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A Meaning For "being Political"


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Taking a keen interest in partisan politics, carrying placards for various causes and voting at elections for a political party is not the essence of the way to be political, not the only way to be ‘political.’ As a Baha’i who first took a broad interest in politics in the early sixties, studied politics at university, first took an interest in elections in 1962 and first voted in an election in 1968 in Canada when I was 24, I found the thoughts of V.S. Naipaul on politics relevant to my political perspective, the perspective of Baha’is in general. :lol:


In December 2003 Naipaul was interviewed after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature. Naipaul said in that interview that he saw being political as being serious, as noticing and remembering specifics, contradictions, ambiguities, as honouring the whole person not reducing him to some politically partisan position, some narrow party slot. Being political is seeing and telling the truth of the world as you see it, said Naipaul. Naipaul’s is just one of many writers and thinkers today who do not see partisan politics as the touchstone of the political process, the centrepiece in the quixotic tournament of demolishing the world’s evils or the core of a person’s moral worth. -Ron Price with thanks to Bruce Bawer, “Civilization and V.S. Naipaul,” The Hudson Review, Autumn 2004.


This Cause possesses the political form,

the nucleus and pattern, the fabric,

the grand design, the ordered system,

the divine programme, the scheme,

the warp and weft, the message

of a slowly crystallizing Faith

for humankind’s unity and solidarity:

involvement in the partisan process,

the quixotic tournament

of left and right,

of republican and democratic,

of labour and liberal,

of conservative and progressive,

of Marxist or democratic

will not remove the root cause

of the world’s rude disequilibrium,

serve as antidote against the poison :D

eating into the vitals of global despair.1


1 Political Non-Involvement and Obedience to Government: A Compilation, Peter J. Khan, 1992(1979), pp.1-8.


Ron Price

November 21 2004 :rolleyes:

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