Politicians cannot afford to become involved in losing battles

Politicians cannot afford to become involved in losing battles: the masses would immediately and permanently label them among the "oddities", or eccentric and counter-culture things that one jokes about in a bar; good for a small minority but in reality a loss maker.

People have no pity for losers and minorities; they can't abide non-conformists and visionaries.

The strongest sentiments of the masses are envy, respectability, fear of things new, superficiality and egoism.

Regardless of latitude or of their position on the social or cultural ladder, people always behave as would a flock of sheep. They don't want responsibility, or where they are heading to, they only care about having someone to follow, a reassuring shepherd figure that "knows their business".

If individuals can be progressive, people are unfailingly conservative.

People stubbornly cling and are bound to tradit... _OMISSIS_ ...show interest for people, things or events which fall into their small and well known sphere of existence and understanding, they are suspicious of everything that is free, different from the usual, intellectually unfettered, that stands out, that is diverse, that tries new directions or alternative solutions from that which is common knowledge. People are capable of going on holiday to the same place for thirty years. They instinctively turn gestures into habits and habits into rituals. They stop living at twenty then repeat themselves till the end.

People take pleasure in seeing someone who has tried a different approach fail, but will readily jump onto the winners bandwagon as soon as the "experiment" has been successful and there is the absolute certainty that the new approach is both without risks and beneficial, at which point it becomes trendy, then becomes the tradition and the cycle repeats itself.

In countries that are ... _OMISSIS_ ...ange, such cultural metamorphoses could take five years to achieve, in countries that are less open to change fifteen or twenty years, and in countries that are generally opposed to cultural change it will require a generation if at all.

Therefore in countries that embrace innovation, politicians. must avoid hasty decisions aimed at fostering changes in peoples habits be they social, political, financial or cultural, without at least five years passing from the time they first appeared and at least fifteen or twenty years should pass in more conservative countries. To do otherwise would leave him championing a cause which is ahead of its time, he wouldn't have the support of the people and would fade away among derision and misunderstanding, bestowing upon those who assume such positions many years later, the privilege of being believed and followed.

Politicians therefore, must never be keen to promote innovative ideas however just urgent o... _OMISSIS_ ...hey must adopt a reactive posture of slow deliberation, consonant with the ability to absorb and learn which is typical of the community in which they gain votes; they must allow the time necessary for those ideas to take root, to become absorbed and accepted with all the slowness required by that culture's ability to accept change, eventually becoming the champion of those very ideas once they have taken root.

The masses hold geniuses and the long-sighted in disregard.

Geniuses are misunderstood and only eulogised after death when they can be "normalised", "catalogued" and "rationalised" with the necessary thoroughness, without them being able to cause any disquiet and to question the establishment. The long-sighted remain in solitude preaching in the desert. They are both seditious, to be kept away from. Politicians represent and govern the masses, they don't need to be geniuses or be long-sighted. Politic... _OMISSIS_ ...ve the population behind them and not a dishevelled band of forward-thinking academics.

The forward-thinker scares people because instead of telling them what they want to hear, presents them with complex situations, destabilises them, causes them disquiet and sows the seeds of doubt in their minds.

Politicians on the other hand must appear exactly the opposite: opportunistic, putting a positive spin on life's difficulties, simplifying life's complications, to calm, to play down, to reassure, to encourage, to say "we can make it", to give the impression that everything is under control. It's only in this way that people believe them.

People are mostly egoistical, cynical, ungrateful and insensitive. The prevailing attitude is one of indifference.

Millions of war casualties, famine and poverty are only of interest to disparate minorities, fifty years of the same photographs depicting malnourished chi... _OMISSIS_ ...s around their eyes have desensitised and discouraged even the most enthusiastic. We don't talk about the amazon rainforest, the melting of the ice caps and more generally about the environment.

At Omaha Beach in Normandy where thousands of Americans landed in order to liberate Europe and were massacred by Nazi machine guns, for decades the French have bathed there with nonchalance as if they were on any old beach.

A few hours following a terrorist bombing of a hotel dismembering dozens of tourists, several other tourists are seen taking photos of one another on the rubble, to be sent with messages such as "by a whisker", and in the months to follow, when it could reasonably be assumed that there would be a certain reluctance to return to such a hostile place, those hotels that gave discounts were full.

If there is a road accident, not many will stop and those that do stop will more often than not do so in order to t... _OMISSIS_ ...e photograph to post on the web or in order to steal objects rather than give assistance to the victim of the accident.

If someone becomes unemployed or is afflicted with an incurable disease, those that know them avoid them as if they were an outcast for fear of having to help them in some way or in order not to have to deal with the fact that the same thing could happen to them.

US war casualties return in their flag draped coffins, you are however prohibited from sharing the photographs for fear of "darkening the nation's morale": this translated means that since the dead are losers, their memory must be cancelled without care, as it would cloud the winning image of the armed forces. Don't let it be said that in treating these young casualties as characters from Spoon River, public opinion could have any change of heart.

American films always depict beautiful men and women, in great physical shape, however after ... _OMISSIS_ ...ses and the images are displayed on YouTube, you realise that at least half the people are obese, many excessively so, beginning with policemen and salvage crews, probably because of meat filled with oestrogens and all the rubbish they are made to eat. You are then left with the suspicion that in films there is a tendency to depict things in a favourable light, either to satisfy national pride, or maybe more simply because film watchers are obese and would despise seeing themselves on film as they consume enormous hamburgers washed down with litres of beer.

It's a fact that everything that is not beautiful, young, rich, healthy, strong, lively and with a flashing white smile is cast aside, kept under wraps, ignored. Death, old age, illness and poverty are erased, it's not possible to show them nor can they be discussed.

In fact it's actually the selfishness, the superficiality and lack of sensitivity that saves the world, that allows us to... _OMISSIS_ ...ss, that allows the social and economic system to function.

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