Monday, November 23, 2015

Philosophy and Politics as Guides to Governance

Building a nation is the series of a million words and choices that lead to the power of the collective. Nietzsche once postulated, our instinctual behavior is to "will", or "will to power", in an attempt to reach the highest position in life.  The state is a collection of wills that seek to work together to create power to raise the position of life for all national citizens. Out of this, philosophy and politics are two guiding forces that help nations maintain their strength.

Philosophy is the perpetual search for truth while politics is the art of influence. A nation has the best chances to move together when philosophy is the guide and politics is the push. Problems arise when politics and philosophy take two different paths that move the focus from the will of the people to the will of the individual. It is a question of raising the station of a nation or to seeking the fancy of a few?

When philosophy and politics work together our nation grows the fastest toward higher and more ideal forms of existence. The art of influence should seek to sell a philosophical idea. Individual needs of personal achievement and success balance with, work with and sometimes against the needs of the state. Too much focus on individual power can result in derailing the development of a country.

Those who question reality and seek truth are just as important as those who seek power. Without questioning there can be no growth as new knowledge doesn't surface. As a law of selection, those nations that do not adjust and change to new forms of existence eventually collapse and fail. Philosophers are the grounding anchor and reality checkers of political will to ensure it moves toward collective advancement.

Socrates said before he was put to death for his opinion, "The unexamined life is not worth living".

He wanted his students to question their lives and question the words and comments accepted as fact in society. Few are able to explore routinely accepted beliefs and come to their own conclusions. Research has supported the notion that most beliefs and opinions are socially derived. In essence, the far majority of society simply adopts and accepts them without much thought.

We therefore run into the danger of politics. It is possible for those who seek political power to put forward a conclusion that supports the needs of the power seeker without any real questioning. Alternative explanations are shunned, unexplored, and often treated by disdain by those who who do not question the logic of the conclusion.The answer that is accepted by everyone is sometimes the one that fails to fulfill the question.

Greater governance is created by those who question "truth" and those who have power to make truth reality. Pushing for the ideal in a way that is political practical creates a long chain of development that leads to stronger nations. The democratic process has succeeded as a governmental form precisely because it offers the best chance at open dialogue and therefore better decision making. Through philosophy we can question, while through politics we can create.


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