[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 12:30:42 +0100 (MET)
From: Per L}ngstr|m <s94pla\!/csd.uu.se>
Subject: Re: sloanpolitik
To: Michael Damian Catano <mcatano\!/is.dal.ca>
Cc: Sloan Net <jrcovey+sloan\!/ac.dal.ca>
to express the point i tried to make..
On Thu, 29 Feb 1996, Michael Damian Catano wrote:
> anyhoo, it's an interesting
> debate. i think the key is to accept/remember that passivity and
> apoliticism is just as "political" as dynamism and conviction.
political passivity is not as "political" as conviction i am afraid. the
people in power don't take much notice to you if you just keep being
passive. they just think you silently agree and are happy with that as
that's what keeps them in power.
This whole debate gets me to thinking what exactly is at the root of
the debate. That would be power. Because at the root of politics is
the search (for some people, the need) for power. At least, I think
so. Even if people go into politics with intentions to do "good"
("good" being a relative term, depending on which point of view you
come from. For example, one person's good might be to make a free-er
climate for businesses to work in, free of gov't interference.
Another person's good might be to make a climate in which business'
operations are strictly monitored for, for example, pollution levels
and such. I guess that all depends on your politics. I know, this
is a circular argument of sorts. I'm shutting up know), they go into
politics so they can appropriate the necessary power to do "good".
I'm no political scientist, but it seems to me that questions of
power come necessarily with questions of politics.
That having been said, what does it mean when we are apolitical. I
think one thing it could mean is that at the root, one does not want
to be responsible for one's actions. Power gives one responsibility
for one's actions. (With great power comes great
responsibility--really wise words from Peter Parker) So although
it's true that great power can be abused, I think you'll find that
historically such abuse is reciprocally punished (i.e. Caligula is
murdered after his reign of terror; the whole damn world gangs up on
Hitler; the abuses of the industrial revolution are somewhat
countermanded by the formation of unions; Brian Mulroney will
eventually go to jail for all he did wrong, though not in a while).
What I'm trying to say here is that power is not necessarily evil.
Power implies the power to do right and the power to do wrong. So,
again I say, what does it mean to be apolitical? It could mean one
wants to be bossed around like a child, and then complain about it
afterwards. To be without power is to be helpless.
That having been said, I am apolitical, mainly because I don't want
to get caught up in the power games, most of which I believe to be
immoral. Thus, I maintain that it is not power that is immoral, but
the way we go about getting power, at least in its current form.
Most of the times, power games are not about guiding people to a
better future. It's usually about leading them by the nose to put more food
in your trough, or the trough of another powerful person. That way
the same people get the best and the most, 'cause all the little
animals on the farm are working they're asses off and getting
repetitive stress disorders to feed the fattest animals on the farm.
But it is also interesting to note that the fattest animals on the
farm have to work quite hard, albeit in their own way, to stay at the
top of the pecking order. They have to make sure that their
neighbours isn't getting too much fatter than they are, and as such
cut in on his ressources of pawns. So the fattest are in a constant
battle for more power, because if they are getting more power, it
means that their situation, at the very least, won't degenerate. It
might even improve and they might get fatter. So everyone is caught
up in the battle for power, including the middle pigs, who serve the
So as such, I don't know if it is worthwhile to enter into such a
system. It keeps everyone in a constant race, on the one extreme for
survival and on the other for more power. The nice thing about the
system however is that it is there. It is in place and functionning.
As such, it is relatively easy to maintain. It has a lot of social inertia
pushing it forward.
So as members of society, there are two lazy ways to do things. One,
we can enter into the system and play by its quite well-established
rules. Two, we can pretend to ignore the system, and be those same
pawns i was talking about, always scurrying about for survival, in
fact to busy scurrying and burning out for survival to understand
that there is plenty of food to go around, and that by scurrying and
burning ourselves out for survival we just make it that much easier
for the fattest to get fatter, or at the very least keep eating more
food than should be coming to them.
I believe there might be a third alternative. Instead of scurrying
and infighting over power, and playing the game of who can best
dominate other people, we should probably act to, well, try to attain
well-being, and convincing other people that they should be seeking
well-being instead of power. (I know that probably sounds terribly
like a cliche...) 'Cause I don't really think that power
makes you happy, at least in its current form. This however, is much
harder to attain than just seeking power in the current system. In a
sense, it is forming a better system. Though this actually sounds a
lot like something Marx would say...oh well.
Oh well, reflections off the top of my head. Feel free to cut them
down or consider it irrelevent as you see fit. Even better, point
out any perceived inconsistencies.
Sorry for the length.
"Fingers burn clean inside-out from the marrow to the skin
An explosion of sin.
And leaves a different kind of mess.
Intangible. Like life."
"Naked we come
And bruised we go.
For the slow, soft worms below."
- Jim "asshole" Morrison