Political Conscientiousness: Does it Matter?


Neurasthenia is the word that best describes the political process in today’s Georgia - just listen to the most watchable local TV stations, read a couple of the most readable newspapers and lend an ear to the most famous politicians and political analysts! I have gone through hundreds of quotes on politics to put together some of the most attractive utterances in one train of thought: “truth is rarely a politician's objective and politics is a disgrace, it is ugly and never perfect: in politics stupidity is not a handicap, it is only a bunch of people with self-interest, politics is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia; where there is politics, there is no morality; politics is crime and gambling, and it is not the task of a Christian”.

Isn’t this something! Theoreticians talk about political morality, putting forward a vital question about our ability to do good for others rather than cutting through fragile human hearts and minds with filthy ideological intentions in order to achieve prominence in the political realm. If our politicians, some of them with dirty hands, especially those who are fiercely fighting for power, exercised elevated political ethics, their actions and ideals would be more likely to give a helpful hand to their compatriots than harm and hurt them permanently without remorse. Instead, the infamous Machiavellian dogma about the ends justifying the means persists in our political reality without any moral curb. If this is not true, why then is the main claim of our people to be granted an improved lifestyle not being taken seriously? Why then is the public argument about politics and law ignored? Why then are the politicians not revising their morally wrong ways of making politics?

It is next to impossible to become well-versed in the modernized alchemy of current political dealings, within the framework of which the power-hungry political combatants pursue their prey like hungry wolves, using the available tools of political mendacity and atrocious hate-speak. The hysterical political endeavor to guarantee survival in the badly-tainted political field is clear and present, where the essential element of the process is merely a fervor to overwhelm the opponent. Conscientiousness is very far from the ethics of this process.

Philosophically speaking, justice in general carries certain global features that have to be reflected in the national understanding of political morality, but shortage of time and lack of desire to tune political action on commonly accepted human ideals is not the issue of the day. Caution and delicacy, compassion and consideration, neatness and wariness are not the most valuable commodities in our political market; just the contrary: muscle and stringency, vigor and severity, force and might are the features of character that sell best. Forget the turn-the-other-cheek attitude! In our political arena, everything personal becomes political, and vice versa: everything political becomes personal. If necessity dictates evil behavior to acquire and maintain authority, the average Georgian politician will not feel terribly fastidious about holding up the pressing inevitability, justifying the move by his or her policy concerns, and skillfully applying the adage that politicians “must sometimes do wrong to do right.”

The innocent citizens, the witnesses and victims of those political garbles, do not have much at their disposal to make reasonable steps towards neutralizing the viral political immorality. Imagining that we are living in a democracy, we can hold the actors of the political scene responsible, but only verbally, which is not enough of a measure. Think about this: it is often not possible to tell who is actually responsible for the ugly political outcome because the actors are many and the hands are confused, so using the lessons of political ethics will not make any sense here because it is not about morality but about power. I will never accept the argument that politics and ethics have no connection, because politicians have a huge influence on our lives and, therefore, their behavior has to be based on political conscientiousness, using a package of values which has enough potency to erase the strain between ethics and politics.

By Nugzar B. Ruhadze

Image source: cpsblog.isr.umich.edu

25 April 2019 22:23