By Funke Cole
It bears stating that a gaze into the political lenses readily shows that politics as seen from a wider prism lends itself to some form of abberation, concessions, especially with those who have taken it upon themselves to see politics as a means to an end which is seen as a tool feathering their nests. Just like a collar is to a priest so also is understanding the art and science of politics necessary for a network of strategies, not only to win an election. Gone are the days where substances are equated with plans. Plans are vertically, and not directly placed in front of substances…
If you must survive the antics and sentiments that often trail it, you must be able to differentiate between both, else, you could find yourself dangling precariously between the two extremes. More often than not, politics is more of an act than an art. If we have to consider the emblem of its rules of engagement, just like in the words of Otto Von Bismarck ‘Politics is the art of the possible’ which aptly describes its process and procedure for optimum treatment.
The phrase connotes that politics is associated with realpolitik, to get something done with adroit plans and through skills, not necessarily getting what’s best or right. We can also deduce that its mainstream of engagement involves radicalism and pragmatic applications which ordinarily overrides individuals or personal ideological formations. Hence it becomes expedient for politicians, as a way of solidarity to bury hatchets in order to either resolve or settle conflictual interests.
The most important thing that readily comes to mind is, the purpose of politics is to enable the members of a society to collectively achieve important human goals they cannot otherwise achieve individually. politics serves its purpose of winning the minds of the populace for direction, and relies on formative strategies in order to forestall any occupational hazards. I have heard oftentimes that politics is not an occupation, or business that one must take upon oneself. But to the political actors, it is a real business.
I have also asked myself why it shouldn’t be business if it is guided by a set of rules, and one that concerns the magnamity of collective decision on governance. What then is it, if not a hobby? Governance in itself is a serious business that must not be handled with laxity and levity. It invokes a large percentage of the season to create a reason for fundamental changes in retrospectives processes. Invariably, it means that politics is not played by perfunctorily, because it goes through semantics of dialectical thinking and frugality. And if it must be played, it must be done without sentiments as all political actors, despite their differences should be people who hold certain values dear to themselves for the common good of all.
*Olufunke Cole is a doctoral student, Department of History, University of Lagos