Monday, July 20, 2015

Human Nature - Part 2 of 3 - Politics

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

Greeks termed politics as the theory of influencing other people.  The term politics itself is more than 4,000 years old, and since that time has evolved into politics, judicial and bureaucratic systems that govern the democratic nations in the present time.  The late 1700’s and the formation of the United States, and since than the push for freedom of expression, speech and simply the right to do what we like to do has been in the forefront of many a wars and movements; simply people wanting democracy.  Politics continues to evolve with each of the instances where people raise to make freedom a focal point of governance.

When it started out politics certainly was meant to be a noble profession.  It was by definition working for the good of people.  One can’t influence other people without doing something useful to the society.  In reality only through the 1900’s majority of the nations have become really political democracies.  We still have communist governed and dictatorial nations, while we have kingdoms and nations governed by families.  All the while in 2015, the form of democracy continues to be challenged in various parts of the world, while it flourishes in some parts of the world.

At the end of the day the power vested in an individual (or a small group of individuals as ministers) who are elected by the majority of public voting them into power for a fixed duration of time becomes a democratically elected government.  They get either reelected or get replaced with a new set of individuals once the elected term is over, is the most recent form of democracies functioning.  In reality the current electoral process is quite a new phenomenon for the world.  We were used to living under kings and emperors, who ruled over their people with impunity.

At least for a couple of thousand years we have the history of living under kings and queens as subjects.  In essence the rulers simply passed on the governance of their subjects to family.  The growth in human population which has been exponential, and the kingdoms transforming into elected governments is in historic terms quite a small chapter in our existence.

The history of the world as we know is quite fascinating.  We continue to find and dig through our past, and everything we find is intriguing and educational on every aspect of life before the advent of communications in today’s form.  The tremendous influence of radio, television, internet, wireless and wireline communications, and the latest social media and instant access to what is happening certainly is a driving force in the way we live and conduct ourselves.

The fantastic benefits of information and communications at finger tips have a great advantage, and also huge drawbacks.  The politicians use the social media for direct communication with folks around the world.  Millions of people get instant feed of tidbits of information from someone in the position of power.  It could be anything that the individual wants to share; can be a simple greeting, a picture, an opinion, a thought, travel or trivia, anything that they feel is in their mind to share with millions of followers, or people on the www.

Politics has also become quite personal in the recent decades.  For some reason the negative comments get more eyeballs than positive commentary.  People in power and people not in power both focus on what is wrong with each other than displaying the positives of what can be done and what needs to be done.

Politics has in the past 20 or 30 years have become personal.  The money required for getting into elected office has become humungous.  The constant barrage of advertisements and media interactions, almost always point to what the other guy has done wrong.  Also, the democracies and abuse of elected office from around the world has become a common practice.  Scams, abuse of power, nepotism, influence peddling and simply ignoring the law has become a common practice for elected officials.

From a noble thought of influencing people with positive actions and leading them, politics have really become abusive, and for personal benefit.  There is no doubt that the aspiring leaders have high level of insight into the people’s current state of mind.  They probably enter into politics with the intent of great good of the people.  Whatever happens in quick succession is the power of money and power of the office take precedence over the common good.  Either democracies nor dictatorships, and in some cases self-appointed leaders though brute force, all of them somehow fall into the trap of power rather than politics, and forget the common good of the population.

The people themselves are not in any better cognizance in relationship to leaders.  We certainly don’t believe anymore that elected governments are really doing anything for the common good.  We simply cling on to hope.  Hope of a better tomorrow with better governance.  While politics have simply gone from common good to complete focus on individual benefit.

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