What is an activist?

I hear all the time these days of the doings of 'activists'. As far as I can understand, the word is a catch-all expression encompassing what the grumpy among us (like me) might term 'nuisances', those who make life hell for other people, sometimes in a good cause, sometimes not. Do shipmates think of it as a term of approval, or opprobium?

Comments

  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    I'm sure the intention is to draw attention to one cause or another. It can be a derogatory term or one of approval depending on one's own PoV.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Eirenist wrote: »
    Do shipmates think of it as a term of approval, or opprobium?
    It seems pretty neutral to me. The term of opprobrium when I was young and mildly active was "agitator," or to magnify the horror, "outside agitator."
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I think it's one of those words that are both. How I read it depends, if I'm honest, on my view of their actions and the cause they are highlighting.

    Different prefixes can be applied to make one's views more clear, e.g. "armchair activist".
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Those who wish to be left alone in dogmatic slumber will find anyone who feels strongly about something to be obnoxious or worse.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Surely it just means someone who is active in a group or society etc. It tends to be used in the news when an activist does something news worthy (as decided by the news channel). If someone is active in their local drama society are they an activist?
  • Is someone who evangelises to others an activist?
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Evangelism is part time f bring a Christian. There are those who are called to be Evangelists, but each Christian has to be ready to give a reason for their faith.
    Your verb use is out of kilter. You do not evangelise to you simply evangelise. I would say the answer to your question is no but others may vary.
  • The WombatThe Wombat Shipmate
    I have always been an activist sticking my nose into other people's problems. Trouble is that I think I know more than I do, and I really should have let people discover for themselves any solution before offering my one-sided view of how they can overcome it. Basically 'Too much mouth, and not enough listening.'
  • Real democracy requires all of us to be activists.
  • The WombatThe Wombat Shipmate
    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. - Bertrand Russell. So many people become 'Activists' without finding out what is really happening and where they can be of use. They are grabbed by the feeling 'something must be done' and off they go. I have learnt that personally by reacting too quickly with only a little thought to situations. The wrong actions can actually make things worse.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Soror Magna: Real democracy requires all of us to be activists.

    I think the great thing about Democracies is that one doesn't have to participate, but one can if one wishes.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I call protesters I agree with 'common or garden heroes' and those I disagree with 'people who's civil rights need infringing', Vegans, and New Age Crackpots, among other things. I don't tend to use 'activist'. I reckon its a word used in news broadcasts. Very neutral. I love 'hacktivist'.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    Evangelism is part time f bring a Christian. There are those who are called to be Evangelists, but each Christian has to be ready to give a reason for their faith.
    Your verb use is out of kilter. You do not evangelise to you simply evangelise. I would say the answer to your question is no but others may vary.
    Sorry that should read part of being a Christian. This phone is really annoying sometimes
  • Hugal wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Evangelism is part time f bring a Christian. There are those who are called to be Evangelists, but each Christian has to be ready to give a reason for their faith.
    Your verb use is out of kilter. You do not evangelise to you simply evangelise. I would say the answer to your question is no but others may vary.
    Sorry that should read part of being a Christian. This phone is really annoying sometimes

    I understood your meaning. Sorry for the slip up re evangelise.

    I would say that the purpose of activism is often (though perhaps not always) to raise awareness of an issue the activists consider to be of general importance to everyone and an evangelising Christians shares that purpose.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Fair point. It is a fine line definition wise. As an active Christian I need to be ready to give a reason for my faith so it could fit nicely.
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