Thursday, January 25, 2007

Power = Politics

Another post about politics, I'm afraid.

I don't read many newspapers - though by now I'm regularly (almost daily) browsing through the online-news of various German newspapers. This way I get information that's a lot fresher. But this is not what this post will be about.

If you want to hear something about politics, it's far easier to just watch the evening news and browse the net. If you want 'home-stories' and other stuff about politicians you don't really need to know, it's better to read the newspapers. The real important stuff is usually out there somewhere, either mentioned by various news-magazines and other TV-programs or easy enough to find on the internet. I personally don't need the 'home-stories' and other stuff about politicians. I don't vote for the guy with the nicest home or best-looking wife, I vote for the person with the politic views closest to my own. Or rather, as it was during the last two years, I don't vote at all (you usually vote about three time in two years in Germany due to the many levels of government here - or at least so it seems to me). If the only choice I have is to vote for the lesser of two evils, I usually don't choose at all. What is the point in that?

I watched a TV-program about politics and politicians earlier this evening and the main question there was whether politics are some sort of drug. I thought this question quite funny, because to me politicians often seem a bit dazed and confused, just like a person on drugs. Some of them seem aggressive, some of them seem sleepy, others seem hyperactive or disinterested.

What I mostly wonder about is why people do want to become politicians while at the same time obviously don't want to do what's right for the people they rule. Is it just the simple equation from the title of this post? Do people want to become politicians for the power alone? It seems quite possible.

Humans like power, because it makes them feel safe. It might also make them quite unsafe, just think about this:

Absolute: [...] An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases as long as he pleases the assassins. [...]

From: Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

In other words: any human being with power always is in danger of being killed (physically, socially or mentally) by those who think the power is used against them. Today (at least in most parts of Western Europe) politicians are not in danger of being really killed because of their politics, but killing somebody socially (a crime for which you only need pen and paper or, these days, an internet connection) often is far more effective. And especially a powerful and well-known politician has a long way to fall.

Is this need (or maybe hunger) for power a male trait? Is it a female one? Most Feminists will tell you it's a male trait (and indeed those women who are holding the power, like Angela Merkel or Condoleza [sorry if it's written wrong] Rice, seem to use it differently). But I'm not sure. There's many levels of power from the obvious one (being the ruler of a kingdom or democracy) to the very invisible ones (like controlling your husband, something a lot of women seem to manage quite easily). The point is that those holding obvious power are an easy mark for assassins of every kind whereas those only having invisible power (what's often called 'influence') can rule for a long time without being in any danger. So who will in the end control more? That's something to think about.

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