Peter Maurin on Politics

Peter Maurin on Politics August 15, 2011

Peter Maurin was a French peasant and co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. His ‘Easy Essays’ were short, sometimes humorous observations meant to encapsulate in accessible form much deeper truths drawn from the Gospels and Maurin’s own personalist philosophy. Here’s one, titled “Politics is Politics,” that is as pertinent today as it was when Maurin wrote it, some seventy years ago:

A politician is an artist
      in the art of following the wind
      of  public opinion.
He who follows the wind
      of public opinion
      does not follow
      his own judgement.
And he who does not follow
      his own judgement
      cannot lead people
      out of the beaten path.
He is like the tail of a dog
      that tries to lead the head.
When people stand behind their president
      and their president
      stands behind them
      they and their president
      go around in a circle,
      getting nowhere.

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