Friday, September 19, 2008

Politics as a Subject

What if I try to comment on something in my blog? That something could well be politics. The word doesn't look right. What's wrong with politics? Well, it's supposed to be dirty. It could be also petty, bourgeois, or stupid, depending on one's world view and general frame of mind, but it is almost unanimously proclaimed dirty. So whatever motives could be behind my urge to spill political comment out into this blog, it's bound to make it look dirty for some. In this world blessed with Google, it is also bound to attract less than dispassionate comment from some less than welcome readers.

What is the reason, then, to be commenting on something as thankless as that? One aspect of politics makes it profoundly interesting: it's history in the making. Everything that is now history was politics once. The interesting part is that contemporary observers were almost always wrong at interpreting the meaning of those events. Not just that: immediately after the fact they were mostly wrong at estimating long-term and, sometimes, even short-term, consequences of any historical event. And when an event eventually becomes history, it isn't better either: few historical events have a universally accepted interpretation (which either means that all but one are wrong, or that history and political science are not exact sciences or not sciences at all -- everyone is free to chose his favourite explanation). Furthermore, precedent shows that politics can directly affect lives of millions of people, and emotionally affect even more people. This is the reason that makes it so interesting to try oneself at this game of understanding and predicting, where not so miserable failure would already be a world class result.

The justification is there. So, what do I comment upon? :-)

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