Sunday, May 22, 2005

Paul Ricoeur

Paul Ricoeur was one of the most distinguished philosophers of our time.

According to Ricoeur:

Political power can be ‘power-in-common’: the community organising things like hospitals and transport.

Political power can also involve violence and dictatorship.

Decent politics means making sure that what we have is ‘power-in-common’ rather than violence and dictatorship. Clever con-men have a habit of coming to power. Decent politics is a fragile thing.

We have to beware of clever talk involving threats or false promises.

Political talk is about ‘the future’. But we can’t be certain about the future. This is why politics is fragile.

Some people are tempted to believe the black and white statements of the extremist politicians. Some people are tempted to become apathetic.

The opinions of as many people as possible ought to be taken into consideration. This best promotes ‘power-in-common’.

People should not allow politics to be dominated by one particular view, whether religious or economic or racial.

We need international cooperation to deal with problems like the environment. We should not exclude any nation or group.

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