Monday, May 26, 2008

Do Elections Still Matter?

There are a few people who believe that the right to vote -- is one’s greatest duty and responsibility of a citizen -- maybe a hundred years ago but not today, when one is voting virtually every day of one’s life now. In a sense, a poll is taking literally every day, and every moment, in every action -- and those results are known pretty nearly instantaneously, and not only once every four years, or ten, because the root of that process, is to find out.

In an earlier time, people didn’t know what was happening until many years later, when somebody wrote a book telling everybody what did happen, but it was usually commissioned and paid for, by somebody who had a strong interest in molding a belief in what actually did happen. So those who could afford to pay for such services, had a disproportionate say in what many believed happened.

Most people didn’t care or didn’t know what was said, and it was usually written in a manner, in which it was difficult to tell what was actually being said. And so, it became increasingly fashionable to write history or any academic matter, so there was great contention about what was being said, or in fact, happening. Schools of liberal education were actually proud to claim that everything was just an opinion -- and that nothing was factual, so whatever one believed, or wanted others to believe, was merely dependent on how polished one’s rhetorical and persuasive skills were.

Thus, throughout history and literature, “scribes” had a low repute for integrity and accuracy. They simply wrote what their masters dictated that they write. Such people were famously susceptible to wine and other intoxicants for their inspiration -- which still remain largely true until the end of the last century, and the beginning of new egalitarian writings on the Internet -- not controlled by exclusive hierarchies of the politically correct and connected.

That was a pivotal transformation of democratic societies in these times -- that transcended the traditional polls in favor of the virtual ones we have today, that really govern society more than most are aware. Many still think that purpose is to convince elected leaders on the proper thinking on that matter, rather than it is, the very manifestation of what that society is -- and thinks.

So a lot of people contemplating the elections for the highest offices wonder if those running are the best that could be running -- but what matters, is that those are the choices in that forum, which is not the end all and be all of civilized life anymore. Obviously, there is much more going on that is creating society as we live it now.

So rather than lament that things are not as we think they ought to be, we should instead recognize the validity of things as they are that is a greater wisdom than we think it has to be. That is the hindrance in living life on the cutting edge of creating reality as we live it -- and not merely as they interpret it to be twenty years in hindsight, when everybody seems to be a genius of perfect knowledge and foresight.

The only genius is what one does now -- for the future, without perfect knowledge and certainty of those outcomes, and not those actions one takes in the imaginary past or the future. The only reality is what one does now -- with what we know, to the best that can be known -- but not just making it up, with what we wish it to be, thinking one has absolute and exclusive control anymore.

Authoritarianism is a hard habit to break.