Is dislike of politicians a sensible default position?


So, I’m supposed to be a kind and loving optimist hippy pacifist, right?

I mean, if you take the subject out of that and just make the question ‘is dislike a sensible default position’ then I would rant and rave against it for at least five hundred words.

But politicians. There’s something special about politicians, right? That hunger for a career of power within institutions based on non-committal and photogenia. A career based on hiding enough unpleasantness that people will vote for you no matter what you say. A skillset based on not answering questions and phrasing as much as possible in quotably positive noncommittal headlines.

Appealing to the lowest common denominator at all costs. Never saying anything that might upset. Spinning webs of ideology to trick people into working against themselves. That’s what politicians do.

I don’t dislike people very often, but my default position on any given politicians is to throw a pint in their face. (This is why I tend to avoid politicians and drinking. It’s only going to result in me getting arrested for treason or somesuch).

But am I right?

I think partially. I think climbing the party hierarchy does require a certain weasley noncommittal disposition that slowly wears down any principles once held in favour of media training and demographic wrangling. I’ve talked about this more eloquently before too. The ‘best’ politicians just lie to you to carry on doing what they wanted to do in the first place (which is normally to maintain the status quo).

So that’s all sensible to dislike, right?

Well. I suspect one of the most important things I’ve read recently is this.

In short. It proposes that the old white dudes running our countries are trying their best within the framework they have. Old viewpoints, and an intensely status quo hungry public. A world view shaped by the cold war, added to being ruled by the people, who actually want to be rich enough to let the rich get away with anything that they can.

Admitting the scale of the state we are in would be career suicide for a politician, and it’s our fault, we the people, for not opening our eyes; leaving them on the prize, the fantasy, the lie.

The politicians are not steering us out of this mess because they don’t have the answers. They are intelligent human beings, but they are blinded by us and they are as blind as us. At worst, they’ve played a game with these rules for so long that they can’t see any alternative.

So I think a much more sensible default position that dislike is pity, and then just ignore them.

At least until we have started to build some alternatives. Then we start shouting at them, about them. (Possibly talking might work too).

If the system is broken, we need to build new systems. Desperately.

Start thinking outside of your boxes. Oppression is self perpetuated.

There may be another way. We need to find it.

Illustration by Si.


About Alabaster Crippens

Joiner of Dots. Player of Games. Unreliable Narrator. Dancing Fool.
This entry was posted in Questions by All Soul's General Paper, Special Guest Illustrations. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Is dislike of politicians a sensible default position?

  1. Vinay Gupta says:

    Thanks for the kind words, AC. You may find #thebigdeal ( a useful framework for what going *around* the current political mess looks like in practice. It’s early stage work, and very long (four essays, around 12K words total) but it came before “On the Practical Exercise of Power.”



    • Hi Vinay,
      Thanks for reading. Have read #thebigdeal previously and its actually been a big influence on my mental/political trajectory of the last six months. Still in ways that I can’t quite summarise or resolve into blog posts, but bits crack through. This question seemed to time/chime well with the ‘Practical Exercise of Power’ post of the other day.
      I suspect that I’m approaching a point where I need to return to those posts and learn some more.
      Interesting times.
      I’m very thankful there’s some interesting people around who are trying to stare them down. (And one day I’d aspire to be one of them).

  2. Vinay Gupta says:

    Why, thank you 🙂 And don’t be in *too* much of a hurry to stare at this stuff, it stares back you know! Are you coming to Dark Mountain? Are you in the UK? (You sound like you might be…)



    • I promise to be careful and not stare into the time vortex for quite long enough to send me mad.

      And yes and yes. I’ll be at Uncivilisation, am in the UK and am looking forward to finding a few ideas for how to, erm, look forward (and maybe one day even MOVE forward).
      Allbests, and I hope to see you there.

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