Saturday, November 04, 2006

One Vote for Politics

"I hate politics."

No, I did not say this. But I heard it said recently, and I am kicking myself for not asking a follow up question, such as, "What do you propose as an alternative?"

I consider politics the process wherin decisions are made among people with divergent interests. Usually this refers to public matters as in who we should elect to represent us, or which public policies should be pursued. But politics are everywhere. There are politics at work, politics in organizations, politics among friends.There is even politics at home. Anywhere a decision is made among more than one person, you will find politics.

As I have pondered the above statement, I have tried to think of places where there are no politics. Cuba, Iraq under Saddam, and the former Soviet Union come to mind. These are places where the expression of dissenting political views might lead to imprisonment or murder. How about the Catholic Church? Church doctrine is detirmined through a hierarchy. Families can be absent politics to some degree if one member of the family has the final say in family matters.

Politics can be ugly. People and groups will often decieve, lie, and bribe to achieve their objectives. It is therefore not surprising that someone should say "I hate politics." But unless I am mistaken, the only alternative to politics is authoritarianism, which, in public matters at least, necessitates oppression, coercion and other forms of violence. Given that choice, I will take politics, warts and all.

6 comments:

Brenda said...
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Brenda said...

Denis,

I have a follow-up question. Do you think that person hates politics or the current election process?

I know I "love" politics, but I hate what our election process has become. I blame this on the 527s. I think these PACs have made the whole process a ugly process.

Politics good - elections bad

Denis Navratil said...

I don't know Brenda, but it is an interesting question. 527's, PACs, etc... can be ugly, you are correct. Elections can bring out much ugliness, but I don't think there is a better alternative.

Brenda said...

I would like to see all PACs eliminated; I would like to see the candidates "make" it on their own merits.

More debates, more forums, less negative print-ads from "interested" parties.

Then let the real battles begin!

Greg Helding said...

Denis -

If you think the Catholic Church is void of politics, come on back for another look - I will give you a tour!

Regarding doctrine: politics should not overrule the divinely revealed truth. Truth is not decided by ballot.

Denis Navratil said...

Hey Greg, I am sure that there is politics involved in the day to day business of the church. I meant that church doctrine is not detirmined by a political process, nor should it be, in my view. As you said, truth is truth. The wonderful thing about churches, in this country at least, is that if you don't believe in their version of the truth, you are not forced to join.