at times like this when I can’t brain

I think about some of the paradoxes in life. Recently someone went to court here and the court ruled in his/their (i am not sure if it was one or many persons) favour that it is to ask for too much to expect that the MCA (member county assembly) should have a degree. But then it occurred to me that it is only in politics that we really don’t care whether our representatives are educated or have anything to offer as long as they can convince us to Q in the sun and cast votes in their favour.

Politics also looks to me to be the best job if you want to live long. There is no mandatory retirement age. The only way to not be in office is to be voted out by a guy more charismatic than yourself, or rich ( can get funding), or can rig the elections in their favour if you live in some of the countries I know where Lenin or was it Stalin who said the most important person is not the person who votes but the person who counts the votes.

But maybe in making laws or in determining how resources are shared, we don’t need the best brains, just anyone can do. And this being the case, we should not complain about bad governance. As Carlin used to say and Brian reminds me all the time, we get the politicians we deserve except where the CIA installs stooges or where the army takes charge like in Mali and Sudan recently claiming the civilian government has failed in their mandates.

In another post on this blog, I did write in agreement with an author (I can’t be bothered to check) that Plato’s Republic with the philosopher king is not democratic. It is elitist and based on the whims of the philosopher. There is no way to check the powers of the king. It does not encourage free inquiry, and unlike the land of the free (The Uneducated States of A) has barriers to progress. One is almost always destined to remain in the state they were born.

But maybe I have got all this politics wrong.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

36 thoughts on “at times like this when I can’t brain

  1. Barry says:

    Mandatory retirement age? That’s prohibited here by law for any job with the exception of judges who have a mandatory retiring age of 70. Otherwise you can continue working as long as you are capable of doing the job. Pressuring an employee to retire because of their age is likely to result in the employer being hauled in front of an employment court judge.

    Political spending is highly regulated here and the maximum a candidate could spend in the 2020 election campaign was NZ$27,500 (approx US$20,000). The maximum a political party could spend was NZ$1,169,000 (Approx US$840,000) plus NZ$27,500 per candidate standing for the party. It kind of puts a dent in opportunities to buy your way into political influence as happens in the US and many other countries.


    • makagutu says:

      Here to judges retire at 70 or 74 I am not sure but the rest of civil servants retire at 60. Retirement age used to be 55


      • Barry says:

        Employers used to be able to set a retirement age, but after changes in anti-discrimination laws (in the 1980s I think) it became illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age as well as gender, ethnicity and religion.


        • makagutu says:

          This is interesting.


          • Judy Thompson says:

            here the mandatory retirement age used to br 65, set in the days of Benjamin Franklin, when 65 was truly aged, and most people were lucky to be alive at that point. It relieved older people from enforced physical labor at a time when they were no longer physically capable of it.
            However, these days many people at 65 are just hitting their stride and have the expertise and skill to continue on for years, yet.

            I don’t know if there still is a mandatory retirement age for workers, but I do know that politicians and lawyers can go on forever.


            • makagutu says:

              I think there should be no mandatory retirement age unless one’s ability to perform has been compromised


              • Ron says:

                In that case, I submit that the current Resident of these Excited States of America ability to perform appears to be severely compromised.

                Let’s Go Brandon!


                • makagutu says:

                  Maybe you should elect Trump :). I hear he is the candidate to beat in the next election. Maybe oldies is the way to go


                  • Ron says:

                    In response, I defer to the sage advice proffered by H L Mencken:

                    “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

                    I submit that moment occurred when America elected George Bush, Jr. — but perhaps it might have occurred earlier.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • makagutu says:

                      I have always liked this quote of Mencken. Elect Bush Jr for the first time could have been considered chance, but the second time, man! He must have represented the soul and feeling of the people


                    • Ron says:

                      It’s unlikely he would have enjoyed two terms absent 9/11 because his approval ratings prior to that event hovered around 50%, spiked to over 90% shortly thereafter and then began a slow decline interrupted only by a short spike upwards to 70% after troops were sent to Iraq in early 2003 and then again after the capture of Saddam Hussein. From then on it became a slow descent into the negatives. Nonetheless, the sitting president usually gets re-elected more often than not, and John Kerry was not exactly a strong challenger.


                    • makagutu says:

                      I think war, or rumours of a war works as a good way to improve rankings.
                      And that your countrymen go gagaga over war regardless of whether the action is justified or not.


  2. jim- says:

    Maybe ineffective governments and bureaucracy is exactly whats saving us?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. renudepride says:

    Politics, in my humble opinion, has always been geared towards all the brainless, clueless and mindless folks who simply don’t know any better. How can we expect a collegiate level education from politicians who are unable to even think before they act? Cool assessment, my Kenyan brother! 😉 Naked hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ron says:

    What kind of degree do you propose a politician possess? Demagoguery? Hypocrisy? Graft and Duplicity?


    • makagutu says:

      Duplicity will cover for the rest I guess


      • Ron says:

        Doctor of Duplicity it is then. At least it’s more credible than Doctor of Divinity — though that ain’t saying much.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jim- says:

          Maybe a better requirement is to work a regular job until they can buy their own house and actually prove first they can do something legitimate.


          • Ron says:

            The problem with politics is that it attracts the wrong kind of people (primarily those who aspire to power and fulfilling their own self-interests, and to a lesser extent, those who subscribe to utopian ideals).

            Conversely, the people who would be most qualified to do the job usually don’t want it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • basenjibrian says:

              I vote for a lottery system. Which would get people who don’t want to do it, of course.

              Heck, I would extend your argument. My “career” is coming to an end, and I never, ever aspired to moving into senior management. I would be awful at managing people and the whole politics things of any office, corporate or (in my case) municipal government didn’t appeal. Plus, work life balance is my mantra. If being the boss met endless weekend and evening meetings where I couldn’t ride my bike or goof off here? No thanks. I am OK with being mediocre. 🙂

              But where I differ from Ron is perhaps in my deeper cynicism. I hae rejected Christianity, but humanity is a somewhat noxious primate. I would agree with the critique of politics and government and all; that. But in a world with seen billion people, independent family based clans doesn’t seem realistic. Every attempt at communes or anarchist towns has collapsed. Where Ron sees freedom I see battling gangs and endemic violence. “Democracy is the worst system of government except for all the others”. We can’t go back. At least until climate crisis crashes civilization and the human population. And even there, Mad Max was a dystopia. In other words: muddle on through. Complaining all the while. Ron’s anarchy is the ultimate, toxic utopia I fear.


    • basenjibrian says:

      Theology. We are assured by the priests that it is GAWD who selects our leaders and to question The Leader is to question Gawd. Or, as one memorable belt buckle stated Gott Mit Uns!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. basenjibrian says:

    Off Topic but fun.

    My favorite semi-fascist Swedish Neofolk band had some interesting lyrics:

    Ordo Equilibrio – Watching Lucifer Wander lyrics Click to play this song!

    So what is so wrongabout lust?

    Isn’t it just natural to acknowledge excitement,

    accept your instincts,

    and truly rejoice in the pleasures of your body and mind?

    So what is so wrong about pride?

    Isn’t it just natural to put oneself above the capability of others,

    and truly cherish ones own accomplishments,

    rather than those of the average and ignorant?

    ‘I stand in the rising of a new dawn,

    watching Lucifer wander through the sweet dew of morning’

    So what is so wrong about envy?

    Isn’t it just natural to sometimes feel envious,

    when realizing that someone else,

    is of greater possession?

    So what is so wrong about greed?

    Isn’t it just natural to seek for further wealth and comfort,

    rather than to satisfy the yearnings of acquisition,

    with the portions already provided?

    So what is so wrong about gluttony?

    Am I not justified and proficient enough,

    to excessively indulge in my individual pleasures,

    and decide for myself that which is best for me and my being?

    So what is so wrong about wrath?

    Am I not entitled to wish for the harm and smite of others,

    especially to those,

    whom are unjust and spiteful to me?

    So what is so wrong about sloth?

    Am I not capable enough to decide for myself,

    when it is time to work, time to play and time to sleep,

    as long as I am willing accept the consequences of my actions?

    I give praise to the seven deadly sins

    And I rather rule in hell,

    than serve in heaven


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