The most I get from my close friend when I ask them about anything political (Gaza, Climate change, etc) is a “wow” or “damn”.

With my family members it’s a literal “I don’t care about politics” or “talk to [insert random distant relative name], he knows all about this stuff”

How can I make them care? How can I convince them that this stuff is important and shouldnt shrugged off so easily?

How can I convince them that their boss cutting their wages in half is an important matter that shouldn’t be justified by some abstract notion of “that’s just how it is”?

  • darkernations
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    8 days ago

    If they are privileged enough not to care then they may be benefitting from the status quo; it is hard to dissuade someone away from this if they materially gain from exploitation.

    Being “neutral” with the staus quo is supporting it; being apolitical in the context of an exploitative system is taking a political stance that they are not vested in changing it.

    On the other hand it may also be due to alienation and the empty nihilism of an overbearing crushing system; these folks, however, often feel there is not much that they can do so they are not truly apathetic just dejected.

    Some people are just empathetically immature; you have limited time in your life on where you want to emotionally invest in guiding a person to the light.

    /edit: spelling/clarity

  • knfrmity
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    8 days ago

    We are conditioned to believe that politics is only election campaigns and inter-party disagreements and compromise.

    We are typically not taught that wages, rent, transportation, community, and so much more is also political, and more impactful on our lives than party politics. I typically start there to gently suggest to people that there’s more to politics than just election season theater.

    Really big or emotionally heavy topics like Palestine or climate change are too big and too abstract for most people to even begin to engage with.

  • Kaffe
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    8 days ago

    There are two groups of people worth a damn in terms of politicking at them;

    1. Those that have concrete conditions in favor of radical change (like say, a Black person whose not getting hired anywhere due to felony acquired as an impoverished teen). (Most exploited proletarians and poor peasants, nationally oppressed peoples)

    2. Those that are genuinely curious to understand and overcome the conditions of our time. (People like Engels, Mao, and Castro who came from high privilege but dedicated themselves to science and humanity: Revolution).

    Anyone else is not going to ask questions and look for answers until they see their Doom on the horizon, but it’s too late for them if no structures setup by the 2 groups above have been built.

    What does that mean? Build with who you have right now, be ready to accept power when that third group has nowhere else to go.

  • bunbun
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    8 days ago

    Talk to them about good political news as well. When all you hear is “everything everywhere is terrible” it’s easy to just tune it out. Successful unionization efforts, protests, progressive legislature.

  • amemorablename
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    Keep an eye out for opportunities to show them how their struggles in life are tied into the political order they live within. And if it’s hard to do that, try to understand the political order better first, so you can more communicate about those connections.

    It’s relatively easy in the US, for example, to point out that the healthcare system is awful and “that issue you’re dealing with relating to your health would probably be less of one with a better system”. But for some people, they are going to have a view of capitalist realism here or they are going to think “so what? if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride”. So you may have to get more specific about what exactly is wrong with the system in specifics, why it’s possible it could be better in actionable terms.

    Then there is stuff where it’s trickier to draw connections, even though the connections are undeniably there. For example, someone who is struggling in dating. Patriarchal socializing and system and the resulting dynamic along with the pushes against it have contributed to making things more fraught, fearful, and tenuous. As well as how the capitalist order pushes individualization and atomization. Trust is low, women have lots of real reason to be fearful and to just prefer independence if that’s that vs. risking being with a controlling man. Women are taught to expect someone who can only speak one emotion flavor: anger/outrage, and to devalue their own emotions. Men are taught to only express anger/outrage and see the rest as weakness. There is all kinds of stuff like this you can get into because the political order is the social order is the economic order is the everyday life. They are inextricably interconnected. And in a meta way, recognizing this in itself as a fact may be necessary to shake some people out of the malaise, so that they stop viewing highly conditional systems in a particular country in a particular period in time as historical inevitabilities of the human species.

    Too often online I encounter a sentiment like “X is human nature,” “people are tribal”, “this is how things have always been.” It’s simply not true and there’s no getting around the fact that if you want to get through to those particular people, you have to somehow get past their false beliefs about history and humanity. Which you don’t necessarily have to argue with directly. Showing them how things are intertwined right now in their life may naturally help them see how contextual a political order.

    Edit: wording

  • rando895
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    8 days ago

    People’s time and energy is limited. If there is no reason for someone to know something (like they are being screwed by a landlord/taxman) and no direct action they can take to solve the problem, why waste their time?

    People can’t care about everything. If you care about something, start organizing people to solve the issue. With success, many more may become interested, or at the very least you have a clear goal and history of winning, such that you can use it to convince others to join your cause.

  • QueerCommieM
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    8 days ago

    Don’t be a downer. I am emotionally detached from my politics for the most part for better or worse, so I mostly talk about communism in jokes unless there’s an opportunity for a good conversation. In that case I still joke a decent bit and don’t get too negative. I like to present the sad facts of capitalism sarcastically. This strategy may not work for non-teens.

    If you want to know the secret to revolutionary optimism it’s accelerationist shitposting.