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comment by galen
galen  ·  1881 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Welcome to Hubski, redditors! Tell us about yourselves.

    Hello Hubski and all you Hubskiites(?), I'm a rising second year university student studying Politcal Science. Obviously I'm super into politics, especially radical politics because the edges are where you find the most interesting things.

Can I take a moment of your time and ask what made you choose Poli Sci? I ask because right now that's sort of my #1 choice of major but I'm really struggling to make a definitive decision.

RattusAngitique  ·  1881 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've always had a strong interest in politics. My dad is very political, he's generally either watching the news or listening to it, so that caught on to me. What really did it though was a combination of two things: I took AP Government in high school and loved it, and my use of the internet opened me up to new ideas. In AP Gov we took a test online to see which candidate we should vote for in the 2016 presidential election, and almost everyone in the class got Gary Johnson, who was the candidate for the Libertarian Party. If you're not familiar with them, they're a neoliberal party that's like a calmed down version of Ron Paul. Basically what happened was that because this is America, the free market is the only economic system that exists, and because we're in high school, we all liked the Democratic Party's social politics. The problem is that the mainstream view of the democratic party is that they are much less into the free market than Republicans, so most people are divided over whether to vote in terms of economics or society.

Anyway, I thought it was ridiculous that Gary Johnson was the candidate everyone liked, but nobody had heard of him. I did more poking around the internet, and discovered crazy things like how communism isn't the only liberal economic system and how the Republicans and the Democrats are essentially the same party and how anarchism isn't just angsty teenagers but very prominent Russian philosophers. Basically I fell into a time sucking Wikipedia binge and haven't come out of it yet. Also I've gotten into radical politics, which as a result of it generally being more local, has a lot to do with "street politics": things that impact our day to day lives such as laws regarding use of bicycles on roads, the new trend of criminalizing the homeless, etc., which allows you too see how politics impacts you in a much clearer light. You see that politics isn't the business of politicians and people with money, but everyone.

Now in school I'm learning more things and I'm very interested in political theory. One of the most interesting things to me that is becoming a big topic is the rise of non-state actors. The system that we use to divide the world into countries is that State system. States are the actors, they have interests in common/conflict, ect. But the most interesting part is the fact that in the State system, States have a monopoly on violence. That's why private armies don't exist (to the extent that they could cause problems). But the increasing prominence of non-state actors who have political goals and use violence to get things done (we brand these people terrorists) such as Al-Qaeda and its syndicates, Boko Haram, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. are a direct challenge to that system. Now what that means for the system, I have no idea. But the fact that there are other systems out there is super interesting to me. I'm all for shaking things up, so I'm very fond of these challenges to the established system.

galen  ·  1881 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is great, thanks so much. You honestly sound a lot like me, except that I haven't yet had the opportunity to take a Gov class-- damn shame.

I'm really into Bernie Sanders right now, and a little bit looking into poli sci as a way of eventually supporting a candidate like him, or perhaps become that candidate myself. (Now following: #feelthebern)

Anyway, thanks again. You've added another drop to my poli sci bucket :)