Wednesday, August 29, 2007

People Who Obsess Over Political Personalities

Reproduced with kind permission from the Commie Curmudgeon Blog:

People Who Obsess Over Political Personalities: Why Do They Even Bother, and Why Do They Call It Politics?

Trying to get some inspiration for my more political blog here . . . and the resources are scarce. I've been thinking lately about how a lot of people who consider themselves to be concerned about politics, and who are talked about as being "political," spend so much time talking about or targeting some politician or political leader or political leader's dirty tricks . . . This seems to be a particularly favorite pastime of some "political" journalists. Yet, to me, this stuff gets pretty boring, and it isn't even really politics.

I'm getting pretty tired of people obsessing over Bush and his corrupt cronies or some evil character in the Bush administration. (Same goes for lower-level politicians, of course.). It's true that we have a particularly nasty and mostly stupid character in the highest office, but it would be more interesting to me, rather than talking about what an evil or stupid bastard he is, to talk about how he got there in the first place, what system we live under that would grant someone such power - or grant anyone such power, for that matter - and what function those in power serve in the bigger scheme of things.

If I'm interested at all in politics (and at times I've been told that I was obsessed with politics, of a sort), then it's not the kind of "politics" which focuses endlessly on this or that crook or murderer and all the sad little scandals surrounding him or her. If I want to think about a political or social situation in terms of individuals, I'd rather focus on the individuals who don't have fame and power, who have to struggle from day to day. And this is not just, solely a product of my political beliefs (I don't think) or some idealistic desire to stand up for the "ordinary" person. Frankly, I just find focusing on that "ordinary" person, somebody who almost nobody knows about, to be much more interesting, especially when I can start thinking about how that individual's struggle relates to the bigger social picture.

And if I want to think about making political changes, it's interesting to me only if I can think about the bigger picture, rather than just targeting some powerful individual as though stamping out that individual is going to change things in the long run; that is, in any truly political sense.

It is true that it can be gratifying to see the demise of this or that evil, stupid bastard. But in the long run, unless we think about changing the whole system, what's the point? Eliminate one petty dictator or crook and another one will come up to replace him (or her, of course) soon enough. As the saying goes, it's kind of like stamping out cockroaches - and ultimately, just about as interesting.
Richard S.

Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (9)

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Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (9)
Dear Friends,
Welcome to the ninth of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.
We now have 678 friends!
Recent blogs:
(1) Death of a child
(2) Maximilien Rubel: Anti-Bolshevik Marxist
(3) Beggar's belief
This week's top quote:
"That which comes directly face to face with the possessor of money on the market, is in fact not labour, but the labourer. What the latter sells is his labour-power. As soon as his labour actually begins, it has already ceased to belong to him; it can therefore no longer be sold by him. Labour is the substance, and the immanent measure of value, but has itself no value. ... That in their appearance things often represent themselves in inverted form is pretty well known in every science except Political Economy." Marx, Das Kapital, Volume 1, Chapter 19.
Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!
Robert and Piers
Socialist Party of Great Britain