Is it okay to be apolitical in a democracy?

May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
#1
> How essential is for an individual to be knowledgeable in depth, in about ongoing politics?

> Is it fundamentally wrong to be apolitical?

> If you feel all the competing parties/fronts are worthless, is it right not to vote?

> Should the political awareness/ indulgence of an Individual be left for them to decide (Whether he/she should be apolitical or not) or is there more to it than just personal choice?
 
Aug 2016
977
US&A
#2
I think question #1 depends on other factors. I suppose it is essential if you have some control over it or if you would otherwise be heavily affected by any decisions made.

I don't think it's wrong to be apolitical. Some of us just aren't really that interested. Though if we decide to vote, then we should certainly be knowledgeable.

I don't think people should be forced to, but you gain at least a little understanding just by seeing ads when you're driving down the road or watching TV. If you force people to learn some will just vote arbitrarily.
 
May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
#3
I think question #1 depends on other factors. I suppose it is essential if you have some control over it or if you would otherwise be heavily affected by any decisions made.

I don't think it's wrong to be apolitical. Some of us just aren't really that interested. Though if we decide to vote, then we should certainly be knowledgeable.

I don't think people should be forced to, but you gain at least a little understanding just by seeing ads when you're driving down the road or watching TV. If you force people to learn some will just vote arbitrarily.
That's the point. If we think it is wrong to be apolitical, and a surrender if we don't vote, the poor decisions we make with whatever limited knowledge we have is equally lethal. How do we differentiate?
 
Oct 2013
14,293
Europix
#4
There's nothing wrong in being apolitical. That's what democracy is about: You can be left, or right, or apolitical, You can be a believer or an atheist, aso.

But if You are apolitical, if You don't express any opinion (I'm talking not voting) You have also to be conscious and endorse the fact that You are a passive subject: "You don't vote, You can't complain".

How do we differentiate?
Common sense can be very useful. More simplistic the solution proposed, more likely it's ... BS

If we think it is wrong to be apolitical, and a surrender if we don't vote, the poor decisions we make with whatever limited knowledge we have is equally lethal
Personally, I think that by making a decision, by taking action, there is a high probability of not succeeding, of failure.

By not making a decision, by not taking action there is the certitude of not succeeding, of failure.

Not just in politics.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2018
11
Spain
#6
1. Incredibly essential. Any real political change needs an enlightened collective, and any enlightened collective needs well-read individuals.
2. Yes. It is a state of mental slavery. It affects both said individual and society as a whole, as you deter the advancement of any movement for change.
3. Yes. If you don't believe in the electoral system, not participating in it is the first step to delegitimize it.
4. See point 2#.
 
Feb 2019
611
Serbia
#7
> How essential is for an individual to be knowledgeable in depth, in about ongoing politics?
I believe it is important, being knowledgeable slightly above the usual and knowing more than just what you're spoon-fed in form of ads and posters can change a lot and help you to make a better, more concrete and confident judgement.


Campaign ads and promises are almost always lies, In my country and I believe in many others politicians show ads and promises for campaigns yet when they get elected they 9 times out of 10 go back on their promises, disregard all responsibilities, both moral and lawful and do everything to enrich themselves at the expense of the state and the people.

People see these ads and believe them, electing politicians like these. Being more knowledgeable can either prevent this or reduce the chances of it happening. With the mentality of ''just look at ads and vote'' anyone with money,no matter how incompetent and irresponsible they may be can become elected, with extensive knowledge people can determine what is right and wrong with candidates better and make better votes.

Nowadays people just elect someone with more promises, adverts or a fancy personality more so than someone who is genuinely competent. Common sense does not seem to be so ''common'' among the people as a mass.

> Is it fundamentally wrong to be apolitical?
No, and I don't understand why do you suggest it is. It is sometimes seen as ignorant or weak when someone does not vote in certain cases but I found this to be extremely rare and for me it's perfectly fine if someone doesn't have an opinion or simply does not care about politics. This comes with ''don't vote, don't complain'' mentioned above.

> If you feel all the competing parties/fronts are worthless, is it right not to vote?
I think it is right not to vote. However sometimes choosing the '' least bad'' option might be preferable, a tactic politicians might use is to convince the people that all candidates are worthless so they don't vote, as such they potentially reduce their number of votes but also reduce competition as other candidates won't get votes either.


> Should the political awareness/ indulgence of an Individual be left for them to decide (Whether he/she should be apolitical or not) or is there more to it than just personal choice?
I believe that it is up to someone to decide if they personally care about politics or not, but in some cases like the aforementioned ''least bad'' case it might be beneficial for them to vote regardless of opinion.
If they decide to be political it is only natural that they should read up and understand politics and politicians they can vote for.

I see it this way: A truly political person is someone who truly understands politics and follows them and maybe even engages in them, someone who just looks at ads and watches the news is not truly political as they don't actually understand politics in depth in most cases. An equivalent to this would be to call someone who reads 1 book and watches 1 documentary without any research or concrete understanding of history a historian.
 

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,789
Western Eurasia
#8
> How essential is for an individual to be knowledgeable in depth, in about ongoing politics?
Ideally of course that would be the best if everybody made educated decision, but i'm afraid in reality some key political issues require so specialized knowledge, i don't think it can be reasonably expected from an average voter to be deeply informed about them, especially in our age when we are overflooded with information. (the bigger problem can be if the elected representatives themselves have no much idea about them :D )

> Is it fundamentally wrong to be apolitical?
I don't feel that wrong, it can be theoretically wrong for a democratic state itself if there is extremely low participation, as it could undermine the winner's political legitimacy, but i don't think it usually bothers them in practice. I don't agree with the argument "you don't vote, you can't complain", or then far more people could be silenced with the same logic, "you voted for this regime/parliament, you can't complain", "you legitimized this system, you can't complain"... You can always complain :D

> If you feel all the competing parties/fronts are worthless, is it right not to vote?
Absolutely. shouldn't expect people to give up their principles, make moral compromise and be cornered to choose between bad and worser. I could only support compulsory voting if there were also a "none of the above" option on the ballot.
 
Dec 2017
280
Regnum Teutonicum
#10
In my opinion everybody should have the right not to vote, but I also think that everybody should try not to use this right, because if to many people don't use their vote to often, you can quickly find out, that you are not able to vote anymore. Anti-democratic leaders, be it fascists, communists, scientologists, or whoever else, they make sure, that their followers and "subjects" vote. One knows what happens if they win. Additionally, one can't complain of the state of the country, if one didn't vote.