45 Things I Learned... 22

Sunday, February 5, 2023

I never thought I would study political sciences and public administration. Even when I enrolled at age 17, in my mind, I was just going to learn about history, anthropology, and public affairs for a year and then return to my original goal of becoming an architect. But no. I took a liking to those courses and I was subsequently aiming for a doctorate. Then again, life had other things awaiting me and that course definitely stopped before I could write my doctoral thesis. I do not regret my decision to shift to the business world, because after working at the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform, I had become fully aware that I do not want to delve into politics. At least not professionally. It was a filthy world from what I had experienced and I certainly didn't want in!

Since I can remember, my parents had recommended that we should not get affiliated with this or that political party. And they were so right! Yes, I was a young rebel at university and took part in almost every protest to voice out our anger at the Syrian occupation of Lebanon or at the lack of rights for women who represent half of the society and cannot give their nationality to their offspring for political reasons. I was smart enough to stay away from any spotlight and cameras that I dodged entirely. This saved me from being arrested many times, unlike other youths who would pride themselves to have been thrown in jail for the cause. That was incomprehensible to me because I thought more pragmatically that losing my freedom in name of the cause would not necessarily serve that ideal. And with my stance, I was already doing politics.

You see, politics makes use of rules for individuals and groups. It influences their decision-making. That can happen in politics but also at work and in any type of business, and on more personal levels when part of a community or a club for example. That club can be a sports or religious club. It doesn't matter. Politics are what runs the alliances, the lobbying, and corporate behavioral tactics and strategies in any group. Whether a small family enterprise or a multinational company, politics are clearly in use. All this made me refuse to run for the municipal council in my dad's village 25 years ago or even for a seat in the parliament during last year's elections, even if several of my friends were very encouraging and told me I could do so much good from within the political system...

Interesting quotes on politics:

Politics have no relation to morals - Niccolo Machiavelli

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies - Groucho Marx

Politics is too important to be left to politicians - Warren Rudman

Politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles and the conduct of public affairs for private advantage - Ambrose Bierce

The political system is nothing if not a giant conspiracy to rob, trick and subjugate the population - Jeffrey Tucker

If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it - Mark Twain

The government doesn't lie, it engages in disinformation - George Carlin

Given all that has been happening since 2020, I have never been so sure that I do not want to be part of a corrupted system. The nepotism, tribalism, and other modes of corrupted schemes that are in place are not for me. I despise such orders. Of course, I will play the political game whenever I have to, because that's social life after all, but I would rather stay out of plots whenever possible. What about you?

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