ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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The Dharma is ALWAYS Political

December 4th, 2007 by Dave · No Comments

The ID Project just launched a new blog, and the first article is a great one as the political season is heating up. It deals with low voter turnout from a Buddhist perspective, and could really strike a chord with students who have this as part of their cultural background. It would have to be adapted for language learners, but I think it could really be engaging for students in democracies.

What I’m arguing is this: If you think it’s ever possible not to vote, then you’re dead wrong.

Silence doesn’t equal nonparticipation; silence is a very specific kind of participation. Deeming a discussion inappropriate or shutting down dialogue actually empowers a side in the debate. By definition, the viewpoint that silence and discomfort empower is the conservative one.

Nonparticipation is always a vote – a vote for the status quo.

With apologies to all the minor parties, there are actually three major political parties in the United States. The Republicans and the Democrats remain locked in a recurrent battle to determine who will become the 2nd most powerful political party in America. Each of these parties controls roughly 25% of the vote. Far more powerful than either Donkeys or Elephants, however, is the Apathy Party, composed of the 50% of eligible voters who perennially fall prey to the propagandized myth that it’s possible to stand independent, somehow outside the collective discourse.

Often times an Apathetic throws her support unwittingly to a true conservative – someone whose agenda is really about preserving the status quo. Even worse, Apathetics often cast their votes for radical candidates posing as true conservatives (such as the current US administration) who press through an unfair agenda that would never have a chance at popular success without such an overwhelming wave of support from the Apathy Party.

(P.S. – Does their WordPress theme look familiar?)

Tags: blog · Buddhism · ESL activity · politics · reading

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