Monday, February 9, 2009

politics - we can't live without it!

Politics refers to any persistent pattern in human relations which involves to a significant extent power, influence, or authority.

As such, our daily life is a political experience. The act of convincing our kids to pursue a university course, the process of deciding wheteher to go out with our friends or not, the decision to desist from harming others even if we are so pissed off. All these, and a lot more, are political affairs.

But many social scientists would be largely preoccupied with institutions and processes, particularly on the macro level. Thus governance and electoral politics would be at the center of everyone's consciousness whenever politics is brought up in a discussion.

Unfortunately, this only laid down the foundation for people to believe that politics is bad and to be avoided-even if to their mind, it is clear that electoral politics and governance issues are the major concerns.

An equally unfortunate consequence of this situation is when people and institutions start to announce: we dont want to have anything to do with politics! we are not a political organization! One doesnt have to be an expert to discern the message: indifference and apathy to politics is beneficial.

But we are not supposed to forget the fact that politics will always have both a personal dimension and a social dimension. Thus even those institutions who are supposed to cater to the individual person, and his/her soul, are actually doing something political.

So can we really do away with politics? Maybe not. It is deeply embedded in our actions and emotions, both on the personal and collective level. And can we afford to be indifferent to politics? Maybe not. Because there is so much at stake!

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