So The Devil Gave Them Nephews

At least back in my day, political science had no point of contact whatever with the biological nature of human beings. It assumed that human beings came into the world as free citizens, and professed itself astonished and disappointed when some of these were found to be doing business with and diverting public monies to their blood relatives. It was as if the discipline had read too much about the individualistic Hellenic city-states and took no cognizance of the lineage-proud polity that had conquered and enslaved them. This was all the stranger when one reflects that the very same professors of political science were quite frequently “of good family” themselves, and if not actual nobles had certainly done their degrees among the sprogs of dynasties claiming to go back centuries, indeed to the mists of the Germanic tribalism that the Hellenes would have so despised. Can this possibly be a sort of “anxiety of influence”? Could political thinkers from the County Families have had such a bad conscience about the networks of nepotism and patronage powering their own careers that they collectively decided to close their eyes to the biological realities underneath all their talk of constitutions, institutions and checks-and-balances, and leave family-based politics entirely to the sociologists of the redbrick universities?

If this is indeed the case, we need not hold our breath waiting for a universal theory of politics based not on formal institutions, nor even on the weasel-worded “interest groups”, from traditional academic quarters. Universal theories there will always be, but none based on genetic strategising. There are simply too many comfortable oxen to be gored.

Posted on August 26, 2011 at 10:59 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: AGAINST NATURE, Against Nature, Miscellaneous

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