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Dealing with Politics Never Resolves Personality Issues

Updated on January 19, 2020
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

The Time May Come in Life to Pick Ourselves Up by Bootstraps---for No One Else Will Do It for Us
The Time May Come in Life to Pick Ourselves Up by Bootstraps---for No One Else Will Do It for Us

Equality Doesn't Mean Equal Capabilities

It appears hard to accept as a life truism that we are all of a different innate and acquired capacity to produce success in life. Whether it's a lack of an effort or a lack in our natural aptitude, we can't expect from our governments to do for us what we can't or won't do for ourselves. And this is about to become the theme of everything that follows.

In my relatively long life I have been a part of two distinct national mentalities. One was characterized by a certain suppression of freedoms and identity, and the other by too much freedom to handle. I could symbolize them as one restricted and one spoiled kid.

For their own respective reasons both types of societies seemed to breed a lot of emotionally unstable folks who somehow mixed up their national collective identity with an "equally guaranteed" personal success in life.

Just like a less promising kid is bound to accuse his parents of something like "favoritism" towards his more naturally gifted sibling -- some of us tend to find so many things being wrong about our governments who seem to cater to a certain group of more succeeding folks.

In the paragraphs that follow, allow me to present both of those announced national mentalities, with the purpose of showing how neither of the extremes -- when it's about opportunities and civil freedoms -- can result with satisfying that certain part of the populace which insist upon placing responsibility for their life into some other hands.

Uniformity Parading as Equality
Uniformity Parading as Equality

Dissatisfaction Communism-Style

If my memory is serving me right, it was the Greek philosopher Plato who said: "Whatever belongs to everybody -- is not appreciated by anybody". It might as well be a good short description of a communist political arrangement -- and I should know, because I was born into one, and spent my first 24 years sharing that type of collective reality. (Not Russia, for those of you whose eyes got stuck at my first name shared with the Russian president).

For a typical illustration of the way how business was run -- you would walk into a store to be instantly ignored, with no one rushing with a smile to ask you: "Can I help you?" Plato would say: "Why bother, the store is not private, and the government is guaranteeing their job whether they try hard or not".

Well, that would describe the general attitude. So, where was the money coming from to cover for that laziness? Thanks to the country's exceptionally important strategic location, the West Block was probably very generous to keep the dictator away from the political influences of the East Block -- so people were surviving on those political donations.

Not that we had no industry, tourism, natural resources -- but all that was in the wrong hands. Or, why am I saying "wrong"?

For, we had free medical services, free university education, one month paid vacation after a year of employment, and if my crap as much as got stuck somewhere a little, I could have a lengthy paid medical absence from work. Little anxieties and depressions and frequent hangovers seemed to be valid reasons to miss work. Why not -- for, no one really fussed if you even showed up on your job smelling on alcohol.

Was everybody happy with that arrangement?


Those movies about the western style of life, riches, private property, capitalism --made everyone dream about the end of communism.

Now, fast forward a few decades, and all that was gone, with people getting that opportunity to fulfill their national dream. The dictator died, people voted for that long-dreamed-about democracy and capitalism.

Were they happy now?


Crap on a cracker!!! Now they had to work hard to keep their jobs. Something like university tuition happened to them. Lobbyism and corruption happened. Misery happened. With a deep sigh many started reminiscing about "those good old times when no one had much, but dreams were so free".

So Much to Protest About---So Little to Achieve
So Much to Protest About---So Little to Achieve

Dissatisfaction Western-Style

I hope it won't come as a surprise to anybody if I say that people are basically the same in any kind of political arrangement. Some prosper, some don't. Those who don't can't be pleased no matter what government you give them.

After coming to the "free, democratic West", the only difference I saw was the opportunity of those unhappy folks to vent it out publicly -- which was not allowed in the "old country". Otherwise, governments did what they wanted -- East and West --with little to be changed by those who didn't like it.

But these folks could demonstrate, protest, get organized into all sorts of "Losers United" versions. And then there were slogans -- some of which heavily reminding of those from the communist repertoire, about "common good", about freedom, and fairness, and the rest of that pissed-off blah-blah-blah.

Contrary to your possible impressions, I am not hitting on the current American political divide -- at least not exclusively. We could talk about political situations in the U.K., Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany...any country where there are people who regularly find so many bad things to say about their leaders, while no politics is good enough for them.

You see, in a strictly psychological sense, certain kind of people tend to exteriorize their inner drama of dissatisfaction with themselves and their lives, projecting it outwards onto authority figures, like parents, bosses, doctors, and governments.

When they run out of those earthly authorities to blame for their misfortune, they stretch it over to those celestial ones -- now blaming "evil forces", "bad luck", "wrong horoscope sign they were born under"... that stuff.

But, since they can't protest against something they don't see, governments come as the most convenient target. It's really a soap opera collective style, in which some unaccomplished or just pissed-off people join their voices to cry on the shoulder of an "unjust father who is catering to his favorite -- more successful kids".

Freedom Is So Sweet---Whatever It Means
Freedom Is So Sweet---Whatever It Means

"Freedom" and Its Many Meanings

Something so relevant to that first story about communism can be found in the phenomenon here in the West where some whole families, generation after generation are enjoying welfare and other free social services. They spend their life bitching against governments that don't provide jobs.

Then may come another kind of administration which puts a big emphasis on job creation -- and what happens now, what do you think? Agonizing over the possibility that they would have to start working for their livelihood -- those same folks are bitching again against such a new government, inventing all kinds of arguments, some being ridiculous.

On the other hand, governments don't really mind such folks demonstrating, screaming, even looting. Every government has a department which monitors the mood of the public and whose job it is to manipulate that mood through the media and advertisement about their "care for people".

In the ancient Rome, there was a saying which depicted the rulers' strategy of such manipulation, which in their original Latin simply said: "Panem et circenses" --freely translated meaning: "Give the people bread and games, and they will be happy".

In our modern times, beside the ample opportunity to discharge that accumulated emotional negativity by yelling at sports events, we are allowed to protest and publicly scream out our personal frustrations and dissatisfactions with ourselves and our lives.

So we want new and new freedoms, while not realizing that we are keeping ourselves in the slavery of our own minds, and no one can liberate us from that. Freedom is a tricky word, politically very changeable.

In a communist regime, people celebrate "freedom from imperialistic exploitation by the rich".

In democracy we celebrate our "freedom to speak out, and scream out, and insult, if we feel like it".

In theocratic societies they cheer about their "freedom from the lust and all other forms of sinfulness observed in infidel societies".

Personally, I celebrate my "freedom from suggestive influences from the collective consciousness", and my personal sovereignty.

As people cry for a "freedom", they remain blind to their own depriving themselves from the basic freedom -- to use their own mind, to mobilize that best in themselves, and to invest it into the only life over which they have some control -- their own.

If a Life Theme Can't Be Played on a Guitar---It's Not Worth Thinking About
If a Life Theme Can't Be Played on a Guitar---It's Not Worth Thinking About

Beyond Our Control

Thus, it stands to reason that whatever we want "more" from our authorities --wouldn't make us happy, healthy, accomplished human beings, even if they gave it to us on a silver platter.

As a teenager I was a happy combination of a bookworm with an enormous intellectual appetite -- which I still haven't satisfied fully, and never will -- a young horny bastard loving life, my singing and my guitar, my drifting around the country, camping, my yoga and humor. Politics was never on my mental menu. And it still isn't into these days -- except as a form of entertainment, and a mocking stock.

Indeed, I honestly couldn't care less who is running the country. And I don't see what I could possibly do to "make different persons" of a Russian or Chinese president, a dictator of North Korea, an American president, or anyone else in that big game.

I also don't see, what gets accomplished by this breed of unhappy folks who seem to be thriving on things over which they have absolutely no control. I wish even one of them could tell me what they personally have done which produced a substantial change in the political arena. "Letting others know how they feel" wouldn't count.

Indeed, folks, freedom only feels good when we give it to ourselves -- everything else is a slavery in a disguise, with ourselves being both, slaves and slave-runners.


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    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      3 years ago from California

      It is all about human nature--every art form--every desire--every action--I am fascinated by the stories that go untold

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Audrey---Thanks for reading my hub and for finding it interesting. I read your Profile, and I see, you really do return visits.

      That little note that you left about "betting that we could have some interesting discussions"---would it be about our Slavic ethnical background? Or, maybe about my liking certain gentle type of classical music, like nocturnes, concertos, largos...that suit well my meditative nature? Now, since I am not into law and I only fancy to have an ear for poetry---the only thing left for "our discussions" ---from your obviously rich repertoire--- would be human nature. So, which one would it be?

      In any case---about your Profile---quite impressive.

      Now, if except for returning a visit you also return compliments, read my Profile and pick something to like there, LOL. Don't mind my sense of humor, Audrey, I will never stop being a European, and humor is my second passion after Chopin.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      3 years ago from California

      Interesting article--I can't help but think about the political climate here in the U.S. right now--I am the first child born here of Russian emigrees who managed to get here after WW2--I bet you and I would have interesting discussions!

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      MsDora---There is no shade in the depth of your soul, as it always meets the rays of sunshine with every of your comments. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I think I understand the situation in the two kinds of societies and I think I also understand your preferred kind of freedom. Your insights always ask for people to think and decide (even if indirectly). I like that.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      jgshorebird---I see where you are coming from. Some folks also find some fun in their masochistic self-tormenting. After a while it turns into a dark addiction, and they feed on negativisms.

      You might have missed much of my message here. I was not "bitching about bitching", just stating a fact which is quite obvious, since people are barking at the moon not accomplishing anything---while calling it a "pursuit of a better life".

      However, you certainly have your own definition of "mysticism", while your realism has a lot to do with deriving some fun from an abstract, illusory pursuit.

      Well, to each their own.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Good hub, but a bit too fatalistic to me. You are "bitching" that people "bitch." Some of us want a better world, even if we can only light that one candle. That's enjoyable for us.

      Sure, we can just take it and follow orders, but what fun is that?

      On the other hand, I did like your hub this time, as it did not stray into the land of mysticism as much as usual. It stuck to the gut, mostly.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Dana---Before I retired I generally worked in an industrial environment; so now I still remember the incidence when I pissed my foreman by calmly saying: "If you tell me to take a sledge hammer and break all windows---I'll do it without asking why".

      He was a kind of shocked: "Why wouldn't you question such a strange order?"

      I said: "First because that's what I learned in my army service about obedience; and second, because you get paid for thinking, I get paid for doing whatever you ask me to do. I won't do your thinking for you".

      That kind of pragmatic attitude is still making my life simple. I don't like complicating it. I need my nervous energy for my own positive mental projects, for creating my happiness, nurturing solid relationships, and challenges of my own personal evolution.

      I won't bother myself with what is the "right" job of a politician, a leader, a legislator. Those folks get paid to do a job, and like all other humans, they are entitled to their share of mistakes and stupidity.

      I remember a company where our locker room was a constant arena of discussions pertaining to union issues. People leaving their machines to gather there and bitch against the management.

      I never participated. Again, being a pragmatic dude, I came to my job to do what I got paid to do, and that didn't include wasting my precious nerves on that crap. I focused on my job and I did it as best as I could. I was appreciated for that, and that felt good. I didn't go there to socialize, I had my friends for that purpose. Quality matters.

      Likewise, I am a law abiding citizen, never got a speeding ticket, so, I don't know "what my rights are to fight a speeding ticket". I don't really care.

      You see, my philosophy is that I did not participate in the creation of the world's stupidity, so I don't feel responsible to clean that mess. Nobody ever asks me for opinion before they start a war. I can't revive those killed, I can't stop soldiers from killing, I can't tell politicians to reverse that order for attack, or those greedy billionaires to stop twisting the leaders' arms into starting a war for their interests of money and global influence.

      In other words---I don't give a rat's ass what new stupidity people may come up with, how much longer they are going to trumpet about racism, abortion, Russians. It's not up to me to decide when America should stop creating enemies with their presence in the Middle East---or what Russians are doing in Ukraine---like the rest of the human soap opera. I find it mostly entertaining.

      I love people, but that love doesn't obligate me to sacrifice my peace of mind for games that I didn't start.

      So, maybe somewhere here lies the formula for "happiness", Dana. Minding my own business---since I got something like "my own business".

      Now, PLEASE, don't take me wrong. I am not normative, and I don't prescribe formulas for a happier living---I just share my own views. So I don't have a clue what makes other folks happy---I just have a pretty good idea what makes them pissed-off, and that, basically is what my hub was about.

      I greatly appreciate your very smart comment, Dana, my friend. I just love getting these intelligent comments!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      3 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      "Happy" is a strong word. I'm not saying that people cannot be happy, just, what most people feel will make them "happy" won't. I began to understand this when I went from minimum wage jobs to high paying jobs and realized that inflation got higher and my spending habits became more elaborate to keep up with my new social circle and the only thing I really got was more money to pay off higher debts.

      Then, I realized it was kind of silly to get angry behind politics when the people who are in a position to make laws will create them based on how they think not on how I think. The best I can do is choose the one whose way of thinking is similar to mine.

      For people who were obviously created to be independent thinkers' why do we allow other people to make us feel that our way of thinking is wrong if it does not coincide with the way they, or even society thinks. Isn't our independent way of thinking shows how unique we are in our own design; the same, yet, different.

      Why do we cry about corruption when we really have the power not to tolerate it. I think our brains would be better wasted on trying to understand why we allow people to control us when they only have power because we gave it to them and let's be really honest the world is corrupt because we tolerate it.

      Is it just me or do others' think it's wrong that people who are inheritors of the land on earth because they were born in it are told they can't do this or do that? Shouldn't a homeless person be able to pitch his tent on any vacant land and if anyone says "who gave you the right- shouldn't they say" I was given the right when I was born on this earth, technically isn't this my home?"

      I think maybe its easier for some people to allow others to govern them because at the end of the day they have someone to blame when things go wrong. It's easier to (my favorite words from the movie Scarface) point your finger and say "There goes the bad guy!"

      This is why I don't argue about politics or religion. I understand I have my own way of thinking and so do others and we all have the right to think anyway we want. We all complain but truthfully if its not backed up by any kind of action, meaning, taken beyond complaining its useless.

      This was a thought-provoking and intellectual read. I love it. It really challenged me this morning.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Paula, my friend,

      You echoed my hub so well that I am beginning to wonder if in one of our previous lives we used to sing as a duo some beautiful, highly spirited music together.

      And, even if I succeeded to burry my ego in all those zen, and transcendental, and qigong meditations---your praise would have resurrected it from its death---so what can I say but be loyal to the simplicity of my hub and just say: Thank you my friend.

      Indeed, it's for friends like you that I keep imagining that I really have something to contribute to others' lives with my spontaneous smart-ass yapping on this web.

      You are one sweet and smart lady, Paula Jay. And you don't have to thank me this time, because I am planning to say it again at least a few times.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from UpstateWestern,New York

      Val.....This is, by far, your very best work. It is enormously profound because it is so simple and true. Every single word speaks volumes of reality and common sense~~from a sharp mind, a healthy psyche and a loving heart.

      Your message left me feeling so validated and unburdened, I read it through a second time, hoping to retain some thoughts to memory. I have often found myself so baffled and exasperated, wondering, "How can everyone Not SEE the obvious~~the crystal clear~~the literal writings on the wall?" Why such insistence to complicate what is as simple as our ABC-s?? How many men does it take and how many times to compete for the chance to "fix" what may or may not be broken? or worse, what may have been fine for 50% but not for the other let's see now....We change it for them all to switch sides? Yes, of course, this is what is known as it not?

      And our government...those average men and women wearing masks of politicians, they're so adept at leading the pack of rabid creatures. They all have a special magic hat, complete with a rabbit and a Wonder Wand they wave to fix all our problems....Whoosh! Voile! Just like that, now we're perfect, right? No, hardly. Not now, nor ever. Not until we learn to know ourselves and govern our own lives and use the brains we came equipped with on day one.

      When we come to the transparent realization there is no magic and there are no secrets and most of all....that no man can do for another as a man can do for himself....well, my friend Val, I can stop preaching to the choir, because we both know the same song. Good to hear from you again. You stay in my thoughts and I wish you well. Peace, Paula

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      MizBejabbers---From every life-school we come out a little smarter. I certainly can't say I have graduated at mine. Well, I sort of like it that way. They say "It's in man's nature to conquer, not to possess". Just wondering what's the next I'll learn makes me feel good. At this age maybe I keep forgetting what I have learned anyway, LOL, so even re-learning feels good.

      I am simply glad that my convictions about politics stick to me. There is no chance that I would ever develop an interest in it, or take it seriously. Watching the news after "The Big Bang Theory" won't make me stop laughing.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      3 years ago from Beautiful South

      Vlad, I think it's just human nature to bitch about life no matter what society you live in. To answer your question at the bottom of the article, I've spent the last 28 years working in the background turning chaos into organization that our politicians can use to wreak more havoc (so shoot me!). My definition of politics and government is "legalized mob rule." It doesn't matter if they are welfare recipients or the POTUS, as they say, "opinions are like (fill in the blank), everybody's got one."


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