Not so many years ago, when discussion in any group of friends or acquaintances shifted to politics, the atmosphere filled with funny vibes: a sense of futility, of discredit, of almost disdain for the indifferent matter at hand; something that resembled philosophical contemplation in a hair salon on the eve of Holy Saturday. It took all that was in store for us in the last five years to make us understand what our ancestors (of whom we are supposedly so proud) lived by: that politics are the affairs of the “city”; that any public issue should concern everyone; and that anyone who does not do so, anyone who keeps to their own, anyone who is an ιδιώτης, is a fool (ergo the direct translation of the term in English – idiot).
My intention is not to condemn the indefeasible right to abstain from political things; although the ethical legalization of whichever critique derives from this abstinence is a bit vexing. Despite all that, it’s never too late for raw politics; the living reality that surrounds us all – as each one’s senses perceive it. It took great pains for us to realize that we cannot choose to not be involved. When did you ever allow your life (personal, family, work, etc.) to be affected without having a say in it? Do you mean to tell me that your salary, your pension, your security, your child’s school, your local hospital and the street you live in are not your business?
And this is where we should be rid of this eternal misunderstanding: the fact that some of our politicians are corrupt cannot serve as an alibi for indifference. It is an evasion to wait for heaven on earth in order to care. It is precisely these problems that render politics seasonable and necessary. Surely you don’t plan to tell me that you agree with your partner, your mother, your friend or you colleague in everything?
In addition, you shouldn’t worry if you don’t remember how many seats in Parliament the United Democratic Left won in the elections of 1958. Missing a detail (albeit an important one – yet a detail, all the same) is not an approach that lacks historical depth. What affects us all cannot be the dissertation of a select few. Politics is either for all or for none.
And one final point: We don’t have to agree in everything. In fact, this would be extremely worrying. Just one red line: say no to intolerance. There is room for everything else. Our internet company aspires to the richness of many colors and to the freshness of a season with many buds among the weeds. Hopes for yet another property tax may stay out there, in the streets. Let’s keep the hope for a step toward a better world alive. Our desire is to take our minds one step further, without aphorisms and easy misery.