Edit: I’m not really happy with how this one turned out. May be pending a rewrite.
Politicians are the fourth rank up in the Overwatch hierarchy.
Outputs: Behavior-shaping policies, to be enforced on demagogues by technocrats.
Inputs: Ideology and funding from an alchemist handler, where ideology is understood as a system memes for value-shaping through behaviorism.
Society-enabling function: To meme corporation-scale group cooperation by exploiting others’ prestige-seeking behaviors and projecting the appearance of indomitable group strength.
Motivation: A politician exists to use their funding sources to seek out and secure more funding. They do this by sensing, navigating, and appealing to other people’s value systems, while having no fixed morals of their own.
Most politicians are snake melons, and it seems likely that this phenotype devolved from arch melons in order to fill this ecological niche. Their immorality is what precludes them from ascending to the rank of alchemist or higher, because they can’t be trusted with money in any capacity other than to spend it on self-advancement.
I’m going to try something new and organize this description according to the typical politician’s OODA loop.
Politicians are first and foremost extraverted sensualists.
They are masters of all things obvious and unspoken. A sensualist will be happy if you give him the accoutrements of success. Successful rappers (the low end of politics) don’t have existential crises when they achieve ennui; congressmen may have higher IQs but they have the same pituitary glands as their hip hop forebears.
Superego, worldview (Observe)
Politicians are adept at interpreting esotericism but surprisingly tasteless in producing it. Because they tilt extremely verbal, they will tend to wear highly symbolic clothing (often a polo shirt sporting the insignia of their prestigious alma mater) that is nonetheless ill-fitting, gaudy, and often downright ugly. If this is a form of peacocking, it appears to be mostly accidental.
The complexity of a politician’s worldview is determined by their IQ. To understand this, consider the IQ levels of political attainment: < 100 rapper
< 110 self-help guru, cult leader, pastor < 120 CEOs, public office < 130 charity and hospital fundraisers, NGOs, university endowments managers, etc < 140 finance.
Every perception is processed according to a pseudo-utilitarian ideology of maximizing parasitic behavior. Politicians have anti-morality: they actively resist holding any values or consistent patterns of thought that could be used to manipulate them.
Where is the wealth?
What do those people value?
How can I appeal to those values to convince them to pool their money?
How can I appeal to those values to be put in charge of that money pool?
How can I spend that money on myself in a plausibly deniable way?
How do I divide and ostracize people who catch on?
A politician’s success is determined by Dunbar number of their memes, or how many steps removed they are from the money they’re siphoning.
Rational action (Act)
Eventually politicians manage to insulate themselves from the pain they cause and become blissfully delusional, forming a leisure class unto themselves (per Fussell). Unless their alchemist handlers can control them properly, this insularity destroys the societies they feed on. Their weakness is in abstraction: they believe their instinctive cunning will save them from the accumulated incompetence of their submissive lackeys.