"I don't talk politics" is generally something that can only be said by people who are not negatively impacted by dominant politics.
And in my observation it's very often said by people who benefit from dominant politics, whether they know it and acknowledge it or not.
It's the least consistent a statement when said by people making significant political actions in one area, but ducking it in another.
@freedcreative This is true, definitely for white apoliticism, but another aspect of apoliticism is brutalisation. Eg, here in Turkey the generations that experienced the 1980 coup and many that were born in the 80s especially are decidedly apolitical because the junta and following regimes have been very violent about it. It's maybe within the last decade that the country is slowly loosening up in those respects.
@cadadr Oh I would never point the finger at someone who is apolitical for those reasons. And I'm very glad to hear people are starting to find their voices again.
My beef would probably better be described as people being psuedo-apolitical, i.e. actually quite political, but then suddenly claiming to be apolitical when it's personally uncomfortable.
@freedcreative I know :) Sorry if it came off like a challenge to your post, wasn't the intention.
Just wanted to make a little note about that aspect of it, as I see apoliticalism talked about pretty frequently here. Like it was something in my mind for quite a while but never got to putting it to words because.. laziness I guess.
And then even what I point out is not w/o privilege dynamics. Like it's way easier for a Turkish leftist to run away into apoliticism than it is for a Kurdish one.
@cadadr I think we were both venting some recent thoughts then.
The one bothering me for some time is people in the libre / open source space claiming they don't want politics when A) they participate in a software activist movement which is inherently a political stance and B) in many cases they have a whoooole lot to say about politics most of the time.
Like, you can't put "ancap" in your bio then claim you don't want to deal with politics.
@freedcreative They have their doublethink to be political while telling themselves they aren't. "It's not politics, just the natural way of things..."
I first met these white foss/techbro folk on HN. Was shocking how explicitly and casually they exercise whiteness. I didn't know much about it at the time if I'm honest, but HNers flexing privilege on me or other non-Westerners was a weird, enraging experience.
@cadadr Fish to drowning person: "You're breathing the perfect amount of water, stop whining."
My first encounter was hanging out in a social space with Linux advocates I thought were all about freedom and fairness. Then Godot published a CoC and they lost their minds. I was stunned at what seemed, in my naivete, like a 180. I bailed and never went back.
In the past, I often wouldn't show any gender in bios too, and the things people say when they assume you're male...
@freedcreative Oh yeah... CoC "wars". I have been on both sides of that thing, as the confused mostly offline dude I was, knowing nothing about what tech world was like if you're not a cis man. I ofc like to imagine I'd be unambiguously supportive if I had known.
The more online I became, the more I regretted it tbh. This place is only different bc I've carved me a nice space with mostly queer folk & women. I tend not to socialise a lot with cis men irl either, partly bc similar issues.
@cadadr I feel ya on that front. As I learn more and understand more, (and to be honest age more), I find I have less and less patience with behavior and attitudes that are harmful to others.
For me it's the opposite though, only online have I found people to become friends with who are actively trying to do good as much as they can. IRL, for me, it's a wasteland.
@freedcreative oh yeah mostly similar for me too actually, re irl vs online. It's just been difficult to cut thru the endless grifters and selfish privileged folk, but I have kept at it because I have found gradually more good folk.
@emacsomancer @cadadr Same. I've actually wondered how much of the compliance we see, with people cheerfully supporting their own oppressors, stems from centuries if not millennia of political violence. Like it became a deeply embedded survival trait.
I don't know enough about how survival mechanisms develop, but I do wonder.
@freedcreative "Being unpolitical means being political without realizing it" — I’ve had that in my signature for years now.
Being unpolitical is a very political standpoint.
@ArneBab @freedcreative "Fascism reasserts
The rights of the State as expressing the real essence
of the individual. And if liberty is to he the attribute of
living men and not of abstract dummies invented by
individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for
liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the
liberty of the State and of the individual within the
State. The Fascist conception of the State is all
embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values
can exist, much less have value. Thus understood,
Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State — a
synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values —
interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a
people." - Benito Mussolini, The Doctrine of Fascism
Sounds boring, but if you look at it in detail, it’s actually pretty radical — in a good way, because it attacks corruption and power at their root.
Imagine real democracy in your job — and what you’d need for that to fly.
@freedcreative I do not know English very well. I translated and read your article with "lingva translate".
I agree with what you wrote. Not speaking politics is also a political choice.
@freedcreative If I say I am unbiased when a 200 lbs man attacks a 100 lbs man, that means I am on the attackers side.
@freedcreative I've seen it in a far different context. Basically, anything they don't agree with is "politics." The things they do agree with are moral and right, not political at all. We're "guilty" of it as well, in that we think human rights (particularly for marginalized people) should just be a normal thing, and standing up for them is the moral thing to do.
It's ultimately impossible to avoid politics, as it touches all aspects of life. One can make an attempt to avoid the minutia of it, but it *is* important to take a stand on what one believes is fundamentally important morally. By no means am I actually saying Black Lives Matter and Nazis are morally similar. I hold that Nazis deserve only the barest minimum respect given to all humans in general (like let's at least not execute them). However, members of each believe in their moral positions with similar passion. The answer is not to "avoid politics," but embrace that conflict and reject evil.
@freedcreative There's a perfectly valid reason
to stay away from discussing politics: polarization of society, inability to have an actual conversation (as opposed to a pissing match), and general intolerance to views that challenge yours
@freedcreative well, what's "totally consistent"? i can argue about politics with wife and friends bc i'm sure we can have a sensible discussion. i'll think twice before joining a conversation with people i don't know. if i do join and i see they act like major a-holes, i''ll quit? is that "totally consistent"? maybe not. does it help me keep my sanity? of course it does :)
@prokoudine Is say that's a different scenario to what I'm referring to. Private conversations are a different thing.
What I'm pointing to is if a person takes a public political stance, or several, it's too late to walk it back and say you they don't do politics. They do, they just don't want to do uncomfortable politics.
@carl @freedcreative ah, that would the male privilege of a person living in a country with obligatory military service where boys routinely get abused and killed. that's cute. and as for 'white', well, i happen to live in russia. white is pretty much all we got, with some exceptions. any other fun privileges?
@carl @freedcreative see? you approached me with something that sounds like an attack and proceeded with selectively responding to my comments, and yet _i_ am supposed to be "totally consistent". that's a perfect example why not talking politics to strangers is a great choice. for the record, i'm mediterranean white due to some turkish blood in my family, so i have some reservations about people using terms like "true russians"
I love the work you do Alex, I've been following it for a long time so please don't take this as an attack, but I guess you probably don't have that experience often when people see your avatar or learn your name.
Even tiny things force a lot of people to get political, no choice in it.
There's no doubt a lot of prejudice against Russia and Russians, especially in the west. And that's exactly the point, because the reason is the current dominant politics, which negatively effect you.
So not having to deal with that is something you might call western privilege. That's a privilege I have that you don't.
All these things are real.
@freedcreative We can't have a functioning democracy without talking politics. Saying "I have no interest in politics" is basically saying "I expect someone else to make society work so I can be comfortable, but don't bother me with the details".
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