Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Are Party Politics Akin To Organized Religion - In That Both Attempt To Position Themselves As Gateways To God?
If a better arrangement of thoughts are exposed to me that provide better results I am open to change. "Better" means - more comprehensive, more enduring but depends upon the individual competencies to be folded into the greater community good - while maximizing the basic freedoms and respect for the individual.
I am aware of the "religious faith" elements of organized religion is also conjoined with the cultural and societal constructs that a particular religion brings forth upon a society. While all of us theorize about the advantage of a free society - certain elements of social control are necessary to retain a "civilized and free society". Religion attempts to provide such a framework as it regulates people's behavior.
All of the popular religions in the world seek to place themselves as a gateway to the interface of their particular god. There are particular thoughts and rituals that are defined as part of this contractual arrangement between God and the individual believer.
The religion apparatus in the form of a church and then, in most cases, an association of churches all come together to define the character and practices of the religion. Most will excommunicate those individuals who attempt to operate in the church's name while violating the established doctrinal order.
In truth these national and world-wide councils that overlay the individual churches have the primary purpose of managing and regulating the people who profess themselves as being a member of that particular religion, often engaging in conflict resolution between individuals that often have competing interests. Learned religious scholars who are expert in the real meaning of the particular religious text are put in place to apply these principles to the organization and the people within.
I don't intrinsically see them as bad or unnecessary overhead. They are important at insuring the integrity and consistency of the church organization's belief.
Problems occur, however, when the operatives who are working inside of the church organizations loose sight of the "religious salvation" ends of the organization and instead get into pure politicking or positioning for political power within the framework of the organization. For some of these organizations if "Jesus" himself were to run for even the lowly position as the "Sergent At Arms" they would not recognize him and would vote for a more favorable candidate.
We should inspect these organizations not by their size, popularity and flexibility to adopt the changing tastes of our society. This might mean that they have fully compromised their foundational beliefs in the process. Instead we must appraise these groups based upon the key and enduring foundations of their particular religious sect and verify that they are doing as they have been chartered.
What About Politics And Its Relation To Our Desired Standard Of Living?
As I endeavor as an observer, analyst, critic and skeptic of politics, culture and society I can find no greater "ungodly" enterprise than that which has been concocted in the political and ideological party overlay organizations that have been put in front of our attainment of "heaven" in the political space. This "heaven" is in the form of the heightened standard of living that is afforded to our society with access to equal opportunities to obtain it while keeping the forced hand of the government as a necessary though unseemly evil hand to insure fairness.
Above I have noted that a religious organization is compromised as too many of its people lose sight of the "salvation" that they have been christened to pursue and instead seek to fully populate the "seats" within the organization with their clique, in support of their desire to project power.
When it comes to politics many of these dysfunctional antics are enforced as "team loyalty".
We see this transpire when a "machine" that had its roots in their challenge of the existing establishment that has failed to fairly distribute economic opportunity and legal justice - themselves become the establishment power. On election night eve - many of the people who were down in the trenches for the long term fight are more happy to see their favored person in power - than they are inclined to note that after 4 years of this person's term and possibly 30 years of this machine's ascent to power - the same basic grievances remain.
If they had transparency in mind they would take a step back and realize that they got caught up in the game, the rituals, the mechanics by which "their team" would fight a transactional battle against their underhanded adversaries. They ended up losing sight of their original mission because on the field of battle they saw too many explosions fired from their enemy's weapons which now have them shell-shocked and constantly on the defensive mentally.
Black Political Development Has Turned Out To Be The Opportunity To Place A Black Politician In Place - NOT To Advance Our Interests As A Community - Just As The White Folks Had Compromised Themselves Previously
Living in a metro-area with a large and active Black political class provides me with a valuable perspective. This area (Atlanta) has surpassed the pure "first Black man in office" feat for most of the significant local offices. We are now into wholesale governance by the machine of the people's choose.
This also means that two groups have stood out - just as is the case with other machines: the leaders and the incompetents/corrupt.
There is no doubt that this new era of opportunity has shown us leaders who are able to move beyond pure race based cajoling and instead put forth reasoned government leadership in protection of the public resources that they have been assigned to manage.
It is also true that within this machine are embedded a few corrupt and incompetent duds who have no place in the tree of power lest the people's interests be forsaken. The true test of our advancement, however, is when those who make up the faction supporting the machine are able to take what they realize deep down inside and apply it to their public pronouncements for this "dud" to leave. They must go beyond the notion that their "adversary has scored a victory" if they agree to this purge. Increasingly this "adversary" is not a person that spans the party or ideological or racial divide. They are merely a mirror image who resides in a different clique. When we all can accept that a Black man is fully capable of being incompetent/corrupt as a White man is - and that his status as "one of the few faces" does not trump the truth about his performance - a major set forward will be had.
It is within this scope of PROTECTIONISM that the Black community finds itself today. Though it is true that at each rung of government there are some important "firsts" that have yet to be accomplished throughout the nation - some critical points of introspection are being missed as we focus upon machine politics, placing them above the original motivations for our political activism.
There is no excuse for the present performance in certain areas where there are favorable people dominating all aspects of the equation. This points to the need to investigate the flaws in our model of the world, including the variables that have been left out. Instead this provides embedded operatives who care about power - a chance to "try harder", gaining power at the next rung in the name of attrition against their external enemy.
Beyond the RELIGIOUS order and the POLITICAL order discussed above there is a need for a heretofore unnamed force that keeps both of these two domains in check and supporting our community self-development needs. I have labeled it the "Community Cultural Consciousness & Competency Development Domain" but it is left to be seen if others will agree that there is a void and will fill in the missing details as they take this concept and integrate it into their own understanding.