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.