As little red riding hood learned from the wolf, two big eyes are all the better to see, so keep them open.
Politics is an organic, every changing process. Over time ideas that reside on the periphery are drawn into mainstream ‘thinking’ as they gain public interest. In order for political ideas to become mainstream they have to exist in the first place and for that we need thinkers, people who are before their time, people who think outside the box. These ideas are then shared and debated, gaining traction. However because these ideas may be at odds with current dominant values they may require the use of democratic channels like civil disobedience, protest. Dissent has a long tradition in politics. As a form of activism it has been used by many people including Mahatma Gandhi and groups campaigning for civil rights like the suffragettes who campaigned for votes for women.
Up until the 20th century women in democratic countries were denied ‘the vote’, that was the dominant thinking on the issue. since the late 1700s there had been vocal opponents of this stance (see previous post on Mary Wollstonecraft) but their ideas and views were seen as dissenting voices initially, and it took time, civil disobedience, suffrage and deaths before the idea of equal rights for women became mainstream and women gained ‘the vote’.
When I reflect on the anti-war campaigner Margaretta D’Arcy’s incarceration at the age of 79, I see an act of conscience where the law was broken not for selfish reasons, but for moral ones therefore we should celebrate this challenge to state policy, not be afraid of it.
This state’s neutrality is under threat as Europe develops its military policies. Margaretta’s actions have focused our attention on this issue and I have no doubt that history will show who is morally right on this issue, and I’ll always be on the side of the thinkers.
Now do you see why politics is spelled with two eyes?