Self interest is just sooo unfair

Will Self's writing in the Guardian on The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov brought to my mind Obama's failed attempt at using bipartisanship to get healthcare reform through Congress:

"it isn't that Bulgakov was being disingenuous in his letter [pleading for understanding from Stalin] so much as that he didn't seem to grasp who he was addressing: for Bulgakov – as for Gogol before him, who directly petitioned the tsar over his own satirical masterpiece, The Government Inspector – power is not an impersonal phenomenon, but some sort of hypertrophied father-figure. Rather than grasping the political nature of the abuse directed at his works, Bulgakov responds as a wronged child might to the "unfairness" of his peers, and so appeals to a parent who, he is convinced, not only remains just but who should – in the Freudian fashion – be loving enough to cope with whatever criticism might be aimed at him."

I think Self is inadvertently describing a state of mind that is very prevalent among idealists, politicians of the (real) left, and among people outside the system generally.

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