Thursday, 26 July 2012

Who Are the "Politicals?"

A former teacher of mine made a comment about my novel “Going Galactic,” which I think deserves a response. He felt that I had over-simplified my case, by laying too much of the blame for all that is wrong on the politicians. And he gave two good, specific examples, the media and the bankers, of others deserving blame.

This criticism is justified. Re-reading chapter 1 of the book, I find that my coily friend Professor Bart Vorsprong did indeed make himself less clear in this matter than he usually is. He was clear, indeed, about what he meant by the “political model” (p.2):

“The political model involves the acquisition, by a relative few, of power over the many, and its maintenance by means of violence, fear and deceit.”

He also used the terms “political sub-species” and “politicals”. By these, he meant “users of the political model.” But he was not entirely clear which kinds of individuals he included under those terms.

I have pointed out to the good Professor his small omission. And, should there be an electronic edition of my novel, he has undertaken to provide for it an expanded section of his report, which will rectify the fault.

In the meantime, I will try to clarify here just what I mean by “politicals.”

My use of this term has its roots in an idea of the German thinker Franz Oppenheimer. In his book The State, first published in 1908, he said:

“I propose in the following discussion to call one's own labor and the equivalent exchange of one's own labor for the labor of others, the ‘economic means’ for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the ‘political means.’“

I make a similar distinction between politics and economics in my novel (p. 254):

“At a higher level of thinking, people began to see politics for what it was – an outdated way of dealing with others, based on nothing better than violence, dishonesty and intimidation. They came to compare and contrast it with the way of dealing with others, which is natural to human beings – economics. A way based on being a value to others, and trading with them in an environment of peace, honesty and justice.”

So, who (or what) are the politicals? Simply put, they are those that use Oppenheimer’s “political means” in their behaviour towards others, rather than the “economic means.” In other words, they take wealth from people who earn it, without offering anything those people want in return. And many of them use the proceeds to damage the lives of their victims, not just in terms of money, but by damaging rights and freedoms as well.

There’s a very obvious class of politicals, which my former teacher rightly pointed out – the bankers. For decades, the bankers have gambled with our money. As long as they won, they pocketed the profits. But as soon as they lost, they sucked up to the politicians to make us pay to bail them out. I did call the bankers out in my book as being “politically rich” (p. 242), but I think I was unduly kind.

Some other politicals are in it mostly for the money, too. Many bureaucrats, for example. Or the landowners that take subsidies for wind farms, which (as is well known to those who have looked at the practicalities of wind power) can never work as a primary power source.

Any subsidy-craving “business,” indeed, is not a true business, but a political sham. The same applies to “businesses” that go running to the politicians to get themselves lucrative monopolies, or to disadvantage their competitors.

Many politicals, though, want more than just money. They want power. They want to be able to impose their particular world-view (deep environmentalism, for example) on others. To this end, they love to spread fear and false guilt. The media, many academics and some teachers fall into this category.

But some go further yet. They actively want to hurt the people they don’t like. And they want to be able to get away with their crimes. In short, these politicals set themselves up, without any moral justification, as if they were superior to ordinary people.

All that being said, however, the politicians do deserve a lot of the blame. For they are the ones that make the unnecessary and immoral wars, the arbitrary and crippling taxes, the oppressive and unjust laws. They are the ones that publicly and persistently pollute our environment with lies and hypocrisy. They are the visible tip of the political iceberg. It’s true, of course, that not all individual politicians are actively evil; but, considered as a group, they might as well be.

Now, consider the distinction Oppenheimer made. Think about the difference between the political and economic ways of doing things. It should quickly become clear that the politicals are not at all superior to the good, ordinary people who live by the economic means.

Indeed, those that use the political means are morally far inferior to peaceful, honest, productive people. They are worse than mere criminals. They do not deserve any respect or sympathy; rather, what they deserve is contempt and loathing.

I hope that I have now clarified what I mean by “politicals,” and given a sense of why we human beings should reject them. That sense – part of what I call in the novel “the Personal Transition”- is, I think, beginning to spread through the population now, as the politicals find it harder and harder to disguise what they are.

So, I will end with a quote from my novel (p. 255), on how we will deal with the politicals when the tipping point comes:

“And there grew in the minds of good people a demand to bring the politicals to justice. All those that had taken an active part in politics deserved to be thoroughly investigated, scrutinized and judged as individuals. And those – whether politicians, lobbyists, bullying bureaucrats or officials, media, corrupt corporate bosses or other vested interests – that were found to have used political ruses to harm good people, or to profit at the expense of good people, deserved to be made to compensate their victims, and to be treated as the criminals they were. It was now their turn to feel fear and guilt.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post, Neil