Dancing activists- political societies of the fifties in Marjon.

Because of the recent elections, I had a look in the past political life of Marjon. When you are young, you tend to express your convictions with the most passion and in the university there is a place for every conviction. In the 50’s it was easier of course; only three parties to align yourself with- the right, the left and the middle. In Marjon there were active societies for all three, even though the Liberal Society didn’t make an appearance until ’54. And the Communist Society had to be ‘swept under the rug’ and joined the Socialist Society. It is difficult for me to write about politics, I have the hardest time navigating the political rhetoric and the promises that the politicians make without batting an eyelid. When I was at school I studied the basics of democracy and other political systems, it must be even harder when your only knowledge is what you pieced together by yourself. I guess it was no different in the 50’s when the notes from the political societies were lamenting that the dancing societies were draining their members from the political activism. What I learned about the politic in general is that it doesn’t change. Of course the agendas come and go, but politicians seem to be remaining the same. Predominantly old, white dudes are singing the same songs about how: ‘many people were swayed by personal interests rather than voting for the good of the nation…’ (Marjon Magazine ‘55) and how ‘split the vote propaganda’ spoils everything ( ‘Even though you believe in Mun, vote for Bun in case Tun gets in.’ (Marjon Magazine ’55). Back then as it is now, the most popular political debates seem to be those that complain about the state of government and affairs in general, like the Conservative Society’s debate of ‘51: ‘This house is of the opinion that His Majesty’s Government has failed lamentably in his handling of domestic affairs in this country since 1945’. I guess there might come such a time when all of it becomes slightly tedious, no wonder that Marjon students wanted to go dancing for a change:-)

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