Democracy and the naked leader

Spinoza

Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.” Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)

I have not done the research on how often politicians break their promises after elections, but it’s looks like it is part of the trade. Promises are often not lined up with reality out of fear that the truth will not be believed, wanted, or wished. These same politicians are in the spirit of the quote from Spinoza, the “interpreters of nature and the gods” and looked upon by the “mob”. All these lofty promises are thus dressed up in certainties, and proclaimed to be rules of nature or the will of god. The product they sell is not that what’s thought to be true but what ought to be true. Because of the nature of their promises it must be sold with deception and trickery.

If a candidate can win with a strong mandate, the people that voted for this person will forgive, if reality shows its face and leaves all the promises forgotten in the corner. If the candidate wins narrowly or must work with others, reality will be blamed on the other or the chest get pumped up one more time to make sure the “wonderment would” not “be taken away” and there will be a stalemate between this “wonderment” and reality.

This is one way you can interpret part of this quote but there is even a more sinister interpretation in it. In today’s (2017) politics we see a tendency to ridicule the opponent and deny excepted science. This practice is off coarse as old as that there are governments formed, but in a modern democracy it is normally done with a bit more class.

“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature”

Times change, but we don’t, as individuals we can be great but as a group we’re still dumb as hell.

 

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