Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Feminism, re-elections, and religion

In April the ex-leader of the communist party in Sweden, together with a few friends, declared that they had started what was probably going to become a feminist party. What the women in this “feminist initiative” have in common is that they all have leftist, if not downright socialist political views. Relative to the general public, the feminists in a given country sit quite a bit further to the left politically. This means that only a few feminists n the world have actually gotten a seat in government. In Sweden, however, the communist party has cooperated with the government and gained significantly in power in the last decade. The fact that the Swedish government has cooperated with communists not only in budget negotiations, but also defence is another matter that will be dealt with later.

What is interesting about the situation in Sweden is that the feminists, through the communist party, has been able to affect the general policy. The effect that this power has had is quite interesting, because there is none. This in itself is what the feminist party about to form is about: changing nothing. The reason is as simple as it is cynical: in any political system, people that get elected on one issue alone will seek to maintain status quo, because if they actually solved the issue, they would find themselves out of a job.

In the case of Swedish feminism this has essentially been proven by the very people who are now seeking to be elected. The argument that they present is that “things aren’t changing” or “things aren’t changing fast enough”. What they are actually saying, however, is “in the ten years that we had the power to change things, no change took place”. Such an argument is typical for politics, not just in democratically defunct Sweden. Hearing politicians of all sizes and colors seeking re-election because “there is still so much to do” or “we haven’t even begun to make the changes we want to make” is almost as sad as seeing them actually get re-elected.

What politicians should do is to learn from the masters of power: religious leaders. Staying in power, despite any incompetence in actually achieving ones goals, lies in changing the goals themselves. For a religious leader this is a very simple task: if the goals are achieved, they can simply declare that God has spoken to them and set up new goals. If the past goals haven’t been reached, you simple declare that God is pleased with the progress, and has decided to reward the people with new goals.

The problem for feminists is that they have chosen a finite path – after a certain level of equality has been reached, there is nothing more to do. This is why feminists who come to power will inevitably want to change things just slow enough for them to be able to retire before they became obsolete. Since setting the pace is very difficult, most of them will choose no make sure that there are no changes at all. In contrast to the feminists, the environmentalists have chosen a much smarter area. As soon as an environmental disaster is avoided, it is simply a matter of choosing another when declaring the end of the world.

All that’s left now is for all the one-issue-people, who only care about equality, rabbits, or abortion etc, is to choose what kind of representative they want: one that doesn’t actually want to change anything, or one that actually does, but is harder to get rid of once they’ve worn out their welcome.