Tag Archives: democracy

American politics still amaze me, and that tea party stuff is just insane sometimes!!!


I must say that I still don’t understand much about american politics. The more I find out about it, the less I see coherence or logic in some of it. The regular democrats and republicans are already strange to me sometimes (just as our Belgian parties can be pretty freaky) but the so-called ‘tea party’ is sometimes more freaking weird than I’d expect reality to be, and more something for some over-the-top unrealistic movie.

This is a good example: “Tea party leader: Restricting vote to property owners ‘makes a lot of sense’”. I know the tea party is a loose bunch of protestors who react against something that’s supposed to be ‘socialist’ or even ‘liberal’ who don’t always have much more in common than to be ‘conservative’ and against Obama’s politics, but time after time they baffle me!

(As a european I myself would call a lot of their views plainly (neo)liberal, and the McCarthyist witch hunt against ‘socialism’ reminds me of those anti-rock’n roll preachers who see Aleister Crowley from a mile even when he isn’t there, but would not recognise Jesus if he’d stand just before them)

The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote, (…) one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.

Apart from the fact that I as a non-American am probably just unable to understand the veneration of the ‘founding fathers’, to the point that they are misquoted and re-invented to fit a lot of different ideologies, this idea sounds to me like a lot like the ‘ancien regime’, or the supposed ‘stupid evil guys’ I’ve learned of that came before belgium was a real democratic country. I know that in those days we even had a system that gave rich people more votes, and poor people none, which is just plain unfair. The ideas of this ‘tea party’ guy are one step in the direction of bringing those injustices back under the guise of ‘democracy’….

I’ve always found that the American 2-party system and representative democracy is a very weak and dilluted form of democracy. An actual real and non-represented democracy would only work in a small community or tribe anyway; and the polarisation between 2 arbitrary party programs that have grown historically looks very strange to an outsider. But that’s something I’m used to. But this is an insult to anything that’s left of the idea of democracy!

I’m affraid that it’s only the tip of the weirdness iceberg, and I guess people like this are to American conservatism what Fred Phelps and the Westboro baptist Church are for Christianity: an evil parody, that does much harm for the thing it claims to represent. And still it’s scary…

And one would almost echo the question of those psychologists: is political conservatism a mild form of insanity? (I don’t believe in any conservative-progessive polarisation I would agree with one of both sides sometimes, disagree with both at other times…)

shalom

Bram

C.S. Lewis on theocracy


I know I’m not writing much myself here on my english blog, and mostly quoting and putting up music lately. My excuses for that. It’ll probably change sometime in the future when my inspiration returns.

I found this quote from Lewis very interesting (from ‘a reply to professor Haldane’, in ‘of this and other worlds) He is writing against a professor that is critical of him, and that seems to be more communist in his thinking.

I don’t always agree with Lewis on politics, mainly because he tends to have a medieval hierarchic way of looking at things, but his rejection of a theocracy in favor of democracy here is very interesting.

I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled powers over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both to the rulers and to the subjects. Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point be sated; and since hè dimly knows hè is doing wrong hè may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us indefinitely because hè torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations. And since Theocracy is the worst, the nearer any government approaches to Theocracy the worse it will be. A metaphysic, held by the rulers with the force of a religion, is a bad sign. It forbids them, like the inquisitor, to admit any grain of truth or good in their opponents, it abrogates the ordinary rules of morality, and it gives a seemingly high, super-personal sanction to all the very ordinary human passions by which, like other men, the rulers will frequently be actuated. In a word, it forbids wholesome doubt. A political programme can never in reality be more than probably right. We never know all the facts about the present and we can only guess the future. To attach to a party programme – whose highest real claim is to rea-sonable prudence – the sort of assent which we should reserve for demonstrable theorems, is a kind of intoxication.

what do you think?
shalom

Bram