Choose A Pilot

May 1, 2007

I don’t agree on anything you say but I’ll give my life to preserve your right to say it.
That was the spirit of Voltaire talking and that was the most important words humanity ever heard.

In my humble opinion that is.

In Greece, you’ll find a lot of frustrated people that turn their backs at politics as a whole. I think this mindset isn’t much different at a global level. “Politicians suck” is the mantra of far too many citizens under the Sun.

I don’t think it was always like this. (If it was then there would be no politicians in the first place.) So, If I were to take a wild guess of when politicians and politics started to suck, I’d bet some time in the late 80’s. At about the same time that cold war ended and several hot ones were ignited. That was the time of “the end of history” which really meant the end of ideologies which in turn meant that we had a winner which was Capitalism or Neoliberalism if you prefer. Yet, history obviously denied to die and wrote in its notebooks dozens of wars, invasions, the rebirth of terrorism, religious violence and other such. Meanwhile western workers lives started to dance in the rhythm of globalization and productivity. Wages refused to dance along and they kept falling and so did workers’ rights apparently in concordance with civil liberties. National micro economies left back saving habits and indulged in loaning vices which gave birth to countless people who eat, live and breathe the commercial Eden on borrowed money.

In a stealthier way, politics were declared dead too. Politicians themselves aimed and shot by denouncing lost ideals and becoming dry managers. And the way you can’t have fish without water, you can’t have politics without ideologies. Nations are run in much the same way as corporations do, which explains why managers and CEOs are playing politicians and vice versa. At the heart of this mindset there is the winner ideology of the cold war. “Make profit”. Make profit, despite the social or environmental side effects. Privatize everything and make it make profit or otherwise eliminate it. Neoliberalism is there to make states make profit and get them out of the Corporations way. That is what liberalism stands for in the word. Liberate capital of state control. “People have to make it on their own which is sweet revenge for all those vultures which could get an easy living at the expense of hard-working ones” was and is the axis of honest neolibs supporters.

Undead history though kept writing in its notebook that it was mostly those hard-working-their-asses-off people that weren’t getting what they should and it was those vultures again who got all the wealth. Success stories of people that made a fortune out of their honest work are there to confirm the norm. Whether “socialists” or “labors” or outspoken “right-wingers” were in power, those vultures kept winning and hard-working people were just working their asses off. (And let’s leave out of the conversation those developing countries that host the globalised industry. I’m not in the mood of making this a Grand Guignol play.)

And then people turned their backs on politics because it seemed hopeless. Whoever got power did exactly the same. Some are going as far as to denounce democracy itself as the reason of inequality and injustice. Neofascists and extreme right-wingers got a new momentum, threatened only by being assimilated in mainstream political parties that rediscovered the pride of the nation and religious faith and other such. Funny thing that democracy itself is what allowed them to talk it out. “Vultures are being protected by democracy” they say. “It sets them free to suck our blood”.

I can’t but agree on one thing and that is that democracy is a pain in the ass. Another thing also must be pointed out, democracy is the best option among candidates and it’s not what put vultures up there. Democracy is an airplane which flies us passengers. We put the mainstream ideology at the wheel and no plane is responsible for crashing if the pilot flies it on a mountain.

And mountains are closing on us and on the planet.

Choose a pilot and never leave him alone.

Image from here



  1. Exactly, keep a close eye on the pilot. So close that he´ll feel your hot breath in the back of his head. Poke him whenever he falls asleep – remind him unendlessly about his destination and safety procedures, whisper in his ears that he will be replaced instantly if he lets his focus drift and be very, very nervous if he tells you that you´re a good citizen – one of society´s finest. Because if he says just that – it means that YOU are losing it.

  2. 🙂 You’re the nightmare of pilots, aren’t you?

    Liked the image you’ve drawn dear Allan. That’s how things should be.

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