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146. Observing Politics Without Going Crazy

The important thing in observing politics is to maintain objectivity and ability to discuss politics in a disassociated manner. This allows one to evaluate the actions of politicians based on the outcomes rather than one’s opinion of them. Recognizing good politicking is not supporting someone, just acknowledging skill.

Machiavelli was an astute political observer, capable of detesting someone and at the same time recognizing their skill. To be able to succeed, you have to do the same: know where the political winds are blowing, even if you disagree or don’t like where they’re going.

“To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.”

Niccolo Machiavelli

Some principles for observing politics:

  • Know what you believe and why
  • Separate discussions of ideas from people and maneuvers from beliefs
  • Acknowledge what you want to happen and think will happen might not match up
  • Don’t let yourself get too angry or worked up (if you do, take a break)
  • Remember that politics is people and people are fickle

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211. Elitism and Prideful Disdain | A Nasty Story by Fyordor Dostoevsky Conversation of Our Generation

In Dostoevsky's Nasty Story, we follow the dreadful evening of a prideful bureaucrat. The story follows Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky, as he decides to crash his subordinate's wedding reception. His reason for doing so, whether he admits it or not, is his pride. And, that's what I want to discuss today: how elitism leads people to pride and a disdain for "common people." What is Elitism? Basically, elitism is the idea that a group of wealthy, powerful people deserve their wealth and power. Even if the elites are born into it, they still feel deserving. And, if they're deserving, then the common people they look down on did something to be undeserving. So, it turns out to create a sort of social, political, and financial caste system. The problem is, the self-proclaimed elites aren't always deserving of the praise they seek. So, it can go wrong for them. Humbling the Elites In the past, I've reviewed Dostoevsky's work, and discussed the neuroticism of his characters. Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky is no exception. Throughout this story, he has this inner dialogue where he'll be held up as a hero of the people. But, the story doesn't go the way he planned it. In the end, he is humbled terribly and it shows that the higher one holds himself up, the further he can fall. Pralinsky's elitist attitude blinded him from reality just as our elites are today. If you want to read it, you can find it for free here. For more book reviews and discussions like these, check out my library. For more on this, click here for the full episode and show notes to Elitism and Prideful Disdain. Subscribe to my podcast, wherever you listen, here>> — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 211. Elitism and Prideful Disdain | A Nasty Story by Fyordor Dostoevsky
  2. 210. Political Action and the Call to "Do Something"
  3. 209. Breaking the Rules of Philosophy
  4. 208. Failures of Modernity and Rationality
  5. 207. Was Lincoln a Good President?
  6. 206. What Is Distributism?
  7. 205. How to Criticize Government | Two Treatises on Government by John Locke
  8. 204. Defending Property Rights From Government and Big Tech
  9. 203. Why Christianity Is True | Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
  10. 202. Are Online Courses The Key to Education?

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