Power Up Dept.

One of the most naïve political ideas out there is that a person can have no politics by choice — that you can somehow opt out of the political rat race by not voting or not holding political opinions, etc. It's reminiscent of another, parallel idea I came across when younger — the notion that everyone has a philosophy, whether or not they are aware of it or profess it explicitly.

But given that a lot more people care about politics than they do philosophy, the fact that people have politics whether they like it or not seems a good deal more crucial. And beyond that is another, even deeper issue: politics manifests whenever more than one person is present, whether or not you choose to notice it. The less you choose to make yourself aware of how it manifests and to what end, the more of a sucker you're going to be.

This comes up in creative endeavors at least as much as it does anywhere else, and what's worse about it coming up there is how many people involved in such a predicament don't want to admit politics has come into play. Sometimes this gets phrased as "personal differences" or what have you, but it's at bottom about the inability to recognize, or the refusal to understand, how power is working in such a situation.

Random example. Once upon a time in a previous life, I was involved in a collaborative creative project with a few other people. The person who had instigated the project really didn't know how to delegate, which was bad enough — but worse than that, he seemed unwilling to believe that the other people involved in the project would get into power struggles over things. Everyone had their place and their talent; why would they want to usurp anyone else's territory? The concept was absolutely beyond him, which was perhaps forgivable for a kid of sixteen but less so for someone of twenty-eight. Then again, if we lost our political naivete with age as readily as we did our hair ...

Tags: creativity politics

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2014/03/29 10:00.

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