Without Rancour And Without Dishonour

“[Gandhi was] as much a benefactor of Britain as of his own country. He made it impossible for us to go on ruling India, but at the same time he made it possible for us to abdicate without rancour and without dishonour.â€? –Arnold Toynbee

A really nonviolent (and therefore really liberal, and really democratic) attitude towards politics would not look very much like what the political entries on this and previous incarnations of my weblog have often looked like. I have definitely engaged in demonization of the people in power who are doing bad things. It’s a difficult thing to state the truth about terrible things that people have done, are doing, or are planning to do, without taking that second step into saying that they are terrible people and turning it into a big “us against them” game. I’ve definitely taken the easy way out, moved from righteous anger to self-righteous hatred. All I can say in my defense is that halfway through my life I’m only barely starting to seriously think about politics, and I am making a beginner’s mistakes.

I’m glad a lot of other people have been in the game, and have done much better than me. I’m going to see if I can do a bit better myself, cutting back on the “rancour” and attempts to inflict “dishonour.”

So as far as politics in the blog goes — I’ll probably still be posting things which outrage or appall me, but I’ll be a lot less likely to interpret them as indications that “Dubya sucks!” or “Rethuglicans are composed of pure evil!” or whatever. It’s not about who’s to blame, it’s about what should be happening and what shouldn’t be. If I post something appalling it will be because people should know about it so they can intelligently object to it, and if there’s something in their power to do about it, do it. Not so that we can see who’s evil and who’s good. We’re all quite evil, and we’re all quite good.