This serves as kind of an expansion/reinforcement of the last post, for me. It’s a theme Matt returns to pretty regularly, and one I completely agree with.
The mechanism by which we decide what to do is called “politics” and it exists so that individuals and organizations with somewhat divergent interests and ideas can make collective decisions about how to tackle common problems. The rhetoric of anti-politics isn’t just an analytic mistake, it’s part of the problem. A public that doesn’t believe divergent interests can be reconciled and common solutions devised for common problems — a public that doesn’t believe in politics — is going to be a public that doesn’t believe there’s anything that can or should be done to prevent catastrophic climate change.
The demonization of “politics” functions as a demonization of the practical methods of our system of governance. The only way you get government without politics is in a utopia or a dictatorship, I think – and utopias, as we know, don’t exist. I think it’s legitimate to criticize someone for practicing politics in bad faith, but that’s different from scorning the process of politics as a whole, which is often the form that criticism takes in our superficial political discourse.