I found the following quote posted on a blog:
"Politics, as I never tire of saying, is for social and emotional misfits, handicapped folk, those with a grudge. The purpose of politics is to help them overcome these feelings of inferiority and compensate for their personal inadequacies in the pursuit of power" ~ Auberon Waugh.
The blog I found this quote posted on is not relevant, mostly because the owner of the blog tends to throw a temper tantrum if you question anything he posts. Instead, I'm more interested in the quote itself, without even knowing (or caring) whom Auberon Waugh is.
I think this quote leans toward something else I've already mentioned on this blog about the existence of politics not really being necessary, if we could simply focus on freedom. More than that, I find this quote interesting because I think it brings up some curious points:
1. Do politics not affect people's lives? If they do, why should someone ignore that?
2. Politics typically champion a specific perspective, while telling all other perspectives they are wrong (with the exception of freedom, which does not do that). If that is due to the need to overcome a personal inadequacy, then isn't the pointing out of how some people do this and how wrong it is nothing more than an example of politics itself? Is it not also a reflection of the same personal inadequacy?
3. Am I trying to overcome a personal inadequacy, by pointing out the inadequacy of someone else who feels the need to point out others' inadequacies? Perhaps so!
Whatever the case, I think this perspective on politics is one that could be beneficial to ponder, for a more well-rounded, reasoned, and grounded approach to what so many of us are so infatuated with (politics).
Maybe the answer that develops from such thoughts could result in another way to do away with the need for politics, next to the use of freedom.
Update: Oct 2009 - This is the first post I've made on this blog since I left it sometime ago. For the record, I have no intention of doing this on a regular basis.
My intent here is the subject of this post. Since I have posted the quote at the top of this page, it has stuck in my mind since. As you can see from my response, I didn't agree with it, originally. Over time, however, the more this quote has been in my head, the more it has started to resonate...the more I have started to see its validity.
While I still think the guy I copied this quote from, off his blog, is a complete asshole who is very insecure whenever you question anything he says, I think I now firmly believe in the quote itself.
By simply observing the world of politics with the quote in mind, I have come to see that Mr. Waugh was spot on. The partisanship, the townhalls, the bumber stickers, the heated forums, the trash talking on media and talk radio...these things have all finally opened my eyes to seeing that the sum of politics is nothing more than a result of personal inferiority (and inadequacy, I think) in the pursuit of power and the failure to find it in oneself.
I can now even answer my own questions I posed, above.
1. Yes, but only because they allow themselves to be consumed by the same inadequacy.
2. Yes. Welcome to politics.
3. Yes. This blog is also an obvious example of the same.
Simple answers, I know, but all that is needed. Politics makes things far more complicated then they need to be.