The Mock in Democracy
Anyone who knows me, even a little bit, knows that I’m not a fan of politics — to put it very mildly. That means that I’m finding the Internet in general, and Facebook in particular, especially disturbing at the moment. It seems that just about every democracy in which I have a Facebook friend, has recently been, or is currently wallowing in the cesspit of “democratic” process.
“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” (Mark Twain — although there is some doubt whether this quote originated with him)
For all that I’m terminally disillusioned with modern democracy, it is, strangely, not the politicians themselves that are the primary cause of my current, higher-than-usual levels of disgust. After all, politicians, by their very nature are disgusting. That is only to be expected. These are people who willingly and repeatedly sell their souls for power. This is a fact. If politicians weren’t what they are, they would not be in politics. Therefore, their extreme levels of ego-driven idiocy, garbage, and disgusting drivel are only to be expected. After all, apples don’t grow on thorn-trees — thorns do.
It is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it… anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. (Douglas Adams — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
No, it is the “person-in-the-street” — good old Joe/Jane Public, who really gets to me most when it comes to politics. By some quirk of illogic, I strangely maintain some glimmer of hope for humanity. However, don’t we all already have far to many areas in our lives in which we express our insecurity, ignorance, and egotism by means of blatant discrimination. Racism, sexism, ageism, xenophobia, homophobia, nationalism, econophobia (rich fear the poor, and poor fear the rich), religion, and somehow we still feel the need to add politics to that nauseating mix.
I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat, ANC, DA, EFF, or Cope, Liberal, Liberal Democrat, or Green, Conservative or Labour — they’re all the same. Why the hell do we feel the need to declare unquestioning, undying support for a bunch of idiots (at best), to whom we’d usually, and with good reason, not give the time of day?!
Here’s something else I’ve noticed. Under “normal” circumstances, it is rightly taboo to express discriminatory, or politically incorrect sentiments about anyone, especially in a public forum — such as social media. The foolish person that does so, under normal circumstances, immediately and often justifiably, becomes the focus of virulent social critique and censure, and may even find themselves in court.
However, during the democratic process, especially leading up to an election, all of these social mores fall by the wayside. In the leadup to elections, politicians seem to be free to say things about each other, that would otherwise constitute political, social, and legal suicide. But, to me, that’s not the worst. As I’ve already said, my expectation is that pigs will wallow, and politicians will act like politicians.
What disgusts me most, is that we, the democratic public, so enthusiastically follow this excremental example of “democratic freedom” (feel like I need to spit to cleanse my mouth). We, only too willingly, throw open the cesspits of our souls, and like insane, captive apes, fling our inner “evils” at the world. We lustfully embrace this opportunity to express our fear, hatred, ignorance, and immaturity without fear of consequences, because, yes, this open season on reason and decency extends, democratically, to us all. For about nine months out of every 48, or so, we spew forth discriminatory opinions that we would otherwise deny. As long as we can, in any way claim that our hate-speech, discrimination, and outright slander is politically related, we’re safe — until the election.
My original aim was to say something positive at this point of the post, but to be honest, I’m far too angry and disgusted. About the most “positive” thing I can say at this point is, “We really all need to stop being such hateful assholes!”
Categorising and polarising people, opinions, and beliefs is the very essence of discrimination, hate-crimes, war, and ultimately genocide. Categorising and polarising people, opinions, and beliefs is also the very essence of modern democracy. Need I say more!?
As long as we focus on our differences, and separate each other based on those differences — real, imagined, or just feared — we will continue to discriminate, we will continue to spout hate-speech, and follow through with acts of hatred and violence.
Racism, sexism, ageism, xenophobia, homophobia, nationalism, econophobia, religious “war”, etc. are only possible while we view each other as primarily different, other, alien; while we look for excuses to separate ourselves from one another. Democracy, in its current guise, is not a solution — it is a massive part of the problem.
I beg all of you reading this, to stop being part of that problem. Stop cataloguing people by their differences. Stop saying things that you wouldn’t usually dream of saying, especially in public. Stop supporting the idiots, and please stop posting such crap on social media. Even if you believe it, I don’t need to see it.
(More positive — less pissed off — service should resume with the next post. I hit overload.)