We live in a political system in which interested lay people have all the time to keep being busy in order to prevent our so-called elected representatives from producing too dangerous nonsense (such as CETA and TTIP, or joining NATO). And how does this now come about that the supposed professionals do the nonsense and have to be hindered by the nonprofessionals? Being a Freudarxist, I feel free to suspect mental reasons:
To call the system mentally sick is of course somewhat problematic – a political system is not a cohesive organism with a mentality of its own. But it can well produce results which one would ascribe to mental disease if they were the decisions of a person, and the results ARE in fact a consequence of the mental processes in the persons involved. Now it is so that Freudarxism ascribes the state of the world to quite some degree to selection processes (the term Freudarxism is after all combined from the three names Freud, Darwin and Marx, the two latter ones pointing to the importance of selection mechanisms while a deep-going psychology is necessary to fully understand how these mechanisms function). And in social systems in general and political systems in special there are selection mechanisms at work which put persons of a certain character into certain positions. What is, e.g., demanded of a person who wants to rise in the hierarchy of a political party? Energy, organizing talent and initiative are of course very welcome, but there is also the demand for discipline and loyalty, so that one does not let oneself get caught at saying things which could arouse the negative attention of the media or one’s superiors. So that thinking and reading too much becomes a hindrance to one’s career (IF now the general political work would at all leave time for such). And knowledge of technology or of environmental problems is clearly less important than knowing to whom one unluckily and time-consuming has to listen and to which other people one luckily has no obligation to pay any attention; for knowing this it is especially helpful to have studied law (to one’s superiors one certainly has to listen, and to agree with their opinions and do accordingly is as certainly very helpful for one’s career). And for complicated problems of technology. economy and similar one has sometimes to ask outside specialists – preferably such ones in whom one’s superiors trust. Altogether, there are strong mechanisms which make a superior’s opinion easily a “ruling” one; this even if the superior in question has for many years been so absorbed by the immediate demands of political life that he has simply not kept up with the development of the real political, economical etc. situation (and often is on top of that simply not intelligent enough even to choose as advisers such persons who HAVE kept up with the development of their fields). From this then the situation that politicians are sometimes blind to facts which are glaringly obvious to any interested lay person. – Perhaps it is not necessary to continue this analysis here any further; things could have become clear enough, and anybody is free to think of further factors at work in this matter.
Of course there arises now the further question how to improve the present, “mentally sick” system. That such would be desirable is obvious: democracy has produced pretty bad results already in Ancient Greece, and at present we see, e.g., what type of presidents and presidential candidates the US democracy has been producing. And to improve the situation one could think of (a) testing political candidates in fitting ways (e.g. psychologically) before letting them join the competition for office – i.e. a method which has been applied with good results in classical China -, by (b) improving the access of the public to better-quality information (e.g. by putting, while giving good and clear reasons for the decisions, labels of quality – or the absence thereof . on the various information channels of our media landscape), and (c) by teaching more and better psychology – including political psychology – at school (I do not expect the students to become very critical towards themselves, but they might become more able to notice if somebody tries, e.g., demagogy on them).