Telling people about your politics

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wojtek
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Oct 13 2016 14:22
Telling people about your politics

How do you inform people about your politics? I ask this because the Thai king has died. I don't like labels. I see them as things to aspire to and in any case, actions and behaviour matter more. I only really talk about politics out loud when (1) it directly affects me or those around me and (2) on the rare occassion I feel I can do something about it.

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Khawaga
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Oct 13 2016 15:20
Quote:
I ask this because the Thai king has died.

Strange context to ask that question. And I am only saying that because the few Thai folks I know, fucking love the king for some reason. Like love with a devotion that is a bit scary.

Anyhoo, I am pretty open about my politics if anyone asks, but I rarely push them onto others.

wojtek
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Oct 13 2016 15:54

My fb is filled with sadness right now and I am unsure as to what I should say if a royalist thai friend wanted to confide in me. I wouldn't want to lie, but neither do I wish to be a dick.

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jef costello
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Oct 13 2016 15:32

I haven't said what my politics are for years. I tend to give my opinion on what's happening.
For example I would say to a colleague that I wouldn't cross a picket line on principle but I wouldn't feel the need to add the fact that I'm a communist. I do reserve the right to laugh at people who label me. Like the time I criticised Sarkozy and I had a circle jerk of right-wingers (I've got a facebook friend who is one of those who is only kept from voting from Le Pen by snobbery) having a go at me for voting for Hollande.

Labels can often lead to confusion so I don't use them unless asked or unless it is needed. You do have to be open though, I ran across a few very underhanded recruitment groups for religious groups, for example taking 'surveys' which basically were trying to find out if you were vulnerable etc. You have to be honest but it isn't always relevant.

Fleur
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Oct 13 2016 17:24

Pretty much what Jef said. I give my opinion on things, rarely ante up a label to my politics, especially as people often have misconceptions about labels such as communist or anarchist. Most people I work with already knew my politics before I started working there, as I knew them socially but generally I don't define myself primarily by my politics. If someone asks I will tell them, if I don't think they're a dick or someone who is likely to give me particular grief over it.

wojtek:

Maybe you can say something anodyne like "I'm sorry for your grief" or "Thinking of you during this time."

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Cooked
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Oct 13 2016 19:47

The Thai people I know (mostly London friends of my partner) also looove the king. I just can't get my head around it, not exactly conservative people... As Fleur says though there's no need to comment on politics when someone is grieving. Save it till later if neccessary.

We have a fair bit of conversations at work where my politics come though. They can't get their head around the analysis as it's not quite the left they expect. We had a work do this summer around 10 people ended up around a table and things went political and people were asking me a lot of questions as they mostly thought my arguments made sense. Eventually they needed a label because they could tell it was a coherent set of ideas. And when asked for a label in front of 10 curious people I sort of floundered as I was completely unprepared.

Quote:
Cooked: "Ehh... eeehh libertarian eeeh socialist? eeeh a bit of ultra-left"
- ¯\(°_o)/¯
Cooked: I reccon Lenin was a bit right wing.
- 8-|
- cool
- Makes sense

I'm most comfortable with anarchist communist but I've noticed it makes people even more confused when they ask for a label and already know my "politics"

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Apsych
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Oct 13 2016 20:44

What about if you're trying to organise something? It's hard to know how far to talk about political affiliations or organisational membership if you;re working with people who aren't regular activists. People get suspicious of 'ideology' sometimes and think you have an ulterior motive or you're doing some kind of entryism, on the other hand if you don't talk about affiliations or ideology it can end up opaque and manipulative. Also do you talk about politics at work? I mentioned Rudolph Rocker once and someone asked me if I believed the moon landings were faked. People hear these political labels and make judgments, and that can make it hard to be taken seriously as an organiser or a worker.

petey
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Oct 13 2016 20:56

as with others above, i talk politics about issues. "whatever gives workers control over their own lives" i'll say if it comes to that. never give a label. both "anarchist" and "communist" are completely tainted terms here in the states. i did tell one guy i work with that i was a communist. he thinks i'm sort of joking and i let him believe that.

wojtek
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Oct 15 2016 04:24

Thanks for the advice. Kop khun krab ^^

From Boston to Bangkok, Thais unite in grief over the loss of a father in King Bhumibol

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klas batalo
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Oct 16 2016 00:02

most of my coworkers in small shop know i'm an anarcho-syndicalist or some sorta communist / leftist person... we talk about politics pretty often... as far as i'm aware everyone is pretty chill and hasn't told management. after years of being covert about such things, it's a bit liberating tbh.

xx
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Oct 19 2016 18:57

If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all.

freemind
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Oct 19 2016 19:46

I try to get past people's initial misconceptions and I state I'm Working Class and then say I'm a Libertarian and then an Anarchist.Its hard reading people and getting by the triggers that make them shut down to an unorthodox belief system.

cactus9
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Oct 20 2016 16:23

Bit late to the party but as it's illegal in Thailand to criticise the king I would definitely stick to "oh no, what a shame".

cactus9
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Oct 20 2016 16:45

On reflection that makes me sound either really polite or a massive racist, sorry about that.

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Khawaga
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Oct 20 2016 17:10

Lol, yeah. "oh, what a shame" can be read as dripping with sarcasm...

cactus9
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Oct 21 2016 22:27

Anyway, sometimes I think I want to join the Labour party, I'm not admitting that to anybody.

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Auld-bod
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Oct 22 2016 11:49

Cactus9 #16

I spent futile years in the death valley of socialism known as the Labour Party.
Finding libcom was like chancing on an oasis.