those words, but when Trudeau comes at me with a message that makes sense, its tempting to forget that he is part of an establishment which actually cares little for root causality and fundamental, structural change. In fact, such change is anathema to the political establishment because the viability and necessity of the establishment itself would have to be questioned.
“People are not elected to political office to change things, they’re put there to keep things the way they are.” -Jacques Fresco
It’s important to mention I have no problem with Trudeau personally (or Harper for that matter), but I recognize that they have to play a game where the main guideline is “say the right thing.” But knowing that (and I think we all know that’s what politics is on some level), the best course of action is not to accept the most appealing set of lies, but to reject an establishment predicated on lying altogether. I know this is hard; politics paints things as epic battles between “your side” (aka “the right side”) and everyone else. You begin to see things as a fight for right and you put your support behind your champion/politician. It feels good when your champion gains traction because you feel a part of it. Conversely, when your champion loses you feel indignant, but righteously so. And motherfuckers love them some righteous indignation.
Furthermore, when one of these champions name-drops something which is of interest to me (i.e. causality) its tempting to focus my attention on their struggle for me and my interests. But politicians wear causes like pantsuits…
…and what was fashionable one day might not be fashionable the next. If something is empirically (objectively) right however, it is beyond public opinion and the tyranny of the 51%, a realm which the politician calls home. A politician may hit on the right note every once in a while but they only have as much integrity as public opinion allows them to have, otherwise they’re out of a job. Or assassinated.
So as you struggle to be free always remember that people are gonna say things which at face value may seem amenable to you but always dig deeper, because there are a lot of diversions which will give you that feeling of doing right without actually doing any right. I am reminded of a part in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, when “looter,” Hopton Stoddard approaches architect and protagonist Howard Roark to build a temple for him. Roark, not being religious, is initially reluctant but Stoddard has been briefed by antagonist Ellsworth Tooey on exactly what to say to Roark to get around his apprehensions. Through the use of words and words alone, Stoddard convinces Roark that they are actually on the same page and that Roark IS religious in his own way, leading Roark to relent and build the temple. This is how I feel about Trudeau’s comments; they have been calculated to get around the defences of a growing number of critical thinkers disaffected with the political establishment. But like the words of Stoddard, they are just so much hot air.