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Games Politicians Play
Publication date: 2003-02-10

Most People do Not Behave in a Sincere Straight-Forward Way, but Play Games ... an Insight into Gamy Behaviour in Modern Politics

In the second half of the 20th century an American psychiatrist, Eric Berne, M.D., having observed human behaviour, came to a conclusion that most people do not behave in a sincere straight‐forward way, but “play games”. He described his observations in a book Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships. Similar observations about Human Nature were expressed some 1400 years ago in the Qur'an, which repeatedly observes, that most people “play games”, rather than taking life seriously and sincerely. And now at the start of the 21st century we have opportunity to observe games played by politicians on the world stage.

One such game is an example of the game which Eric Berne called “Let's pull a fast one on Joey”. It consists of a group of people ganging up to play some nasty trick on a person whom they chose as their victim. The story of Joseph and his brothers described in the Bible and the Qur'an is an example of such game. And you probably have seen similar behaviour at school or at work. Now we can see this game being played on the world stage by the International Community — “Let's pull a fast one on Saddam Hussain — now that the “Let's pull a fast one on Osama” game has failed.

Another modern political game is “The Peace Process”. It consists of politicians making repeated gestures, visits, meetings, conferences, and speeches about peace in the Middle East. While it is obvious that none of these measures is capable of achieving peace, “The Peace Process” game has been going on for over a year, and so was the destruction and bloodshed. The “conflict” has been going on for 55 years. Had they really intended to achieve peace, it could have been done a long time ago, but they are just “playing games”.

The other obvious game is “The War on Terror”, which can bring nothing but wars and terror. Or, such games as “The Government Running the Economy”, which gives impression that a government in a supposedly free society can finely control the economic life of the people, like some kind of engine, or the game “Democratizing the Middle East” — installing puppet governments by super‐powers to advance their own interests, or the game of “Reforming the Palestinian Authority” — which is just a pretext for allowing the Israelis to continue with their crimes against the Palestinians.

While the outcome of the games private people play is just waste of time and petty spoiling of life to themselves and the people around them, sometimes these games finish with serious consequences — rapes, murders, etc. And, when games are played by politicians, the results are massive destruction and bloodshed. The two World Wars were examples of such games in the 20th century. The 21st century started with the devastation of Afghanistan as a preview of what's in stock. Now it is Iraq … what next?

All these games are part of a bigger game, the game of “Politics”, which has been going on for millennia. Had people abandoned the game of “Politics” and learnt to be honest and sincere with each other, as they were called upon to do by the prophets of the Bible and the Qur'an and by people of understanding throughout the millennia, they would have had a peaceful, secure and prosperous life. But, as the Qur'an repeatedly says: “but most of them do not understand” — they invent lies and distort the truth spoken by the prophets to justify their games.

Hey, People! Will you ever wise up?

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