Letter from the Publisher
is an element of politics in every aspect of our lives. It permeates
culture and operates for the good or bad in every niche. At the turn
of the century universities began to define the study of politics as
a science, and hence we got "Political Science". I remain
skeptical of the latter and prefer Bismark's comment that "Politics
is the art of the possible." While there are treatises and tomes
written on the subject, Machiavelli's, The Prince, remains the
definitive exploration of this "sweet science", at least
for the serious practitioners. Dictionaries of quotations are filled
with what past and present scholars and humorists think about the
practice and the professional performers.
the profession has come into disrepute in recent times and we are
sometimes faced with difficult choices in the public exercise of our
democratic right to cast ballots. Nonetheless, politics is an
important and integral part of our culture. A useful definition might
be the often internally conflicting interrelationships among people
in a society in order to gain control or power. The methods or
tactics involved have been the subject of treatises, tomes and much
debate. Simply, if Art is what artists do, then politics is what
politicians do. For those with a serious interest please refer to the
articles below. For those seeking more reading matter I have added a
few references for the academics among you and those with a deeper
curiosity. They are enlightening. The university of course, has its
share of politics and politicians and I have added a short
perspective on the subject that was not covered by Professor Thompson
and his colleagues.
a prelude to all that electioneering we'll be exposed to over the
holidays, and maybe as a balm, we thought we'd expose you to a lot of
different political questions from a variety of different sectors.
Sure you are going to see some good articles by the professionals in
the public arena, but you will also be able to read and peruse
articles about politics in the "other worlds", and
opinions, and humour...etc etc. I have edited very little. What you
read comes right from the heart and pens (O.K. word processing
programs) of the authors. We have been blessed by the number of
contributors to this edition of Ecclectica and
will be adding to the edition as some of the late
contributors send their manuscripts. That is the beauty of electronic
publishing. Let me thank all the individuals involved in putting this
volume together. It has been enlightening and fun. We did edit when
necessary and were selective in our choices. In recent weeks we’ve
had many more authors asking for space. Many were called, some were
selected, and several declined in deference to overwork!.........or
some other weak excuse. Some of course, had nothing to say and we
let me end with a quote on leadership that is a follow-up to that old
sixties saying, " Never trust anyone over thirty!" That
was a view that was way over done in the sixties and is irrelevant
today where many of our 20, 30, and 40 year old politicians are old
before their time. If you want a rule of thumb for choosing it
should be this: "Never trust anyone without a sense of humour".
Vote! and please direct your criticisms and comments this way.
On Bullshit, Harry G. Frankfurt, Princeton University Press, ISBN: 0-691-12294-6, 2005.
Your Call Is Important to Us: The Truth About Bullshit, Crown, ISBN: 1-4000-8103-3, 2005.
The Prince, Nicolo Machiavelli, Copy right@1916 The Macmillan Company, Written c. 1505, Translated by W. K. Marriott.
On Democracy, Amartya Sen, http://www.aldaily.com/
The Political Classics, Edited by Murray Forsyth and Maurice Keens-Soper, 0192852825, Oxford University press. 1993