Everything is Political

Published in Politics / Allyship - 3 mins to read

Until recently, I would never have considered myself interested in politics, or indeed a “political” person. I would say that I don’t have opinions on any topic that I deemed to be political, that I hadn’t spent any time researching or considering said topics, and furthermore that I had no real desire to - it felt like a waste of time. I didn’t think I’d be able to make any kind of change, to not be able to move the needle even the smallest amount, and that it would be a frustrating and demoralising way to spend my time.

Now (admittedly at a later juncture in my life than I’d care to admit), I’ve come to know and truly believe that everything is political. To describe myself as apolitical is of course a political statement - it is in favour of maintaining the status quo, across the board. It represented a total lack of understanding that I have the luxury of naivete - maintaining the status quo benefits me, but rather than admit that (and in the process have to take any kind of responsibility for it), I deliberately remained ignorant, sometimes taking a bizarre and misplaced pride in that.

“Not having an opinion” is political. Silence is political. This blog is political. I can’t operate as part of a society, as part of a community on levels both big and small, and try to distance myself from politics - I think a lot of people have learned that this year and I am certainly one of them. With this realisation though, the thing I said earlier - about not having spent any time researching or considering certain topics - takes on a lot more weight. I have some level of responsibility to do those things, not at the expense of living my life, not to the degree that I need to become an expert in anything, and perhaps most importantly not as a way of punishing myself, but there is some responsibility there nonetheless. One of the first things I want to think about it my own political illiteracy - the author is referring largely to politics in the sense of politicians and policies, but I think I’m politically illiterate in the broader sense of how my internal beliefs and values manifest externally and the effect they have on the people around me too. So that seems like where I’m going to start - get clearer on what those values are, and then work out what I can do to make sure my words and actions are better aligned with them.