Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Believing in anything

I've never had any sustained involvement in what you could call 'the far left'. It's always seemed something of a fools errand to me.

'Democratic Centralism' is the problem. It strikes me as anti-intellectual. It's a rejection of lots of aspects of 'the scientific method'. It makes for bad thinking, bad policy, bad strategy, bad organisation, bad activity, and - it seems - it is prone to creating structures that are designed to promote bad people (some links here).

I understand that, in politics, sometimes, you have to adopt 'collective responsibility'. Sometimes you have to horse-trade policies and you find yourself as a member of a political party that advances a position that you don't agree with - and that you have to agree to keep fairly quiet about it.

Sometimes, because of the demagogic simplification that is found in the way that the media interact with political thinkers, you are even obliged to pretend that you agree with things that you don't.

But, fundamentally, it has to fit within a democratic framework and has to be subject to open debate. There may be a bit of nod-and-wink involved.

Am I missing something really obvious here? Why does anyone get involved? Why aren't these outfits subject to similar rescue activities that religious cults are?

The counter-argument here is that these cults provide a framework of beliefs and that the alternative is even more worrying. Here are two links....
  1. The Anti-Imperialism of fools
  2. Edward Snowden's back pages
As someone (who?) once said "when you stop believing in 'something', you don't go on to believe in 'nothing'. You go on to believe in 'anything'."

Whatever you think, this highlights the big question facing anyone who wants to take part in political activity to achieve anything.

It's easy to cloak beliefs. Sloppy thinking results in dangerous allies. Simplifying to gain popularity can be disastrous. Scapegoating is always a mistake.