The History of Politics

Back then, no-one expected it to last. At least, they thought we would not have quite as much of it as we have now. Back in those early days of civilisation, people expected that politics would be kept behind closed doors where it belonged. They assumed that decent people would do their best to avoid politics as best they could, and – only if necessary – would they have to soil their hands with it, and then as little as possible.

In those days too, many assumed that only men would engage in the sordid necessity of politics. Women, they felt, were above such things. People then assumed women existed on a higher plane of being, far removed from having to deal with the rather trivial matters of the state and its functions. They thought it best left to those who didn’t mind messing around in the sewers of political opportunism and advancement.

Political thought at the time regarded states as something of a messy inconvenience, but necessary for the general well-being in some ill-defined way. Therefore, politics was merely a method of managing the state until some better method came along.

No-one expected politics to last or to become important enough to concern the general population. After all, they had their own lives and business to occupy themselves. Why should they have to worry about the trivial day-to-day matters of the state if they didn’t have to? Everyone knew what should be legal and what should be illegal. It was just a matter of sorting it out once and for all. Once that was done, the job of politics was over.

Then it became just a matter of administration.

Then some idiot decreed that politics mattered – and the steady advancement of civilisation came to an end.

Rather than putting up with what worked – no matter how imperfect (which is the best that humanity can ever do, as perfectibility in human affairs is a chimera) – some thought they could make it all better.

Even worse, some other cretins came up with political theories.

Some absolute idiot even said everything is politics, which is a statement that reaches the heights of inanity. A step backwards when for so long people had understood that almost nothing was politics and the less that was politics the better.

Soon there were more theories of politics than were good for anyone’s mental health. People – mostly men, of course – stayed up all night arguing about which of their pet political theories was best, and which would work.

The answer to the last question – obviously – being none of them.

Then another gormless fool decried that the personal is political. This inanity insinuated politics into even more areas of real life where it had no place being, nothing to say and absolutely nothing useful to contribute.

For the function of politics is to find the least bad way to make things work. This is best undertaken as a series of practical experiments until the best (or – more usually – least worst) way is found of doing the mundane necessities of life in a civilisation.

The worst thing anyone can do is sit and theorise up a system that works well in theory, but fails totally, miserably and devastatingly in practice – as the twentieth century so amply demonstrated.

So, now we know politics is not the solution – it is the problem. And the only real solution is to find a cure for it.

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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