Monday, September 28, 2015

Pulling on the Jersey

One of the reasons I don't like party politics is it makes no sense to me. It is like saying, 'We don't know what we are going to disagree on, but let's choose in advance who we are going to disagree with'. You are creating a team. I love teams. I got nuts when the Boks play. I get very happy when they win, and incredibly sad when they lose. Unless it is against England or Die Ou Transvaal, I am even a gracious loser. I have jerseys. I sing songs. It feels good to be part of something unconditionally and grrrr in the general direction of the opposition. But not for stuff that matters. 

Sports matters because of the connections it creates. I have a buddy that I can depend on having some whatsapp banter with every match. We even managed to go out to the last world cup together. After South Africa got knocked out early, we realised that having a good trip was more important than sulking. I bought a Kiwi jersey and leaned in to the occasion. Other than a brief moment of worrying for my life if France had pulled off the final (by brief, I mean 80 minutes at Eden Park), it was a good choice.

When it comes to party politics, I don't seem to find parties where I could pull on their jersey. I thought a good simplification was that I was with the Republican Party on economic issues, and with the Democratic Party on social issues. Then I heard someone describe the Pope as with the Reds on social and the Blues on economics. But that makes no sense to me, because then that should be a person I disagree with viscerally. If I got a vote for Pope, I would pull on a Francis jersey. The dude is awesome.

Perhaps some new decor Mama? Chat to Papa...

David Graeber explains that elections are not the key to Democracy. The key is giving people's views consideration. He argues convincingly that it is just the word 'Democracy' that we inherited from Greece. Methods of communities coming together to make decisions are common to almost all human cultures since coming together is common. Inventing democracy  is a little like inventing family. Well done, great idea Einstein.

Explaining his views as a 'small a, anarchist', I found what he was saying very similar to a book that explained some of the key ideas behind Libertarianism to me. 'Subsidiarity' is a jargon word he uses because he can't think of a better one, to describe the idea that most decisions should be pushed down to the smallest, lowest-scale, possible. This is similar to the idea Virginia Postrel talks about as tacit knowledge, and the advantage of the people doing the work making the decisions. Things should only be bought to discussion when they affect everybody, e.g. Scotland being part of the UK. They should only be bought to a vote as a last resort. Yes/No creates camps. There are other ways.

So I don't think we should be surprised that Bernie and Donald supporters probably have heaps in common (don't like professional politicians), as do Jeb and Hillary supporters (We've mostly got it pretty good). You likely have something in common with all of them. If you are in the UK, read any of the manifestos and there would have been things you agree with, and things you disagree with. The Democratic Alliance in South Africa basically wants to implement the 'National Development Plan' of the ANC. A vote in SA for lots of opposition members becomes simply a way to stop one party being able to change the constitution. Changing the constitution should be something we vote on, the rest of the time we should be working together. Leave the face paint for world cups.
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