The politics of apathy

Posted: May 2, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

The current political elite remind me of a street gang terrorising a neighbourhood. You see them out of your window, group of streetwise thugs, laying into the weaker sections of the street, and asserting their dominance in the worst ways. You don’t particularly like what you are seeing, but a lot of people attempt to justify it, usually through blind partisanship: “the other lot are worse”.

But then there are some who wish it would change, and here’s the analogy. Voting is a little like joining a ‘neighbourhood watch’ team. You’re doing something. Not a lot, but you hope it could contribute to a better neighbourhood in the end. Activism would involve calling the police. There is a risk of retributive action, but you are doing something concrete to try and change things for the better, hoping others may follow your lead. Direct action would probably involve marching over and taking a swing at the leader of the group. Ugly, probably doomed to failure and a thorough beating, but by far the bravest action, and one most likely to alter behaviour.

The reason I use this analogy is that I have seen some people proclaiming loudly about their right not to vote in today’s county council elections. Let’s get this straight. Not voting at all is an act of free will, and anybody’s obligation. But, if you aren’t involved in activism or direct action, don’t try and brand your apathy as some sort of ‘up yours’ to the Establishment. It’s not. It’s you happily bending over to be sodomized by people much wealthier and opinionated than you.

By voting today, I might be a coward, but not as cowardly as you.


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