A Note From Your Editor

July 25, 2023

This article appears in Vol III Issue II: Populism

One of the many most wrestled with questions of our time is that of equity, not necessarily what is best for each of us, but what is most fair. Of course, this demands that we accept there is no best to be had, no ideal to be shared. No common good. Each man works toward his own benefit, which is best for him insofar as he does not compete with his neighbor. John Nash taught us that if everyone goes after the blonde, no one will get her. Go for her friends, no one goes for the blonde, and everyone gets laid. 

Politics is driven by libido, the impulse to conquer, to dictate the social facts rather than abide by that which is most unlike him. But the individual enjoys no such privilege; he is now part of a tribe. “Politics is the personal” is reality because it has been made such. Consciousness is the pituitary gland of society. Everything is fair game. 

But when a people become a part of each other, the group, striving for the “common good” (scare quotes for the doubt in human capability to perceive and execute it as such) then they dictate according to ideal, i.e., a perversion of generalized governing dynamics of society for the desire to own it. 

If this desire was anything, it would be populism. But this is neither a negative nor positive description. It is as equally important to be a bedrock together against malignant actors as it is to be free from the diktat of the mob.

The question, I suppose, is that of moderation. How do we balance ourselves between prudent relativism (not without the leverage of power) and ulterior self-determination (let Poland be Poland). But even with these analogies we see a symbiosis. Because culture is fluid and upstream from politics. Until it isn’t. All streams become stagnant at its most balanced low; and then the war begins because all things have reached its pinnacle. That is to say, its lowest point. 

I feel for many reasons that the conversation of populism will always be insufficient. We have so much to do, and yet it becomes at once so important but impotent. Nevertheless, I must retain a hope, if not just for those reading now. For what it is worth, we are our populace. If change was ever to occur, it begins here—with a populist dream and a Hobbesian nightmare. 

With my earnest best, 
Jacob, editor-in-chief


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