Why is politics so divisive?

I have no actual answer if that’s what your looking for, again my own perspective…

But since the Brexit vote, it’s been a constant source of tension because it fundamentally broke the idea of what it meant to be British in a manor that brought so much tension, broke relations and fractured many businesses. There are many people who voted for it, believing that it would never happen. There are others who didn’t vote, or just voted to remain as they liked the status quo. There have been many people changing their minds as the reality has set in. The UK is now being treated as a third party supplier within the EU. Sadly all the rules and regulations that are now impacting businesses, especially SMB’s were ones that the UK helped to create when it was a key part of Europe in terms of economic trading.

It’s a simple notion, and thus I’ve been left confounded by the shock that people have had when rules that the UK helped establish in most cases, are applied to us here in the UK now that we are outside the block. It’s a team mentality. You want your own team to do well, valuing each member, so you can gain advantage over competitors. It’s as basic as that. I rarely go for such simplistic reasoning, such binary views, but when it comes to business, everyone is looking for that competitive edge, that advantage to thrive. Taking football as an example, I’m BHAFC (Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club) all the way, however, I used to always support Arsenal as my premier league team (yes now I have very mixed feelings- especially when they play against each other)! Thus I have always wanted Tottenham Hot Spurs to lose. I don’t like when Chelsea, Man-U or any of the other teams do well, because in this case, in this competition, I want my precious teams to succeed. There are always differences between the team that lead them to their success such as investment, managers, transfers, etc, but skill is fundamentally key. You want your team to be equipped with every opportunity to succeed. You want your team to have as many advantages as possible in order for them to be at the top of their game. Why are sports people paid so much more than most other professions? It’s to do with their reach and impact. When you need the best team possible to win all trophies, you want them focussed. The money means that they have no other worries or concern; or more importantly, no excuse to not be the amazing sports player the club needs- they are paid as a promise to fulfil their full athletic potential, and in doing so bring joy to millions of people!

Sports encourages us to be competitive, to want to win and make sure we have the best. It pushes us to our full potential (not me, those who are actually sporty, but for this lets pretend we’re all sporty) physically which is beautiful to behold. Regardless of your opinion on any sport, you will admire the athlete for the dedication, their strength, resolve and mindset. Football is a beautiful team sport, and that’s the point I’m making. In world politics and business, everything can be broken down to teams or trading blocks. The UK was in one of the strongest trading blocks, and now we are the outsiders. Its like Arsenal & Man United playing against each other, but one of the teams are all barefoot and the sun is shining in their eyes regardless of halftime position change. Yes, it’s a game, but it’s heavily one sided. That doesn’t mean that the no-shoe team wont win, it’s just that they have to work harder and gain new skills in order to effectively compete. That is the way of the world for many people. Having to level up, re-skill in order to thrive. Perhaps that is what nature intended. There was always going to be teething problems with Brexit, but it gets to the root of the problem- weeding out the weak, the incapable and leaving the survivors, the alphas etc (btw- the Alpha study that is so widely quoted is inaccurate and has never represented animal packs- but thats another story).

If you weren’t aware before, I have a copy of Mien Kampf by Hitler. I stole it from my friend who I like to call a racist, they also call me a racist and the insults then grew to the point we are trying to outdo each other on the offensive scale. This is the joy of open communication, of being human, in that you can learn from each other and have fun. I love them dearly and its reciprocated. I hate everything about their political beliefs. They are right leaning whilst I’m left. We had common ground before because fundamentally we wanted better for everyone and everything. So has that changed? Why does me having Hitlers’ book add to this conversation you may wonder…or not…Gonna tell you anyway!

Fundamentally, people are basic, they are animals and they want to rule the world. Thus the other perspective is that everything is a ZERO SUM GAME. In order to win another has to lose. That is the way of the world. That is how everything works because it’s a matter of tipping the scales so you don’t fail. It’s as simple as this. You either win or fail. You can chose if that’s going to be longterm or short-term. Either way, life is about winning or losing. It’s about making sure that your team are the ones who have the the shoes and equipment because it provides you the needed advantage. What Mien Kampf taught me was this other perspective. That all resources are limited and thus you need to get the most in order to ensure your own family survives. Regardless of the sweet and to some extent honest perspective of those of us who have grown up with left wing hippy family members, the reality is still the same. We as people have favourites. We as people have others who are more precious to us and that we want the best for. People that we would do anything to ensure their survival, health and happiness. You want to protect and provide the best possible life for your loved ones. That is fundamentally true.

So what do we do as a nation divided? When one side sees everything as a profit vs loss ledger, whilst the others see it as a matter of finding a middle ground? One side believes that winning at any cost is the most important aspect. The other side believes that compromise is the key. The first side sees that all resources are finite, and in such cases you want to hoard for you and your loved ones’ benefit. The second side sees that resources are finite too, but there are all the resources needed to make sure that everyone thrives if they fundamentally shared everything. Does it have to be one or the other? Is it a matter of the meat eater vs vegan?

Looking at the zero sum aspect, just as I used team sport as example, I’m now moving onto another sporting analogy- that of fishing. As with all sports it requires skill, exertion and patience as you learn how to do better. A good catch for the fisher is a bad day for the fish. Anyone who isn’t vegan must admit to themselves that the joy they experience from eating meat and other animal derived products, is sadly at the expense of another sentient being. Sorry for the loss of your life little salmon, but I really enjoyed my eggs royal! You died so I could not only live, but enjoy food at your (salmon’s) expense. Each cake, egg, omelette, jelly bean (gelatine), steak, soup etc that you have enjoyed has been at the expense of an animal, whether you like it or not. Your milk in your tea or coffee was at the expense of the cow or goat. Even if it’s non-animal derived, the cost to the environment alone within the supply chain has most likely had a negative impact. Therefore, in a binary world where you either end up on top or struggle, you want to be at the top. In a life and death, win or lose scenario, you want to be the victor. Life is harsh. Life is hard. Survival of the fittest is the only way forward because there is, such as in this case, a natural hierarchy. There is a food chain and no one wants the be the fish when they could be the fisherwoman/fisherman! I would rather be the person eating the fish than be eaten by the fish! That is the play that’s found constantly in life. Predators vs pray. Why would you listen to the struggling pray you’re about to eat, especially since they’ll do anything to save their lives.

There you have my simple understanding of the different left vs right within politics. If I’m honest, I can see both sides of the coin. Yes, life is a team sport and thus you have to work together to succeed. However, it’s also individualistic because whatever you grow or catch can’t feed the world. So how does one progress?

What are the best steps to take moving forward? Dose it matter anyway since we are bombarded with information that we are also in a climate crisis as well as political one. No longer can it be a matter of just the UK in disarray, but we are at odds with each other on a global scale. We’ve moved on from being the fish or the fisherperon. We are now back onto a team game- the team with the good shoes, equipment vs those playing barefoot and blind. In a zero sum game, you look at the most ruthless players to align yourself with because they are the ones that can potentially keep you alive. We can all admit that we always want the advantage. We want the equipment, the leadership, the winning spirit. We want to win! Everyone wants success. EVERYONE WANTS SUCCESS! That is something we can all agree on.

There’s a hierarchy of needs (hey Maslow) which as people we need to fulfil. Regardless of the climate crisis, everyone agrees that resources are limited and winner potentially takes all. When looking at politicians that are corrupt, their moral standing is irrelevant, because in a zero sum game, you either win or lose. Trump, Johnson etc are admired because they reflect this pov. It’s one which is at complete odds to the more left leaning who look at society and realise it’d crumble if people didn’t work as a team.

One end of the political side believe everything is a zero-sum game, whilst the other believe its a non-zero-sum game! When one side doesn’t believe in compromise, such as the more right leaning politics, everything is about getting what you want, and if you can’t do that, making sure the other side, in this case the left, don’t have the ability to make impactful changes. If you can’t win, then no one else can!

For further understanding may I suggest watching this link which is USA centric but provides great insight. The right tend to use religion as that works for their purposes. That hierarchy is ordained by God and therefore injustice people face is down to their own moral sins. This Just World theory in which a higher power is responsible for the good in this world helps to promote the right and take away any criticism of human made laws that are structurally and inherently made to disadvantage many people.

I’ll delve further on my next political post if you enjoyed it. Please do give me any feedback!

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