Sunday, 11 November 2007

Robert Kennedy: A Utopian Politician

A little more than a week ago, I watched a very interesting movie about Robert Kennedy. Various excerpts from his speeches were included in the film. His words were frequently similar to the ones a person would hear while listening to a fervent Roman Catholic believer; the importance of brotherly love, the desire to help the poor, "working through" a disagreement rather than resorting to violence...

As I heard Kennedy express himself about various issues, I realised that I had once strongly echoed many of the ideas that he advanced. Like him, I also often talked about matters such as brotherly love and world peace, but I rarely attempted to match my talk with specific ways in which I could truly achieve such goals. When listening to certain passages of rhetoric, it is sometimes very hard to disagree with the content. For instance, it is so beautiful when a person states that the poor should be given all the help in the world so that they can enjoy a life free from the misery that poverty brings. Yet, it is one thing to know how to come up with such statements while it is something completely different to focus on the realistic implementation of various programmes. To mention just one example, what is the point of having countless meetings with numerous employers about increasing the shockingly low wages they give to many of their employees when they simply refuse to do so? I do not really believe that a great deal of talk about brotherly love would have such a dramatic impact on most employers to increase the salaries given to many of their employees!!!

Nowadays, there are still numerous individuals like Robert Kennedy. There are still several people who are totally utopian, but who are quite disconnected from the mechanics of the everyday world. Nice rhetoric is simply not enough to solve the world's problems! In order to put an end to poverty, for instance, certain measures might be necessary; measures which could be viewed in a very hostile way by the people who believe that a certain degree of poverty in a society is useful to achieve various goals. When confronted with a myriad social troubles, I believe that the person whose feet are firmly anchored to the ground must ask oneself: how can I realistically tackle such problems with a view to eliminating them once and for all?

1 comment:

La delirante said...

Interesting post! I think the movie is brilliant!