“I hate politics”

I don’t hate politics but I’ve heard a lot of people use that phrase in response to any mention of the word “politics”. The other phrase I often hear is “I’m not interested in politics” or “I’m apolitical’. So these people have no opinion on anything? Is this what they’re trying to say?

For today’s postmodern politicians, these words are a godsend. Legions of politically disinterested people, who avert their eyes from what’s happening in the world or in their locale, give our imperial masters the space to behave like feudal overlords. Are you happy with that?

More recently, I’ve had people tell me that UKIP is “anti-politics”, which is rather odd for a political party. No? “Yes, but UKIP aren’t like the other parties”, they’ll add with all seriousness. This is a party that’s become a refuge for the extreme right-wing of the Tory Party and bankrolled by millionaire ex-Tories and they’re “not like other parties”? Pull the other one and while you’re at it, pull your head out of your rectum.

If you’re apolitical, the chances are you default to the political right. Don’t have an opinion on the NHS? Well, you probably won’t mind if it’s privatized. You say you don’t really care who runs the railways? Then you probably have the kind of income that allows you to travel frequently on our crumbling rail network at vastly inflated fares.  Not bothered by the above-the-rate-of-inflation increases in utility bills? That’s probably because your income is provided by dividends and rents and you can afford to take the hit.

Get real. Everything is political.


Filed under Ideologies, Society & culture

10 responses to ““I hate politics”

  1. greggwh

    Interesting how what used to be compulsory status for most French in the French Revolution, the passive citizen, is being voluntarily chosen by more and more citizens in the Western democracies, especially the English-speaking ones (unless of course voting is compulsory as in Belgium and Australia). US comedian Bill Maher has said that George W Bush was Americans’ punishment for their intellectual laziness. He could have added other forms.

  2. Pingback: “I hate politics” – Guy Debord’s Cat | Vox Political

  3. Reblogged this on discordion {Artist Ian Pritchard} and commented:
    Everything is political.

  4. Dr Llareggub

    I am not sure whether those who abstain from politics are necessarily destined to support right wing policies. But the identification of such people with idiots is worth consideration.

    We usually think of idiots as people who are stupid, with an inability to understand fairly straightforward issues. However, the word ‘idiot’ originally referred to a person who took no part in politics, avoided political discussion and lived a purely private life. The term was derived from the Greek ἰδιώτης, idiōtēs (“person lacking professional skill”, “a private citizen”, “individual”), from ἴδιος, idios (“private”, “one’s own”). In Latin the word idiota (“ordinary person, layman”) preceded the late Latin, meaning “uneducated or ignorant person” Its modern meaning and form dates back to Middle English around the year 1300, from the Old French idiote (“uneducated or ignorant person”). The related word idiocy dates to 1487 and may have been analogously modelled on the words prophet and prophecy. The word has cognates in many other languages.

    An idiot in Athenian democracy was someone who was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs. Idiocy was the natural state of ignorance into which all persons were born and its opposite, citizenship, was effected through formalized education. In Athenian democracy, idiots were born and citizens were made through education (although citizenship was also largely hereditary). “Idiot” originally referred to “layman, person lacking professional skill”, “incapable of ordinary reasoning”. Declining to take part in public life, such as democratic government of the polis (city state), was considered dishonourable. “Idiots” were seen as having bad judgment in public and political matters. Over time, the term “idiot” shifted away from its original connotation of selfishness and came to refer to individuals with overall bad judgment–individuals who are “stupid”. According to the Bauer-Danker Lexicon, the noun ίδιωτής in ancient Greek meant “civilian”, “private citizen” “private soldier as opposed to officer,” “relatively unskilled, not clever,” (Herodotus).The military connotation in Bauer’s definition stems from the fact that ancient Greek armies in the time of total war mobilized all male citizens (to the age of 50) to fight, and many of these citizens tended to fight poorly and ignorantly.

    It is only recently that the term ‘idiot’ has been associated with mental illness, as in former times it referred to the moral state of a person. The modern link with insanity marks a decline in the quality of ethical and political discourse, usually associated with a fallacy of relevance, an attempt to discredit a person with abuse. For example, someone expressing an opposing view will be described as insane. But this is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the person’s argument. Idiocy is characterised by a person’s avoidance of political discourse. Insanity is determined in relation to a person’s mental incapacities.

    Although politicians have occasionally been described as idiots, this usage hardly fits in with the original meaning associated with abstinence from political activity. The deficiencies of politicians are best covered with a wide range of descriptions from corrupt, incompetent, excessively ambitious and much more.

    In Aristotle’s Ethics idiots might well be regarded as suffering from ‘akrasia’ – a condition of moral incontinence, lacking the rational content to their actions due to their absence from political and moral discourse. In practical terms idiots would simply obey the dominant political authorities of the day. When Sarah Palin said that ‘only dead fish go with the flow’, she was referring to idiots. Lenin described people who unthinkingly obeyed the party when it was against their interests as ‘useful idiots’. Under certain circumstances idiots might turn out to be very dangerous people indeed.

  5. Dr Llareggub

    Oh dear, had to censor my comment t did you. Best wishes

  6. The apathy is down to the poorest not having a political party that represents them today.

    Over 70 per cent do not vote in elections and do not want to hear the words, politics, politicians, vote and elect. They do not even believe in the institution of parliament, viewing it as full of self serving wealthy politicians, only interested in grabbing more money for themselves.

    Labour lost in 2010 because Labour voters folded up their arms and did not vote for any party.

    The young 16-25 and women turned 60 from 2013 are not even bothering to sign on the electoral roll, but then this is widespread in all ages.

    Women born from 1953 and men born from 1951
    will suffer from all mainstream parties

    Anything up to a third of the electorate are threatened by tax, welfare and pension ‘reform’ (aka abolition) with the threat of homelessness, hunger and freezing to death in unheated homes.

    The Greens do not realise that they buck this trend with their 2015 manifesto pledges that replaces the cruelest benefit admin since the Workhouse (that has returned somewhere where a homeless hostel is demanding work in return for benefits and a roof over their head):

    – universal, automatic Citizen Income, non-withdrawable
    to the level of the basic tax allowance

    – Full State Pension to all citizens, irregardless of National Insurance contribution / credit history mostly lost due to benefit rule changes and the huge austerity job cuts.

    Both above have a supplement for the disabled.

    Hopefully you might ask The Greens why they are keeping the solution to starvation under wraps so much?

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