Apropos of Nothing


I just had a thought and no where to put it. Forgive me if this ain't the most appropriate place. Here's the thought:

Everything is reducible to politics. Even metaphysics. I know, this already seems obnoxious. But just give me a minute. Why does it matter whether I think the answer to life, the universe and everything is best described by the Tao Te Ching, Bible, Qur'an, Bhagavad Bita, qumran scrolls, Kant, Hegel, Quine, al-Wahhab, Ken Wilber, Stephen Hawking, or Douglas Adams? It matters because it effects my behavior. We all ultimately want other people to do what we want them to do. At the risk of employing Geddy-Lee-esque philosophy, even if all you want is for others to leave you alone, you're still making a political statement. Every question is, at bottom, a question of power. Everything is political.

Poke holes. There is a second thought that is pursuant to this first thought, so I wonder if it stands up to scrutiny. What is human that is apolitical? I have what seem to me solid arguments to respond to anything I've been able to put up to this question. I'm sure y'all can do better.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! (with apologies to athiests, Jews (except those of the Jews for Jesus stripe), Buddhists, Shintoists, Zoroastrians, members of the Temple of Set, Scientologists, Hindus, Cathars, practitioners of Santaria, Satanists, members of the Society of Thule, Jedis, Sikhs, Baha'is, Confucianists, Animists, Jains, Bene Gesserit, Juche, Rastafarians, Discordians, Thelemists, Taoists, Caodaiists, Subgenii, Cheondoists, Yazdânists, Masai, Zulu, Manichaeists, Feminists, the professoriat of Columbia University, Mitch Furman or anyone else who might want one.)


At 1/2/08 10:22 AM, Blogger bendango said...

Allow me (reluctantly) to muddy the waters with a request for your definition of 'political'.

My initial feeling is that, no, Everything (big "e", intended) is not political. Relatively, everything might be political.

At 1/3/08 11:03 AM, Blogger tokyocrunch said...

The argument *is* the definition, isn't it? And no doubt our accomplished debater will successfully stretch that definition until it resembles the thin lines of mucous that thread my mustache whiskers during flu season.

Tap out.

At 1/3/08 11:52 AM, Blogger bendango said...

...which is what I originally thought, too. But, it seems there's a little wiggle room in what is (could be) political.

How am I political with myself? How do I make myself do what I want to do?

Are innate behaviors/qualities political? How are waking, eating, sleeping, etc. political acts?

At 1/11/08 1:01 PM, Blogger Malaclypse the Tertiary said...

By politics, I mean power. I mean the power to influence and even compel behavior.

At 1/11/08 1:06 PM, Blogger Malaclypse the Tertiary said...

Why the hell is the blockquote tag not allowed? Fucking blogger.

Anyway. Ben, you said, "Are innate behaviors/qualities political? How are waking, eating, sleeping, etc. political acts?"

How are they not? You are imposing your will upon the food you eat. Isn't this the impetus for the existence of PETA? In order to sleep you must find a place to do so, yes? Where you decide to do sleep is a political question. Try sleeping on the White House lawn to demonstrate my point. Your mere existence imposes upon the world around you. You're breathing shared air. You're extending into shared space.


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