Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Marked Boxes

"If you took the most ardent revolutionary and vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Czar himself" -- Mikhail Bakunin, Anarchosocialist activist/political philosopher

"It has often happened that a man of this sort has risen to the highest office, and, when he has got there, has looked at things more closely and so has come to recognise the source of the disorders, the dangers which they entail, and the difficulty of puttng matters right. Realising that it is circumstances, not men, that have brought the disorders about, he has then quickly changed both his mind and his line of conduct; for acquaintance with things in detail has removed the wrong impression that has been taken for granted when only general considerations were taken into account. Consequently those who have heard such a one speak when he was a private person, and, later on, have noticed how silent he remained when he held high office, have ascribed this not to his better acquaintance with affairs, but to his having been suborned and corrupted by the great." -- Niccolo Machiavelli, political theorist

It's easy enough to imagine either, and no doubt both are common - people becoming compacent about the status quo/seduced by power/too torn between what is needed to stay in power to have an effect and actually purging corruption (and not surviving in office long), all that versus people realising that what seemed like a simple problem from the outside has enough variables within it either so as not to be easily fixed or to be widely misunderstood from the outside. This seems to be a communications problem that hinges on openness, trust, and the ability of the electorate to understand current issues well enough for their mandates to make sense.

"It's a fundamental error to view or attempt to judge people as being right or wrong - instead ideas and positions should be so judged, and people accorded merit for holding them to what extent they do"

"What good is that? You would have the state and the movement attach itself to these abstract ideas when the actors in a situation are what's real and relevant, and have it fail to achieve solidarity with anyone when what's needed is to choose allies, to pick winners and losers according to our values, and bring certainty where there was none."

"Ideas can be more certain than actors, who, like everyone else, have complex motivations and flow from justice to injustice smoothly. Some allies in a people are not as valuable as creating an order that transforms an entire people - for our mission we would rather make a society where noone steals than find two or three people who would not steal from us".

A bit more vain playing with image editing software :):

Tags: philosophy

  • Still alive

    Been feeling a bit nostalgic. Not about to return to LiveJournal - their new ownership is unfortunate, but I wanted to briefly note what's been up…

  • Unplugging LJ

    It's about time I pulled the plug on the LJ version of my blog: 1) I'm much more active on G+ than I am with general blogging. I post many times a…

  • Mutual Trust

    I don't know which should be considered more remarkable: That a cat should trust a member of a far larger and stronger species that it can't…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment