Queen of Swords (qos) wrote,
Queen of Swords

Contemplating "Politics"

I rarely post about politics. I enjoy talking about other topics that many people find stressful, private, and/or volatile, especially religion and sex -- but I shy away from political conversations, especially in this forum.

This afternoon I had an insight about why that is, and I have to credit blessed_harlot's posts about Christian Anarchy for a significant amount of the thought leading up to it.

When I talk about sex and/or religion, it tends to be from a very personal, individual perspective. I talk about my own beliefs, my own experiences, always with the explicit or implied disclaimer of "Your Mileage May Vary." When I talk with another person about these topics, the focus is almost always about individual beliefs and experiences. We may have significant differences of opinion, but hopefully we can each honor the personal experiences that shaped those opinions.

The point at which it stops being about personal experience and starts being about other peoples' behavior is where politics begins. The conversation becomes political when it starts being about what each person thinks is best not just for him- or herself but for others as well. It's the point at which someone goes from saying I think it's wrong to ___ and becomes If I had my way, no one would be able to ____.

I am not saying that political conversation is bad. We live in extended communities, and we need to have political discourse -- preferrably conducted with a high level of thoughtfulness and civility. But it's not something I want to engage in in this space. This is a space where my friends and I share personal experiences, not where I debate which set of values should be dominant in the region or nation. It's not that I don't have opinions about such things, it's just that I don't usually want to air them there. (Please note: I have no problem at all with my friends holding such discussions in their own journals. That's their space, and I am free to take part or scroll down as I please.)

I don't know where this contemplation is leading. I wish I had more to say about it now than I do. But this insight felt significant enough to note.
Tags: political
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