Category Archives: party politics

No More Political Parties – PROUT for Essential Social Unity

[Prout Globe, November 2016] – The present system of democracy relies on political parties as a means for directing voting processes, representation, etc.

Party politics however only seems to teach us to be quarrelsome, judgemental, divisive, backtracking, tricky, crooked, etc. The party system could be said to act as a bar to natural basic human cooperation.

In fact, the party system generates a class of “political animals”; individuals basking in mudslinging and lazy opportunism. Smart oratory cannot hide the fact that party politics remains divisive and dirty. Party affiliation and party hegemony do not promote basic human integrity.

Then there's the matter of money. Modern politics has become a career path for professional politicians and not a channel for service to society. Also in the same way as money means everything to politicians, it directly affects the outcome of election campaigns. Huge advertising budgets decide the results on Election Day, and those who contribute the most to campaigns can expect to be favoured by the winning political regime.

In contrast to an increasingly discredited political circus, PROUT seeks to promote a political system where people cast their votes for deserving people of integrity – not for the advertisement flashing the party ticket.

In PROUT's political setup individual candidates will have to publish their program in black and white. The successful candidate will be held responsible for their program and will have to resign if found guilty of serious backtracking.

Voters on the other hand will have to qualify to be able to join the electorate. The criteria of voter qualification will vary according to circumstances quite naturally. Everywhere basic literacy will be mandatory, and more advanced electoral educational institutions will evolve where people are ready for it. There will be efforts everywhere for the maximum progress of the electorate so that the entire political system may serve real human needs and not vested interests.

Age is not considered a deciding factor in PROUT's political system. In fact, PROUT calls on the young and conscious to enter the political fray.

A final word on PROUT's political system is that it places economic democracy at the centre of political affairs. Economic democracy, meaning economic rights and right to employment and being able to support oneself, is seen as essential to political processes. Without economic democracy, political democracy becomes meaningless.

Beyond Party Politics

Picture above: Youth protesters on Madrid's Plaza del Sol manifesting against unemployment and corruption among politicians

[Prout Globe, June 2016] – Issue-oriented movements are challenging old-fashioned party politics everywhere. The trend is obvious in Europe where scores of popular movements, such as Italy’s Five Star Movement (currently holding the mayoral post of Rome), Spain’s Podemos, and Greece’s Golden Dawn continue to create news locally, regionally and internationally.

These and many other movements were non-existent only a couple of years ago and they have generated political participation and vision on a scale not seen in the West since the 1960s. At the time of writing such new movements hold 1,329 governmental seats in 25 European countries. Closed borders, low migration and protected trade are usually at the top of their agenda.

Migration

By addressing a single or a few concrete urgent issues, these new movements have been fuelled essentially by the raw passion their main issues awaken among the public. Take for instance the issue of low immigration. Until very recently it was the exclusive province of the far right. Then suddenly out of the blue the whole of UK leaves the EU largely because of it. What happened?

Basically, the EU dogma that nobody can question the right of the labour force of member states to move freely has failed to keep pace with reality. Locals obviously feel increasingly invaded and ultimately cry “halt!” when they feel that large waves of foreigners continue to inundate their shores in search for jobs in an alarmingly tight job market. As the EU principally serves the interest of market forces, even at the cost of people’s interests, it does not take local sentiments sufficiently into account, and hence the disastrous dogma was exposed.

Capitalism

The apparent reasons for Brexit may be many, and immigration is surely at its core. While we expect from human beings that they reach out and help others in need, we may also expect them to call for timeout when policies collide and people feel that immigration jeopardises their living standards.

Moreover, as most human beings enjoy meeting others, preferring new experiences to the boredom of an otherwise repetitious life plus they generally desire to be at peace and not at war, immigration cannot be the sole or fundamental cause of Brexit. On closer scrutiny the ultimate disease in this case appears not to be racism or xenophobia but the servility and submission to capitalism found throughout the professional political class. Put politely, the surreal centralisation of wealth in the hands of a few at the expense of the welfare of the majority, coupled with obvious bureaucracy in Brussels, have made a very powerful argument in favour of local initiative and self-determination.

Capitalism is indeed the cornerstone of the EU with its highly saturated market of free movement of labour, capital, services and goods which cannot safeguard the interests of local people. On the contrary, the present system of capitalists trying to beat other capitalists, will only continue to play into the hands of a diminishing number of successful players. Briefly put, when elephants fight the grass suffers and there will certainly be other “Exit” referenda following that of the UK.

Democracy

In its present hyper-centralising stage, capitalism reduces the number of the prosperous at an exponential rate. The peoples of Europe and indeed everywhere in the world are therefore in urgent need of a new set of rules to live by. Instead of allowing capitalism to continue, we must develop principles and policies that protect the interests of locals everywhere so that nobody feels pressurised to move elsewhere for economic or other materialistic reasons.

Contrary to the response of commercial media and professional politicians, the current uprisings in so many European countries are neither primitive nor populist and do not pose a threat to democracy. Rather, these movements are obvious warning signs to career politicians and grand party structures that have turned into dangers to democracy themselves.

It is wise to move with the times, obviously. Our understanding of what is radical and conservative is changing all the time: radical today, conservative tomorrow. It should not come as a surprise therefore that any new and intriguing movement is radical, and that this label more often than not with time turns out to be a term for “anti-establishment” or change, and not for “undemocratic” or criminal.

Party politicians

Any living organism has its origin from where it derives support and energy to rise and realise its full potential. If the environment no longer allows that organism to thrive it must retreat to those roots, to those radices (roots in Latin) in order to be able to move forward in a new direction.

In fact, traditional political parties, too, once upon a time rose as determined interest groups to challenge a monarch’s tyrannical powers. Those group efforts that lasted then ended up as standard party choices of the present system of parliamentary democracy. In some countries such forces amalgamated into a broad-based two-party system. In many other countries we still find a plethora of particular interest political parties right, left and centre that make for a continuously shifting and often odd mishmash of governments.

Conventional rightist, leftist and centrist bigwigs may well view the new radicals with abhorrence. The new parties may not however aspire to establish itself on top of a traditional right-left spectrum. Instead, they may be moving towards a new dimension beyond the right and left where party politics may be obsolete.

One world

In truth, we all have the same roots. Only some have opportunistically forgotten our common existence as they increasingly seek to feed on the lifeblood of others. The most important idea to emerge in the 20th Century, Ecology, taught us two remarkable truths about our individual and collective reality:

  1. We all exist together in a web of life, and
  2. That web of our common life may be sustained only if we all start paying serious attention to the unique potentiality of every living being – no one is unimportant and superfluous; we can’t anymore afford to ignore the needs and requirement of anyone.

Our world does require a fresh ideology that embraces collective needs and rights as well as the ability of every living being to progress and contribute in its own particular way. 

The time for Prout is approaching fast. We are a single humanity living in one world: Human beings do not want to be divided at heart. So where is the need for party politics – and capitalism, really?

Party Politics

P.R. Sarkar
Party politics is one of the factors which stands, or tries to stand, in the way of human unity. In fact party politics is even more dangerous than disease-causing germs. In party politics all the refined attributes of the human mind, such as simplicity and the spirit of service, slowly but surely get totally destroyed. Party affiliation commands more respect than individual ability; service to self, not service to people, is the main motto; ministerial office, rather than human welfare, is considered superior; and mass deception, political somersaults, etc., are most common phenomena.

Instead of rectifying themselves, politicians want to accomplish everything through their grandiloquence. By identifying the weaknesses in others and by resorting to bombastic language, they incite one section of people against another so that they can usurp the seat of power and cling to it. Human beings will have to remain vigilant against persons of this type.

Politicians want to poke their noses into every aspect of life: social, religious, educational, literary, etc. Under the hypnotic spell of power, politicians remain oblivious of the fact that experience and wisdom in various spheres of life cannot be acquired by merely mouthing high-sounding slogans from public platforms.

Honest and benevolent individuals should carefully steer clear of party politics. The question may arise, In the absence of party politics, will honest individuals succeed on their own in forming governments or in serving the state? Is there any necessity for organized endeavour? In answer to this question I will say that those who are honest, who really want to promote human welfare, and who believe in a world government and the ideals of a blissful, universal family, must possess the spirit of mutual cooperation. They may form themselves into boards exclusively for the purpose of rendering social service collectively (and not for fomenting politics), but it will not be proper for such boards to contest elections.

People should cast their votes for deserving human beings – not for the lamppost holding the party ticket.

To further the interests of the party, party politics may publicly oppose something which is often secretly encouraged. Communalism, provincialism, casteism, etc. – none of these are considered bad for the sake of party interests. The only identity of human beings is that they are humans – living beings. Party politics strives to keep people oblivious of this fact – it tries to pulverize the psychic wealth of human beings under the steamroller of party interests.

From Problems of the Day

Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011

Party Politics is Bad for Us

(May 11, 2010) – Take a look at the snapshot [of Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg and David Cameron]. Do you get a good impression? — Neither do we: Three UK top politicians deeply involved in playing their fundamental game of self-service. The picture indicates that they don’t think much of each other, doesn’t it? A follow-up question would be: What do they actually think about us, about the electorate?

Nothing is only good or bad but party politics come close. The most serious fault of party politics is perhaps that those who rise within the party system do so more by adjusting with internal party dynamics and less as a result of their positive service to society.

The only reason why the efficiency of political parties — measured by their output to public good — has never been measured, is most probably that those who would allocate funds for such research has never conceived of such a thing. In their party-focussed world, political parties do not exist for the good of the public but for the good of their own sweet selves.

A political system governed by party-politicians will always want to exploit opportunities that may favour political parties. We however need politicians who can aid us all in evolving the progressive utilization and rational distribution of our all individual and collective resources. We do not need to be taught on a daily basis how to exploit opportunities.

A better political system, a more expansive and inclusive system, would be individual platform representation. Each elected candidate would be held responsible to their published program so that the electorate may challenge severe inconsistencies and even get a candidate unseated should the betrayal of his or her program be great. Nebulous party dynamics would not stand any chance in such a transparent system.

We should end our support of any political party. By putting an end to the instinctively selfish party-animal we would be able promote the dignity of humane, sensitive politics personified by an enlightened electorate and a more representative and responsible individual candidature. The age of party politics is over. The future belongs to an enlightened humanistic political system. Any focus on party differences is bound to cloud issues of real and genuine interest to human beings.

Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Subash Chandra Bose