SOMEWHERE between the purity of the angels and the savagery of beasts – a wise man once remarked – there exists politics.
Meaning … angels can get by without governance and civil regulations and so can wild beasts. But humans cannot.
The philosopher Aristotle put it this way … man is a political animal. He meant that if we were all allowed to act as unfettered individuals, following selfish impulses, the result would be chaos and carnage.
The trouble is so many of us now despise politics and politicians ... and with very good cause.
In the UK, the summer’s scandal of greed surrounding MPs expenses has merely deepened public disillusionment.
And watching first the Liberal-Democrats’ and then Labour’s party conferences on TV, I could see a huge disconnection between life as perceived by ordinary citizens and as perceived by politicians.
Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg and David Cameron all display a huge deficiency of charisma. They are, all three of ‘em, nerds. They dress and speak like third-rate travelling salesmen.
And how I laughed when I heard the conference speech by Peter Mandelson described as “masterful”.
Bollocks! It was rubbish, full of camp posturing, and calls to patriotism which cannot be taken seriously, coming from a man who until quite recently had a top job in the undemocratic and anti-British EU.
Mandelson came across as a bonkers egomaniac in his speech on Monday in Brighton – like a man who shouts at strangers in the street.
And his ranting at the Tories at the end was so predictable. BORING!!
On Tuesday came Gordon Brown’s plodding effort. All that guff about “fighting to win for Britain”. What?! He’s sold Britain down the river time and time again.
And that ghastly warm-up act from his missus, Sarah, describing the dour loser as “my husband, my hero". Urgh!! Nurse, I need my private vomitarium!
Look Gordon, you’re a loser, and as Prime Minister you are unelected anyway. When the election comes you’ll be out on your sorry arse. I’d put money on it.
And anyway, on a very serious level, away from the madness of party conferences, the political system we use (representative liberal democracy involving competing political parties) is hopelessly outdated.
Oh, the men-in-suits, the platitudes, the narrow ideological parameters of moderate consensual politics. It’s all so yesterday.
International capitalism is where much of the real political power resides now – and national governments are virtually powerless to tackle big business.
Also, in recent years, nation states have encouraged their own irrelevance by: allowing international law (mainly run by militant liberal-fascists and backed by vile NGOs) to grow; and letting inter- governmental organisations such as the European Union to boss them about.
Meanwhile, all though its history, the United Nations has been riddled with corruption, and to this day remains a laughing stock.
It doesn’t make me happy to write any of the above.
Humankind needs poltics to fashion a good society, there can be no doubt about that.
Paradoxically perhaps, it is political society, with all its rules and institutions, which enables we mere mortals to live bigger and better lives.
So even if we feel mightily cheesed off with our politicians, for the moment it’s important we stay connected and involved in the democratic process … not least to ensure that some of our basic freedoms will endure.
And in Britain’s case, that we can dump this rotten Labour Government down the toilet of history.
The world is transforming rapidly, and the future is hard to predict, but we all have a duty to keep politics and political debate alive in the interim, not least at the national level, where what’s left of our freedom resides.
And hopefully, before too long, the rotten system of politics we have now will give way to something more relevant and more capable of advancing the achievements of human kind.
Hopefully, we’ll get real leaders again, the heroes who are needed, and not the likes of Brown, Clegg and Cameron.