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How can I make myself more politically-aware? Watch

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    Hi everyone. New account so please bear with me

    Hopefully should be going to uni this September, and I'd like to make the most of my time there & improve myself in terms of general knowledge as well as course-related academia.

    Basically, my siblings and parents were having a discussion, and the subject of communism came up. I had heard the term used many times but never actually understood what it was, so I asked. I was laughed at by my family because apparently everyone knows what it means... However I've never studied anything to do with politics or history (not even GCSE) and so I've never had to discuss anything about that. I felt embarrassed, and I don't want to go to uni and get laughed at for sounding dumb again!

    I do keep up with the news fairly regularly, and I try to understand what I read as I go along. However I have a few things I'd like to change I think.

    • As I'm old enough to vote, I would really like to do that. However, my knowledge on politics is extremely limited. I know the basics (right-wing vs left-wing etc) but if I were to visit a polling station I would have no idea who to choose, because I simply don't understand/know enough about what I'm voting for.



    • I come from a middle-eastern background (my parents moved from Iraq to the UK 30 years ago) and obviously with everything going on in the news right now, eg the Palestine-Israel conflict and the troubles with ISIS, I realised that I really would like to get to know more about middle-eastern politics too. Again, my knowledge is extremely limited, even more so than my UK knowledge, and I have no idea how to improve this.


    Does anybody have any advice on what I can do to teach myself? Are there any books/documentaries/sources that people recommend?
    And has anyone gone from being a complete novice on all things politics related, to being able to form opinions & debate about it?

    Sorry for the long post... My whole family are very opinionated about everything and anything, but I can't say I have many opinions as I simply don't know anything. I want to start thinking for myself and forming my own judgements. It's kind of embarrassing but at the same time, if I don't ask, then I'll never learn I guess!

    Thanks
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    (Original post by In Diaspora)
    Hi everyone. New account so please bear with me

    Hopefully should be going to uni this September, and I'd like to make the most of my time there & improve myself in terms of general knowledge as well as course-related academia.

    Basically, my siblings and parents were having a discussion, and the subject of communism came up. I had heard the term used many times but never actually understood what it was, so I asked. I was laughed at by my family because apparently everyone knows what it means... However I've never studied anything to do with politics or history (not even GCSE) and so I've never had to discuss anything about that. I felt embarrassed, and I don't want to go to uni and get laughed at for sounding dumb again!

    I do keep up with the news fairly regularly, and I try to understand what I read as I go along. However I have a few things I'd like to change I think.

    • As I'm old enough to vote, I would really like to do that. However, my knowledge on politics is extremely limited. I know the basics (right-wing vs left-wing etc) but if I were to visit a polling station I would have no idea who to choose, because I simply don't understand/know enough about what I'm voting for.



    • I come from a middle-eastern background (my parents moved from Iraq to the UK 30 years ago) and obviously with everything going on in the news right now, eg the Palestine-Israel conflict and the troubles with ISIS, I realised that I really would like to get to know more about middle-eastern politics too. Again, my knowledge is extremely limited, even more so than my UK knowledge, and I have no idea how to improve this.


    Does anybody have any advice on what I can do to teach myself? Are there any books/documentaries/sources that people recommend?
    And has anyone gone from being a complete novice on all things politics related, to being able to form opinions & debate about it?

    Sorry for the long post... My whole family are very opinionated about everything and anything, but I can't say I have many opinions as I simply don't know anything. I want to start thinking for myself and forming my own judgements. It's kind of embarrassing but at the same time, if I don't ask, then I'll never learn I guess!

    Thanks
    BBC News/ The Guardian/ The Economist/ The New Statesman
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    (Original post by tehforum)
    BBC News/ The Guardian/ The Economist/ The New Statesman
    lol
    you might as well add Wikipedia to that list
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    (Original post by tehforum)
    BBC News/ The Guardian/ The Economist/ The New Statesman
    I follow the first two (guardian articles online) but what are the latter two like & why do you recommend them?
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    Hey OP do NOT read the news without reading history first. Read history from credible sources, read history from non-Western non-Oriental viewpoints. Then read the news and just see how damme ignorant every body is of every thing
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    (Original post by felamuzlem)
    Hey OP do NOT read the news without reading history first. Read history from credible sources, read history from non-Western non-Oriental viewpoints. Then read the news and just see how damme ignorant every body is of every thing
    Are there any history sources you recommend? What do you think I should start with?
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    (Original post by In Diaspora)
    Are there any history sources you recommend? What do you think I should start with?
    Obviously depends on the issue in question
    If it's the Israel-Palestine conflict read stuff written by the people who lived when it all technically started, you'll have to go look for books yourself of course but I'll recommend Edward Said and Ghada Karmi, Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappe
    Then read stuff by contemporary Palestinians such as Ali Abuminah
    Then read stuff by Jews who see a problem with what Israel is currently doing such as David Sheen, Norman Finkelstein, Miko Peled, and so on
    Then read Zionist propaganda from the IDF twitter account and from papers like thetimesofisrael

    That's the correct sequence off the top of my head
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    (Original post by felamuzlem)
    Obviously depends on the issue in question
    If it's the Israel-Palestine conflict read stuff written by the people who lived when it all technically started, you'll have to go look for books yourself of course but I'll recommend Edward Said and Ghada Karmi, Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappe
    Then read stuff by contemporary Palestinians such as Ali Abuminah
    Then read stuff by Jews who see a problem with what Israel is currently doing such as David Sheen, Norman Finkelstein, Miko Peled, and so on
    Then read Zionist propaganda from the IDF twitter account and from papers like thetimesofisrael

    That's the correct sequence off the top of my head
    My Arabic is extremely weak so I doubt I'll be able to make sense of any Arabic texts. I can read but struggle to understand anything not in a dialect But thanks, I'll definitely keep those in mind!
 
 
 
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