Archives for posts with tag: Agora

Where conditions had been ripe:

The market had become free.
Free for more and more people to search for new ways to meet their needs.
This freedom had allowed the market to become efficient enough for more and more people to be able to satisfy some of their wishes, on top of most of their needs.

Agora had become free.
So free that politicians had to solve more and more of the real problems encountered by the society at large.
Life had become so free that states had become prosperous.

And more and more of the people were happy!

Now, the market is so free that more and more people have started to search for ‘really’ new ways to meet their wishes. Eventually, they came to be known as ‘financial engineers’. The market is no longer the place where people meet to satisfy their needs but the place where some of them accrue huge sums of money while more and more of the rest find it harder and harder to survive.

The Agora is also at its freest.
‘Political marketeers’ have taken over from the ‘the old school’ – and ‘real’ politics have been replaced with ‘give the people what they want’. Political life is no longer about solving problems. It has become a relentless quest for power.
Keeping things ‘afloat’ is no longer THE goal, only a cost.

Is this sustainable?


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As much as I love writing, I do have to eat.
And to provide for my family.
Earning money takes time.
If you’d like me to write more, and on a more regular basis, hit the button.
Your contribution will be appreciated!

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Pentru cei care au reusit sa-si conserve suficienta naivitate, politica este o activitate care trebuie facuta ‘in echipa’.

In conditiile astea, ‘lupta politica’ ar trebui sa fie un oximoron…  adica o figura de stil.

Din pacate, cei care si-au pierdut naivitatea (virginitatatea?) politica au renuntat la ‘fineturile de salon’ si au introdus conceptul de ‘Real Politik’.
Initial in relatiile internationale.
Mai apoi, pe usa din dos, si in politica interna.

Cu ce consecinte?

Pe vremea cand Bismark se apucase sa ‘cizeleze’ conceptul de Real Politik, mantra relatiilor internationale era ‘divide et impera’. ‘Cauta orice fisura in pozitia adversarului, insinueaza-te si fa tot ce este necesar pentru a ajunge in pozitia dominanta’.

Daca politica ‘naiva’ se bazeaza pe convingerea partenerilor de discutie, politica ‘reala’ este doar despre atingerea rezultatului dorit.
Politicienii ‘naivi’ se aseaza la masa pentru a incerca sa afle parerea partenerilor de discutie inainte de a negocia o eventuala solutie. Una cat mai larg acceptabila.
Politicienii ‘realisti’ utilizeaza orice mijloace pentru a-si indeplini in cat mai mare masura obiectivul. Stabilit deja, inainte de orice consultare cu ceilalti membri ai comunitatii care urmeaza sa sufere consecintele atingerii respectivului obiectiv.

Unii dintre politicienii a caror ‘naivitate’ a fost ‘stirbita’ de contactul repetat cu realitatea sociala ajung sa fie dispusi a utiliza manipularea ca unealta politica. Mai ascund o parte din adevar, promit un pic mai mult decat stiu ca pot duce la indeplinire… dar pastreaza macar aparentele.

‘Realistii’ puri si duri sunt mult mai directi. Ard puntile. Darama fatadele. Aici nu mai poate fi vorba despre manipulare. Cuvantul ‘lupta’ nu mai este privit ca o figura de stil.

‘Lupta politica’ coboara in ring. Sau, mai bine spus, agora intreaga devine un ring.
Iar situatia devine ‘care pe care’.

Spre desfatarea ‘realistilor’ de dincolo de granite. Care abia asteapta ca cei cei ‘dinauntru’ sa se ia cu adevarat la bataie pentru a aplica, din-afara, principiul de la care a inceput totul.

Divide et impera.

Mencken, democracy perfected

Just stumbled upon this meme.

It gave me the creeps.

If such an influential personality like H.L. Mencken had such a warped understanding of the democratic process what can we ask from the proverbial ‘regular guy’?

One question haunts me.
How come so many otherwise bright people fail to grasp the obvious fact that ‘democracy’ is what happens before the voting process?

Voting itself is nothing but logistics, arithmetic and honesty. A process more or less akin to a social survey, one through which the electoral commission determines ‘the will of the people’ at a certain moment. A ‘mechanical’ process that has nothing to do with the living thing encapsulated in the concept of democracy.

…’living thing encapsulated in the concept of democracy’…

Do you think I’m exaggerating?

Then let’s go back to the Agora (the meeting place where the ancient Greeks congregated to discuss the public matters at hand) and watch carefully what happened there before each issue was decided upon.

Everybody who wanted to say something about a subject of interest had the opportunity to make his voice heard.

Yes, that’s the real essence of the democratic process! That’s why the Founding Fathers insisted so much about ‘The Freedom of Expression’. That’s why ‘the right to speak up’ comes First, before all others!

You see, the right to vote has no real meaning if the voters are kept in the dark, if they didn’t had access to all the information available prior to the deciding moment.

People will make a choice regardless of how much information they have, at a given moment, about something, precisely because they think they know everything that is to be known about that something.

That’s why people privy to more information than the ‘general public’ have come to reach the conclusion that the ‘ordinary voter’ is stupid.


Because instead of putting everything on the table and letting ‘the people’ decide in earnest, for some time now some of the ‘pundits’ have been playing a dangerous game of  ‘hide and seek’.
One which has resulted in the profound distrust felt by ‘the people’ about the ‘political establishment’. And in the barely masked contempt displayed by the ‘political elite’ towards the rest of the society.

So, instead of having an open discussion about issues and an atmosphere of trust between the various segments  of the social organism we have to pry bits and pieces of information from those who guard it dearly and such mutual distrust that, if we’ll look around carefully, we’ll notice that we’ve been living, for some time now, way inside ‘paranoia land’.

Can we still pretend that our societies are governed in a democratic manner? That each of us tries to shed some light over his area of expertise and by doing so contributes to all of us avoiding as many of the ‘potholes’ as possible?

‘Cause this is the real essence of democracy.
Not finding the best possible solution to every problem but avoiding the known/foreseeable potholes.

No matter how many of us will study a problem we’ll never find the best solution. After five minutes some fresh information will come about and the erstwhile ‘best’ becomes ‘obsolete’.

Compare this situation to somebody stumbling in a pitfall waiting for all of us, coming  back to warn the rest and not one of us heeding to his cries…

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