On the relationship between the personal and the political - a stream of late night philosophical conciousness.

The political situation - be it local, national, or international - has one kind of furniture. Economics and ideology, trade unions and governments, guns and bombs, media and mass opinion, elections and big business.

The personal situation - be it professional, sexual, social, or intellectual - has a different kind of furniture. Friends and associates, loyalties and family, hopes and fears, music, conversation, and work.

However, these are not two autonomous worlds. Each can be collapsed into the other - treating 3rd world debt as essentially an extension of the meannes of the local bank manager, or interpreting the racism of a neighbour as a product of alienation from the means of production.

The former of these - treating the political as the personal, but writ large - leads to resistance taking the form of lifestyle politics. Ecodisaster is 'prevented' by using 'ecofriendly' washing powder, and 3rd world hunger 'combated' by boycotting cirtain brands of fruit in the supermarket.

The latter - treating people's personal lives and psychologies as determined by the global situation - leads to the view that depression, apathy and pathology can only be effectively combatted by removing their ultimate cause, which may be labeled Globalisation, Capitalism, or even Human Nature.

The relationship between the personal and the political is possibly that the divide between the two is false. They could be viewed as two sides of the same coin.

This is half an answer - the other half needs a lot more work.

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