Why People Decide to Participate in State Politics
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Why People Decide to Participate in State Politics


WASHINGTON - February 12, 2019

When the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle called people "political animals," he meant they have an ethical sense — the idea of good and evil, justice and injustice and the ability to live in society and act together. It would seem that almost all people are included in politics according to the Aristotelian concept.

However, this is not so, if we mean political practices. As belief is dead without action, interest in politics without political action makes society a passive object of governance.

Most people in the modern world are satisfied with the passive role, saying in justification: "What can we do?”

Therefore, we'll focus here on those who believe they can do something.

People have speculated for centuries about a future without work, and nothing has changed so far: As before, scientists, writers and activists warn people that technology will replace human labor. For some, a future world free from work seems to be without equality — a small number of propertied people will have all the wealth and the bulk of society will fight for existence in the impoverished wasteland.

Another, less paranoid assumption, is that the future will be a wasteland of a slightly different kind — in which people will have no purpose in life. Without a job that gives life meaning, people will become lazy and depressed.

Indeed, it doesn't seem that today's unemployed live well. A Gallup poll found that 20% of Americans who had been out of work for at least a year showed signs of depression, which is twice as high as employed citizens. Also, some studies argue that the explanation for the increase in mortality rates, mental health problems and drug addiction among middle-aged people with poor education is the lack of well-paid jobs. Another study shows that people often feel happier at work than in their free time. Perhaps that is why many worry about the agonizing dullness of the unemployed future.

Perhaps in our time, the dignity of work is a bit exaggerated.

"Many professions are boring, demeaning, harmful to health and waste of human potential," said John Danaher of Ireland National University, who described a world free from work. "International studies have found that the vast majority of people are unhappy at work."

Nowadays, due to the relatively small amount of free time, people use it to balance the intellectual and emotional burden they experience in the workplace.

However, having a profession can provide some degree of financial stability, but in addition to the difficulties in providing for life’s needs, in our time, the unemployed are forced to feel like social outcasts.

In addition, people in many modern societies without work can be just boring. For example, American cities are poorly suited for leisure activities. Public places are usually small private islands, and there are not many places where adults can make new friends or come up with new ways to have fun without much cost.

The origins of this boredom can go much deeper. Professor of psychology at Boston College Peter Gray, teaching the game concept, believes that if work would disappear tomorrow, people who have forgotten how to have fun would not be able to find something and get bored or would fall into depression.

"We show children the difference between play and work," Gray explains. "Work is something you don't want to do, but you have to."

He argues that such training begins at school and eventually “drills” out of the minds of children the concept of the game, and they eventually grow into adults who don't know how to spend their free time.

"Some people retire and don't know what to do next," Gray notes. "They have lost the ability to think of things to do. At the same time, children don't seem to have such problems. You will not find a single three-year-old child who will fall into laziness and depression due to the fact that he will not be able to find a specific case."

Should everything stay the same? Societies devoid of the work concept are not just a farfetched experiment. Such precedents have existed in the history of mankind. Remember the hunters and gatherers who had no bosses, no wages, no eight-hour working day. Or aristocrats of the 18th-19th centuries, who spent their time in visiting each other, delicious meals, parties, writing letters and going to church. In addition, they are on a voluntary basis quite tightly engaged in politics; many became famous writers or artists.

Be careful here because it has similarities with the current world policy.

It is unlikely that in a world without work there would be enough material wealth to provide such a luxurious life. But Gray insists that adding at least some elements of the game would be beneficial because the game is something more than just fun. In the process of the game, says Gray, children (and adults too) learn to think strategically, to build mental connections, to express their creativity, to work in a team, and to establish contacts with other people. Although most adults may have forgotten how to play, Gray does not consider this skill lost forever: He mentions that often grandparents who spend time playing with their grandchildren soon understand the rules themselves.

When people begin to think about the nature of the world without work, they often try to project today's current judgments about work and rest for the future, in which their relevance may already disappear: If the coming automation will make the lion's share of human labor optional, such a society will exist according to fundamentally different rules than now.

So what would the world look like without work? Gray has some ideas. For example, a lot will change in school.

"It seems to me that our entire education system will simply collapse," Gray said. "The main purpose of this system is to teach people of how to work. I don't think anyone would want their children to go through the same thing as our children now."

Instead, according to Gray, teachers could build lessons based on what children are really interested in.

Historian Randolph Trumbach, in turn, believes that people will be able to participate more actively in political and public life, like the aristocrats of the past.

"If more people use their free time to engage in politics, it will give many a purpose in life," Trumbach says.

Social life can also change. Since the industrial revolution, once previously single families spend most of their time apart. In a world in which there is no need to work, people of different generations will be able to spend time together again.

So, scientists have found that the presence of close relationships is a primary condition for happiness, and social connections that could appear in our absence of work could suppress the sense of purposeless existence, which many futurists fear.

Thus, Gray believes that without the need to work it will be easier for people to do what they love, to create and communicate with friends. Perhaps, many will cease to understand rest only as a way to let off steam after hard work and will begin to understand it as something more heterogeneous and truly live.

"We don't have to put our own persona first, as we used to do now," Gray says. "I think we would have been more human."

But is the policy is humane?

It seems easy to understand what politics is. This is one-time or systematic participation in political activity or the transformation of politics into a profession. We're all the so-called politicals when we go to a rally, stand in a picket, and agitate for the right candidate. If we do it regularly, we're a political activist who is engaged in politics in his spare time. If political activity absorbs most of our time, and we don't do anything else, then we are a professional political activist. Getting into the leadership of a political organization, becoming a member of congress, or the President, we make a political career. Simple, right?

A common domestic opinion about politics is that people deal with it exclusively in order to get some material benefits: money, economic privileges, at worst, judicial immunity.

This opinion is not without meaning in relation to the United States, but only if you speak on behalf of the Democratic Party or another party. However, for the American system, this belief is doubtful because politics exposes you only to risks and troubles.

And it is absolutely wrong in relation to Western countries. Yes, you can go from business to politics and back. But any abuse of political status for the purpose of enrichment will throw you out of politics with a "wolf ticket." The modesty of politics and bureaucracy is an absolute requirement of Western society. And this modesty, even if ostentatious, is much better than the arrogant luxury of American officials.

But why then do people go into politics, if not for the demonstration of Breguet, villas, expensive kept women and sports cars? The answer is simple and even naive: For the sake of ideas and power. The pursuit of freedom, justice and the public good is one of man's strongest motivations. Political leaders and movements that transform the world are growing out of outrage at oppression – their own or other people, out of protest against a particular injustice.

All great changes were made by people driven by perfect motives. Never and nowhere did they come by those who sought in politics exclusively money and privileges.

It is easy to see how this motivation arises and works in the modern United States.

You live near the town garbage dump. It’s impossible to breathe — adults suffocate, children get sick. You start organizing collective complaints and petitions. They spit on them because a lot of money is at stake.

Having exhausted all the epistolary possibilities, you organize a protest rally and/or road closures. You are fined or arrested. After this, many are hammered into the gap. Not you.

On the contrary, you are acutely aware that the flagrant injustice and deprivation of the right to a normal life for your family, your relatives and friends are the result of a vicious state and political system.

This device must be changed! you conclude. Well, Congratulations: You have embarked on the path of political struggle!

An important way of coming into politics is the desire for power — power densely imbued with all the nuances of human relations, including even something as intimate as love and relationships between parents and children.

However, the purest and most powerful form of power is realized in the political sphere. For this power is not over households, students at school, subordinates at work, but over nations and countries. And such power does not require material dividends, because the "rule of the ruler" is self-sufficient and super valuable.  It’s not without reason that "the Prince of this world” tempted Christ in the desert with the most powerful temptation: "the power over all kingdoms and their glory."

Finally, there is a breed of people who, following the precept of Porthos from the "The Three Musketeers", fight because they fight. These are those who are prone to adventurous enterprises of any kind. They are involved in politics in a situation of acute crises and confrontation, making up a fair part of the street crowd, and by the will of circumstances are sometimes pushed to the forefront. And then it depends on them. If these people discover the same powerful instinct that the great Plato called "Royal Art," they are fixed in politics. Or after a short takeoff, they leave center stage.

In any case, we must remember two simple things:

  • politics exists only where political action takes place
  • in a crisis situation, not more than three percent of the population is ready to take a risk
Author: USA Really