I’m not much of a blog follower, but one blog that I’m actually following on a daily or even hourly basis is Cornucopia by Swedish blogger Lars Wilderäng. He discusses a broad spectrum of topics, but mainly writes about political, social, economical, and environmental issues — often with a both critical, provoking, and controversial tone. Although I do not always agree with his opinions, he has an impressive ability to argue around subjects that are seemingly far from his professional background, usually with arguments well backed up by references and statistics.
Yesterday he wrote a general post (in Swedish) about politics, politicians, and power, and I would like to quote him on something that emphasizes my dislike for politics, and especially for politicians (freely translated from Swedish):
“Unfortunately this is the dilemma of Liberalism — a person who dislikes suppression of other people won’t pursue a career in politics, which is based upon suppression and compulsion. It doesn’t matter that politicians picture themselves as good people — it is suppression to dictate through taxes and laws how other people should live their lives. It is always easier to fawn over people to gain votes, by promising to suppress any given group of people in the society by compulsion.
We can only dream of real virtuous politicians, who every morning ask themselves — how can I increase people’s freedom further today — what laws can I abolish, what taxes can be revoked, what regulations can be torn, what authorities can be closed?”
Personally, I don’t like politicians. I do find politics interesting overall, but since most politically active and interested people I’ve met are nutcases overly convinced by their political ideology, I have a strong dislike for politicians. Perhaps it’s due/thanks to my science background, but I am very careful with expressing my opinions as facts, and always keep in mind that there are two sides to every coin (and six to every die1). This is especially true when I’m arguing around matters that I don’t have any educational training in. The problem is that among our (i.e. Sweden’s) politicians, relatively few have actually even completed a university degree. To then see a populistic, overpaid, and ideologically brainwashed politician speak with conviction about why his politics2 is best for the country’s future makes me want to throw up.
On top of that, having lived in countries where corruption among politicians is widespread3 has devalued my faith in politicians even more. And speaking to the Argentinians, they have since long given up hope. It becomes a Catch 22: no-one cares, since they know nothing will change. Nothing will change, since no-one cares.
1. Since I know this word can lead to confusions: die is the singular form of dice.
2. Or rather, why the opposition’s politics is complete rubbish. Because politics in Sweden is more focused on pie throwing than to argue for their own ideas… presumably because it’s easier to convince voters that an opponent is wrong, than that oneself is right.
3. Here I obviously refer mostly to Portugal and Argentina. However, I don’t necessarily think that the politicians here are more prone to corruption than in Sweden or Switzerland. I just think that the transparency of our social systems make political corruption more difficult. Corruption is still there, but it just takes different shapes — or waits for the opportunity to be unleashed.