Neutrality and Engagement Why are people afraid to get engaged with justice issues?

What are the psychological and social pressures that pressure us towards neutrality and encourage us to remain de-politicized? How are the politically engaged perceived, what assumptions are averagely made about the motivations and expectations of "activists"? These are some of the questions that must be answered in order to achieve a subtle and effective critique of the politics of neutrality. It's not simply that neutrality is an illusion that we need curing of; it is a positive political program which establishes a hierarchy of values and commits its adherents to particular political lines. Neutrality is a dishonest politics because rather than advance positions it quietly affirms the status quo by dismissing attempts to challenge it as ineffective, unproductive and resentful. This attack can't be carelessly dismissed, however, firstly because it reflects the dominant contemporary understanding of human life as desire-satisfaction, and secondly because it is actually implied by activists insofar as they measure the worthwhileness of a campaign only by its success. The solution is to regard political engagement itself as a positive political and moral phenomena, one of individual and collective self-determination and actualization. We should see the meaningfulness not only in victory but in struggle itself. It is above all this meaningful work, rather than the satisfaction of inclinations, that political engagement has to offer. To demonstrate my point I will discuss
the case of the Palestinian-Zionist conflict, which as a "hot-button" issue on campus offers a clear example of social pressures against taking sides and perceived ineffectiveness of action combining to enforce a neutrality which has the effect of substantial support for racism and colonization.

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