Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Path to Power

«A party is like a meat grinder.
It grinds all the brains into one stew».
Henrik Ibsen
There are always parliament elections somewhere in the world, where lies are produced on an assembly line. Lies are always popular among the politicians and leaders of the current world, but never more so than during an election year, and in that regard it’s necessary to state a few plain truths.

It’s said we turn more conservative as we grow older, more closed to alternative views, more willing to accept conformity. This is obviously not true with everybody. There are exceptions, fortunately, showing there are ways to resist group pressure.

It’s said that power corrupts. This is obviously true - without exceptions. A Serbian-Croatian proverb says: «Give a man power and you’ll see who he is». Whether it’s in politics or climbing the corporate ladder one sees the truth of it time and time again. Those setting out as idealists and with a burning desire to change things, change society in drastic ways, find that it isn’t society, but they who are changed. Ten, fifteen years after they began their single minded journey on the Path to Power they’re no better than the people they originally held in justified contempt, and they’re defending the same things they do, making them an integrated part of the same oppressive regime.

When protesters and rebels are charging the gates of power, those very people, in their newly won position, are as eager as their predecessors to send their uniformed thugs (policemen, military and secret services) at the people opposing society’s accepted gospel. It looks like the people with new-won power have completely forgotten that they were once at the other side of the fence. When they’re confronted with «their sordid past» they usually offer excuses like «I was young and immature» or similar. Now, when they’re less mature than ever, now, when they have discarded their very humanity, everything they once saw as essential in life.

The list of former idealists, rebels and revolutionaries attempting to join the system to change it is long and sad. They’ve all failed. The system is still here, more dangerous than ever. Fundamentally speaking it remains unchanged. The changes are cosmetic and to the worse. Change people. Change ideologies. The tyranny prevails. All the idealists, rebels and revolutionaries, all the suckers, become more or less willing victims on the Path to Power.

A good illustration of such processes is what happened to the Greens, the various environmental parties entering politics the last twenty-five years or so of the twentieth century. Spurred on by the increasing ecological crisis and the collapse of communism most alternative oriented people joined them, especially after the «success» of the German branch.

«Die Grunen» started as an alternative movement with heavy emphasis on ecology and an anti-authoritarian and anti-war stance. But the seeds of dissolution and capitulation were present right from the start. They quickly turned into what effectively were two factions. One become «Fundis», those who wanted to change society in drastic ways and not make compromises. The other became «Realis», those who wanted to cooperate with other parties and make compromises. Events proceeded as they often do today. Fundis was cast out. The people supporting it were either pushed out or they quit in frustration. Today Realis is part of the German government, and they’ve discarded everything they once believed in. They haven’t changed society. Society has changed them. They support all important parts of the system. They support the War. They support nuclear power. They support Agenda 2010, the social democrats’ erasure of the German welfare state. They haven’t made any serious attempt to even reduce pollution. Is this The Green, or in truth just another bunch of society’s servants.

Andrea Fischer, former health minister in the «red/green government, now lobbyist, illustrates this in an excellent manner with this revealing statement (to Der Spiegel English site):

«I think politics without power is not politics. If you say you are not interested in power, you should write for the papers, not be a politician. What distinguishes us from other European (Green - author’s comment) parties is our relationship to power. Others think power is nasty and muddy, but if you look back, the changes of the Green party put them on the way to power».

And the great thing about it all: a lot of what she’s saying is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.

Heavy irony here…

Not that other countries’ green parties are that much better. They have also rid themselves of their fundis. But no others have reached the level of power that the German green has reached, as Andrea proudly states.

She actually seems proud beyond words. What reason she has for her pride is harder to gauge, except for the fact that she and the Party have achieved Power.

Of their three initial principals, and every other area where they’ve sold out, there are now nothing left.

And now green parties all over the world are copying the German Realis. Both in Great Britain and the United States there is a lot of talk about «proportional representation» as if it’s the Holy Grail. They refuse to listen when true radicals, with experience from «proportional representation», tell them that this is not a viable solution, that it is just yet another misdirection, an even more sneaky way to organize tyranny. It is, to use more heavy irony, a freedom lover’s last temptation…

And it should and must be repeated time and time again: These are just a few of countless illustrations about what’s happening when people and groups of people attempt to change the system, instead of using all their energy to destroy it.

Democracy is obviously a deception, one designed to more easily fool people into believing they’re there when the decisions are made. At best it’s the tyranny of the majority. At worst it’s both the tyranny of the majority and minority simultaneously. You’re being told you’ll lose influence by not voting, by not using your right to take part in the election, but that’s a lie; that’s when you’re taking it back, from everyone and everything that have stolen it from you.

You take one step, at least, on your path back to independence, a certain autonomy. You take a modest, but not unimportant step forward in the process of reclaiming your own life.


«No one is more hopelessly enslaved
than a man falsely believing himself to be free».
Goethe

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