Apolitical Activism

By Christiaan van Huyssteen (@cvh23)

A message to ‘activists’.

Politics is in essence coercion.

Everything in our country is politicised. Virtually all government policies are made and executed to satisfy some political agenda. Our education system is politicised. All our universities have small groups of agitators who believe they know what is best for all. These people are mostly well-meaning people, with sincere intentions, although some of them come across as lacking a social conscience.

We have many who claim to be activists fighting for various causes, but they sometimes just create the impression of being headless chickens. Most activists believe in their causes and have good intentions. They simply want people to see things the way they see them. They may, at first be successful at getting things done, but often the negativity that flows into what they say and do and their unconscious need for enemies and conflict ultimately just create more opposition to their cause. There is something to be said for the old adage that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Pushing for a particular political agenda by one group of how society should work is arrogant and immoral.

One person does not know what is best for other people. There is no virtue in achieving good ends through bad means.

Stop telling others how they must spend their money, how much tax they should be paying, or how those taxes ought to be spent. No one is rich because others are poor (unless they stole from them, or they are in government). One can’t forcibly take from one person to give to another. There is nothing compassionate about using force.

You can’t create economic equality by means of handouts without making others less free. You can, however, promote the idea of a charitable society.

We should stop trying to enforce morality, or try regulating personal behaviour. People own their bodies, and have the right to do with it as they please. (Drugs, prostitution, etc.)

You can’t regulate morality. You can only set a good example.

Stop trying to force people to celebrate public holidays as you think they should.

As long as they do no harm to others, they can do as they please.

Stop being offended by things you don’t agree with, or waste your time by being offended on behalf of others. Not being offended by trivial things is a sign of emotional maturity, stand up for your views, but do not impose them on others. Sometimes offence is taken, and not given.

Don’t discriminate against others. You are only limiting yourself. See people as individuals, not as members of groups. All people are of infinite equal value.

At the same time, don’t try to forcibly stop those who discriminate against others from doing so (as long as they don’t do it through violence). You can’t change people’s opinions, especially not through force. You can only try to influence them.

Stop playing the victim. By having an attitude of self-pity you are wasting your life. Everybody who is a coward believes in his or her victimisation. Everybody who is a failure believes in his or her victimisation. Everybody who is an abuser believes they were victimised. Don’t blame the system, whether it is apartheid, capitalism or BEE. Fight for a freer system. A culture of victimisation breeds failure. People who claim to be victims lose their integrity, and their ability to work hard for what they want. ‘Victims’ despise those who succeed in life, those who overcome the odds, and they try to pull them down. Real oppression won’t be eradicated by bringing others down. Don’t listen to those who tell you the odds are stacked against you; they are using you for their own agenda.

You have an intrinsic inalienable right to your life, your liberty, and your property.

You are an individual of infinite value. And so is everyone else.

You are an individual before you are a member of a group or collective.

The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” – Jesus Christ

If you undermine this fundamental rule, you are undermining your own dignity as an individual, and inhibiting the spread of consciousness.

Be an activist. South Africa needs positive apolitical activism, a type of activism that is based on sound non-coercive principles. Activism that hinges on freedom.

Politics could cause the initiation of the use of violence in that all laws may eventually be enforced at gunpoint. In a civilized society, force should be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.

Let’s try to move beyond politics to a world where we strive to complete collective goals while embracing the positive and respecting individual rights.

“Virtue supposes liberty, as the carrying of a burden supposes active force. Under coercion there is no virtue, and without virtue there is no religion.” – Voltaire

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