The perception of politics and minding the gap

Lumpy Talbot

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Politics has always been about perceptions ever since the earliest days of politics themselves. Like kings, emperors and pharaohs ruling civil administration of the past those who control the levers of democracy understand that the public perception of the ruler is an important thing to nurture, even if you have power over life and death. This ancient rule is based on fear of the one thing that can defeat you. You are but one and the many can overpower you.

The modern nabobs of our era spend a lot of money on perception. It is still important and obeys the historical rule that in order to be successful you do need to avoid pissing off the many at least while becoming popular with the influential. That's the ground floor of all political careers.

Various dynamics through history have swept through but some things underneath are so close to human nature that they are eternal. But to recognise this is also to recognise the need for self-regulation within society which is also a deep part of human nature in the compulsion to form alliances for security in the warmth of the collective.

I wonder firstly whether the most dangerous perceptions in politics and that which has led to great wars is the perception managed by politicians of the outsider. In Foreign Affairs it is useful to propagandise in order to keep the worker bees focused on the work and motivated to do extra. The posters of the perfidious Hun bayonetting nuns somewhere unclarified is one example. The characterising of Russia and China on the international stage in the west for domestic consumption has always been that of potential enemy, a sort of ready-made Mordor.

On another thread the subject came up of perceptions when I raised a question which is not intended to offend anyone but is a genuine curiosity to me- are we right in the west in our perceptions of Russia and China?

Both have very good historical reason to be very wary of the west. They are different peoples of course but they do have a cultural pragmatism that is quite enduring. Both are remarkably stoic peoples having endured great privation and famine in the past beyond levels even we with our recent history could imagine.

Corporately, we are supposed to be trained to be watchful of them. How much of that is manufactured perception from our own nabobs? The west has invaded Russia twice. China has great reason to treat the west with caution after its early experiences with the less salubrious adventurers and pirates we inflicted on their culture. Opium addiction being just one offshoot.

Not so much an invitation to debate, then. More an idle wondering whether others had thoughts in this area. I only have one subjective view to chew over and it might be interesting to invite objectivity by giving others the chance to offer some thoughts.
 


McTell

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//

The characterising of Russia and China on the international stage in the west for domestic consumption has always been that of potential enemy, a sort of ready-made Mordor.

On another thread the subject came up of perceptions when I raised a question which is not intended to offend anyone but is a genuine curiosity to me- are we right in the west in our perceptions of Russia and China?
//

It's good for us if they oppress their clever people.

They are churning out plastic goods, oil and gas, with the creation and trading systems defined long ago by the west.

We are moving to less CO2, and the iphone. China and Russia will not invent the next tech.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Not sure, you know. There is visibly an arms race ongoing with AI and Robotics and of course the quantum computer.

With the first two the field lines up as USA, Russia, Japan, China. Each of those governments are following closely the development of such tech which would grant perhaps an unassailable lead to whichever country cracks the technology best and soonest.

Japan is in there because they have Masayoshi Son, the Softbank billionaire founder pursuing Robotech and AI out of personal fascination and bankrolling research in this area in a serious way.

China have Jack Ma and Alibaba chasing down the same tech, and Alibaba's financial guru Joe Tsai advising on tech sector investments for the 16 Alibaba founding circle out of Silicon Valley and Singapore. Jack Ma is a board member at Softbank.

Not so sure where the Russians are with this tech but I'm pretty certain if they detect the Americans, Chinese and Japanese are interested in the subject they will be as interested as the rest.
 


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