I was reading this fascinating article by Jason Sanford over at SF signal, on military SF. Not that I’m much fascinated by military SF, I admit, but the article is fascinating for another thing: it’s the use of the word “political” to refer to something that, for me, has nothing to do with politics (in this case, whether or not to approve of war). I’ve seen it before, to refer to diverse other things, such as people’s positions on QUILTBAG relationships, abortion, women’s rights… The thing is, for me, those are not political problems. My position on war and abortion isn’t politics: it’s a matter of pure ethics, of how I put things in the context of my personal morals, rather than where my chosen political party stands on the issue (in fact, if anything, it would be a matter of where my religion stands on the issue).
Thing is… in France, parties don’t define themselves by this kind of position. Our left wing is slightly more pro-abortion and pro gay rights, for instance, but it’s far from their main campaign argument–so far that I don’t particularly associate a particular party with a particular moral stance .
This would seem to be a purely US use, and I’m curious–if you’re a USian and reading this blog, mind explaining to me why “political” for this kind of subject? Is “ethics” banned from public discourse, and I somehow missed the memo?
ETA: I stand corrected. Patrick Samphire and K.S. Augustin pointed out to me that this was also a UK and Aus usage. I’d not seen it in UK/Aus blog posts, and I leapt to conclusions regarding its use a tad too fast.
 Amusingly, I tend to define the French left wing and the right wing in terms of where they stand with relation to wealth: the left wing wants to tax the rich to death, the right wing wants to over-favour them. (and yes, this tells you everything you need to know about my politics vs my cynicism)