Tag Archives: politics

Two points

First, I will be combining film commentary in matching pairs, for the sake of shortening this coming series. I have many more posts in mind, but I prefer posting in order. So, next post will cover both The Egyptian 1954 and Pharaoh 1966. In some cases, I may skip over certain films.

The second point has concerns this mid-term election. I can see it is very hot because there have been many advertisements (all negative, obviously) and volunteers have been at my door several times, including today. Well, I thought to make it known here as I told one of them that I won’t be voting, and here is my quick explanation:

1- I am tired of political dualism between two parties. Both parties have good points to make, but likewise they are almost equally guilty of creating the same diseases everyone is complaining about without agreeing upon. While incidentally I think the Republicans deserve losing the majority at this time, it won’t apocalyptically solve all problems–on the contrary, it will only aggravate them.

2- For me, worthy participation in a real “democracy” means voting for a mayor or for local policy. Electing these high positions such as governor or president or even representatives means nothing. And in any case, I was never fond of a republic, especially an imperial one modelled on the Roman system. I can only smile (and laugh sometimes) at those who call this way of thinking “backward regionalism”.

3- The “United States” is a declining empire that can’t be saved by elections. Radical movements have arisen and won’t go away for the time being. I have learned about and traced all the problems of America back thousands of years, and now the consequences are not difficult to foresee. It’s rather useless now to participate, and so I’ll be a spectator.

4- I think a moral objection to the whole concept of this country in itself (without reference to the particular elements it subjugates or falsely represents) is developing within my indigenous mind.

5- I have the odd, but justifiable conviction that small, traditional monarchies like Bhutan are the only ones worth fighting for. I do care for the peoples of this country, but I wouldn’t fight for the country in itself.

Polemical topics for polytheists (part 9): Politics

***As a very brief preface, I am most pleased to return once again to writing here after a very busy term at college. I have greatly missed all the excellent learning I gain through reflection, writing and discussion, which are always a blessing to my spirit.

First view: Polytheism ought to follow Liberalism on the left, because religious monotheists tend to take the right.

Second view: Polytheism ought to follow Conservativism on the right, because Liberalism is often antithetical to tradition, religion and culture.

Balanced view: Polytheism needs both right and left, and at the same time, must move beyond this often stifling dualism.  

 The origin of the political left and right parties has already been mentioned previously. Within the faulty Athenian system of democracy, which lacked the balancing presence of a king, the nobles were divided against the commons. This was later transferred to Rome upon the overthrow of the monarchy in 509 BCE, after which the Senate found itself constantly at odds with the Plebian common classes.* This situation in politics has earlier (though not necessarily related) origins in monotheistic morality and ideology, i.e. the good against the evil. Although a form of this dualism existed in Egyptian and other polytheisms, it differed from the monotheistic in that it assigned an eternal God to both sides, to suggest an inherent balance and cycle in the forces of nature and reality, a notion well illustrated by the symbol of yin and yang. Monotheism on the other hand placed supremacy for a single universal good that was to battle with a single universal devil (who represented matter and native Gods) and win in a linear fashion towards the end of times. The purpose of mentioning this here becomes evident when we reflect on the current state of political ideology and activity, particularly in the West; the Left and the Right are at total war for domination and are acting with the same sort of reckless and linear behavior that makes monotheism dangerous. There is hardly any room for dialogue and exchange; the use of a particular expression, sometimes a single term, can mark someone out as a member of the other side, and that often leads to immediate conflict and little understanding. What deepens and perpetuates this division is that the “liberalism” and “conservatism” have gone beyond politics and established themselves firmly in culture and language. But where does polytheism stand here? A simple answer: both above and in the middle. The Left has the wisdom of condemning the modern world’s assaults and pollutions against nature, and they do very well to support indigenous people, reduce the excesses of monotheistic domination, and advocate for population control. On the other hand, the great value of the Right comes from their deep concern for the family, ethnic culture, security and prosperity. Polytheism requires both to flourish, and although this is difficult, it is possible and reasonable to shift our support from one party candidate or platform to another, according to the nature of the occasion and urgency of time. No one party or politician is an “angel” or “devil”, in spite of how disappointed we may be. Polytheism is a balanced identity and way of life that can bring the balance desperately needed in modern politics. The more we look into history and understand its complex events and ideas, the more we will see value in not being firmly partial to one outer group or the other. Our inner groups, that form the basis of our identity, must be stable and constant, but politics shifts with time, because it has to do with the needs and concerns of a huge, complicated and unstable group like a nation.

 

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* A condition that led to several conflicts in the history of the Roman Republic, most notably that between Julius Caesar and Pompey which created the even more oppressive and unstable Roman Empire.