A course I’m doing next year involves a politics module. This, a friend suggested, suited me as I “love politics”. And, well, I saw her point: I have, after all, devoted more time than might be considered sane to its concepts and processes. But the more I think about it, the more I realise that I actually hate politics. Hate its numb formalities and wearying corruption. Hate its crushing limits and delusion excesses. Hate the way that it degrades practitioners and observers alike. Hate it from the cynicism of Parliament to the callousness of international powermongers. I think I’d be a much happier, more interesting person if I’d never read the papers, let alone discovered blogs.
But what creeps me out is that the people we’re ruled by are people who like politics. They’re the kind of people who studied PPE. They’re the kind of people who’d have joined the Oxford Union. And to like politics – the practice of it – I can’t see how one could have grasped the magnitude of suffering that it averts or abets; its record of inadequacy with regards the former and its sensitivity to achieving the latter. Frankly, I want my politicians grim and anxious; with a healthy disgust for the systems they’re complicit in.