Clayton M. Christensen once wrote that management, if practiced properly, can be the most noble of occupations and profession because it offers a huge number of possibilities with the manager being able to make the employees and teams have a better life.

I would like to extrapolate that thought to politics. Politics, in the most pure sense, can also be the most noble of occupations. Politics of fairness, equity, justice, social welfare and honesty. Politics for the sake of everyone that resides in the ‘polis‘. A government for the people. But that has not been the case for as long as I can recall. In this 20 years of existence I have been able to fall in love and hate again the concept of politics as a discipline or an art; politics of the twenty-first century seems to be the art of deception, bought loyalties and self-interest.

Politics has turned to be an exchange of multiple ad hominem attacks. Politics has become a show in which the identification with the problems of the electorate is something secondary. Politics is now an endless fight to delegitimise the other counterpart, instead of a means of developing joint solutions for the problems that affect us all.

In many cases, the electorate does not even understand what they are voting for. In others, the campaigns just counterpose two different ideals that without the help of the opposing party have not a chance of being implemented (in Colombia’s presidential elections in 2014, the two most voted candidates posed a decision between a pro ‘war’ far-right government over a pro ‘peace’ right government). This type of electoral process misses the point of social organisation whose purpose is to achieve greater stability, better living standards and protection.

Friedrich Nietzsche thought that ‘whoever lives for the sake of combating an enemy has an interest in the enemy’s staying alive’. There is a need for developing a political system that does not see the other part of the political spectrum as an enemy, because opposing it will not lead to any real change or progress. As  has been stated by left-wing parties and social movements in continental Europe: ‘we are not anti-system, the system is anti-us’.

There is no opposition between one ideology over another. We are in need of developing a political system that respects citizens’ needs and tries to work to solve them. What the system needs to solve is answered by the people. Why not listen to them? Even better, let the people help govern and have an effect on the policies implemented. Why? Because there is an imperative need for ‘down-top’ politics and economics.

 

Sources:

Clayton M. Christensen – How will you measure your life? Taken from Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/2010/07/how-will-you-measure-your-life).

Friedrich Nietzsche – Aphorisms on Love and Hate (Penguin Classics)

Manel Barriere, Andy Durgan and Sam Robson – The Challenge of Podemos. Taken from International Socialism Journal, volume 145, pgs 19-34.

The Economist on Colombia’s Presidential Election Process, 2014 http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2014/05/colombias-election