WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Saturday, June 04, 2005

"Power to the People." J. Lennon

I'm reading Michael Frayn's play, "Democracy," which concerns the reunification of Germany, East and West. It's quite good, funny, intelligent, uses the events of that time to reflect the major political currents of the 20th Century.

Willy Brandt is the central figure, there is a crowd of characters (spies, lackeys, boot-lickers) that surround him. What comes across is the humaness of the politicians, the government bureaucrats, and in a way, their humaness is their strength: compromisers, and those who are compromised, consensus builders. Willy is a man who wants everyone to be happy and at peace. He counsels forgiveness, patience, he battles depression, he drinks, he has affairs with women outside his marriage. He is a Democratic Hero, flawed, imperfect, one of us!

I like this line from the play: "Capitalism is a system where man oppresses man. Socialism is the opposite." The hope for us all is to realize the flaws in the system, in the people who run it, in the people who live in it. Yes, in order to be a hero, you must be human. It is the man who sees everything in black and white, with certainty, with moral fervor, the righteous, the moralizers, those who would impose their vision - these are the enemies of the people!

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