Look at a present-day conversation about “politics” in which many laypeople are discussing solutions to a given dilemma. Some will propose solutions, others will reject them, a few will attack their opponents, a handful will try halfheartedly or unskillfully to make peace, and then there will always be that number who announce their tangentially related opinions for no apparent reason and expect that everyone should care. This last group says, “Well, I’m a liberal and I think this way,” or “As a conservative, I have some opinion on this and I think you should know what it is.” In a conversation, they almost always come near the beginning, where they are ignored, and at the very end, where they effectively stop anyone from thinking about what was being discussed.
When I see this I immediately have two judgments:
- Politics is not a category of discussion but an art, and few should practice it.
- A democracy with universal suffrage must be the political setup most susceptible to fatuousness.