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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shall we stop calling things "politics"?

A number of events of the past week really got me thinking on whether the omnipresent terms "politics" and "politician" are adequate and even appropriate to describe the actions and people usually tagged as such. Just to think of it - someone orders that hospitals be shelled (or "inspires" gun battles in and around hospitals, while patients and doctors suffer and die) and people be burned in their homes, and they are officially political leaders. Other individuals live the whole life caring for their neighbors, the environment, fight against corruption and hatred, playing an indispensable part in building a more just society - and we call them politicians. The same goes for "political". An organization calling for community-destroying school closures and the privatization of our health care system is political, just like the grassroots groups working for safer communities, literacy, access to medication. So what is "politics"? Is it greed, violence, deception, crime and total lack of any moral and ethic guidelines? Or is it compassion, love, optimism, not asking for anything in return for help? If it's both, then maybe it's time to stop using this pointless label.

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