Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Family of Politics

In one way of looking at it, the root of all politics is fear.

The enterprise tendency of the capitalist fears that government will marginalize his efforts, prevent his production or usurp his profit, and otherwise interfere with his freedom to determine his own destiny. He demands a personal, business and religious environment free from the imposition of others: to be left alone, to do as he will, to sink or swim on his own merits.

The victim mentality of the socialist fears that his efforts will not be enough to sustain him; he fears to be alone. He demands a government that will impose a "safety factor" upon personal, business and religious environments, not just his own, but everybody else's as well, to be sure he is safe, not only from food-starvation but from love-starvation (such as hurt feelings).

One is an adult's mentality. One is a child's mentality.

In a political sense, the dynamics are the same: it is up to the adults to "care for and subsidize the helpless children." Except unfortunately, when those children age but never mature, the middle-class adult burden that should pass on as the children grow, instead becomes a life of indentured servitude.

The children take for granted their conditions, which are light years better than that their parents had; they take for granted the efforts of the parents to supply for them, and complain mightily about the restrictions and the unfairness of it all when expected to be even a little bit responsible. This is a learning curve most humans go through.

Then the children grow up, and they are forced to get a job "in the real world," or they trudge off to soldier, or they begin to raise children and work the farm, and they learn something about responsibility and personal accountability and, we hope, integrity, to finish the job of maturity that parenting had begun. As they raise children, the cycle of building-maturity begins again.

When one encounters an adult who operates politically from the base of childish fear from internal insecurity, rather than adult fear of external tyranny, what is the solution?

Can we call their life a do-over and ask them to please go through childhood again and get it right this time? Alas, we can't.

So what then? Do we just pretend to not notice that they are in desperate need of therapy and allow them to "play adult" with everybody else, to make them feel better?

Out of sheer pity (and lack of options) I might agree, if the chutzpah of their ignorance did not push so many of the worst examples of political childishness into actual political leadership.

It is not the blind leading the blind. It is the immature leading the insecure.

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