politics is not the sphere of the beautiful

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As Amitav Ghosh says in this interview, politics is not the sphere of the beautiful.

“…Over the last 20 years, politics has been presented to us as the be-all and end-all of our lives. It’s like politics has been suggested to us as the equivalent of the moral life. It’s become this huge cannibalizing entity, at once religion and art and everything is now said to be politics. Well that’s not how I think of politics. I think of politics as a set of arrangements we make to live in the world. One’s intellectual life, one’s moral life, one’s artistic life, in the end is private, it’s individual. And I think to keep one’s sense of sanity, one must insist on that, that the political is not the sphere of the beautiful, it’s not the sphere of the perfectable. It will always be corrupt and degenerate, if you like, it’s always been that everywhere. But people, even in the most difficult circumstances of the middle ages or wherever, always did manage to create and find the spheres of beauty, the spheres of a moral life, and artistic life, and an aesthetic life, and a spiritual life.”



3 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. "politics has been presented to us as the be-all and end-all of our lives"

    Another straw man meets his demise.

  2. "Man is by nature a political animal" - Aristotle

    In a lot of ways, yes, politics encompasses alot if defined broadly enough, including religion, art, etc. Since we are programmed to live together in a society rather than as hermits, we have to figure out a way to get along with each other, which is the essence of politics.

  3. Well, true

    But one can’t ignore politics, lest the sphere of the beautiful be threatened bx external strife beyond one’s control.

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Fri 28 Apr 12:01 PM