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politics

Political Problems: the ubiquitous, intractable and shared enigmas of outsourcing our rationality to those least able to effectively use it

A central problem of all political systems is that the idealised abstractions of those systems are of a fundamentally different kind or class of entity than are the lived experiences and material extension or implementation of those systems into, upon, through and as the world. There is a fundamental (and foundational) discontinuity between the material and the conceptual which is perhaps itself merely an inevitable consequence or resonance of that vast and yawning abyss of philosophical contention – rarely acknowledged or engaged in public discourse – concerning just what reality (and thought) actually are.

The key insight any human being requires to comprehensively understand the variously mischievous misdirections and wilfully-ignorant public assertions of politicians and political parties is this: if they are claiming to be able to provide final, complete or enduring and immutable solutions or ideological systems – they are only seeking self-aggrandisement and political power. Those individuals who successfully play the political game and percolate through hierarchies to ascendancy are for the most part intelligent enough to understand that the narratives and broad brushstrokes with which they represent themselves, their ideas and the world to which these are applied are not as simple or as well-understood as they claim.

It is perhaps also true that it is a simpler path for many of us, negotiating the proliferating complexities of everyday existence as we are, to hand over our rational burden of understanding and interpreting the world’s big picture to these political systems. We implicitly assert a faith, not in the aptitude or correctness of the political solutions with which we are presented, but in the benefits of lessening our own cognitive-processing burdens by handing over the biggest and most consequential decisions to other social systems, authorities and functions.

Regardless of political system, this handing-over and outsourcing of our own rational functions to the prefabricated idioms, tropes and melodramatic personality-clashes of political-media theatre allows us to concentrate on the more immediate goals of simply living and surviving in a world that long-ago obtained complexity beyond any person, party or ideology to comprehensively or competently manage. That the political systems and conventions of governance are themselves almost exclusively and constitutively poorly-suited to perform the roles they assume seems on the whole to be of less importance to us than that the large and unseemly bulge under the existential carpet – where we have swept all our deepest and most profound questions, fears and concerns – securely maintains the shared facade of these being “someone else’s problem”.

This is an untenable situation and notwithstanding that our psychological nature is such that even as we cling to, amplify and exacerbate the untenable contorsions and contexts of our (shared) lives, we can not continue to play this child’s game of hiding the organisational inadequacies of our world (from ourselves) forever. There exists a Globally-persistent and broadly unrecognised – or at least misunderstood – problem here: the ubiquitous, intractable and shared enigma of outsourcing rationality to politicians neglects the concrete and almost universally incontrovertible fact that these individuals and political parties are primarily skilled in the dark and Machiavellian arts of playing the Political Games of seeking tenure and continuity in their professional roles; an art and science of effective governance is made into a grotesque and warped parody of itself by virtue of a substantive lack of actual intelligence, sincerity, compassionate wisdom and selfless authenticity in the exceptionally well-furnished corridors of power.

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