Art of politics: a sandcastle?

Sand sculpture (1)

Like a sand sculpture, politics seems to belong to a solid and consolidated structure, under an appearance of strength and confidence. However it could be easily destroyed by the blow of the wind. Crises have been this “wind” that left in evidence the fragility and ineffectiveness of the current political system.

The real “art of politics” comes from a time in which politics plays the role for what was originally created: an exercise of diplomacy at the service of public interests. Nowadays politics has been contaminated by corruption, excessive political marketing and leaders that do not hold the necessary skills to deliver holistic responses and a global vision.

 Politics has meant to be at the service of societies by the exercise of transparent and accountable systems in which citizen engagement represents a pillar on its development. The influence of ideologies in political parties should be in conjunction with that service, and not being dominated by them, as it currently does. In fact, most of the failures in current international processes are directly related to the insistence of setting above ideological fixed models –capitalism, socialism, etc.- on financial, economic or social aspects without a vision of a global context. The result is clear: an overwhelming failure that leads not just to the inability of getting over the crisis, but to a truly loss in resilience. Financial crisis is just an example of how after 8 years its devastating impact is still present.

Now, the influence of ideologies in political parties plays a negative role making ideology-politics a dichotomy. In fact this relationship gets to a historical turning point in which politics needs to give way to fixed ideological political models and work on the basis of joint action towards a common global goal.

 The world has moved in a direction in which ideologies should “walk” through a different path than political systems. In history, societies have been gravitated political ideologies, organizing and designing strategies by putting in action principles in all layers of the political system as a whole. After recent global financial and migration crisis it is clear that globalization removes the roots of the own political system particularly in terms of sovereignty and influence of ideologies. In the past, the link between two countries did not create an impact on the rest of the world, nowadays even if countries keep bilateral agreements the impact of its performance has an international dimension, that it´s so that ideologies must be adapted to the demands of a global political system.

Particularly the financial crisis has shown that seeing solution through a “political lens” is a big mistake that does not deliver effective and fast solutions.

In current times if a government is not able to adjust its ideological principles to a global world its at risk the be more affected by crises, which have also acquired a global dimension. Forecasting new and different crises –e.g. climate change migrants- means new challenges to face and requires new political approaches. A government that gets too much “attached” to a political ideology risks being isolated, under the trap that is defending its national sovereignty.

Governments are representatives and defendants of public interests and even in the case of liberal ideologies that search for a minimum structure that allows more action from the private sector, it cannot leave the responsibility of those crises exclusively to the private sector. This state of crisis has left behind the idea that the private sector could manage actions alone but to perform in a joint action, coordinating efforts towards a common goal. In the case of the financial crisis the need for justice and demand for responsibility shows that the role of the government becomes key for a coherent and universal solution. Crises are part of the world and a general principle that rules any organization, although in present times, the world is truly under threat, in addition there is a threatening forecast of more crises in conjunction with the negative impacts of current crises that still have not found a way out. Climate change is another example that national efforts are important but not enough, as it has been recently shown in COP21, that proves that a joint global effort it is possible even with different profile of leaders and governments with diverse ideological focus. Even that the impact of climate change will worsen in the future and will demand a different approach. It is here that ideologies must be kept aside and continue in a line in which the role of private and public sector do not compete, on the contrary, there are placed together leading on addressing crises.

Facing crisis, political action should be based on economic-financial-social needs and not on ideologies.

 Ideologies in political systems are an added value to defend national sovereignties, however facing a global perspective they become a burden to move forward and must be properly adapted not just to a global context but to a world in crisis.

The role of international leaders is key to address this burden, raising awareness on the fact that adjusting political systems doesn´t mean a betrayal of national interests. On the contrary, it protects them, offering them a stronger and updated position. The resistance to enter in this new road is what represents the real obstacle for becoming truly resilient.

 In the end, politics remain an art in its essence, the art of creation, innovation, in the sense that Edmund Phelps refers: the “art of flourishing”. Not this poisoning mixes of unprepared leaders, political ideology, private interests and an “artificial” institutional system that transformed the “art of politics” on a downward value of “surrealist art”.


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