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Politics In Your Head

  • 6 min read

What’s the best way to rule a country?

It’s a question that almost everyone has a different answer to.  And somehow everyone’s answer is superior to all the others 😉

I don’t believe a clear cut answer exists.

While many people choose to support just one side, both left-wing and right-wing movements are necessary to maintain balance in society.  

When the pendulum swings too far to the right, it can lead to ultra-conservative governments, race wars and totalitarian states.  

When the left side gets out of hand, we get violent anarchism, class wars and ehm… also totalitarian states.

If you look at history, the end result and motivations of mass murder by extreme-left and extreme-right government are eerily similar.  But that’s beyond the scope of this post.

I think at any moment the current “imbalances” in society will dictate which political movement is more needed in that moment to let the country prosper.  To further complicate it, different political philosophies may be appropriate for different aspects of a country (economy, defense, health care, etc.).

But who am I to say?  Definitely not a political scientist 😉  So if your blood was already boiling as you were in the middle of a  Facebook comment section, then you can take your chill pill now.  This was just the intro to a post that has little to do with politics 😉

Does Size Matter?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how the big things in life are the same as the little things.  But bigger.  (If that doesn’t sound smart then I don’t know what will.)

• Governing a country is similar to governing a city, but way more complex.

• Leading a community of people is like managing a household/family. But with many people that all have their wants and needs.  So it requires even more competence.  And it will be impossible to always satisfy everyone.

• Keeping a family / household nurtured and happy is like a much more complicated version of keeping yourself nurtured and happy.

If you combine this idea with what I wrote about politics at the start of the post, your brain may already be drawing some patterns.

Can you recognise the right wing in politics as a strong parent?  That maintains order and discipline in the household.  But also provides the necessary protection for the kids so that they can thrive.

Can you see in the left-wing the voice of freedom and care?  That nurtures the kids and encourages them to explore their own personalities.  That gives them the strength to stand for what they believe in.

The voice of freedom is always necessary. Or the strong parent may become and abusive tyrant who damages the kids.  But the discipline and order are just as necessary to prevent the household from descending into chaos, the family from falling apart.  Or the kids from become weak, unfocused and fudging up their own life.

What If the Size Is Really Small (Like Yours)?

Maybe you made the connection already.  But both forces live inside you as well.

Before I realized this, I saw myself as a paradox in many ways.  My daily schedule is built out of discipline, structure, routine and consistency.  At the same time, freedom is one of my highest values.  I’m very curious and exploratory.  I like to flow and carpe the diem.  And I have a strong hedonistic (occasionally gluttonous) side as well.  

Can you see some of those dichotomies in your own personality too?  As if you had multiple personalities that somehow blend into one?

In my case, I could call them a “Hippie” and a “King” that are both equally me.  Feel free to name yours differently.  But I’ll continue with these labels for the sake of convenience.

When your life is out of balance, you may feel these 2 characters “competing” for control of you.

You’ll be working hard all day but will find yourself think “Fudge…  I really need a vacation” all the time. (If you’re thinking “Vacation…  I really need fudge”, then get help.)

Or you’ll be laying low, smoking funny-smelling cigarettes all day.  But there will be that voice in the back of your head sometimes saying “You’re worthless.  Go do something with your life or you’ll never amount to anything!”

By now I’m sure you already know where I’m going with this:  These 2 forces inside of us are the “mini versions” of the right and left in politics.  Just like you need both opposing forces in a country, you need both forces to maintain the balance yourself.

Too much King and not enough Hippie in your life? It leads to you being rigid, inflexible, burned out from work, and judgmental of other people’s weaknesses.

Too much Hippie in your life and not enough king? Now you become lazy, diseased (fat / depressed) and don’t get enough stuff done.

Ruling a country cannot be simple. But everyone seems to think they know better than the people who do it.

In many cases, this is simply a projecting of our suppressed beliefs about ourselves on beliefs about “humanity” or “the population”.  Or we may be projecting our resistance to a necessary unbalanced force in our own lives, on a political party that we then choose to dislike. These beliefs can turn into rigid political opinions and entertaining displays of stupidity on social media.

You may think this is a big leap to take.  But if the little things are the big things and you ask yourself “Which human on earth do I know most intimately?”  Then the answer is (hopefully 😉 ) yourself.  Your beliefs about yourself are the little thing out of which you build the big things by expanding them.

I invite you to take a look at yourself or the situation in your life and ask:

If my mind contained a multitude of sub-personalities that needed to be governed…Which side has too much power in my life right now to still be healthy and balanced? The left or the right? How does it make me feel? How effective am I at running things?  How healthy does my mental, emotional and physical state feel?

What should the next “government of my head” look like? More left? More right? More a mixture of both?  Maybe more of one thing in finances and more of another in health?

After all, to understand and govern yourself effectively will help you be better at anything else in life. Our lives are in constant motion. And different aspects of our humanity may be needed at different times to ensure a happy, balanced lifestyle.

Who knows, maybe allowing yourself to think that way will even increase the “quality” of your political opinions (and thus your vote). 

Unless of course you are more interested in those opinions remaining the same than in considering others and critically evaluating what makes most sense?

Now that would be an interesting observation 😉

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