* Some people don't belong to any political parties.

* Some people object to politics and/or political parties on grounds of principle.

* Some people don't consider 'politics' to be a useful or necessary skill-set.

In some cases, generally so.

In other cases, in some walks of life. As in e.g. at least some University Societies should be run by those who love the activity rather than by some subset with 'conventional political or bureaucratic skills'. Such as societies which have no place for Presidents, Secretaries or Treasurers.

* We furthermore identify 'some people object to politics and/or political parties on grounds of principle' as a form of Conscientious Objection.

* For some people view politics, political parties, 'the official system' etc as manifestations of force, and refuse to have anything to do with these (or possibly any other) manifestations of force.

For instance, 'the party line' and things which impose this such as 'party whips' are a type of force. Some people would only believe in politics if politicians voted solely according to their constituents' wishes, and not their political party's agenda.

That 'the state' is built on having a monopoly of force is of course already rather more widely appreciated in the world around us.

So, to us, being a Conscientious Objector to politics is very much the same as being a Conscientious Objector to war (the type of Conscientious Objector that, so far, has received any kind of 'official recognition', for all that's worth).

* It is possible to

* To be clear, we here are all Pacifists. We mention this because many people elsewhere use 'Anarchist' as a slur for necessarily violent apolitical people...

[There is however another traditional type of Anarchist: the Anarcho-Pacifist (AnarchoPac).]

* None the less, we here prefer the phrasing "Conscientious Objector to war, violence and politics".

* Some people extend this to "Conscientious Objector to war, violence, politics and activism." These Anactivists have a further webpage here.

So, no, far from apolitical people are Activists, that's another misconception.

Everyone will likely agree after a moment's thought, that 'politically apathetic' people greatly outnumber both Anarchists and Activists! These are the 20 to 50 percent who don't vote. As regards student politics, make that 75 to 95 percent...

So in the context of student politics, apolitical people are actually a large majority.

A further matter is whether characterizing non-voters as 'apathetic' is fair. Some are conscientious Objectors. Many consider 'student politics' to be meaningless. People care about taxation, employment, law enforcement and so on, and so 'don't have time for' voting for the far lesser scope of what student politics influences (let alone uni societypolitics such as who gets to be the president of a student science magazine or secretary of Tiddlywinks; see the next Section for more.

Other modes of governance for university societies and welfare provision

So there's quite a spectral range of disengagement, depending on the actual difference it makes 'who runs things'.

Many people feel that, especially university societies having mini-models of political and bureaucratic things is petty, pointless and exclusive of many who love the activity in question.

In the further case of good cause societies, some people feel that 'political members' put their politics and/or self-advancement before the good cause.

Overall, it is healthy for a reasonable proportion of societies to not be be plagued with 'presidents' and 'secretaries'. To not have such claptrap externally imposed by 'normative forces' or someone else's 'bureaucratic convenience'. Some alternative 'modes of governance', or ways of being are as follows.

1) People's Government: everybody represents themselves directly, rather than through 'elected representatives'. This is sometimes called a Collective. Ancient Athens' 'Democracy', from which current Democracy descends, was actually of this form. This works well with smaller person numbers (say three to three thousand people in a university society; most people on email lists give no feedback, so even email lists of 3000 can be handled in this way; through to 'as many as fit in an Athenian stadium': at least one more order of magnitude).

For having 'elected representatives' creates a 'political class' who are often self-serving or mistrusted as possibly being self-serving. Having 'elected representatives' also in practise excludes newcomers. E.g. Grad Freshers on one-year courses can't be part of Committees almost anywhere, as these elect people for a year two or three terms into the year, thus leaving Grad Freshers on one-year courses with nothing.

2) Laissez Faire Anyone who so wishes is welcome to run an event for us. (And has access to the same amount of effective advertising like posting to the email list, a societies fair stall etc.)

3) Non-Procrustean committee sizes Another useful procedure: if three people stand for Ents Officer, we just have three ents officers...

(Stop wasting volunteers and inciting ill-will by making would-be organizers 'compete' for a limited number of places. This is our leisure time, external bureaucrats...)

Procrustes is a mythical Ancient Greek bandit who cut people's limbs off if they were too tall to fit on his table. He also stretched people who were too short for his table.

So placing artifical demands such as 'there must be at least four members in the committee or the society dissolves' is also an unwelcome external imposition.

This damages good-cause societies in times when organizers are scarce. It also damages smaller geeky and/or subculture societies.

Finally, when there is a permanent falling out, each new group is morally entitled to have their own version of the society in question. So 'weaker parties' after a falling out (often the wronged parties, eg driven out by a 'popular' bully, or a group of Allies of a Survivor whose abuser is a member of the 'traditional single society' 's committee) often have organizer numbers below those 'externally imposed'. Not to mention external demands that only one society doing that activity will get any funding. All in all, people who've been bullied have no truck with external demands. And many Survivors, people who've been bullied etc don't want their friends' support group to be just for them but also to be joinable, as a society, by further Survivors, people who've been bullied etc. As such, 'unofficial societies' ar both quite ideal for this (and the only viable option). Note: such societies have to 'make do' without equipment expenditures etc. A Survivor and their Allies can usually quite easily put together �50 per term to run a small society of the 'lighter hearted' variety. Many Geek-socs and Alternative Subculture Socs can and have been run on this kind of basis, or using other kinds of no strings attached sponsorships. Such groups with no money usually arrange for a member to get a temporary job in the holiday to convert time for supporting their Survivor friend into modest money for doing so. Occasionally a Grad Ally might even seek to Supervise an extra course so as to, tacitly, spend the proceeds funding a Survivor friend's society. (Supervising pays at a rate of around a term's society money per two hours).

4) Linklineocracy. Anyone can apply to train for contact jobs with vulnerable people, but a proportion of applicants will be turned away for no given reason. This is how putting the vulnerable people first works, as opposed to anyone's ego or demand to be part. For some people apply to work with vulnerable people in order to have access to vulnerable people to harm. On the other hand, some people just can't keep secrets, respect a listener group's rules on non-judgmentality etc. Finally, e.g. a listening service that's inclusive of, say, Trans* people, would not take in volunteers who are transphobic. If everything were run based on votes, then some services catering for vulnerable people would be open to being compromised just because some bigot brought along a lot of friends to vote for them... So

Further versions of Conscientious Objection

* Avoidant Survivors - the 85% who don't go to the police either - often Conscientiously Object to confrontation.

* Closeted people often Conscientiously Object to places which don't understand communication via an anonymizing Ally.

* The logical conclusion of "Conscientious Objector to war, violence, politics and activism" is "Conscientious Objector to All Forms of 'Might is Right' ". Some of these object to rhetoric as well, for instance. As in 'being good at arguing gives nobody any right to invalidate a Trans* person's existence or the right of Trans* people to exist'.

Though for each 'officially recognized' such example, there are a thousand others. Avoidant Survivors and Closeted people both feel very largely erased by things 'supposedly for Survivors' or as regards things 'supposedly for group X' in fact only being for Out-X (eg for X = Trans*, Mental Health, Survivor, or Bullied).

Overall, Anactivism is spectral, and "Conscientious Objector to All Forms of 'Might is Right' " is at the other end of this spectrum from what conventional current-day Activists do.


In early 2020, the proportion of apolotical students was noted to be up by around an order of magnitude from previous times, to around 30% :)