What Do Political System’s Tell Us About Ourselves?

political thought
A look at the connection between political ideas and the human condition

No state has yet been founded which can be viewed as perfect, without failures or imperfections. This is unsurprising to me and probably is of no surprise to anyone else; there will never be a perfect political system or state, and there are two main reasons for this.

The first is glaringly obvious: we as human beings are imperfect creatures. This is reflected in the forms of governance, the laws and the legislature we have created, which always fall short of pleasing absolutely everyone.

Secondly, we understand that the reason you cannot create a system that satisfies everyone is precisely because we are not all the same, and we don’t all agree on everything. If we were all the same the perfect system would have been created on day one.

So already, with these things in mind, we get a good idea of how political system’s reflect on the human species that make them. But what’s also fascinating is that, in many ways, governments will act like parents to a population.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should look at governments as our parents – we’re adults after all. I’m not talking about us as citizens and individuals here, but about the nation itself, which is like a family that needs a good parent. A parent to guide it, ideally.

The first unit of the nation is the family. What else is the nation other than a vast family – a vast imagined community of very real people. Government is an institution which should serve the nation, not the other way round.

I personally advocate very small government, and think that it should only be there to serve the nation and its people. I think a Minarchist government could act like a parent to a nation, albeit one that allows the nation family a great deal of independence, essentially leaving them to their own devices. What I mean of course, is that the small government should only be there to carry out important functions such as protecting the borders etc.

I’m not a believer in Anarchism, but I imagine an anarchist society would be like a family of children having no parent whatsoever, thus being left entirely to their own devices. (Although it’s likely that the eldest child in the group would take up the mantle of “parent” in some way, thus proving – in my opinion – that society without government will never work; governance, in some form, will always manifest somehow – that’s human nature).

What this all explains also, is why regressive Liberals prefer big government, social welfare expansion and the silencing of free speech; they want to exist in a womb-like environment, closed off from the realities of the big bad world, safe in the stomach of their parent, never to be born into the cold.

And even when they do come out, they’ll be smothered and mollycoddled. Their parent (the government) will be overbearing, never letting them so much as walk three steps on their own, breastfeeding them until their 25.

I think this idea is talked about (brilliantly) in the Pink Floyd song “Mother”, written by Roger Waters. The song talks about this very thing, as exemplified in the lyrics – for instance:

“Hush now, baby, baby, don’t you cry,

Mama’s gonna make all of your nightmares come true,

Mama’s gonna put all of her fears into you,

Mama’s gonna keep you right here under her wing,

She won’t let you fly but she might let you sing,

Mama’s gonna keep baby cozy and warm,

Ooh, babe, ooh, babe, ooh, babe,

Of course Mama’s gonna help build the wall,”