T Nation

Politically Jaded In My Early 20's


#1

I have been politically active and interested since I was around 14, I had a very politically engaged family with close family members having varied and wide ranging views on everything, from very right wing to fairly left wing, from proponents of big state and government systems to very limited government advocates.

I have arrived at the haggard old man on the porch with a bottle of Jameson telling his sons that "they are all full of shit".

I just can't fully agree with any side and I have never known a politically decided person who wasn't extremely biased and had a terrible attitude when it comes to discussion, coversation about anything remotely political. I was wondering what some of you older guys think about politics in general and how many of you are still on "a side" and how many of you share my general apathy for all parties and political persuasions?

I am coming to the position that all systems are inherently flawed, from big government systems, to limited government libertarianism, to socialism to fascism to third economy propositions and welfare state social democracies.

I have started to think that what matters is the micro level, how we treat one another, our attitude and care or lack there of for one another. Whether that is corruption and consolidation of power by members of the party in the soviet union or greedy bankers, greedy consumers choosing to buy cheap products from near slavery condition sweatshops to save a couple dollars in capitalist systems etc etc.

I think most political systems could work but the general shittyness of people fuck them up.


#2

I think you’re actually in a good place. Part of being jaded is being skeptical, and a little skepticism is healthy. But out of that skepticism should come a sense of opportunity to fix what is broken, not simply resign yourself to thinking nothing will ever be fixable.

The parties are due for a reassessment and a realignment. People are increasingly dissatisfied with what they do and who actually is in charge of them. Both sides have been corrupted. I’ve had Democrats tell me with a straight face that people are too stupid to know what’s good for them as justification for an autocratic progressive state, but they swear they want to extend voting rights to get more citizens involved in politics. The GOP swears they are the party on behalf of people against elites who deny them their freedom, and then are in practice beholden to powerful and wealthy elites that they give every advantage.

The key is - don’t be cynical. Frustrating as it is, you have a chance to take it all on and make it better. My view is that we are living in an historical era of muddling, middling politicians and of unnecessary national and international decline. That means there is ripe opportunity to be part of the correction.

Continue to be skeptical, but move past being jaded.


#3

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
I think you’re actually in a good place. Part of being jaded is being skeptical, and a little skepticism is healthy. But out of that skepticism should come a sense of opportunity to fix what is broken, not simply resign yourself to thinking nothing will ever be fixable.

The parties are due for a reassessment and a realignment. People are increasingly dissatisfied with what they do and who actually is in charge of them. Both sides have been corrupted. I’ve had Democrats tell me with a straight face that people are too stupid to know what’s good for them as justification for an autocratic progressive state, but they swear they want to extend voting rights to get more citizens involved in politics. The GOP swears they are the party on behalf of people against elites who deny them their freedom, and then are in practice beholden to powerful and wealthy elites that they give every advantage.

The key is - don’t be cynical. Frustrating as it is, you have a chance to take it all on and make it better. My view is that we are living in an historical era of muddling, middling politicians and of unnecessary national and international decline. That means there is ripe opportunity to be part of the correction.

Continue to be skeptical, but move past being jaded.

[/quote]

Yeah I get what you are saying and you are probably right, I do feel like I have shed my naive and idealistic phase that we all go through as teens but I think it goes deeper than that. I don’t think any changes to the system or to the government matter as much as a general change in culture and personal behaviour.

For example if everyone came together and were charitable and kind and hard working capitalism would be amazing, it would lead to real third world economic growth and allow real competition with local businesses to challenge monopolies. Corporations would choose 500 million profit rather than 2 billion a year and pay workers decent wages etc.

Same with communism, if everyone truly came together and said lets be good to one another, lets work hard and have a truly publicly owned mode of production and lets not try and seize power and have rampant corruption and repression, then people could live in an amazing society where human needs outweigh monetary profit.

I don’t think capitalism, communism, big government, small government, no state, far reaching state matters if the culture and human behaviour is bad. I am not really someone who thinks it will or even can change though so that leaves me at the bottom of an enormous hill with a boulder.


#4

[quote]Red69 wrote:
I think most political systems could work but the general shittyness of people fuck them up.
[/quote]

This pretty much answers your question. My belief is the opposite but its basically the same thing, all political systems will fail but the general goodness of the people can keep them desirable for at least some period of time.


#5

[quote]sufiandy wrote:

[quote]Red69 wrote:
I think most political systems could work but the general shittyness of people fuck them up.
[/quote]

This pretty much answers your question. My belief is the opposite but its basically the same thing, all political systems will fail but the general goodness of the people can keep them desirable for at least some period of time.[/quote]

It’s people that create and manage the system. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”(Lord Acton) Under mortal management, there seem to be two options: War among all, or some form of enslavement of some by others.


#6

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#7

[quote]Red69 wrote:
I have been politically active and interested since I was around 14, I had a very politically engaged family with close family members having varied and wide ranging views on everything, from very right wing to fairly left wing, from proponents of big state and government systems to very limited government advocates.

I have arrived at the haggard old man on the porch with a bottle of Jameson telling his sons that “they are all full of shit”.

I just can’t fully agree with any side and I have never known a politically decided person who wasn’t extremely biased and had a terrible attitude when it comes to discussion, coversation about anything remotely political. I was wondering what some of you older guys think about politics in general and how many of you are still on “a side” and how many of you share my general apathy for all parties and political persuasions?

I am coming to the position that all systems are inherently flawed, from big government systems, to limited government libertarianism, to socialism to fascism to third economy propositions and welfare state social democracies.

I have started to think that what matters is the micro level, how we treat one another, our attitude and care or lack there of for one another. Whether that is corruption and consolidation of power by members of the party in the soviet union or greedy bankers, greedy consumers choosing to buy cheap products from near slavery condition sweatshops to save a couple dollars in capitalist systems etc etc.

I think most political systems could work but the general shittyness of people fuck them up.

[/quote]

Sounds like to me that you’ve judged the political landscape based on the people who hold opinions rather than the issues and where you stand on them based on the facts and what matters to you.
Look at the issues, look at the pros and cons of each and on the weight of the evidence decide where you stand.

OR, you can say fuck it and not pay attention and do whatever you want. <- I don’t mean that as a negative. Everybody needs to take a break from the news and from politics and issues, whether they think they do or not.
When I was young I checked out of the news and politics for a couple years. Best time of my life. Not solely because of that, I was doing a lot of cool stuff and generally having a blast and didn’t give two shit and a nickle about what was going on.
One thing you notice from not paying attention is that you will find you are more relaxed in general.
Now I feel ‘checking out’ should be a deliberate action. You don’t want to be just plain ignorant, you want to be blissfully ignorant. Of course, you can’t check out forever, but it’s good to do for a time, especially when you are young. Go have some fun, travel do stuff you like. Eventually you will have to grow up and be stressed out, no reason to rush it though.


#8

Great points by Pat, and I would add one more thing in that vein: don’t make politics bigger than it is. Don’t let it determine your friends, the books you read, the places you go, etc.

Most annoying people in the world are the ones that have politics and political views infect everything, and there never know how to shut it off.

My personal view is that if you are engaged in politics, but have no friends of other political persuasions and viewpoints, you’re doing something horribly wrong.


#9

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Great points by Pat, and I would add one more thing in that vein: don’t make politics bigger than it is. Don’t let it determine your friends, the books you read, the places you go, etc.

Most annoying people in the world are the ones that have politics and political views infect everything, and there never know how to shut it off.

My personal view is that if you are engaged in politics, but have no friends of other political persuasions and viewpoints, you’re doing something horribly wrong.[/quote]

“don’t make politics bigger than it is. Don’t let it determine your friends,” <- Great point. I lean conservative, but I have had liberal friends and everything in between. Basically, I don’t often talk about politics and religion outside of the family and this here forum. Really, I do most of my political conversations in PWI. In normal social situations I avoid it like the plague, it’s just not worth it.


#10

I believe that we would do well to have a third party.
A this, that and the other if you would.

We know that the two party system has a very polarizing effect.
Add a third that really is a little more in the middle and we might be better off.

There are a lot of conservative ideas that i agree with, yet some of the stupid shit they say just
nullifies if for me.

An example. We Want Smaller Government (i’m cool with this) BUT ! You cannot do this in your own bedroom.
You cannot have an Abortion, but if you are raped, your body has a way of shutting that stuff down ? Huh ??

Anyway…
The more educated you become, the more your BULLSHIT detector will fire ! Especially when it has to do with Politics !!


#11

[quote]Red69 wrote:

I think most political systems could work but the general shittyness of people fuck them up.

[/quote]

Do you have any ideas about how to bring up human quality? I ask because many people would like this to happen but get faint hearted at what needs to be done for that to happen.


#12

Both parties are full of shit, I don’t really align with either side because I can go either way depending the issue.

But more than anything, we must come across someone who values our country and it’s well being more than money and ego. Someone who will turn down a bribe if it directs our country towards Fuckville.

Among the current crop of lying shitbags running for president (on both sides), I give Bernie Sanders the award for keeping it real with what he believes, even though I disagree with his political views.


#13

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]Red69 wrote:

I think most political systems could work but the general shittyness of people fuck them up.

[/quote]

Do you have any ideas about how to bring up human quality? I ask because many people would like this to happen but get faint hearted at what needs to be done for that to happen. [/quote]

In my opinion, such a thing requires a three-pronged approach.

  1. An increase in education. I don’t mean throwing more money at public schools and encouraging more people to go to college. I mean placing a higher value on being intelligent, logical, rational, and perceptive. Most high schools and middle schools don’t teach ANY logic at all, let alone the basics of Aristotelian logic. And quite frankly, logic isn’t even the real answer. The REAL answer is to encourage more critical thinking in schools, and to begin building critical thinking skills from a student’s first day in school.

  2. A return to spirituality and/or religion. I’m not a big organized religion type of guy, but I think a lot of the bad rap that is assigned to organized religion focuses more on people who misinterpret religious teachings rather than the teachings themselves. But the bottom line is that this country has become spiritually bankrupt. Self-interest has replaced the common good, but our system of gov’t mandates that the common good be the highest priority.

  3. The third aspect of this approach is perhaps the biggest problem we face as a nation right now. There is too much of a focus in this country on that which makes us different. Individuality is certainly something that should be embraced, but the flip side of that coin leads to the classic “us vs. them” attitude. Gays vs. everyone else; blacks vs. all whites; women vs. men and so on. People always complain about the divisiveness that seems to run rampant in this country right now, but many of those same people then turn around and want to celebrate diversity. Diversity is not a virtue, just like walking across the street is not an action defined by morality. The idea that diversity is a step toward social reform of any kind is a fucking joke. Division and divisiveness aren’t exactly polar opposites.

There should be more emphasis in this country on what makes us all the same, what binds us together, both as Americans and as humans in general. I think that this is the first step toward regaining the American pride that seems to have been tossed aside lately. I would further argue that an emphasis on American pride, perhaps a bit of increased nationalism for all the right reasons, is a necessary step toward addressing the nation’s socio-economic and political problems in an honest, constructive way. If what makes us different is constantly being thrown in everyone’s faces, the natural result (which we see in society today) is a complete loss of open dialogue.


#14

Does anyone here actually think VOTING will do anything that will stop this country from heading to the shitter?

I’ve heard it about a thousand times: “Don’t complain if you don’t vote!” Yeah, tell me what voting for a modern day politician is going to do.


#15

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
Does anyone here actually think VOTING will do anything that will stop this country from heading to the shitter?

I’ve heard it about a thousand times: “Don’t complain if you don’t vote!” Yeah, tell me what voting for a modern day politician is going to do. [/quote]

I remember seeing a clip of George Carlin who talked about voting being an illusion. This illusion assumes there is a difference between these useless shitbags, and typically there is very little.

These assclowns will do the bidding of the whoremasters who bribe them, no matter if it’s Dem or Rep. Liars, thieves, and whores, all of them. The Citizens United ruling was one of the worst decisions ever, because it means we will never see the bottom of the sewer that is politics.


#16

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
Does anyone here actually think VOTING will do anything that will stop this country from heading to the shitter?

I’ve heard it about a thousand times: “Don’t complain if you don’t vote!” Yeah, tell me what voting for a modern day politician is going to do. [/quote]

Yes. Voting and writing your congress people are the two most important things we can do as citizens.
Not voting is a way to ensure that you have done everything you can to fuck things up. And it is true, if you don’t vote, don’t bitch. You had a chance to do something and you missed it.


#17

Stay politically active, and sift through the bullshit. Don’t allow stupid people to dominate the electorate.


#18

[quote]Alrightmiami19c wrote:
Stay politically active, and sift through the bullshit. Don’t allow stupid people to dominate the electorate. [/quote]

And what shall we do with all these stupid people legally allowed to vote? I have an idea. Do you?


#19

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]Alrightmiami19c wrote:
Stay politically active, and sift through the bullshit. Don’t allow stupid people to dominate the electorate. [/quote]

And what shall we do with all these stupid people legally allowed to vote? I have an idea. Do you?
[/quote]

Not sure what you mean.

Its easy to get uninformed voters riled up over things that don’t matter. Apathy keeps too many people from the polls. How many times have you talked to someone about taxes and then had that same person say something along the lines of “I’m not into politics”?

I live in upstate NY. We had a horrible turnout in the 2014 governors race. A big issue upstate was the NY SAFE act and we had candidate run on a full repeal. I personally know at least ten people who constantly complain about the SAFE act and of them maybe two voted. “Our vote doesn’t count, the city has too much control.” A 30% turnout didn’t help matters.

Becoming a cynic to the point of inaction ensures your voice goes unheard.


#20

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

In my opinion, such a thing requires a three-pronged approach.

  1. An increase in education. I don’t mean throwing more money at public schools and encouraging more people to go to college. I mean placing a higher value on being intelligent, logical, rational, and perceptive. Most high schools and middle schools don’t teach ANY logic at all, let alone the basics of Aristotelian logic. And quite frankly, logic isn’t even the real answer. The REAL answer is to encourage more critical thinking in schools, and to begin building critical thinking skills from a student’s first day in school.

  2. A return to spirituality and/or religion. I’m not a big organized religion type of guy, but I think a lot of the bad rap that is assigned to organized religion focuses more on people who misinterpret religious teachings rather than the teachings themselves. But the bottom line is that this country has become spiritually bankrupt. Self-interest has replaced the common good, but our system of gov’t mandates that the common good be the highest priority.

  3. The third aspect of this approach is perhaps the biggest problem we face as a nation right now. There is too much of a focus in this country on that which makes us different. Individuality is certainly something that should be embraced, but the flip side of that coin leads to the classic “us vs. them” attitude. Gays vs. everyone else; blacks vs. all whites; women vs. men and so on. People always complain about the divisiveness that seems to run rampant in this country right now, but many of those same people then turn around and want to celebrate diversity. Diversity is not a virtue, just like walking across the street is not an action defined by morality. The idea that diversity is a step toward social reform of any kind is a fucking joke. Division and divisiveness aren’t exactly polar opposites.

There should be more emphasis in this country on what makes us all the same, what binds us together, both as Americans and as humans in general. I think that this is the first step toward regaining the American pride that seems to have been tossed aside lately. I would further argue that an emphasis on American pride, perhaps a bit of increased nationalism for all the right reasons, is a necessary step toward addressing the nation’s socio-economic and political problems in an honest, constructive way. If what makes us different is constantly being thrown in everyone’s faces, the natural result (which we see in society today) is a complete loss of open dialogue.[/quote]

Wow! I have disagreed with a number of your posts over time, but that was a great one. I agree with your three “prongs”, and I will add one of my own. I also think we need to reestablish the importance of the family unit. Families are the “bricks” which make up the “building” of a civilization.