lundi 7 mars 2011

Toward chimpanzee politics

Following the recent election campaign in Estonia, especially the show-like debate between the prime minister candidates (that strongly reminded me of Eurovision and similar contests) I cannot but feel that the theatrical element in politics is already stronger than the rational one. What we often see is ritual performance by rival males (or females playing the role of males) striving to become alpha-males, leaders of the herd. What the onlookers evaluate, is not the practical abilities of the candidates but their histrionic talent. The challenges candidates face in this theatrical combat, are very different from the challenges they will face in real politics, in managing state affairs. The book "Chimpanzee politics" by Frans de Waal tells a lot about our political show-business that is becoming more similar to the struggle for power in primate groups. But after all, we all are primates.

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