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  1. #1

    Is society happier in times of political apathy?

    Spotted this wee comment piece while flicking through a copy of The Week in the dentist's waiting room. I suspect it rings true for a large swathe of society drained by the endless constitutional furore which has dogged the nation for so many years:


    In praise of apathy

    These days all of us are engaged in politics. Fanatically engaged. Furiously engaged. Twenty years ago, when I was in my teens, apathy was all the rage. In the newspapers, practically every political column was about the lack of interest in politics. Anxious MPs thought apathy was a bad thing. They assumed it meant people felt powerless to change anything. Certainly, that was true for some. But maybe the rest didn’t actually want to change anything – nothing big anyway. Maybe they took no interest in politics because on the whole, they thought life wasn’t too bad. A lesson for the future. Mass engagement is a sign that things are going wrong. In a healthy democracy nobody would vote at all.


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  3. #2
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    I saw a tweet recently where someone made the point that 5 years ago nobody really cared about the EU and now we're all up in arms about it.

    On a personal level I have gone from almost not voting in the referendum due to apathy to being a staunch remainer.

    I would also say that I was happier before becoming interested in politics.

  4. #3
    No to indy, Leave, Trump ...

    Itís like politics, the Terry Butcher years. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhh.

  5. #4
    Testimonial Due Glory Lurker's Avatar
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    Society thinks it is happier, which is exactly what they want.

  6. #5
    So is the timescale described suggesting that New Labour wasn't the brainchild of Satan, Hitler and Vlad the Impaler after all?
    PM Awards General Poster of The Year 2015, 2016, 2017. Probably robbed in other years

  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member Fife-Hibee's Avatar
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    I think it's more a case of the less you know the happier you'll be. The most politically ignorant people out there walk around with big huge grins on their face believing everything is wonderful just the way it is.

    Sometimes I wish I was one of them.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Smartie View Post
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    I saw a tweet recently where someone made the point that 5 years ago nobody really cared about the EU and now we're all up in arms about it.

    On a personal level I have gone from almost not voting in the referendum due to apathy to being a staunch remainer.

    I would also say that I was happier before becoming interested in politics.
    I'd agree with that. Though I'd say I've had politics forced upon me rather then becoming interested in it.

  9. #8
    First Team Breakthrough
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    I don't think that political inactivity makes one less content.

    Pre social media there was a degree of anonymity which one could control and avoid the instant judgement of others.

    Politicians then had to explain their views rather than shout their opinions in the hope of trawling unknown audiences.

    The quality of said politicians nowadays is very poor. Not for a second would I like to go back to the 1970's or 1980's but I think society has to accept

    the harm that trawling can do and live with it.

    At least we do not live through depravation and war so we must have done something right!

  10. #9
    I remember us being told how great it was that people were engaged with politics, dating back to the Scottish Independence referendum.

    Every day I think more and more that so many people being 'engaged' has proved to be a bad thing.

  11. #10
    Testimonial Due Just Jimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollution View Post
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    I don't think that political inactivity makes one less content.

    Pre social media there was a degree of anonymity which one could control and avoid the instant judgement of others.

    Politicians then had to explain their views rather than shout their opinions in the hope of trawling unknown audiences.

    The quality of said politicians nowadays is very poor. Not for a second would I like to go back to the 1970's or 1980's but I think society has to accept

    the harm that trawling can do and live with it.

    At least we do not live through depravation and war so we must have done something right!
    yup... we joined the EU.

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by WeeRussell View Post
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    I remember us being told how great it was that people were engaged with politics, dating back to the Scottish Independence referendum.

    Every day I think more and more that so many people being 'engaged' has proved to be a bad thing.
    I agree. If we think the atmosphere at Westminster is toxic, social media has enabled a tribal brew of pure poison to take root.

  13. #12
    Coaching Staff heretoday's Avatar
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    I was happier before the Internet and the mobile came along.

  14. #13
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heretoday View Post
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    I was happier before the Internet and the mobile came along.
    So was I.

    Little things, like wifi being everywhere, has made it harder to ignore these little distractions and be "in the moment".

    It's very hard to change your behaviour once these habits set in.

  15. #14
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publ...brexit-anxiety

    This was an interesting page that I saw a link to on another site I post on.

    My activity there generally consists of me locking horns with retired dentists of the Home Counties, a life-shortening experience if ever there was one.

  16. #15
    Coaching Staff lyonhibs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    So is the timescale described suggesting that New Labour wasn't the brainchild of Satan, Hitler and Vlad the Impaler after all?
    Oh what would I give to rewind the political state of play 20 odd years.

  17. #16
    Coaching Staff HUTCHYHIBBY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heretoday View Post
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    I was happier before the Internet and the mobile came along.
    People constantly taking photos for their feeds without any consideration for folk that might not want to be in them. I could live without that.

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