Keds, Mirror Shades and Politics
“Politics” as a word was first seen in the sixteenth century. At the time, it meant “science of government.” It has been known as “a person’s political allegiances or opinions” only since the late eighteenth century. Yet a few people want to shoehorn it into actions of the eleventh century…
Micel Folcland is a not-for-profit corporation, and it—and its parent society, Regia Anglorum—cannot espouse any sort of political ideology. This is according to legal stipulations, but I would be loathe for Micel Folcland to adopt any sort of political ideology even without such a stipulation.
This is based on two different situations. The first is an old-fashioned ability to be friends with a person whose political views differ from my own. Yes, believe it or not, political belief, religious belief, almost anything except bigotry and violent acts are irrelevant in my choice and love of friends. I have friends who are liberals, conservatives, libertarians, socialists and even one cute anarchist. Heck, if you have to have the same political philosophy as anyone you might like or love, I certainly would not still be married!
Rather, my fondness depends on such things as whether you can trust a person, whether they speak truthfully and whether when they say they will do something they actually do it. That is more important. And when I regard a person and find this in them, I am much more willing to accept them as friends!
The second situation is that there no real comparison between the politics of an earlier age and today. Even when the eras are closer together, it is difficult to compare current political philosophies with those of another age. Whenever a member of a political party compare the current status of that party with that of a century and a half ago or even 35 years ago, I often find myself shaking my head. There is too much that is different—knowledge, belief, behavior, prejudice and more—to validate such a belief, and when someone quotes someone from the past to validate their current beliefs, I find a great cynicism arise in me. There is simply no relevance in projecting your political thoughts onto a person from the past!
What brings this up is a review of the “Vikings” television series by a writer for a conservative blog. He very knowingly explained how the good guys were the conservatives and the bad guys were the no-good liberals.
I read it and went What the Fudge?
And that was before the responses. That he was so right, that they backed his thoughts completely and that they were happy to see someone telling the truth, I could only go: If anyone in my group were to say this to a MoP at an event, that person would be removed from the ropeline immediaterly. If it was done again after the problems were explained, he would be removed from the group and never allowed again to join. If he did the same thing, but characterized the good guys as liberals or anarchists or even middle of the road, I would have the same reaction and would respond in the same way.
It has nothing to do with political belief. It has to do with respecting the past, with not trying to characterize their actions according to modern political thought. It has to do with not using what has happened in the past to justify current actions and ideology. Perhaps it is unfair, but after someone has tried to maneuver his political thought into the past, I find it hard to take anything he says seriously!