The War on Ourselves

I basically have no political opinions. Or it seems like that. I always end up playing the Devil’s advocate in political discussions. Focussing more on the logic itself and *why* someone believes a particular thing and others believe something else. Not just for the sake of it, but so that I can understand how they got from A to B, what are their assumptions and why do others who are just as smart as them disagree so vehemently? Where does the disparity come from?

I can get worked up about things as much as anyone else, but my ignorance often stops me in my tracks. I soon realise I have nowhere near enough information to come to a definite conclusion or make a judgement. So why get overly passionate or upset? People often seem to get really into it. And then I get involved by trying to not take sides and calm people and focus the discussion on facts and the breakdown of where their opinions stem from. I often get lost and don’t know how I actually feel about the issues. The different opinions sound convincing most of the time.

Are people just stubbornly used to everyone seeing things the same way as them? Or being able to force them to? Are they reluctant to have to change one of their beliefs or the way they understand something to be? Maybe I’m the other extreme. Too obsessed with knowing for sure. Always convinced that *maybe* somehow the other side is right or some information is missing. Ultimately, I feel most political arguments are pointless. The answer should be obvious once the information and the exact details of the issue are made clear. If they aren’t clear then no clear answer can exist and that’s okay. Disagreements are due to misconceptions. They don’t understand economics, they’re only looking at part of the picture, they’re associating two things together that are really separate, they’re just missing the point (like me).

Propaganda. On both sides. Everyone trying to cut eachother down. Unrelated images expertly juxtaposed to make a point, to have an emotional impact. Missing an opportunity at universal poetry that has power and relevance to all people and all times and instead taking a cheap shot at an easy target. Reminds me of advertising, except it’s not for a product, it’s for a belief. Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove had a lot to say about politics in an effective, satirical, powerful and thought-provoking way. More of that would be welcome!

Did anybody ever like a politician ever? They’re just another person doing their job! Why not help them or offer some tips instead of constant comparisons with the dictator-of-the-month? Can’t all the parts of society help eachother? Why are we so quick to judge our leaders without first assessing our own lifestyles? Are you flawless in your line of work? Could you lead a country and have everyone like you? If they messed up, let the facts speak for themself. Let the truth be known to everyone with all the context that is needed to properly appreciate it.

Imagine a maths lecturer trying to convince a group of people of a certain mathematical truth. If he writes out his approach clearly and the steps and assumptions make sense, nobody can argue with it! Questions could be answered if necessary/desired. There would be no need for a raised voice or interrupting or anything immature. People could discuss the maths and help eachother understand it but there wouldn’t be any question about the result. Perhaps this is the difference between art (which provokes thoughts and feelings in a free but guided and profound way) and propaganda. Or maybe maths doesn’t apply to everything and I’m misguided.

Politics feels more like a sport. The way it doesn’t progress anywhere. It’s just different topics each week (or the same ones with the same arguements) and people on two sides competing to be heard. It’s a hobby for a lot of people, they love to talk about it and take sides. It reminds me Life of Brian. Right! This calls for immediate dicussion! Surely the first step to real change is understanding why something is right or wrong and then showing the world and spreading enlightenment.

Vague frustrations, not being able to express myself. I see so many manipulative images everywhere. Everyone trying to compete to own my mind and control my thoughts, influence my thinking. I should always try to love and pursue what I do understand and care about. Take charge of my life and not get caught up in the flavour-of-the-month topics. When you ask a question, that’s when you’re ready for the answer.

I think I often miss the forest for the trees (or whatever the quote is). Someone will post something about how all men disgust them and I’ll have a gut reaction that it’s a stupid generalisation when perhaps that’s not the point. I don’t have to hijack what they’ve said. I don’t know. Those subtle turns of phrase can be tricky. If you don’t mean it literally, then what do you mean? What other things have you said that don’t technically carry the meaning you intended? I think it’s healthy to look carefully at yourself as well though. Why not take the time to reflect on things just for the sake of it instead of waiting for an event to provoke a reaction and opinion? The point being, it’s easy for me to criticise how everyone else looks at the world and comments on it but what am I commenting on? What am I working to improve in the world?


About karnok

A legendary ninja.
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