Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Political Problem in a Nutshell: Rule


The Political Problem In A Nutshell: Rule

Peter Schultz


            All politics, every political order, involves, requires rule. Someone, some group, or several groups must rule (governed, we say). All such arrangements necessarily involve some kind of hierarchy. But all hierarchies are illusionary, the illusion being that human beings aren’t essentially alike, that some are “more equal than others.” Socrates’s “noble lie” in the Republic that some humans are, say, the gold standard, while others are made of lead or other less valuable matter. Because hierarchies, all of them, are constructed, are human artifacts, aren’t natural, all forms of rule are essentially built on and maintained by force or fraud (think of “propaganda” as fraud). The most dangerous political people are, perhaps, those who are self-righteous, those who come to believe that they are in fact superior beings who are entitled to impose their superiority on their inferiors, either by force or fraud.


            Are there forms of human life, which are not solitary, where rule is unnecessary, where it is irrational, where it undermines or corrupts the value of the forms? Friendship comes to mind. Genuine love comes to mind. Teaching comes to mind when the teaching isn’t reduced to “schooling,” that is, to “socialization” or “indoctrination.”

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