people are disconnected from the political process. They are this
way not from ignorance or malevolence, rather the political process
is completely at odds with their daily lives. This even goes for, and
perhaps especially for, people who are otherwise highly political –
the activists in the environmental, anti-war and anti-corporate
of your friends and family. How long would they tolerate you acting
like a politician or a government? So much of politics is the
opposite of how we are. The manipulation to get us to vote for them,
the dishonest attacks on each other, the lobbying, the hostility to
dissent – we don't treat each other this way. They would turn their
backs on you if you consistently lied, bullied, and scammed them, the
way politicians or governments do as a matter of course. If six
friends decide to go out for dinner together, they do not appoint one
of them to decide which resto and force the others to eat there if
they hate that kind of food. Instead, they would find an eating place
acceptable to everyone.
organizations we do belong to – reading circles, singing
groups, neighborhood associations, folk clubs, activist groups -
work in a more consensus-based and egalitarian way. With government
the prime minister or president picks a cabinet who then bully the
MPs into line. To hell with the people if it is something the leaders
want to do. If we object they send in the police or the army to crush
us. This is not how we run our organizations, and if anyone even
attempted such behaviour they would be shown the door.
from government and the work place, we live our lives horizontally.
Government (and work) are organized in a top-down, hierarchical
manner – the minority at the top telling the mass what to do
and punishing them if they don't obey.
for us, we tend to live ever more horizontally as time progresses. A
hundred years ago, almost everyone lived in a hierarchy based upon
race, gender, class, religion and age. Anglo-Saxons bullied all the
other races and ethnic groups, men dominated women, age dominated
youth and Christians persecuted non-Christians. Anyone who worked
with their hands was deemed inferior. Child-rearing and pedagogy were
exercises in emotional, verbal and physical abuse. Today with the
democratic family, a leveling of race and religious hatreds, a less
misogynous attitude toward women, we treat each other in a much more
egalitarian and respectful manner.
are more or less stuck with our work relations, its either work for a
boss and all the authoritarian, hierarchical goop that goes with it,
or live a life of poverty. While we can not avoid work, we can avoid
politics. There is nothing forcing us to vote or support a political
party. So people are free to shun politics, i.e., that which is
foreign and disgusting to them. (1)
turning away from politics is part of a greater process of
withdrawal. Though still a minority, many people have turned their
backs on war, GMO's, the mass media, crass consumerism, etc.