Politics is a Disease

by Peter Saint-Andre


I have become progressively disenchanted with, indeed actively opposed to, politics. More and more, I see it as a disease that has grown to take over not only the "body politic" but also the individual mind and soul. My enemy is the assertion that "the personal is the political", and that there is no domain of life outside of politics - not art or music, not love or friendship, not philosophy or religion - nothing. This idea emerged in the radical Marxist-feminist movement of the late 1960s, and was given canonical expression in an essay by Carol Hanisch.

Consider this paragraph:

So the reason I participate in these meetings is not to solve any personal problem. One of the first things we discover in these groups is that personal problems are political problems. There are no personal solutions at this time. There is only collective action for a collective solution. I went, and I continue to go to these meetings because I have gotten a political understanding which all my reading, all my "political discussions," all my "political action," all my four-odd years in the movement never gave me. I've been forced to take off the rose colored glasses and face the awful truth about how grim my life really is as a woman. I am getting a gut understanding of everything as opposed to the esoteric, intellectual understandings and noblesse oblige feelings I had in "other people's" struggles.

Life is grim, and the only solution is collective action! That is my enemy, and the enemy of all joyful wisdom.

I'm thinking about writing a book entitled Politics is a Disease.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal