Monday, June 4, 2012

Puck on... Politics pt. 2

Are you saying we shouldn’t be involved in politics?

Are you saying that you should?

Well, I think we have an obligation, not just out of civic duty but responsibility, to participate, to make our voices heard.

Oh, you should watch your choice of words, child.  You may have to eat them later.  But for now, let’s deal with a more important word issue.  We are talking about politics, not government.

What’s the difference?

Oh my dear boy!  The fact that you’re convinced they’re synonymous shows just how far afield you are.  Oh, I’m sure, back in the day, when the Greek was better understood, it really meant “the people”, that it really was about them.  But you have to pay careful attention to words, because they do have a habit of changing definitions on you without changing usage.  Language, it’s such a fluid concept.

Government, or shall we democracy, is the mechanism, the science, as it were.  And, at bottom, it’s really how the system ought to function, hypothetically, if all things were equal and well maintained.  But the reality, how the machine actually functions, ah, that is where politics comes in.  Why the change, you may ask?  Why shouldn’t they be the same?  Well, one is theory, the other is practice.  Government comes from a book.  Politics comes from the people involved.

Oh, perhaps I’ve misjudged.  Maybe the word is closer to the original meaning, albeit twisted slightly.  After all, it is people, isn’t it?  That’s where the whole thing goes to pot.  It’s fine on paper.  But, in practice, it involves people, fickle little monsters that they are.

In any case, that is what we are dealing with.  You can talk political science all you would like, but in the end, the beast is politics, and it you must vanquish or appease.

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