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Brian Eno on letting others “do politics” for us

EnoHere is a brief excerpt from Maria Popova’s online newsletter, Brain Pickings. To check out all the resources at her website, please click here.

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Music pioneer Brian Eno, a man of strong opinions on art and unconventional approaches to creativity, is concerned that we see politics, a force that impacts our daily lives on nearly every level, as something other people do:

“Most of the smart people I know want nothing to do with politics. We avoid it like the plague – like Edge avoids it, in fact. Is this because we feel that politics isn’t where anything significant happens? Or because we’re too taken up with what we’re doing, be it Quantum Physics or Statistical Genomics or Generative Music? Or because we’re too polite to get into arguments with people? Or because we just think that things will work out fine if we let them be – that The Invisible Hand or The Technosphere will mysteriously sort them out?

“Whatever the reasons for our quiescence, politics is still being done – just not by us. It’s politics that gave us Iraq and Afghanistan and a few hundred thousand casualties. It’s politics that’s bleeding the poorer nations for the debts of their former dictators. It’s politics that allows special interests to run the country. It’s politics that helped the banks wreck the economy. It’s politics that prohibits gay marriage and stem cell research but nurtures Gaza and Guantanamo.

“But we don’t do politics. We expect other people to do it for us, and grumble when they get it wrong. We feel that our responsibility stops at the ballot box, if we even get that far. After that we’re as laissez-faire as we can get away with.

“What worries me is that while we’re laissez-ing, someone else is faire-ing.”

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Here’s a direct link to his RollingSone bio.

Here’s a direct link to his WikiBio.

Here’s a direct link to his interview by Mark Richardson for Pitchfork.

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