A meme, which has drawn itself to my attention recently, is that politicians – or many of them, at least – have psychopathic tendencies.
In this essay, I’ll seek to make a case that there’s more than a grain of truth in this idea. And that not only do psychopaths seek power, but today’s political systems, including democracy, give them an advantage over non-psychopaths in terms of getting power. With negative consequences for us all.
To ameliorate this problem, I’ll suggest a test, based on the work of psychologist Robert D. Hare, to screen for psychopathic tendencies among those in or seeking positions of power, and politicians in particular. Continue reading
Through this short introduction you will become acquainted with the contemporary, post-Communist Polish political scene. I will not be presenting this in a chronological order of events; rather I will exhibit a more in-depth approach to each party movement individually, presenting their history, achievements, ideals and their relation to other parties and the Polish nation as a whole.
Currently, the Polish political scene is dominated by two major parties, a phenomenon, not too surprising in the western world. The two are called Civic Platform (PO), which has been the ruling party in Poland since 2007, and Law and Justice (PiS), the opposition. These parties did not exist prior to 2000-2001, they have been only in existence for the last 15 years, and both have a similar genesis. They were formed in 2001 out of the ashes of an earlier right-wing coalition of parties raised to combat the post-communist left in the 1997 elections and both of these parties were thought of as being ideologically similar at the time. They went into 2001 general elections separately, but joined forces a year later in local elections as one voting committee – POPiS.
Neil’s Note: Rather than bombard you with a diatribe about why I (and you) shouldn’t vote, I’ll give you my anticipations – before the fact – of how the 2010 election would turn out. I don’t think I was far off. Except, perhaps, that Mr Pryer turned out to be a Mrs.
This time? I have no idea. Except that all the politicians will be dishonest as usual, and that all human beings in the islands I call Brutesville will be even worse oppressed after than we were before. Continue reading
Lew Rockwell said, after the failed paleo alliance in the United States, that the main lesson he learned was to “[n]ever trust a politician to represent, much less speak for, an intellectual movement.” He was referring to the former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. Rothbard and Rockwell had originally supported Buchanan as the only plausible anti-war candidate along with the paleoconservatives, including people like Paul Gottfried. However, during the presidential race, Buchanan began to pontificate on economics, a subject he knew – and still knows – next to nothing about, arguing for tariffs and an expanded welfare state. The paleconservatives were thus given a huge incentive not to learn their economics and instead to fall back on the familiar: the tried and tested policies of import duties to ‘support the workers’ and welfare to ‘support families’.
UPDATE:- I said this the other day, too.
About 12 years ago, or it may be 13, I bet a YEM* person £25 that the Euro, recently issued, would sink to UD$1.00 by that Christmas. It did fall, a bit: my prediction was only wrong in degree – but I lost my bet and ponied up.
Now Peter Oborne thinks the project is at last about to come undone.
* “YEM” was the “Young European Movement”. God knows what’s happened to that.