The Effect Of Australian Party-Political Culture On Your Soul

Jake Zanoni has a post up today on Pimpin’ For Freedom on the effect youth politics in Australia has on people. I do not agree with all of his conclusions, and he is factually incorrect on a number of points, but at the core, I feel he is correct in that the Australian political machine does have an effect on you. It does change you, and the result often isn’t very pretty (you can read a post where I set out similar concerns here).

Some extracts:

In essence that is THE natural journey for the student/youth political hack. Youth politics is a fringe activity of society, and an enclosed society with its own subculture and morality (or perhaps amorality). A downward spiral of ethics is the natural journey because unethical behaviour is the norm. Lying is not only acceptable, it is expected. Bullying behaviour is not only acceptable, it is expected. Oscar Wilde’s saying that “true friends stab you in the front” is very true for politics. Gossiping, exclusion, conspiracy, and hierarchy are all tools commonly used and abused.

The thing of it is that eventually you come to forget that this kind of behaviour isn’t on. You get so caught up in it all that not only do you embrace unethical behaviour, your entire perspective on morality shifts.

I did see myself change. Gradually I started to do things that were wrong, and I’d forget that they even were wrong. It took a very negative reaction from my fiancée to my behaviour at a branch meeting to wake me up, and even then it was a slow reversal. Politics had become such a central part of my life that all my major friends were involved. It became my social life and that is a very dangerous thing because you lose touch with normal people and normal behaviour. Yes political hacks out there, you are not normal people.

This isn’t about me feeling personally slighted; I just simply went out one night with basically a bunch of strangers who were welcoming and friendly. It reminded me of what real people are like. I went home and got really, really scared about the person I was becoming, the things I had been involved in, and the people I had left behind.

As Neitzsche said: “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you”.

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8 Responses to “The Effect Of Australian Party-Political Culture On Your Soul”

  1. Jake the Muss Says:

    In detail list every single factual error and explain how it is a factual error. (mandatory)

    In detail list every single conclusion that you disagree with and explain why you disagree with it. (not mandatory but you are a chicken shit if you don’t )

  2. Tim Andrews Says:

    1)As I commented on your blog, you are factually inaccurate regarding what you said regarding the assault allegation. I do not wish to discuss this further in a public setting, but am more than happy to continue the discussion with you later.

    2)I aim to do a longer ‘why it’s all worth it’ post when I have a bit more time, and shall incorporate that into it. Far better that way I think than just ad hoc comments.

  3. Jake the Muss Says:

    Tim and I have discussed the matter in private. I will admit to some hyperbole in that when I said ‘nothing was done and it was covered up’ I actually meant ‘nothing of real consequence was done, the only outcomes were outcomes that only morally compromised political hacks would think meant something, and by cover up enough was publicly done so that people could say they did something while the perpetrator was only harmed in a fashion that a morally compromised political hack would think meant something.’

  4. B. P. M. Says:

    I still think you’re too optimistic on this matter, Tim. I’ve discussed this multiple times with you, but I still don’t quite understand how you can say it is justified for liberty-minded people to sell their souls for something that may or may not be worth it (and mostly isn’t.)

    One of the reasons I think so many of the liberty-minded people burn out is because they’re more concerned with ideology, principles, values, policy, etc. than with power. In fact, the very idea of increasing government or party power is generally an abhorrent one to people concerned with freedom, and when they have the epiphany that they’re contributing to such things through their involvement in a party that doesn’t much like liberty these days, it is very easy to see why they get disillusioned.

    Most people in politics are the opposite and consequently are able to compromise their values without compunction because they view politics in a consequentialist manner and so for them, the ends justify the means. It’s much easier for such people to justify their involvement because it serves their ambition, their egos, their desire to be someone important, etc.

  5. Jake the Muss Says:

    You take too long Tim. I demand battle. IT’S GOING TO BE A BLOODBATH!

  6. Tim Andrews Says:

    *yawn*

  7. Jake the Muss Says:

    You’re a constant disappointment Tim.

  8. Tim Andrews Says:

    I know, I am 😦

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