Archive for January 21st, 2010

Politics is life

Six months is a long time in what the pundits call politics. The 2010 elections look awful for the Democrats, with four consecutive defeats since the 2008 victory. But for me, that is not politics.

This sounds strange, since that was the sort of analysis I made my living on. To me, “politics” is a very, VERY long-term business. “Politics,” said the Greeks, “is life.”

“Politics is life.” There have been endless Wise Discussions on what those words meant. All of the famous ones begin at the same point: a total disinterest in what THE GREEKS meant by it. Likewise all popular theological discussion begins at a common point: a complete in what JESUS THE MAN meant in his own time.

Oddly enough there is nothing wrong with this. As I have said, Futurology has nothing whatsoever to do with the future. Likewise no interpretation of Jesus’ words has anything to do with understanding HIM. Futurology, like theology, lives or dies on its ability to interest people NOW and to get donations NOW.

Futurology is no more correct that Flash Rogers was, but it gets hundreds of millions of dollars each year and support thousands of people who call themselves Experts on the Future. Likewise Vatican II declared a huge number of things that Vatican I SPECIFICALLY determined to be heretical.

Since futurology has nothing to do with the future, and Christian Theology has little to do with Christ, it is no surprise that pundits have almost nothing to do with politics.

“Politics is life.” Well, most people realize that whether Mo is favored over Larry six months before the election constitutes “life.” Though in my myriad political campaigns I have seen exceptions to that rule, people whose whole life really is Mo’s percentage in a poll or whether one black basketball team beasts another, both teams more or less randomly selected from the same national pool.

But most people. If sober, will not insist that whether Sara Palin is ahead in the polls is a matter of life or death.

Politics is what we discuss here. “Politics is life” goes back to the real basis of life. The basis of life has always been very simple: Will the next generation look like YOU? The Greek’s life was the polis, whose life was determined by his definition of politics. The wolf lives and dies by his pack. Greeks survived or died with their polis.

One of the major steps forward in studying evolution was the inclusion into it of politics. Before that it was assumed that heroism was a purely human trait because mere animals only wanted survival for THEMSELVES: “Nature red in blood and claw.” No valor among animals.

Wrong. Higher animals almost universally survive in groups. To survive one must preserve one’s group. In African Genesis Robert Ardrey introduced us to animals who sacrificed themselves in ways that fulfill even the Obedient Generation’s claims for itself.

But heroism is necessary only where politics has FAILED. The baboon must throw itself to the wild dogs so its brethren have time to get to safety ONLY if the troop leadership FAILED and left the group in danger, The failure of political leadership becomes necessary makes death necessary on SOMEBODY’S part, in the group or among the heroes.

If we who practice REAL politics succeed, the race can live without the battle causing death.

Politics is life.