Uh… Oh…! He’s going to talk about politicians, those slimy pieces of dog S--t! Right you are! But lets give them a break, they do work very hard to satisfy their patrons… even if most of the time these patrons aren’t exactly the people who elected them to represent them. But then that’s why I call them the “weak” link in government!
At another place on this web site I wrote an essay about Utopias that broached the problems of the ideal state, but I really didn’t get further down into the implementation of governments than a general, say, “rule of thumb” approach. Whatever form of government we are going to have, we have to have people managing it. The more citizens there are in the state, the more people we need to be buffers to interface the people and their government, and thus the whole problem of bureaucracy arises. There is no real answer to this except that if all the people in the state are treated similarly, and do not feel threatened with a fear of extinction, and there is a real feeling of solidarity in the state, where all feel as though they are members of a team, they will develop the trust and cooperation needed to make this part work. However it’s the very top layer of the bureaucracy where the real problems exist. Even Plato knew this, way back when he tried to implement his dream in Sicily 1 . Yeah, it’s the politicians, but are they really the weak link?
Let’s analyze that colorful metaphor we used above to describe them… it really is quite a good description of the “type” in general. Slimy, now that is very descriptive, it immediately brings to mind someone who sort of “oozes” his way through life, and life situations… like a “snake in the grass” or maybe an eel that we can never really catch because he wriggles his way out of our grasp and leaves our hands full of slime. The Romans and ancient Italians had a God who probably could be the patron saint of this crew; his name was Janus and he was depicted as having two faces, facing in opposite directions. He was the deity of “beginnings” and “gates”; but you know what we usually associate “two faced” with today, and that might tie in very well with someone who always seems to have two masters: the people, the known one, and someone else, the unknown one, hiding somewhere behind his bank account. But I think you get the picture: not real, base, false, and treacherous!
“Pieces of dog S--t”, another really fine metaphor; “You can smell them a mile away” immediately comes to mind. Everyone who has stepped in some knows how hard it is to get it off your shoes, and how the smell just seems to intensify and linger on. This might also very well describe the process of politics itself. Defecation is sort of a necessary evil; you must put up with it, but you can form a routine to deal with it. However the descriptor “dog” makes it sort of an unwholesome, unnecessarily dirty and flagrantly profane practice… not necessary at all. So unnecessary tenacious double dealing, might go with the above, to further elaborate the perpetrators and the job itself.
What is really amazing is that this description seems always apropos, no matter what time period we put on it… it hasn’t changed in 2000 years! Politics and the people who practice it always seem to be described by citizens the same way. We don’t have to analyze this very much to find where the problems are: power and greed.
It always seems to come down to the same things, we spoke of before; when you have a lot of people who all seem to see things differently you can never please all of them. But what keeps people so much at odds today is survival and just plain greed, the prospect of “making it big”. If people are all scrambling against each other to provide for their own prosperity, government will always make decisions where some win and others lose. Those we elect will not differ from everyone else; they will end up trying to butter the side that will allow them to prosper. After all, if there are going to always be losers then why not make them the ones that will least affect your own interests? It comes down to the same thing: as long as we have an economy that insures winners and losers we will never be able to put aside the slimy politics we have described above. But if we create a system that doesn’t create losers, and all prosper the same, we can finally all have the same interests at heart. Of course the prospect of “making it big” will have to go the way of the dodo. We have to learn how to control our own greed. Can man and woman ever do this? So far in 2000 years they have not achieved this.
I guess you thought I was going to lamb baste politicians in general, and try to foist off all our woes on them. But then they are only reflections of us. We are in the final analysis the weak link in government. We are the ones who will finally decide whether we continue creating the politics that has bogged us down, and caused all the hardship and wars we have gone through in the last 2000 years, or create something new. A new way of providing for everyone of our citizens, fairly and ensuring no losers or even the fat cats, and their wannabe’s.
When you’re a fat cat with a big income, pension or a union behind you, it's hard to give up that nice nest egg and security; but, remember, for every one of you there’s maybe three or four who don’t have that, and they’re multiplying every hour as we speak. The trouble is that they want to be where you are, and they have nothing to lose to get there. The fat cats in the tumbrels of the French revolution never thought their world would end with the fall of the guillotine’s blade, but if you live by the spin of the roulette wheel, you may someday wake up to that very thing. Must we always go through the same things again and yet again? Will we never learn that inequity always ends up recreating its misery on the very ones who practice it? Must we always see one set of fat cats replace another, with all the misery it always ensures for everyone else? Fix it once and for all, and do away with the politics and all the corruption that goes with it. Show the world that America can fix its problems, and have a people that don’t have any special interests to deal with, because they all have the betterment of all at heart. 2
Wake up America, stop believing all the bulls--t, the fat cats are feeding you, and maybe someday we may be able to walk through our cities at night without an army to protect us, or have to buy sophisticated alarm systems to protect us from our neighbors. We’re all in this together, we can create a real government that really represents all of us, or continue with the sham that tolerates all the miseries we just simply ignore, but that someday soon will come back to bite us. Like the old hippies and flower children of the seventies use to say, before they sold out to the establishment… Power to the people! Or better yet: Power to all the people! That's the only power we should see in government or politics.
* For our younger readers, Metropolis is an old 1920’s silent film by Fritz Lang that was redone by Giorgio Moroder with a terrific modern rock soundtrack in 1984. It is the story of a civilization in the future (for then) that consists of two classes: Masters and Workers (like ours!). In the end the two are brought together by an agency very much like the Good.
1 Plato in mid-life thought that he could perhaps make his philosophy a reality by creating an ideal state down in Sicily in the city of Syracuse, which was at that time ruled by a Tyrant called Dionysius. He struck up a friendship with the Tyrant's brother Dion. But in the end he failed; but not completely since he did establish the first University, the Academy (in Athens, after the name of a grove [garden in which the school existed] named after the hero Academus). Plato would later write many of his most famous dialogs here, including his Utopia, The Republic.
2 This entire essay also applies to all the other countries of the world. Recent events in Russia where the rich “fat cats” and celebrities are being attacked, show that the disparity that capitalism breeds only comes back to haunt the perpetrators. Russia is a prime example; it went originally from a country that was a monarchy (with the Czar), where the common people were treated like slaves, to a Communist country, where again the same type of people again treated the average Russian like a slave, to a Capitalistic country where once again the common people are treated like slaves. Is there no wonder that all the crime exists, and no one feels safe! Wake up Russia! You’re becoming just as stupid as the stupid Americans! We all need to learn that greed and the disparity it causes, only ends in perpetrating the same cycle, we showed Russia has already gone through before, over and over again. Stop the cycle, by ending the GREED; initiate EQUITY and COOPERATION in all governments of the nations of the world. Stop all the crime by letting everyone have a minimum security level, and eliminate the hope of becoming a “fat cat” in the poor by equitably leveling the distribution of wealth.
Originally Published:January 31, 2008
Revised:July 3, 2014