Sunday, April 30, 2023

Random Thoughts on Politics and the Political Life


Random Thoughts on Politics and the Political Life

Peter Schultz


            What are the trajectories of the political life? Justice or injustice? War or peace? Democracy or polity? Oligarchy or aristocracy? Monarchy or tyranny? Greatness or goodness? What happens when push comes to shove, as it always does in human affairs?


            America politics: Is the American political drama toward an ever-emerging democracy or popular rule or composed of recurring efforts to disguise the harshness, the injustices of recurring oligarchies? I think the latter is more persuasive than the former.


            One trajectory of political life seems indisputable, that is, toward greatness, not goodness. The most developed, most admired political orders have been empires, Rome, the British empire, and the United States’ empire. The apex of political life is revealed as empire, as greatness, not goodness.


            This reflects that humans seek fame or immortality. That is, humans seek, through politics, the eternal, the everlasting, the divine, or in a word “being.” Humans seek to become, through politics, “human beings,” which may be why Aristotle called us “political animals.”


            A question: Can humans achieve “being-ness” via politics? Is politics the way that humans become “human beings?” It is very common to think so. Many respectable people speak favorably of “politics as soulcraft.” And many equate “respectability” with being a human being. But is this equation justified? That the respectable have proven themselves capable of great injustices, even of savagery makes this equation doubtful.


            So, if the answer to the question above is “No,” are there other ways for human to become human beings? For example, via poetry, music, philosophy, contemplation, religion, love? Just wondering.

1 comment:

  1. Just recall what transpired in "Lord of the Flies." I hope that you are enjoying retirement. After earning my Juris Doctor & after being sworn in to the Supreme Court I ended up starting my own Practice in Providence. I am 21 years deep at present. Richard P. Brederson.