Yet again, for the third or fourth time in this thread, I beg to differ
With all respect to our moderator, when one says that "All actions are political", this is sloganeering, not Right Speech.
. I will agree with Greg's assertion that "All actions are political."
Do you not live in a polis?
Nobody on the thread thus far has directly refuted my definition of "politics": they have either agreed with it without a second thought, contradicted it without much rationale, or moved on to other, more nuanced conversations. Tingdzin, please read my prior post:
And once again we need to take it back to the semantics! Jikan does a perfect simple job of taking the word [b](Politics) to its greek root--concerning the town, the public. THE POLIS!
How you relate, act, engage in a public, in a community. Because you do. Nobody on Dharma wheel is a self-sustained mountain-man. Any hunter-gatherers in the crowd, please correct me if I'm wrong.[/b]
Or as I said in a recent post:
"To clarify, the SCOPE the range the extent of the OP was about: our personal politics as Buddhists; our lived-experience, our communities, our lives, our choices, our relationships with people abroad and at home. Our attempts or lack thereof to stand for justice, whatever that means."
It seems like the word "political" can only bring to mind two extremes here:
Either you're thinking of corrupt, narcissistic politicians who make Democratic change a very hopeless and difficult task.
Or you're thinking of radical activists like this lady who chained herself to a tree.
(Admittedly, at the beginning of the thread, I would have been interested in talking about her. Now it seems I have a more modest task.)
Ben Yuan, I apologize for using you as a hypothetical example. Ben has expressed that it's important to abstain from the "political" as we've been calling it (even though I'm still not sure if we agree on what defines that). Nevertheless, let's go with my definition for a moment:
Let's say Ben never votes, never confronts his children's principal and school board about their experiences with a verbally-abusive teacher, and never helps organize with his neighbors to have a neighborhood block party. He has in all three of these examples, still made a political choice.
The only additional comment I have, in reference to your assertion that it would follow that "all actions have sexual implications, all actions could be said to be economic" etc. Is that...Yes. They are! And they are all, likewise, political.
Politics is not even a hair's breadth seperate from any aspect of our lives. All bodies and actions are governed and policed whether by the law or by the mores of the community. If you think sexuality is separate from politics/politics isn't sexual, you may just have a sexuality that is favored and privileged by the norms and laws of your polis and you haven't thought twice.
Tingdzin: As soon as one jumps on a political bandwagon, one forfeits this orientation, usually for the sake of some transient warm glow of emotional gratification or self-righteousness.
You can sit back on your cushion and decry the fruitless efforts of people in politics and bask in the warm glow of emotional gratification and self righteousness there, too. Mara is sitting on your shoulder, he's sitting on mine, he's sitting in the lap of the woman chained into that tree, and he's sitting on both of Mayor Quimby's hands.
Our lifestyle is a direct product of the socioeconomic/political system we live in. We may not have transgressive, criminal, or radical political lives, but the degree to which we can forget politics and ignore them is really the degree of our privilege: the degree to which politics serves us. And accepting that neutrally, sitting back and allowing the system's biases to serve you may nearly impossible to escape, but it's still political.