Corellian Book Review Presents an excerpt from:
What is Little Understood About Politics, by Jubar Heern Bavvet
Chapter 1: The Great Din
In the course of my travels as a liaison, negotiator, debater, and political motivator, I have found that the foundations of government, on which we rest and trust for support, are tenuous at best. The structure itself is worn and tired, the ceiling being nothing more than a makeshift tin roof meant to shed rain for the nonce, and the columns supporting it nothing more than decorative illusion. Governments are built this way, like a building shoved into the middle of a desert slum, with the hopes that future masons, future architects, and future laborers would finally lay down the more comprehensive groundwork that would reverse all the decay the previous incarnations of government had put down as the foundation.
With a critical eye appropriately cast on any single facet of government, we can see that the concepts of order, justice, and control are not necessarily intertwined, that they do not necessarily relate, or lean on one another for support—in other words, one does not guarantee the other. On some fundamental level, we all know this. It’s not even up for debate. We debate many other things in our vast political arenas, and we shout down the findings of some scientific paper that claims it has uncovered the negative nutritional elements of breast milk or the exact properties of the mesosphere of a gas giant. But this one truth, that control and justice are not necessarily related, is Known. We do not debate it at all. That’s how certain we are.
Everything else is debated. While we all understand that we now stand in a giant hole that was created by our ancestors—who inherited the hole from their ancestors, down through the line to the beginning of life itself—no two of us can agree precisely on just how to get out of this hole. Instead, we are stuck inside of it, trapped listening to others shout one another down, proclaiming in glory and triumph that they have discovered The Way Out, and that all others are false prophets.
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Many different ideas have emerged to describe The Way Out—that is, the way out of the giant hole we are in, whether that hole be imagined as an economic hole, or just a vacuous hole of morals—and all we know is that generally none of them have worked to the majority’s satisfaction. Hence, the constant ebb and flow of one government to the next.
So it is that we find ourselves standing here in this great sea of voices, a vast, trembling fugue of debaters and arguers who all make such stunning cases for themselves. Some, in order to get out of this hole we are in, have presented their argument for The Way Out by saying it will take many of us standing on each other’s back, while others claim we should make a rope out of Human hair and climb our way out. We remain in the hole, shouting at one another about the pros and cons of each plan, in this Great Din where everyone yells and nobody is heard.
And, occasionally, there is that One Person who turns his or her back on all of society and senses the truth of the matter, the same truth that has been there in his or her bones, demanding to be recognized since the day of his or her birth. And that truth is this: the only way out of the Great Din and the hole that encapsulates it is by turning your back on it, stepping away from society proper and fending for yourself in the wilderness.
This presents a terrifying and challenging life for this One Person, who we shall refer to as the “Rogue” for the purposes of simplicity. While everyone else in society fills the role of not just janitors and politicians, but of strong heroes and codependent cowards, the Rogue has separated from the herd. The Rogue has made this decision consciously, knowing that he/she will forever remain “weird” and inaccessible to those in society proper, those in the hole that shout up at him/her. Indeed, even as the Rogue climbs out of that Great Din he/she understands something—partly because the view from up above allows for greater perspective of the madness down there in that hole, and partly because the Rogue is changing in ways he/she can’t yet understand—and that is that, no matter how long he/she waits, the others down there arguing, those down there creating the Great Din, can never expect to leave the hole together.
The Rogue now climbs alone, reaching higher and higher, encountering “False Rogues,” those who left the cacophony below for exactly the opposite reason as the True Rogue left: out of cowardice. False Rogues believe themselves above the Great Din because they yearn to feel special, whereas the True Rogue understands that craving a “special” status in any group no longer propagates the necessary outside-the-box thinking that made him/her a Rogue in the first place. The True Rogue must learn to navigate around these False Rogues on his/her climb, and continue without backsliding into the sloppy thinking of the hordes that still seethe and shout below in the Great Din, clambering to get their attention, as well as the attention of all others.
Eventually, the Rogue has climbed so high that the Great Din no longer makes sense. It has become utterly incomprehensible. He/she cannot hear the individual voices, only hear the obstreperous noise that is the combined, inane blathering of the hordes. The hole now looks even less appealing than it did in the Rogue’s younger days, before he started his climbe. As the Rogue continually pushes for The Way Out, he/she is no longer speaking the language of the masses below—the Rogue no longer gets the slang, no longer understands the inside jokes, and no longer cares for any differences between race, sex, faiths, or knowledge.
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At this point, the Rogue sees all differences as petty, and virtually all squabbles are things that should’ve been answered for them by their parents. But, alas, their parents were caught up in the Great Din, as well, and so did not possess the ability to escape the oppressive stridence any more than anyone else around them.
Once the Rogue has obtained this perspective, he cannot return. If he were to climb back down to rejoin the Great Din, those people there would no doubt think him insane, with his tales of having found greater self-awareness and comprehension by setting out on his own. Most creatures are fearful of leaving the herd, so they’ll dismiss the Rogue’s claims of self-betterment as either insanity or a fluke, deny that they should do the same, and will remain forever enraptured by their endless debates, all of which feeds their visceral need to be right, to be Absolutely Correct, and to be the ones who find The Way Out.
So the Rogue cannot climb back down, not ever. The insight he/she has obtained hasn’t been granted them by use of mind-altering substances or religion (how could they be, when they left all of that behind down there in the Great Din?), nor did the realizations come from someone else (again, those people were left behind down there in the hole trying to sort it all out themselves). The realizations that the Rogue has made came from himself/herself, they were self-generated ideas, and therefore stuck.
How could they not stick? After all, it’s been proven time and time again the best and most permanent lesson taught to a creature is a lesson taught to itself.
However, guidance is always needed. How far will any of us ever get in life without a proper instructor? So the Rogue seeks out teachers, those that he/she senses are masters of their own disciplines and who, to get where they were in their fields, had to become Rogues themselves.
This, my friends, is what is little understood about politics. We reside in the Great Din. Only a few Rogues ever escape it. That our Great Din should elect leaders to represent itself means that they have only ever looked for help from within the hole, never from without it. Society cannot bring itself up all at once, not with so many differences amongst us. Society cannot climb out of the hole, only the individual can, only the Rogue.
Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? To just turn and leave all the worries of governing behind? Of course, it does. And, as it happens, doing that would probably be the most sane thing an individual could do.
But until that day comes when we all turn our backs on each other, we are Here. We stand amid the Great Din. Indeed, even the words I’m throwing at you now just make more noise, add to the cacophony, and promise to stoke the fires of debate from now until there are no creatures left alive to read them.
So what do we do now? How can we bring the Rogue’s insights down in Here with us? Is it even possible? Can the Rogue’s solutions benefit society proper?
Many colleagues that I’ve shared this with before have said that I’m speaking of practical anarchy. “Really?” I say to them. “You think of me as an anarchist?” At first, only one or two of them ever said this to my face, but over time, other voices have corroborated their observations of my behavior and speech. They say that I wish for the Chaotic to rule over the Orderly, but I disagree. I say to them, “I wish for the Rogue to return from his journey and perform as an irritant to the Great Din, and like any irritant it may form a pearl.”
Still, they persist. “You’re an anarchist,” the repeatedly say. Although I don’t particularly like this sort of labeling, I understand that it helps the herd decide who’s who by differentiating one animal from another by determining the number of horns on its head. And while I don’t think of myself as an anarchist, I’m reminded of something my father once told me. “Son, if one person calls you a Hutt, you can ignore them. If two people call you a Hutt, begin to wonder. But if three people call you a Hutt…well, it’s time to get a Twi’lek dancer and start smuggling spice, because you’re a Hutt!”
So call me an anarchist, if it makes you feel any better. And sue me if I believe in the power of the individual over the power of community.
Critical analysis by our senior political reviewer Be’stan’yi Par
In a galaxy of lobbyists, fact-checking gone wrong, and questionable moral decisions by your political leaders, the ability to tell the sharks from the guppies has become increasingly a super power—if you possess it, you’re far and above the average sentient animal. I have analyzed many politicians in my day, and I’ve become quite jaded, but I have to say, there are times when having to decipher the sharks from the guppies can be quite exhilarating.
Enter Jubar Bavvet. He hails from Corellia, where, as a young impoverished boy, he and his single father made Whyren’s Reserve in their own illegal distillery to make ends meet. He managed to crawl out of those slums (or would he prefer the term “climb” as the excerpt above from his book seems to indicate he favors the “Rogue” who rises above it all?), and he’s traveled from relative obscurity into a certain degree of limelight.
These days, Jubar Heern Bavvet is a little known politician, although those who follow the news of the political sphere closely might be a bit more familiar with him as a decidedly questionable character in and around Federation politics. He can be a polarizing character, at once a quiet man of solitude who keeps his own counsel and a man who’s been known to have some rather…interesting company. A brief friendship with Mon Mothma that is rumored to have bloomed just days before her death certainly brought into question his relationship with the New Republic itself, as has the recent rumors that he may have been behind the formation of the RA (Rebel Alliance) political party all along.
Bavvet’s book, What is Little Understood About Politics (available through Bilbringi Publishing), is a peek into the questionable mind of Bavvet himself. Where does he stand on key issues? The answer to this question mightn’t have mattered just a month ago, but since stirrings have begun within the RA that he may be on a fast track to some major motions in the NIF Senate, it could be important to reflect on his beliefs, ideals, and overall goals.
Bavvet’s book details his notion of government, of how he approves of only two philosophies: either you have unlimited rights, or you have no rights. Now, he is careful to state that he doesn’t mean that literally, he himself admits that he agrees government is important, although he simultaneously admits that he believes those who adhere to are insane. Including himself!
Bavvet makes the case again and again that the only sane ones in our culture are the ones who don’t identify with our culture at all. Those that see the insanity for what it all really is. Those that stand for nothing, and therefore stand for everything. He says of these people, “Just because they don’t believe in anything, doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in anything.” He differentiates between “belief” in one context and “belief” in another—for example, he says that, “I may say that I believe in equal rights, but that just means I feel strongly that it should be so. If I say that I believe in a god or gods, does that mean I believe it should be so? No, of course not. When someone says that, they mean that they know it to be so. But then, why not just say ‘know’ instead of ‘believe’?”
He uses this example to differentiate between what he says he knows and what he believes. Bavvet says that the only thing he can know is the past—because it has come and gone, and we have records of it, but even then he admits records can be altered, distorted, or outright changed—and that everything else is up the in air.
So what are his goals in politics? Does he have any aims, any aspirations of his own? In his book, he doesn’t mention any, but recent rumors from various sources suggest that the Rebel Alliance movement in the Senate is in large part due to his interference, or, some say, perhaps even his own creation.
So then, is Jubar Bavvet a secret architect, maneuvering from behind the scenes? If so, then to what end?
Bavvet's book is meandering at times, he opts for philosophical insights and hardly ever draws enough practical, real-world solutions from these insights, for my tastes at least, but he does at least concede that he was a philosopher first, psychologist second, and politics major third, and that perhaps this has made him a rather poor politician. Young, misanthropic sorts might find something consoling in his book, but they might also find themselves desperately seeking to be differnet and "edgy" by listening to him, which, of course, would make you one of those "False Rogues" that Bavvet seems to abhor even more than those creating the Great Din down in the "hole society dug for itself."
I found many, many inconsistencies with Bavvet’s own words, including contradictions on his estimation of where exactly the NIF ought to be headed ultimately (in one chapter he claims the Federation’s goal ought to be peace, and yet in another chapter he seems to believe that the galaxy would be better off with what he calls a “benevolent dictator”), but no matter what our disagreements may be, I for one will be watching Bavvet’s career with the utmost interest.
Indeed, the emergence of the RA is particularly interesting in this time when the Imperial Senate seems at a loss for what to do about various problems plaguing the Senate floor today, including the so-called Banking Crisis, the slavery ordeals, and the question of citizenship for certain groups of Artificial Intelligence.
After all, in a game where all the players are known and all sides are chosen, it’s nice for a Rouge to be thrown into the mix from time to time. At least, that’s this commentator’s opinion.
With a possible war brewing, and uncertainties abound, this certainly adds interest to the political sphere. However, I remember the old Twi’leki curse, “May you live in interesting times.”
---Be’stan’yi Par is an editor and contributing writer to this magazine, and his own book, May the Force Be With the Senate, is available on the HoloNet now at online booksellers
The Imperial Senate. Where the fate of the galaxy is decided.
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