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Guilt And Politics
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Guilt And Politics

To all intents and purposes life is a political process. The politics might not be of the usual kind. That is they might not involve formal elections, ministers or parliaments. However even the dinner table tussles and morning routines of any family, individual or group, is an essentially political process.

Decisions, instruction, rules, regulations and policies are as much a part of the life you or I lead as they are of those of President Obama or Prime Ministers Harper and Cameron. Politics is merely human relations written as one word. We are all Politicians.

This is why I write under the category of Politics; It is perhaps as universal a subject as there is, with even the least interested political mind existing within a political master; the human being. Today I look at Guilt and Politics.

Broadly speaking, guilt arises from the perception that a person has offended by transgressing a boundary. It need not be a crime in the sense that murder is a crime. We can be guilty of walking too close to the edge of a cliff where subtle common sense boundaries are being crossed.

In essence, guilt ranges from mindless sauntering to precision-planned acts of genocide. It stretches from unconscious insensibility to wilful breaking of carved in stone commandments. In other words; guilt is an ocean of teeming variation rather than a singular event.

Our guilt is not something we can control. It is there or it is not there. If we feel guilty we are guilty; even if only in our own boundary-confused mind. If this is true then it is not to guilt that we ought to turn our attentions; but to the perception of transgression. This is where political dynamic kicks in.

Politics is arguably all about the implementation of boundaries; which is why guilt is related to politics. Guilt is effectively the output of a process in which human thoughts and actions are fed into a political machine constructed from transgressable, boundary setting perceptions. Perceive differently; Feel differently.

As I stated earlier; guilt, broadly speaking arises from the perception that a person has offended by transgressing a boundary. Since some of those boundaries are practically unconscious, it is unlikely that you are I will succeed in never transgressing a boundary; leaving us with the political product of guilt; if even at a barely perceptible level.

Now if some boundaries are barely perceptible or even imperceptible there is nothing to be gained by trying to focus upon them. The better focal point is the process in which human thoughts and actions are fed into a political machine constructed from transgressable boundary setting perceptions. We will have addressed guilt when we have addressed the setting of boundaries.

Boundaries are necessary. If every boundary were removed we would wander chaotically-alone rather than socially-together. However the necessity for boundary is no argument for the setting of unnecessary boundaries. Political health is perhaps then auditable by establishing the ratio of unnecessary boundaries to necessary boundaries. Necessary boundaries are not really worth challenging so it is from unnecessary boundaries that I will work.

It is self evident, that if the above is acceptable then the transgressing of unnecessary boundaries results in unnecessary guilt. Unnecessary guilt is, I suggest, a symptom of sick personal and/or social politics, and/or sick internal and/or external politics.

It will not be possible to explore this sickness in depth but let us ask a basic cost/benefit question; What kind of Politician/Person would be impoverished by unnecessary guilt and which enriched?

On first analysis it seems that those feeling unnecessary guilt would be impoverished whilst those not feeling unnecessary guilt would be enriched; or at least free from detriment. This implies that the process of boundary setting in this instance favours the enriched and disfavours the impoverished; that is the unnecessarily guilty. It would be interesting to see who primarily instituted the unnecessary boundary that led to unnecessary guilt however this would only leave us initially sensing that it was one or the other. Further investigation would be required; an investigation whose findings I would welcome a peek at.

Here however, I simply wish to demonstrate that to all intents and purposes life is a political process and since guilt is part of life; it is part of the political machine. We need merely to discover who is better suited to running that machine; which seems to have been going on for millennia. So it seems like an important subject to get interested in. Politics, unlike guilt, is never unnecessary.


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