Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Are Politicians Born Bad?

I've been delaying this post for a while, because I wanted to discuss this topic after covering the origins of religion. However, here I am...

Now I've mentioned before that I believe there is a political element to religion that many authors often ignore. Religion has been used in the past, and is still used, as a method for keeping certain people ignorant and others in power. No doubt kingdoms were forged through brute force, whereas the priesthood gained power through stealth, and there have been groups of people throughout history, who have sought to prevent progress on the grounds of heresy. Proof that the great religions have a vested interest in maintaining a status quo. Of Ron Hubbard (the founder of scientology) it is said:

"... [Hubbard] began making statements to the effect that any writer who really wished to make money should stop writing and develop [a] religion, or devise a new psychiatric method. Harlan Ellison's version (Time Out, UK, No 332) is that Hubbard is reputed to have told [John W.] Campbell, "I'm going to invent a religion that's going to make me a fortune. I'm tired of writing for a penny a word."
So ha to the fools who fall for the tricks of charlatans! Moving on, in a recent post on psychopaths I asked:
isn't it intelligent to accrue resources and reproductive opportunities through deception, force and social manipulation? If you can get others to give you what you want, through the minimal effort on your part, isn't that an understandable strategy? And here I want to mention the idea of nefarious intentions: are there people who could be defined as a psychopath and yet choose to do what they do, understanding the ramifications? Are there people that just don't care, as long as they are okay? If you understand (or at least suspect) that everything is pointless, is there anything other than a man-made 'moral' code, which actually stops you from doing what you want?
And when I asked these questions I had certain people in mind. Interestingly, I recently discovered this article:

Cherie Blair and George W Bush have both eschewed typical light holiday reading this summer in favour of worthier tomes. Whereas Mrs Blair was pictured half way through the 800-page Postwar, an account of Europe’s recent history, President Bush got to grips with The Outsider, a philosophical novel by French intellectual Albert Camus.

And I admit that I do sometimes wonder whether the whole entire thing isn't an absurd joke. Bush reading Camus at Bohemian Grove. That is a genuinely scary thought.

I want to pose a serious question: Since men have known (or at least suspected) that everything is pointless for at least 2000 years or more, have certain individuals seen humanity as fair game to manipulate and control, to further their own ends? If one man's machine is another man's slave, isn't it at least possible that the modern world is in some part a contrived and absurd corruption, enforced on the majority? If I made a race of robots to do my bidding, would I be a bad man? What if I raised humans to the same ends?

Another, admittedly kooky but interesting documentary is Freedom to Fascism, which, despite some reviews I'd read, is worth watching and raises some interesting points. Here something I quoted recently from H.G. Wells is relevant:
if it is true that the majority of able spirits among the contemporary rich are, for the sake of power and preeminence, deliberately impoverishing a community which need not be impoverished, then the conception pervading this book of the progressive construction of a universally prosperous economic world community out of the current social order, is unsound. There is nothing to be hoped for along that line. There is nothing for it but, as the Marxists teach, a class war against the rich and the able, social insurrection, the breaking up of the whole contemporary organization of mankind in wrath and disgust, and beginning again upon a different ground plan, with whatever hope is left to us, amidst the ruins.
And I can't help but imagine, that if Herbert Wells were alive today, he'd be very suspicious of all the warmongering and a lot less optimistic about the fate of humanity.

Finally, are politicians born bad?:

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.