Some definitions…

Before anyone can agree on anything, or even to disagree, it helps if we are talking about the same things. These definitions might not be prefect, but they will at least assist you in following the conversations.

  • Politics

We liked the following definitions (from Wiktionary): ” A methodology and activities associated with running a government, an organization, or a movement“, “Political manoeuvres or diplomacy between people, groups, or organizations, especially involving power, influence or conflict

Essentially, we take politics to mean the activities involved in pursuing one’s interests in conflicts, seeking influence or power. On this site we would like to talk about politics, but not engage in it. That’s why it’s called “minus the politics”, despite being obviously political (i.e. about politics).

Some people think that any political writing or discussion is necessarily “politics”. According to our definition, this is only true if the act forms part of a struggle for influence or power. We hope that by incorporating opposing political views, the blog as a whole cannot be said to be arguing, influencing, manoeuvring or struggling towards any particular political position.  If we are struggling for anything, it’s against political polarisation, which we consider as detrimental to our liberal democracies and way of life.

  • Elements

To clarify various political arguments and issues, we propose to break them down into what we see as their essential elements. The analogy is chemical… a political issue is a compound problem usually made from multiple elements. The choice of elements is itself a matter for discussion. We’ve tried to pick them such that all political issues can be reduced to these essential elements, and that the elements are actually distinct – not different versions of the same thing. This is not an easy thing to do. Note that an element is not a position. On a single element, you and I might have different views. It might be clearer if you read the list of elements.

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