I was planning for a long time to put down my opinions on this thorny topic. I finally started this page under the influence of a StarTrek TNG episode (Half a life) I have seen before. But the first time I saw it I was not thinking about the triad of philosophy. Epistemology, Ethology, Aesthetics. IMHO, Sciences are to Epistemology as Morals are to Ethics and as the Arts are to Aesthetics.
I do not like politics because modern culture makes it into a Science though in fact it is glorious Art. The art of manipulating morals (thus ethics) over epistemics. When confronted with feelings, especially custom-entrenched feelings, knowledge doesn't stand a chance. Mobs do not listen to reason, but are swayed by rhetorics. Most aboriginal cultures equate morals with knowledge.
Custom, codes of honor, vengeance, boldness, courage, glory, are all powerful propellers of conflict, all deep in the makeup of the human animal. Politics allows shrewd individuals to manipulate others into conflicts from which only the politicians have to gain. And what they're after is power over others.
"Perhaps it is a good day to live" --Dahan Master Kang
"It is never a good day to lose a friend" --Jadzia Dax (both from ST DS9 Blood Oath)
There are many ways in which people perceive power: there's material strength, epistemic, financial, charisma, fame, religious belief, multiple combinations thereof. On the other hand the easiest way the cognitive system organizes the world is in hierarchies. Our culture does not seem to be oriented toward power as knowledge but as hierarchical domination.
Politics is about manipulation. A different type of manipulation than the kind communication affords. Communication (knowledge exchange), helps people help themselves. Politics is the kind of communication that helps people destroy themselves. Socrates' Apology is a testament that knowledge doesn't stand a chance in the face of politics, and Plato is so relevant even today.
Then can anyone wonder that I abhor politics?
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