“The Public sucks. Fuck hope.”
– George Carlin
Politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from Georgian families, Georgian schools, Georgian churches, Georgian businesses, and Georgian universities, and they are elected by Georgian citizens. These politicians are the best we can do folks. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out.
If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. That is what happens in a deeply impoverished political and intellectual landscape.
So, maybe, it’s not just the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here…like, the public.
Think about the way an addict creates the reality he deserves – he may not deserve to die from his inability to cope with the addiction, but he will deny the consequences of his actions until he either hits the bottom or completely destroys himself. Our society is just like that addict.
The truth is that me-first politics is the product of a me-first society. Politicians must obviously take their share of the blame, but the elevation of private gain above public interest has been driven largely from below, even if we constantly lament the consequences.
Too much conformism; not enough critical thinking; abundance of stupidity – that how I would describe our society.
An open democratic society places an extraordinary intellectual responsibility on ordinary people or demos. We are governed by what we think, that is, by our opinions. So the content of our opinions and their quality matter as far as the wellbeing of the society is concerned. This simply means that a thoughtless citizen of a democracy is a delinquent citizen of a democracy.
But how we form our opinions is also important. Most people don’t really put that much thought into their political opinion, but they devote a huge chunk of their day complaining about how badly they are getting fucked over by the government. Do you see the hypocrisy here? Anyway, most of the time, the opinion is learned from someone who had a strong influence in their lives (parents, teachers, etc.). This is not the best way. Others form their opinions from the news and social media. This also is not the best way. News and social media always have a slant to favor the politics the presenter favors. Others yet form their entire political opinion from the ads the candidates run leading up to an election. This is the worst way. The way you form your opinions directly influences their quality.
You may now say that you don’t care about politics enough to get involved. But you should realize something – the fact that you don’t give a single crap about politics doesn’t mean that politics won’t take any interest in you. It definitely will, because it’s about you, well not you personally, but the society that you are part of. So you better make some time and form your own god damn opinions.
The quality of democracy depends ultimately on the quality of its demos. Unless we as citizens can learn to be more informed, vigilant, demanding, and public-spirited, our political system will remain in poor health.
“Enlightenment is a human being’s emancipation from its self-incurred immaturity … This immaturity is self-incurred when its cause does not lie in a lack of intellect, but rather in a lack of resolve and courage to make use of one’s intellect without the direction of another … Idleness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large segment of humankind, even after nature has long set it free from the foreign direction, is nonetheless content to remain immature for life; and these are also the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians.”
– Immanuel Kant
As soon as you start talking about dumb behavior and bad decisions, right away someone starts complaining about education. That’s the big answer to everything. Education. Politicians know that word, they use it on you.
Why does everyone expect someone else to educate them? Do you need someone to teach you how and what to think? That’s not education, that’s brainwashing. Get yourself a book, read some, and derive your own conclusions instead of listening to the media telling you what to believe, what to think, and what to buy. We need people who are capable of critical thinking, but the only ones we have are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly limiting regulations.
That’s how it goes – the never-ending cycle of idiocy. We elect bigots – they fuck us over – we re-elect them or replace them with other degenerates – they fuck us over again. Ask yourself why we do this – the answer is that either each and every politician sucks or we just fail to detect bullshit when it’s presented to us – either way, you’ll find that the public really sucks.