Why I don’t follow politics

Ross Douthat expresses exactly what I’ve noticed about American politics. Every week or so, a deeply symbolic, and somewhat trivial event hits the national headlines and throws the nation into their partisan trenches. Both sides (Democrat’s and republicans) are the representatives of different identity groups that have been overlooked and oppressed. The event is lauded as the archetypal example of oppression against x group. In the recent case of the pro life March scandal. The story was the paradigm example of intolerance against Christians, pro-lifers and trump fans. Alternatively, it was the paradigm case of white supremacy, oppression against natives and Christian I tolerance. Both sides become experts in the trivial details of the event, scouring the histories of all involved. The truth is out the window, all that is left is a battle for symbols and tribal points. Get out as fast as you can.



3 thoughts on “Why I don’t follow politics

  1. To bring about worldly similarity perfectly is an impossibility. Well-intentioned worldliness actually admits this itself. It rejoices when it succeeds in making temporal conditions the same for more and more people, but it acknowledges itself that its struggle is a pious wish, that it has taken on a prodigious task, that its prospects are remote-if it rightly understood itself, it will perceive that this will never be accomplished in temporality, that even if this struggle is continued for centuries, it will never attain the goal. Christianity, by contrast, aided by the shortcut of eternity, is immediately at the goal: it allows all dissimilarities to stand but teaches the equality of eternity. It teaches that everyone is to lift himself up above earthly dissimilarity.
    Soren Kierkegaard, Works of Love 1847 P. 72 (Its a never ending task – just the kind politicians like.

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    1. Thanks for the quote. I think this also plays into Kierkegaard’s idea of “truth as subjectivity.” The material realm is unequal, people are smart and simple, rich and poor, ect. but in the subjective realm all are equal and have the ability to lift themselves “above earthly dissimilarity.” Thus, the essential truth is not found in the temporal battles of politics or science, but in the realm of inwardness.

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      1. Yes, Kierkegaard writes about people who are happy being themselves in Either/Or Vol. 2

        Let me make a little psychological observation. We frequently hear people vent their dissatisfaction in a complaint about life; often enough we hear them wishing. Imagine a poor wretch like that; let us skip over the wishes that shed no light here because they involve the utterly accidental. He wishes: Would that I had that man’s intellect, or that man’s talent etc. Indeed, to go to the extreme: Would that I had that man’s steadfastness. Wishes of that sort are frequently heard, but have you ever heard a person earnestly wish that he could be someone else? It is so far from being the case that it is particularly characteristic of people called unfortunate individualities that they cling most of all to themselves, that despite all their sufferings they still would not wish to be anybody else for all the world. That is because such people are very close to the truth, and they feel the eternal validity of the personality not in its blessing but in its torment, even if they have retained this totally abstract expression for the joy in it; that they prefer to go on being themselves. But the person with many wishes is nevertheless continually of the opinion that he would be himself even if everything were changed. Consequently, there is something within him that in relation to everything else is absolute, something whereby he is who he is even if the change he achieved by his wish were the greatest possible. That he is mistaken, I shall show later, but at this point I merely want to find the most abstract expression for this “self” that makes him who he is. And this is nothing other than freedom. p. 215 Hong

        This accounts for the sickly anxiety with which many people speak of the dreadfulness of not having found their place in the world. Who will deny the joy in having made a good catch in this respect, but such an anxiety always indicates that the individual expects everything from the place, nothing from himself. p. 251

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