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Legitimate Authority

Politics is largely about how a state claims to have political authority over its citizens, where this authority can extend to being physically enforced on a person in extreme cases. This being the threat at the end of the line of disobedience to the state. But a state, certainly claiming to be democratic, doesn’t want to resort to this physical force too often, and with too many people, for then it would have a state of subjects, not of free citizens. So it is a balancing act always.

Modern democratic states tend to justify themselves on the grounds that they are neutral arbiters, supporting the rights of all humans equally. This legitimation, although powerful if believed and if applied. Of course cannot be completely applied, and so will never be completely believed, except by extreme ideologists. A state will have to give some preference to citizens over non-citizens, and in so doing it will have to base it’s decision on some more positive values that it claims to represent beyond being neutral.

This is where it begins to get interesting, and has much application in our current political scenario with globalisation and mass movements of people around countries. Serious questions are being asked of western states claims to neutrality. Some are willing to try and push further alongside this direction of neutrality. In line with their ideological beliefs, such as believing, for instance in pure secularism and objective science as their measure for everything. Others are doubting the application of science rigorously to social and moral and political issues. Doubting that value judgments can be reduced to scientific neutral judgments. One side says humans can all be interchanged, all differences are merely culturally conditioned. The other side says, even if such is the case in the long term. Short term mass movements of people is not going to allow time for people to be conditioned in line with shared values within their state.

So the very legitimacy of the state as an authority is at issue here. Many Western democratic states are undergoing something of an identity crisis I would say from too long trying to hold themselves to an impossible neutral standard. By doing so, they no longer really represent their citizens in a meaningful sense, which raises the question, who do they represent, and on what grounds and with what justification? Many of them take economic prosperity as the measure for their decisions. If mass immigration has even just a short-term economic advantage, then it is always favourable. They are reduced to valuing people purely instrumentally, in short. The precise opposite of what had been the original goal of state neutrality: for the sake of equality of all human beings. We become equal, but not in anything like the way initiators of some of these cosmopolitan political ideals such as Kant and Karl Marx, would have had in mind. They aimed at all men being treated as ends in themselves, not merely equal as instruments/means to others ends.

This latter route though, has been unfortunately the trend of the mass movement of people into western states, based purely on short-term economic advantages. So, I would say using economics as our source of values is a mistake. We need a new legitimation that highlights the value of citizenship, doesn’t pretend to be neutral, but does show itself as good and justified for the sake of its citizens and the world. It’s a tough task. I think it can be achieved, it will primarily involve a more openness to debating this very point. As many are still currently closed behind the iron curtain of their ideologies of the past that tell them being neutral is the only way to legitimise themselves. This enlightenment approach, great for natural science, has been a nightmare for western societies and culture, when applied to our politics and our morality. We have become trapped in an ideological bind, paralysing a practical approach to urgent political, moral and social problems that require pragmatic solutions, not ideological posturing.

The Guilt Game

Woke up to find I am to blame for young children having no water in Africa,

I am responsible for slavery of other races hundreds of years ago.

I am to blame for ISIS bombing European Countries, and for the refugee crisis.

I have caused the earth to be polluted, and created irreversible global warming,

I have extinguished species en masse all over the globe.

I discovered all this because I turned on my TV, and its what it told me.

And you wonder why I have no joy in my life,

you wonder why I live largely crippled by fear and anxiety.

Why I largely hate and despise humanity,

and yet still crave community and company.

It makes you wonder, it makes you wonder…

 

In my dream

In my dream last night

you were alive and well

you came back to life

you rose when you once had fell.

We worried over you,

but you got up and walked unaided,

you told us not to worry,

you could look after yourself again now.

You were filled with care free joy,

optimism that no fear could destroy.

I was happy once again,

no longer alone facing this futile life.

Hope was restored, my mind finally at ease…

Waking from this dream was hard.

I didn’t want to accept it was just a dream

I cursed being woken up,

but if I hadn’t. I may not have remembered the dream.

In some time I accepted once again what was real

a bittersweet experience no doubt,

but still a worthwhile one,

to feel that you were really alive again,

and that you could look after yourself,

and that we need no longer worry over you.

One dream I certainly won’t forget.

 

Patriarchy? Misogyny? You tell me

Woman, the Janus faced creature

uses the good man for security

uses the bad man for sex.

No loyalty to a man,

only to a plug to fill her hole,

be it a baby or a stiff rod.

She loves the idea of reforming the bad man

she does not want the reality though

of the reformed good man.

Such a man is of no service to her.

She must have the moral higher ground,

in any relationship with a man,

it is how she has power.

For she does not possess the focus,

determination, or physical capabilities of the man.

Take her moral high ground away,

and she has no escape from the man,

she must always have a way out,

a legitimate excuse to tell herself and others

for she knows no loyalty to man,

only to a temporary servicer of her babies.

The good man will never get his due,

the good man will always face treachery.

Integrity is absent in the heart of a woman,

and a man who wants a woman’s heart,

will do well to discard his morality.

A woman cares not for well considered goodness,

only for impulsive bloodiness,

that she can manoeuver around

and some day send off the cliff.

A man is condemned to die justifiably,

all our weeping is reserved for innocent women and children.

 

Disclaimer

(I don’t claim any rationality to these ramblings, but I do claim some reality to them. I find these thoughts coming up regularly lately, and I need to find some way to get them out of me, for they are festering in my mind. Reading it through now, perhaps my anger is that I have been given this lie of trying to be a good person that has failed me every time when it comes to a relationship scenario. I know many can compartmentalise outer image and inner reality, for me there is no such compartmentalisation. I can’t spout myself as good and then be bad in private or vice versa, portray a bad image then be good in private. If I am good, I am good the whole way through, If I am bad I am bad the whole way through. This condemns me to the scrap heap of human relationships. I am either an open book or a tightly closed trap, there is no happy medium. I can limit the outer effects of this, I can have less attachment to each transition, but still the basic reality of it remains.)

 

 

 

 

Hollowed Out

A cold dark sphere of hate,

pulses from the centre of my being.

This world is a disgusting unjust mess,

so lets just clear it up, clear it out,

and be done with it.

Disgusted

You disgust me,

your feeble mindedness,

your treachery

your blindness, blandness

you have failed me,

you have failed this world.

see you in hell.

Waiting

The good moments pass by, I wait for the come down,

the next woe to befall me, the next chance to frown.

Trying to avoid complacency, to not relax

it is always then, that someone attacks.

Caught unawares, caught off guard,

emotions ruffled, my equilibrium jarred.

I seem only happy in blankness, a lazy haze.

Living in a busy-body world, I am quite easily phased.

The next rusher round the corner, pushes me along

as I am about to sit and enjoy the calm, soothing song,

of the birds, up in the bright blue sky,

or at least I was going to try.

In comes the next distraction,

requiring my preplanned ritual reactions.

I watch on, closely I listen and wait.

But the song is gone, I am too late.