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Tourist on Earth

Registered: 11/03/03
Posts: 24
Loc: A coffee shop in Holland
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
political exhaustion and social disengagement 'r'Us
    #2446137 - 03/18/04 05:58 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

It appears that how you feel, rather than what you believe in, has become the defining feature of political protest. This is at least the case in most countries in Europe, and methinks that this attitude swarms around the whole of the globe as well. Protest of this nature nowadays often herald mass hysteria and a disease of massmourning (Death of Lady Diana, murder of the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, the rapaciousness of Marc Dutroux' deeds, etc.)

The meaning of politics has changed the past two decades. Political life was once dominated by radically different alternatives. Different political philosophies offered contrasting visions of the 'good society'. 'Left' and 'Right' were not just labels - in a fundamental sense, they endowed individuals with an identity that said something crucial about how they saw themselves.

In a world governed by TINA (there is no alternative; Margeret Thatcher), politics can have little meaning. Without alternatives, debate becomes empty posturing about trivial matters. Take, for example, a look at the war in Iraq. When the assault was initially launched protesters sought out all media attention they could get their hands on and vivaciously proclaimed that the war is not fought 'in my name'.

'Not in my name' is self-consciously framed as a personal proclamation. It is not a political statement designed to involve others, and does not seek to offer an alternative. It does not call on anyone to choose sides or even insist on a particular course of action. Insofar as it represents an attitude, 'Not in my name' is a statement of individual preference and represents an opt-out clause, rather than an attempt to alter the course of events. This is a shrug of the shoulder, which reflects a mood of general anti-engagement as much as it does a weariness towards war.

The predicament I face when trying to identify myself with a political movement in my country, is that I simply can't identify myself with any of them. When reading and talking to others about past politics and personal political bearings, parties clearly politically represented the image of how you saw yourself. That is not the case nowadays.

I believe that people should become engaged yet again (e.g. levels of politics, society) contrary to opting out, but I have no idea how to effectively change others' attitudes.

Any ideas?  :confused:

Valar Morghulis

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OfflineAlan Stone

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 986
Loc: Ten feet up
Last seen: 11 years, 3 months
Re: political exhaustion and social disengagement 'r'Us [Re: MadHamish]
    #2447631 - 03/18/04 04:53 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Naw. Sorry, buddy.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle

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I'm NOT a 'he'
Female User Gallery

Registered: 09/01/02
Posts: 3,198
Last seen: 7 years, 4 months
Re: political exhaustion and social disengagement 'r'Us [Re: MadHamish]
    #2451464 - 03/19/04 02:09 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

People don't feel engaged in the political process because they are not. Democracy is a blatantly transparant fallacy, through legally approved tactics we will never be heard because those in power are not listening. They give us the false sense that we have a voice, that through the "democratic" process we can make real, fundamental change and that is not true. People are disillusioned about politics because they realize they simply cannot accomplish anything with the tactics they have been offered, so they give up. Personally speaking, when i realized this I didn't give up. I radicalized. People need to realize how sick they are of the spectacle and stand up and fight for a real voice, fight for real autonomy, destroy power structures that only ever exploited them in the first place.

People do need to become engaged again, but not in mainstream activism. It's a dead end. People need to have personal revolutions and simultanously struggle for revolution on a mass scale.

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