Homo Politicus

Everything today is political. George Orwell understood this sixty years ago when he wrote:

In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics." All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

It used to be that education simply guided the acquisition of knowledge and skills; that film, television and music diverted us from the problems of life; that our system of justice was proudly independent of politics; that churches and synagogues provided an elevation above worldly things; and that professions and their organizations concerned themselves with integrity rather than pandering to the powerful.

Now politics has become the superstructure of life. "Politics" is not "government." In fact, the politicization of government is a reason for many miseries. In the field of justice, politics meant that O.J. Simpson and Bill Clinton were acquitted in their trials, while Scooter Libby and Ted Stevens were convicted*. The politicization of justice means that Black Panthers threatening voters with nightsticks were never arrested, while the Duke Lacrosse Team, with no real evidence at all, were arrested and damned for being young white males. Politics prevents government from controlling our borders. Politics means that all reasonable profiling of young Moslem males for terrorism is forbidden, even if that may save lives. Government is now almost completely run by politics. 

If government is not politics, then politics is not ideology. Those on what we call the "left" do not believe in anything at all, really. Their God is power, plunder, and punishment of heretics. Socialism is an odious misology, but on the left, those who want everything to be political do not believe a single tenet they espouse. 

Al Gore has a huge carbon footprint...and people are shocked? His fairy tale of global warming is meant just to help him get money, honor, and attention -- and nothing else. Barack Obama is a closet socialist who does not help his impoverished family. Why? He no more believes in redistributing wealth than a snake oil salesman in Dodge City believed that his tonic cured gout. Feminists flack for Clinton's savage treatment of women and ignore Moslem crimes toward women. Leftist instructors leave their students profoundly ignorant, instead of truly educated. Leftist pseudo-ideology is a convenient fraud used by those who would be our masters.

This ooze of wretched politicization now infects our private life as well. The last two years, the runner-up in the Miss USA pageant may have lost the title for giving politically incorrect answers to questions. Carrie Prejean made the stunning statement that she believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. Elizabeth Woolard caused a stir by answering a question about Arizona's new immigration law by declaring that she believes in state's rights. 

It did not matter that Carrie's whole statement about gay marriage was carefully balanced and began with these lines: "Well, I think it's great that Americans are free to choose one way or the other.  We live in a land where you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage." It did not matter that Elizabeth, after saying that she supported states' rights, went on to say: "I'm against illegal immigration, but I'm also against racial profiling, so I see both sides of the issue."

It did not matter that these two young women did not choose which questions to answer. Servile profession of the party line is now required for even people in traditionally apolitical fields of human activity -- like beauty contests -- to succeed. 

Our world, more and more, looks like the dying carcass-to-be of Soviet Russia. Those in Russia who did not join the Communist Party in the Soviet Union could rise only so far in Soviet society. It did not much matter whether these people believed in Marxist-Leninism (in fact, books written by dissidents expose the grotesque fact that no one in the Soviet Union, especially those at the top, believed in Marx or Lenin -- they believed, instead, in wealth, perks, and privilege). Those who want to rise in American society, more and more, had better mouth the party line. The species Homo sapiens in America has been supplanted by the new Frankenstein's monster, Homo politicus.

No area of our life, it seems, is free from exhortations to follow the transitory goals of the Party. Quit tobacco and destroy the tobacco companies! Punish those oil companies who fuel our cars and those fast food companies whose burgers we buy! Homo politicus lives in a universe in which he is surrounded by what the Party wants him to see and hear. He must echo that or face exile.

Because text is dangerous to the Party, Homo politicus, like everyone in Fahrenheit 451, lives in a world without text. Minions like Holder and Napolitano condemn bills which they have never read. The image of the Arizona law is much more important than the actual language of the bill. Homo politicus expects leaders to look good and to read canned speeches beautifully from a teleprompter -- they do not need to grasp the meaning of what the teleprompter displays.

If Homo politicus is confused, then the Party has an army of "experts" who soothingly counsel the misguided subject back into correct thinking. Professionals in medicine, mental health, law, and a dozen similar fields have converted traditionally apolitical organizations into organs of the Party, spouting the same line on issues. Groups like the AARP, ostensibly an organization to protect the interests of older Americans, represent only those who are a big cog in the political machine. 

Very little in our lives ought to be political. There is a vast universe to explore and to treasure. The tiny mind and tinier heart of the Party man, the political bureaucrat, the shrill busybody, the goateed academic, and the smiling elected official ought to have almost nothing to do with our free lives. But like some awful, progressive disease, America is becoming transformed from the Land of the Free to the home of Homo politicus.

*The Stevens conviction was later vacated on appeal.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
Everything today is political. George Orwell understood this sixty years ago when he wrote:

In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics." All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

It used to be that education simply guided the acquisition of knowledge and skills; that film, television and music diverted us from the problems of life; that our system of justice was proudly independent of politics; that churches and synagogues provided an elevation above worldly things; and that professions and their organizations concerned themselves with integrity rather than pandering to the powerful.

Now politics has become the superstructure of life. "Politics" is not "government." In fact, the politicization of government is a reason for many miseries. In the field of justice, politics meant that O.J. Simpson and Bill Clinton were acquitted in their trials, while Scooter Libby and Ted Stevens were convicted*. The politicization of justice means that Black Panthers threatening voters with nightsticks were never arrested, while the Duke Lacrosse Team, with no real evidence at all, were arrested and damned for being young white males. Politics prevents government from controlling our borders. Politics means that all reasonable profiling of young Moslem males for terrorism is forbidden, even if that may save lives. Government is now almost completely run by politics. 

If government is not politics, then politics is not ideology. Those on what we call the "left" do not believe in anything at all, really. Their God is power, plunder, and punishment of heretics. Socialism is an odious misology, but on the left, those who want everything to be political do not believe a single tenet they espouse. 

Al Gore has a huge carbon footprint...and people are shocked? His fairy tale of global warming is meant just to help him get money, honor, and attention -- and nothing else. Barack Obama is a closet socialist who does not help his impoverished family. Why? He no more believes in redistributing wealth than a snake oil salesman in Dodge City believed that his tonic cured gout. Feminists flack for Clinton's savage treatment of women and ignore Moslem crimes toward women. Leftist instructors leave their students profoundly ignorant, instead of truly educated. Leftist pseudo-ideology is a convenient fraud used by those who would be our masters.

This ooze of wretched politicization now infects our private life as well. The last two years, the runner-up in the Miss USA pageant may have lost the title for giving politically incorrect answers to questions. Carrie Prejean made the stunning statement that she believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. Elizabeth Woolard caused a stir by answering a question about Arizona's new immigration law by declaring that she believes in state's rights. 

It did not matter that Carrie's whole statement about gay marriage was carefully balanced and began with these lines: "Well, I think it's great that Americans are free to choose one way or the other.  We live in a land where you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage." It did not matter that Elizabeth, after saying that she supported states' rights, went on to say: "I'm against illegal immigration, but I'm also against racial profiling, so I see both sides of the issue."

It did not matter that these two young women did not choose which questions to answer. Servile profession of the party line is now required for even people in traditionally apolitical fields of human activity -- like beauty contests -- to succeed. 

Our world, more and more, looks like the dying carcass-to-be of Soviet Russia. Those in Russia who did not join the Communist Party in the Soviet Union could rise only so far in Soviet society. It did not much matter whether these people believed in Marxist-Leninism (in fact, books written by dissidents expose the grotesque fact that no one in the Soviet Union, especially those at the top, believed in Marx or Lenin -- they believed, instead, in wealth, perks, and privilege). Those who want to rise in American society, more and more, had better mouth the party line. The species Homo sapiens in America has been supplanted by the new Frankenstein's monster, Homo politicus.

No area of our life, it seems, is free from exhortations to follow the transitory goals of the Party. Quit tobacco and destroy the tobacco companies! Punish those oil companies who fuel our cars and those fast food companies whose burgers we buy! Homo politicus lives in a universe in which he is surrounded by what the Party wants him to see and hear. He must echo that or face exile.

Because text is dangerous to the Party, Homo politicus, like everyone in Fahrenheit 451, lives in a world without text. Minions like Holder and Napolitano condemn bills which they have never read. The image of the Arizona law is much more important than the actual language of the bill. Homo politicus expects leaders to look good and to read canned speeches beautifully from a teleprompter -- they do not need to grasp the meaning of what the teleprompter displays.

If Homo politicus is confused, then the Party has an army of "experts" who soothingly counsel the misguided subject back into correct thinking. Professionals in medicine, mental health, law, and a dozen similar fields have converted traditionally apolitical organizations into organs of the Party, spouting the same line on issues. Groups like the AARP, ostensibly an organization to protect the interests of older Americans, represent only those who are a big cog in the political machine. 

Very little in our lives ought to be political. There is a vast universe to explore and to treasure. The tiny mind and tinier heart of the Party man, the political bureaucrat, the shrill busybody, the goateed academic, and the smiling elected official ought to have almost nothing to do with our free lives. But like some awful, progressive disease, America is becoming transformed from the Land of the Free to the home of Homo politicus.

*The Stevens conviction was later vacated on appeal.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.

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